Montessori at Home Video Series
Journaling with your Children
Many adults keep a diary or a journal, but have you ever thought of encouraging your preschooler to do the same? Believe it or not, it can be a rewarding experience for both of you! In this stressful time, keeping track of what you are doing and feeling may make things easier. And when this is all over, you will have a record for the future.
Here's a link to help you:
Practical Life Making Muffins
Montessori parents hear teachers talk about Practical Life all the time. When was the last time your family got together to bake? That's a wonderful Practical Life activity and guess what? It's also a terrific opportunity to explore math!
Here's a recipe that is easily adaptable to whatever you have on hand:
Science Regrowing Fruits and Vegetables
Growing your own food has always been a fun activity. But RE-growing your food? Did you know that you can do that? It's possible! Celery, potatoes, onions, and more can replenish themselves in your kitchen!
Check out these websites for the how-tos!!
Get Moving Parachute Fun!
Sitting around the house is BORING! Get up and get moving with your preschooler and toddler. Make exercise fun! A bed sheet, a table cloth or a real parachute--anything will do.
Here's a link to several games for you to play!
Music: Dance Party!
Children love to dance--who doesn't? Ge them having fun by moving to music. Pick your favorite kind--it doesn't matter. Just laugh and move and enjoy yourselves!
Looking for music for children? Try these:
Ages 1-6 years, though older children love to dance with their parents!
Practical Life: Cleaning around the house
While the children are home, keep them busy with activities they love--like cleaning! It's true, toddlers and preschoolers love to feel helpful. Cleaning the bathroom, scrubbing the floor, polishing silver or brass, polishing the furniture and washing dishes are things they CAN and also love to do!
Here are a couple of links to help you make homemade polish:
Practical Life: Baking Bread
What smells better than baking bread? Nothing I can think of! And you don't have to have yeast on hand to make bread, though it adds another fun element. Here's a website that will give you several different varieties of bread to make.
Remember: it's all about your child doing the work and you supervising!
Language Building Vocabulary can be FUN
Use some of your time at home to grow your child's vocabulary. It's fun and easy. Make a game of naming all the hundreds of parts of your house and yard. Your toddler and preschooler will love the movement and you'll be building a useful vocabulary at the same time!
Math: Practicing Math Facts the Fun Way
Card games are a great way to practice math facts with your child. Even 3-year-olds love the game, WAR. Get them hooked on math the fun way--using card games!
Here's a link to several different ways to promote math with cards:
Ages 3-9 years
Music: Making Musical Instruments
Even the youngest children love making music. Pots, pans, paper bags--you name it, they turn it into music. Today we're going to make musical instruments out of materials you have around the house.
Have fun making music!!
Art Making Sock Puppets
Children love puppets and putting on a puppet show involves so many wonderful skills: creativity, story-telling, design, to name a few. But you need to have puppets to make the show!
Here's a great website that will help you make your own sock puppets. Remember to let your child do most of the work and then be the director of the story!
Art Making Colored Pasta for Collage and Necklaces
Young children love to make necklaces. At school, they may use beads, but at home, colored pasta works just as well or better! For the older children, colored pasta becomes a medium to create art: collage or mosaic are both possible.
Here's a simple video on how to color your pasta so that the color is intense and lasting!
Language: Playing I Spy
Many of us play "I Spy" in the car, but you can play it at home just as well--even better, actually, because you can choose your environment. Alternate between "I Spy" and "I'm Thinking Of...." No materials needed and a child of any age can play. And if you have a pre-reader, use letter sounds and promote their reading skills!!
With older children, change it up and play 20 questions!
Language Labeling Everything
Young readers love a challenge and they love their parents attention. Combine these two and you have the perfect game. And yes, the toddlers and early elementary students will love this as well!
Get the whole family involved and have fun!!
Science Tie Die Milk
Creating beautiful art with milk? That seems impossible! Yet a plate of milk or cream, a bit of food coloring and some dishwashing liquid create unbelievable patterns. Have fun discovering how surface tension works!
Here's a link to all the details:
Cooking: Making Meringue Cookies or Butter or BOTH
Cooking is so much fun and there are so many lessons to be learned. In these two recipes, science is a huge part of the experience. How do egg whites become solids? How does cream become a solid?
