Circle Time

After 2 months of pretty raunchy morning sickness, I am back with a renewed energy for teaching Carter from home.

To start with, the blog has a new look and feel to it.  I hope that it makes activities easier to find and is more visually appealing.

I’ve also made all the materials for each month accessible to Carter for the entire month, instead of one at time then gone.  I couldn’t keep the materials we were using in his playroom for what I think are pretty obvious reasons, so I hijacked his black shelf and moved it to our dining room.  We aren’t fortunate enough to have an entire room to dedicate to making our own in-home Montessori school, so I’ve taken (and will continue to take) parts of our house over with school materials – in the most beautiful and organized way I can manage, of course.

Yesterday we began to have Circle Time.  I got the idea to put all of our calendar materials on a cork board to make it portable.  I’m able to store it in the living room so that I can be sure that it is treated nicely and then I can move it to Carter’s room for our morning Circle Time.

Circle Time setup with the portable Calendar board

I begin this time with the song It’s A Beautiful Day by Greg and Steve.

There are several songs that we sing as we move through the parts of the calendar.  There are many, many choices for days of the week and months of the year songs out there.  I like these 2 for their simplicity and repetition:

Months of the Year

Days of the Week

Then we work through the calendar

I bought the blank calendar at Sta.ples because I had some reward dollars to use, but if you have a teacher’s supply store nearby they will have more choices.

The calendar pieces can also be found already cut and laminated at a teacher’s supply store.  You can also print them for free here.  This site is where I found the umbrellas.  Of course, even more free and just as effective are post it notes that you write your own numbers on.

It may be difficult to see, but there is a clip on the number 9.  I use that as our marker to keep up with which day we are on.

Below the calendar are Days of the Week pockets.  I made those out of construction paper and printed/glued the names of the days on them, though you can purchase colorful pockets if you wish.  In the pockets, there are 3 sticks that read: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

The month cards can be printed for free from Montessori for Everyone.  They also have a great Calendar Activity Set that includes a lot of the things you’ll need to make your own calendar under “Free Downloads”.

Carter has been fascinated with the moon from a very young age, so when I found these moon phase cards I knew that it would be something that would excite him.  And, since I’m no astronomer, I found a month-by-month cheat sheet to know when to change the cards.

I printed the weather cards from the Weather Unit on kidssoup.

Before we choose the weather for the day, we sing:

Weather Song
(to the tune of “Oh My Darling”)
What’s the weather?
What’s the weather?
What’s the weather, today?
Is it windy?
Is it cloudy?
Is there rain?
Or is there sun?

The beautiful season cards are also a freebie from Montessori for Everyone.

After the calendar, we sing a fun song that gets us up and moving.  Then, we close by Carter sitting in my lap and singing Special Me by Dr. Jean.  This is a precious song that celebrates the wonder of your child.

Enjoy and thank you for your comments!

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Cutting with Scissors

Cutting with Scissors

Carter is 3 years, 3 months old.

You will need:

Pair of scissors
Ruler
8 ½ X 11 sheet of stiff paper
Container for the clippings
Marker

Procedures:

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Cut the paper into 5 strips, widthwise. Mark a straight line down the center of each strip. Put them in the container with the scissors.

1.         Pick up the scissors and show your child how to hold them. Demonstrate the open and closing action of the scissors.

2.         Show your child how to cut slowly, following the line.

3.         Move the paper along while you are cutting to show how this helps with the cutting process.  Exaggerate the open and closing process.

4.         Put the scissors back into the container and invite your child to try.

Conclusion:  Carter is not an experienced cutter.  When he was younger, I taught him how to tear paper to make collages.  Since then he’s had no interest in scissors.  This has been FINE with me.  I credit it to his not having chopped off any locks of hair to this point.  But, I know that it’s important and must be learned.  The photos above do no justice for just how LONG it took him to cut one single piece.  I took a short video of the end of the process just so you can see.

At what age did you teach your child to start using scissors?  Did you have any scissor disasters?

These activities are here for sharing.  If you like it, (say so, then) grab the link and pass it on.  It’s the highest form of bloggy love! ♥

Weaving Paper

Weaving Paper

Carter is 3 years, 3 months old.

You will need:

Square of stiff, white paper
4 more strips of colored paper
Scissors
Ruler
Small Container
Ruler
Pencil

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: mark a ¾ inch border inside the paper.  Cut out alternating strips from inside the border so that you’re left with a frame containing 4 vertical bars of paper. Cut the colored strips and place them in the container.

1.               Pick up a strip of paper and weave it through the paper bars until you reach the end.

2.              Weave two strips, then invite your child to weave the remaining.  Pull out the strips if your child wishes to repeat.

Conclusion: Carter was not down with the weaving.  This one strip of paper was his only attempt.  He said it was too hard.

C: This is for adults only, Mommy.
Me: It’s for children, too.
C: Well, maybe when I’m 5 I can do it.
Me: Would you like to put it away and try something else?
C: Yes.

So we did.

These activities are here for sharing.  If you like it, (say so, then) grab the link and pass it on.  It’s the highest form of bloggy love! ♥