9/25/16

How to set up autumn season corner?

 This post contains affiliate links to things that I adore and like a lot.

Seasons corner is a wonderful thing to support child's interest in learning about year changes. It can be small and take a little space on your window, drawer or shelf. It can be bigger and have a whole shelf with different materials related to learning about seasons.


There should be several items connected with seasons in general, that will help a child to see the whole picture. Other items should be about the current season. You can change them and add something new like you do with all other shelves in your learning environment. Don't change all the items at once when one season comes to an end. Change them slowly one by one as it happens in nature. Autumn nature corner is a perfect resource for the child to learn about autumn in Montessori environment.

So how your autumn season corner or shelf can look?

  • hang the seasons timeline or some beautiful prints related to current season near it. You can hang beautiful paintings of well-known artists. This way the child will also appreciate art. Maybe you will make some cross stitching artwork related to autumn by yourself. Child will appreciate it even more. Also you can hang some photos of the child from the previous fall. 
Look at these gorgeous pictures with mushrooms

Mushroom prints
  • put some fall nature gifts on the shelf, such as acorns, pine cones, pumpkin and its seeds, nuts, leaves, sunflower and its seeds, chestnuts, wheat and other. Child will touch them and enrich his sensorial experience. Also these items will cause some future talks related to them. Don't put all the items on the shelf at once. Put several of them and then when child have explored them enough put something away and change it for something new.
Invitation to Explore: Nature in the Fall
  • You can make different activities using variety of objects for learning about autumn. It is just up to your fantasy. I usually can invent some works when I visit different stores. Sometimes some fancy crockery can help to make some work special. Other times I like to include special objects for manipulation that will make a work interesting for the child. Also I am collecting different small and tiny objects and miniatures that I use then for language works. These are just random objects that I use in future for specific topics. As an idea or inspiration look at these cute little clay mushrooms. They can be used for objects matching or learning mushrooms names. What autumn little objects do you use?
  • autumn is the season of the crop. You can put a basket with different fruits and vegetables on your seasons shelf. You can exhibit apples, pears, pumpkins, corn, mushrooms, persimmon, pomegranate and other. Child can touch and taste them. This way you can also learn about what is growing in your area. Also a lot of berries ripen in the fall. Put several small plates with different berries. A child can sort them and then taste them.
  • make a diorama of the autumn forest with paper animals, animal figures or forest view. A child can discover and play with it. Children love dioramas! It can be easily DIYed. You can cut some carton box and use some printed animals. Kids will love to participate in this project.
  • put some educational cards and printables for learning about fall seasons. 
Every season is wonderful. I am always very inspired to create something new to show children every season in details. Nature is so wonderful. Every aspect of our world changes according to year cycles. It is always very interesting for children to learn the things that were unknown before.

This year I have created new series of cards for autumn exploration.

- Autumn language vocabulary cards. They can be used for learning about changes in nature in autumn, learning about its signs, creating stories and describing pictures. Also, you can use them as a matching activity.


- Autumn gifts Montessori 3-part cards. These wonderful cards will show children wonderful gifts of this season. The material includes such gifts as acorn, apple, chestnut, fig, fir cone, persimmon, mushroom, corn, walnut, pear, pomegranate, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, wheat. It would be wonderful to use the cards then for matching to real items.


- Spring and autumn leaves matching cards. I thought that children would be fascinated with such activity. I propose to make changes in some trees noticeable by matching green and fall leaves. This way children will learn more about trees and learn how they change in autumn. It shows how various autumn leaves can be in color. 


You can use the cards:
- for matching spring and autumn leaves cards
- for learning about names of the trees

- as a bingo game for matching cards to boards

It contains such 14 trees, such as ash, beech, cherry, birch, elm, oak, chestnut, linden, aspen, rowan, maple, poplar, mulberry, willow.
 - Apple and pumpkin language sequence cards. Autumn gifts can inspire a child to learn more about their life cycle. This activity is for language development. It shows different stages of plant development. A child should place the cards in the right order from seed to fruit or vegetable.



- Autumn berries Montessori 3-part cards. Autumn season is full of berries. Children last years showed interest in exploring differences in the variety of berries. So this year I decided to make this material. It includes such berries as chokeberry, barberry, hawthorn, cowberry, blueberry, viburnum, cranberry, sea buckthorn, rowan, bilberry.



- Halloween painting and its piece matching cards. Children love art related activities. So I decided to connect Halloween holiday and art. You can use them for describing paintings also. It is wonderful that children can be attentive finding the right piece and right painting and also appreciate art.



- Autumn still life matching cardsThe activities wonderfully combine the beauty of autumn natural elements and art of photography.