Here are links to how-tos for you to follow. Enjoy eating!
Ages: 3-9 yrs
Infants: 10 Minutes for Talking
Parents of infants need ideas, too! Here's an excerpt from a terrific book called "Ten Minutes for Talking," by Amy Maschue. Amy wants to help every parent make the most of their infant's language capacity because what you do in the first year makes a world of difference over your child's life.
Here are some suggestions from Amy's book:
1. Morning Interactions while getting dressed, changing diapers
a. Label body parts
b. Play peekaboo with baby's clothes
c. Imitate the facial expressions and sounds your child makes
2. During Meal Prep
a. Fin a way to have your child watch you as you are cooking
b. Sing songs about food
--On top of spaghetti
--Peanut, peanut butter....and jelly
--I want to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas
a. Make food disappear by chewing and swallowing a small bit and showing your empty mouth. "Where did it go?"
b. Play food games to get child to open mouth
a. Label body parts as you wash them
b. Hid bath toys and ask where they went
c. Play with measuring cups and discuss empty, full, measuring
5. During bedtime routine
a. Hum or sing a song
b. Read a peaceful book
c. Whisper sweet, calming words in child's ear
d. Kiss and label each body part good night
Practical Life Preparing for Math in the Most unlikely way
Chores--routine things we do around the house--are actually a great preparation for mathematics? Really? How is that possible? And what activities would those be? Polishing
Table or chair scrubbing
Sorting/Putting away silverware
Pouring from one container to another
Unloading/loading the dishwasher
Here's the list of qualities:
Grace and Courtesy: The Language of Respect & Kindness
While we're all home together is the perfect time to practice our social skills. in Montessori we call these Grace and Courtesy lessons. We practice them in the classroom, but we need to remember to use them all day every day. Here's a list of things to try:
"May I have a turn, please?"
"Are you okay? Can I help you?"
Saying "thank you."
Saying, "After You," when going through a door or passageway
"May I join you, please?"
How to answer the door
Covering a yawn
Asking for help
Giving a complement
Receiving a gift
Dealing with passed gas
Grace & Courtesy: Making Mealtime Polite Time
People judge us by how we act. Using polite manners is a gift we can give to our children. Montessori classrooms teach Grace and Courtesy lessons to help children learn any and all the "niceties" they need. But have you ever considered how many types of etiquette are practiced at the dinner table? Check these out!
Using a napkin
Accepting or refusing food politely
Avoiding elbows on the table
Chewing with mouth closed
Saying, "May I please have...."
Avoiding talking while eating
Asking for permission to leave the table
Cleaning up your plate
Using utensils instead of fingers
Science: Experiments with Water #1
In a Montessori classroom, we love to work with water and we enjoy experimenting. Today we're going to do both! These 3 experiments all deal with water. They're simple and you can do them with materials you have around the house.
Ages: 3 to 9
Science The Tissue Trick
What happens when you put a glass into water upside down? Does the water go into the glass? To test it, put a dry tissue in the bottom of the glass before you insert it into the water. What happens to the tissue? You'll have to test it to find out!!
If you need to see it in action, check out this video:
Ages 2-9 years
Science: Cloud in a Bag and Shaving Cream Rain Clouds
In Montessori we learn about all different things. One of those things is weather. These TWO experiments help us to understand how water gets up in the sky and why water then comes down again. Too much fun to try to explain. Check out these links instead:
Scientists under 5:
Scientists over 5: Draw your sun and cloud as above. Then add 1/4 cup dirt and maybe some grass and 2 Tbsp water.
And for the shaving cream rain clouds.....
Scientists of all ages (up to 100):
Art Nature Rubbings
Montessori children--ALL children--love to be out in nature and anything that relates to it. Try this fun art project with your children. The older they are, the more detailed their project can be--and more creative.
Ages 3 to 12 years
Art: Sun Prints
Did you know the sun can create a work of art? It can! A few simple materials and the sun will do all the work. Try this out now!
Ages 3-12 years
Science: Plastic Bag Parachutes
Who doesn't love the repetitive nature of playing with a toy parachute, especially one you make yourself? The links below provide two different methods of making a plastic bag parachute. The first is for the younger crowd. A 5-year-old could make it by themself. The second is for the older crowd and creates a more detailed, larger parachute. Have fun with either one!!
