Great Printable Resources – Plants

We’re rolling along through April learning about plants, seeds, growing and flowers.  It’s a lot of fun.  I found a lot of printable activities, some free some not, that go right along with our learning.  I don’t like to overwhelm our activity shelf with printables, but I’ve found that Carter is very interested in working through them when I rotate in a few at a time.

I hit the jackpot with this first resource: the Garden Preschool Pack from Homeschool Creations.  There were so many great activites included.  These are my favorite.

Pre-Writing cards for tracing.  There are some easy ones and some more difficult ones.  Laminate these first for repeat use.

Sequencing cards – How a Seed Grows

Memory game with rhyming words.  Hint: some of the pictures are tough.  Write them down for yourself and go over all the names of the pictures with your child before you play.

A nice, simple introduction to the parts of a plant in puzzle format.

Sorting flowers and vegetables.  I haven’t cut these apart yet.  My only gripe with these is that they are TINY, but hey – they’re free!

Practicing beginning sounds.  I used clothespins for Carter to clip on the cards.  He calls this the “Clips Game”.  Below is a video that I captured while he was cleaning the game up.  He explains how to play it in his own words.

The next three activities are from Montessori for Everyone.  Once again, I LOVE, LOVE their gorgeous, real photos.

Sorting, Plants and Food.  Once Carter got the hang of sorting into two groups, we talked about which food was made from which plant and he paired them up.

The Life Cycle of a Pumpkin.  We haven’t done this one yet (you can see it’s not cut apart), but we’ll work on putting them in order, then we’ll try matching the words to the pictures as well.

Matching – Whole and Half Fruits.  Carter had a lot of fun with this one!

These last 3 are from KidsSoup, a (very cheap) subscription site for activities grouped by theme.  These were both from the Plants Unit.

Flower mini-book.  This one is simple enough for Carter to read on his own and has some great information about the parts of flowers and how they grow.

Word Families Game.  There’s a picture in the center of each flower.  Put the leaves with its correct word family.

Cutting practice.  I made a couple copies of these.

The “mouth of concentration” says it all – this is not as easy as it looks for a 3 year-old.

Enjoy and thanks for your comments!

April Sensory Materials

Have you ever enjoyed taking off your shoes and walking in the grass?  Or sitting on the beach running your hands through the sand?  An easy and inexpensive way to engage your child’s senses and exploration is through an individual sensory tub.  One of the key elements in a Montessori environment is a child’s exposure to sensorial experiences, those things which engage the senses in a way that allows them to explore and discover the world around them.

This month I tried my first sensory tub.  It’s meant to be like a mini garden for Carter to explore.

Our tub contains:  a variety of dried beans (large and small limas, black eyed peas, black beans), sunflower seeds, smooth stones, mini terra cotta pots, plastic flowers and greenery and a butterfly.  I added tongs and a small rake for him to “cultivate” his garden.  

It’s been a big hit so far.  He has to show his garden to everyone who visits.

I also made sound eggs for Carter to match up.  Inside the eggs are: kosher salt, mini beads, pony beads, large buttons and google eyes.  He spreads them out on the table, locates matches by shaking the eggs and puts them back into the carton after the matches are found.

Enjoy and thank you for your comments!

My $2 Spindle Box

In my monthly trip to the dollar store to hunt down potential materials, I was THRILLED to find this funky little ice cube tray.  I counted the compartments and with 10, they became the perfect spindle box to use with Carter.  I also found a bag of 200 Easter foam sticker shapes.  The ducks became the numerals needed for the ice cube tray to spindle box transformation.  55 toothpicks became the spindles.  (Note: the Montessori spindle box goes from 0-9)

I work with only my son and I know that he can identify the numbers 1-10.  However, if you aren’t sure, make sure that your child can identify the numerals before moving forward with counting the spindles.  The control of error with this activity is that there are exactly the right number of spindles needed to fill the compartments.  If your child reaches the end and does not have enough or has spindles left over, an error was made.  Happy counting!

Enjoy and thank you for your comments!