This set contains 2 activities with still life photos:

- matching photos to their black and white analogs

- matching photos to cards with its element


I really hope this post would be useful to you and it will inspire you to create some interesting for your child. Share with me your creations on my Facebook page. I will be excited to see them!

9/24/16

Autumn in Montessori classroom and home

This post contains affiliate links to things that I adore and like a lot.

In one of my previous posts we already discussed ideas for learning about seasons with kids. Today I want to concentrate more on autumn.


We are the parts of the natural world and nature cycles influence us. In spring when nature wakes up we are more active, energetic and upbeat, in winter when nature goes to sleep our activities can slow a bit. 

It is needed for children to be surrounded by seasons and live in them and not just learn about them once a year. In general learning about time can be difficult for children because time is abstract. So we need to make it more real, hands-on and understandable for the child. Using the ideas that I will describe will help the kid to feel and explore the fall in its full.

The principle of order is crucial for the child so it is important for him to be aware of what is around. The child gets used to routines and sometimes even small changes influence him. Do you remember our 3 main principles of order? One of them is order in time. And it applies to seasons also. Imagine if the child is not educated about changes in seasons, he goes outside to play and sees that the world around doesn't look like it was before. It can scare him, he can refuse going outdoors or it can cause some bad behaviors. On the contrary, when the child learns about nature cycles, learn about natural changes day by day he knows what to expect. He is curious to go outside and look how the environment changes everyday.

Start exploring autumn season when it starts and every season in general too. It is better than learning about all the seasons together once a year. 

Decorate the environment

With seasonal changes in nature, the environment at home can change a bit also to support it. Decorate the environment according to the autumn season. Make some small space improvements in every room. This will help to bring order to the child and make everything connected. 

- use tablecloth with autumn design
- let the child set the table with placemats and napkins embroidered with autumn elements


- hang the apron with autumn prints to a hook. The child would be able to wear it by himself when he wants to help you in the kitchen or do some crafts


- use towels with autumn embroidery in the kitchen or bathroom
- hang some paintings related to autumn in the house
- use some crockery decorated with autumn designs in the kitchen or practical life area

This beautiful mushroom-themed set will decorate any environment and will be loved by kids
- make the mobile with autumn leaves and hang it in the child's room or use it as a house decoration

This Fall table setting is gorgeous!
This all will not only help the child but make home and life of your family brighter. The same changes can be easily made in your classroom. The space will look appealing, fresh and interesting.

Make an autumn nature table or a seasons corner

The nature table is a collection of different natural items. A child can touch, explore and discover them and in the same time appreciate nature. Put seasonal items there, such as pumpkins, chestnuts, fallen leaves, different types of nuts, flowers, bird feathers and other autumn nature gifts. It would be wonderful if the items will be collected by the child. Visit granny and let him get the pumpkin from the vegetable garden by himself, collect leaves in the park and mushrooms in the forest.

Check out these natural tables, they are very inspiring!


Seasons corner is a collection of different interesting and educational items related to the current season. It is a wonderful place in the environment for the child to receive different experience from the variety of sources and connect it all to autumn. You can put there various autumn nature treasures, fruits, and vegetables, educational cards, books related to autumn. You can hang seasons timeline, different prints or paintings near it. The child would be excited about the items related to autumn. It will increase his curiosity. It will then transform in the interest to learn more about things related to the season, like growing the mushrooms, pumpkin life cycle, changes in leaves colors, preparation of animals for the cold season, reason of weather changes. Maybe if you have enough space you can have a seasons shelf and put all these materials there. I described seasons corner in details in my next post. There you can read about what you should include in your season's corner.

Include autumn activities to all areas of learning

Include some autumn related materials to different shelves of your classroom or homeschool.

Use walnuts, acorns, nuts, leaves, pinecones, seeds, corn, pumpkins
- in your practical life area for transferring, stringing, spooning, polishing
- in your math area for counting and mathematical operations
- in your language area for finding the initial sound of these items, composing their names from the movable alphabet, composing stories, describing items
- in your sensorial area for size or color sorting, receiving sensorial experience, learning about shapes and forms
- in your art area for drawing them or creating some crafts with their help

Of course, you can include different educational cards and learning Montessori printables related to autumn to your shelves.