Age 7 and up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjhox79tXk4
Science: Foil Boats
Playing with water and building your own boats. Who can't love that? In this experiment, we will test what makes a good boat based on how much it can hold without sinking. The younger crowd can definitely do this, they just might need a hand creating a boat that can hold anything. For the older crowd, expect to see some amazing designs--and encourage multiple designs to see which holds the most weight. Pennies work best for this experiment, but dry beans also work well.
Here's a link to help inspire you:
Ages 4 to 12 years
Science: Baking Soda Crystal Caves
This is one cool experiment and all you need is water, baking soda, food coloring, aluminum foil and a glass or jar. Growing crystals is always exciting. These expand outside their container, so get ready for some BIG FUN!
Here's the video:
Warning: This experiment takes some time--a week or more to grow. So BE PATIENT!
Ages 5-12 years.
Pre-Writing Practice and More!
We want those young hands to be strong, but how to keep that going when you are at home? In the Montessori classroom, we use Metal Insets to strengthen muscles for writing. You don't have insets, but you have almost everything else. Find fun objects to trace--especially around the OUTSIDE of the object--and then ensure your child is crossing over the midline to do the tracing. BINGO! Hand exercises that produces amazing works of art!
Older kiddos will love this, too, because the final product is so beautiful.
Ages 3-4, for pre-writing
Ages 5-10 for Art
Sensorial Games: What's that smell?
In a Montessori classroom, we help children to explore the world around them through their senses and then we give them the language to go with the things they have discovered. Here is a fun game to play with the sense of smell!!
Sensorial: The Mystery Box
Little ones love to reach into a box and use their sense of touch to identify and explore objects. Any box or even a bag will do, as long as they cannot see inside. Change the objects frequently and see the delight on their faces as they discover something new. Name the objects so they learn new vocabulary.
For the older crowd, ages 5-12, have them create Halloween mystery boxes for each other. It's fun and creepy at the same time! Here's a how-to video:
Sensorial: The Bring Me Game of Shapes
Young children love games, right? The "Bring Me" game is one of our favorites in a Montessori classroom! We ask children to bring us objects, based on a category, and every time, the game is a bit different. The game today is played with shapes. Check it out!!
Ages 2 to 7 years
Sensorial: Creating a Tasting Experience
Do a taste test has never been so much fun! In the Montessori classroom, we just try the different tastes and label them. But at home, you can go further and try different foods. Have fun experimenting. Here's a how-to video!
Ages 4-10 years
Time: A Day in a Child's Life
Time is so hard for a young child to comprehend. Yesterday is any time before now and tomorrow is any time after now. But for the 5, 6, 7 or 8 year old, discovering time is fun and exciting. This Montessori exercise is perfect for any child who wants to outline the day, one event at a time. Here's a pdf to explain how it works!
Ages 5 to 9 years
Time: A Day to Day Timeline
Keeping track of what you do from day to day helps us see the great things that happen to us. Creating a day to day timeline will give you and your child a record of this time from a positive perspective. Check our this pdf for how to do it!!
Ages 5 to 9 years
Time: Child's Personal Timeline
Every child loves to talk about their life--especially the times they don't remember! Creating a personal timeline allows your child to explore their young life and relate it to the time since they were born until now. Pictures of major events help them to recall those events and gives them a chance to talk about those events.
Here's a pdf explaining how to do it:
Ages 5 to 9 years
Time: A Child's Family Timeline
How old are Grandma and Grandpa? Is that old? How about great-grandma? Are my cousins older or younger than me? These relational questions help a child to see how they relate to their family members. This exercise allows the child to "see" how they relate to their family in a very real way. Here's the pdf on how to do it!
Ages 5 to 9 years
A Very Special Thank You...
The Montessori At Home Video Series has been generously donated to this cause by Donna D'Hoostelaere of Parenting to the Max and Aldea Montessori. Donna has developed these vides at her own expense and provided them to us completely free of cost as part of her contribution towards helping Montessori schools. We are indebted to her and grateful to have her as a friend, ally, and member of our community.
Stay in the loop!
We're working hard to develop as much as we can to help Montessori schools during this trying time. Sign up to receive an email anytime we add new resources