Try to use the cards for learning about autumn in 3 directions:
- changes in inanimate nature (learn about the weather changes, sun, sky, temperature, natural phenomena)
- changes in flora and fauna (learn about behaviors of birds and animals and about autumn changes in plants)
- changes in our lives (learn about how autumn influence people; what activities we do during this season; what we wear; what holidays we celebrate)

I was brainstorming a lot to create fresh, interesting and engaging autumn materials for the Montessori classroom this year. I made them with an intention to support children's interests that I observed.  check out my materials related to autumn. I described them in details in my next post.
- Autumn vocabulary language cards
- Spring and autumn leaves matching cards
- Autumn gifts Montessori 3-part cards
- Autumn berries Montessori 3-part cards
- Apple and pumpkin sequence cards
- Halloween painting and its piece sequence cards
- Autumn still life matching activities

You can also use my printable materials related to seasons, such as

Seasons and month Montessori inspired puzzle. It is wonderful because it is very visual and child can clearly see fall moths. Kids love working with it because it is presented in a very interesting way and the size of the material is pretty big. So this is a big circle that is divided into 4 color zones that represent different seasons (green - spring, red- summer, yellow - autumn, white - winter). Btw these colors are used in all of my materials, but I always include not color coded version if possible. The small circle represents the same tree during different seasons. If you work with younger children you can divide it into 4 parts and use only this small circle. You can divide the inner circle into 12 parts with older children. Next circle represents 12 months. Also, there is the sun in the center.

Seasons and months timeline. I used this cards as visuals in the classroom. I mounted them to the wall and children observed different periods of the year. Also, I made clear cards for every month describing monthly changes in nature. It helped to make a year cycle clearer to a lot of kids and it made it easier to us to observe some peculiarities of different months during our walks. It can be used as a picture to picture matching activity with younger kids. The materials include the instruction with variants of presenting it.





Seasonal children's activities. It is important for children to know how human life changes during different seasons and how they influence us. I made the material depicting children because kids love to work with such cards. They are very interested in works that show lives of other children. You can use only cards connected with autumn to discuss with children. Ask them to share their experience related to tasks on the pictures.






Seasons bingo game. During autumn you can use only 2 mats that show autumn. It is very fun and educational activity. Children learn a lot about autumn features from it. It includes such autumn nature elements and clothes.








5 Montessori materials for learning about seasons and months. These materials are for learning about seasons and months in general. Also, it includes word sorting seasons activity that is very liked by reading children. These activities will help a child to form stable knowledge about the sequence of months.








Free collection of seasons sounds.  This is a magical collection of different sounds that represent nature during a specific season. We sit with children in a circle and listen to them with our eyes closed. Then we discuss what we imagined and heard. We like to listen to sounds of nature during our walks, but often the environment can be too loud that can distract. 
Autumn sounds include:
- Autumn wind and rain
- Singing of birds in autumn
- Sound of autumn rain
- Sound of fallen leaves in autumn
- Sound of rain in autumn


Another couple of interesting activities that just came to my mind can be:
- You can create your own book with photos of your child or your family activities in autumn. It can be moments when you work in vegetable garden, collect leaves, walk in autumn clothes, collect mushrooms, observe nature in autumn. This way the child will learn more about this season and it will be also a bonding moment.
- Create autumn still life painting activity. Put easel, paints in the environment together with beautifully exhibited seasonal items and let the child draw them.

Don't forget to put some autumn related books on your shelves.


Explore autumn in nature

This is probably one of the most important moments. How can one explore natural changes without nature? So nature walk is a must! During every season. As they say, there is no bad weather only inappropriate clothing. During walks, the child receives sensorial experience on all levels. He touches natural elements, sees beauty and color variety, he listens to natural sounds, he feels the difference in temperature.

So what can you do on the autumn nature walk?
- just observe what's around and notice small changes
- try to notice changes in weather
- discuss what people or kids on the streets wear
- collect natural gifts
- collect mushrooms in the forest
- observe birds
- make a labyrinth from leaves or chestnuts

Make a labyrinth from fallen leaves
-  it is a wonderful time to make herbarium. I loved it when I was a kid and maybe because of my bond to this activity children in all of my classes loved it also! We then used it in a lot of different ways - for learning about trees, the structure of leaves, art and craft and much more.
- launch paper boats in puddles
- make a nature journal

I created this post to inspire you. Sometimes we don't appreciate things around but we are so gifted to live in this world that is full of wonders. Help you child to see them.

8/26/16

Early Years Printables Bundle with 92% discount

I am happy to present you the awesome bundle that I am the part of - Early Years Bundle
Very talented educators, parents, and homeschoolers collaborated to create a wonderful collection of goods! It contains 54 items with printables, ebooks, educational materials, and learning resources! 


It is perfect for:
- parents
- teachers
- homeschoolers

The pack is full of original ideas, crafts, educational cards, parenting guides, activity lists and so many other!

The total value of the bundle is more than $400 BUT to help fellow educators and parent we reduced the price and give you 92% discount! You can buy it for $29.95 only!


You can find 3 of my printable in there:
- Farm animals families 3-part cards
- 5 materials for learning about seasons
- Artist and his Painting matching cards

Unfortunately the offer is now ended. Sing up for my newsletter to know about all the wonderful events we have!

Are you curious what is inside?? Take a look!