Montessori21stCentury’s Weblog

Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

Painted Kitchen Trivet Craft Project

FunFelt
Copyright 2002-2015
All Rights Reserved.
Website http://www.funfelt.com

Craft Submitted by Karen
The following is an idea which appeared in a past issue of Karen’s newsletter, FunWithFelt – #16 Home Made Holiday Gift Ideas.

Gift Idea: Painted Kitchen Trivet

Materials: 12″ tile Acrylic paint, 1 or more colors Paintbrush, Sheet cork

Rubber cement

I did this with my oldest daughter and it was a big hit! Take a 12″ square plain or solid colored tile from the hardware store, and some acrylic paint   (I used a black tile with gold and silver paint!). Have the child paint designs onto the tile and paint his or her name and the year. Bake the painted tile in the oven 15-20 minutes (read paint bottle for directions).
Glue sheet cork (available at hardware stores) to the bottom of the tile with regular rubber cement or cork cement.

This makes a beautiful trivet that can be given as a gift and used at those holiday meals. The baking makes the paint permanent and resistant to heat. Everyone we gave these too are still using them 6 years later! By the way I did this when my daughter was only 18 months old, sitting in her high chair painting (with me
carefully monitoring!). Her art was very abstract, and the grandparents loved it!

This project would be equally well received by an older child who could be more detailed in their design, perhaps painting a picture, or patterned design. Have fun with it!

To connect with Story Time Felts, please visit http://www.funfelt.com/

Receive additional creative lesson planning ideas by visiting

http://www.amonco.org/montessori_fall_handson.html

Leave a comment »

Explore the Beauty of Autumn through the Arts

The exciting colors and interesting silhouettes of autumn can be very inspiring creatively; and arts and crafts projects and musical interludes can provide students with a welcome break from their re-immersion into academics during the back-to-school season.  So be sure to take some time to explore the resources and opportunities available to help kids explore the beauties of the season with arts, crafts and music.

* * * * * *

General free art resources

Dick Blick’s free art and craft ideas

http://www.dickblick.com/lesson-plans/grade-level/k-4

Montessori On a Budget’s listing of free Montessori art downloads http://www.montessori-on-a-budget.com/2011/03/friday-free-downloads-montessori-art.html

Miscellaneous autumn-themed arts and crafts

Squigly’s autumn arts and crafts ideas

http://www.squiglysplayhouse.com/ArtsAndCrafts/Holidays/Autumn.html

My Blessed Life links to 12 fall kids’ crafts.

http://myblessedlife.net/2011/09/fall-kids-crafts.html

Personalize your classroom with a Friendship Quilt, a project from Dale Gausman at NAMC. http://www.amonco.org/creative5/montessori_fall5.pdf

Leaf art and crafts

The contributors to the ProTeacher Collection share many interesting autumn leaf and related autumn projects and lesson plans. http://www.proteacher.org/c/100_autumn_leaves__fall_art_projects.html

Here are 25 crafts using or replicating autumn leaves. http://www.remodelaholic.com/2012/09/25-leaf-crafts

Turn autumn leaves (or prints of them!) into butterflies.

http://www.artprojectsforkids.org/2012/09/butterfly-leaves.html

Autumn Colors Tissue Paper Art Project http://www.amonco.org/creative5/montessori_fall5.pdf

Here is a very striking, but fairly simple, watercolor technique using actual leaves as templates. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwBM11Wmpo0

For more ideas, look at these professional artists’ and photographers’ autumn compositions.

Top 6 Incredible Artworks Made from Autumn Leaves

http://inhabitat.com/top-6-incredible-artworks-made-from-autumn-leaves

Dan Bacich’s leaf paintings

http://www.autumnleavesart.com/paintings.php

Miscellaneous autumn art examples at Fine Art America

http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/autumn+leaves/all

Here are some examples of the autumn nature photography of Alexander MacPhail, from a hike on Mt Passaconway and the Sandwich Range, New Hampshire.

http://whitemountainsojourn.blogspot.com/2012/10/9-29-12-mt-passaconway-sandwich-range.html

Apple art and crafts

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on drawing a red Delicious apple, with an in-screen “draw while you learn” feature. http://www.drawinghowtodraw.com/stepbystepdrawinglessons/2011/10/how-to-draw-realistic-or-cartoon-apples-with-easy-step-by-step-drawing-lesson

This is an interesting time lapse of an artist painting a still life with apples.  It contains rather advanced shading, but could still inspire students with new ideas for techniques to try. Students may also get a kick out of comparing the original apples that inspired him with the finished product. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7WtTtaEems

Easy Apple Crafts for Kids

http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2012/08/easy-apple-crafts-for-kids.html

Crafty Crow’s apple crafts

http://www.thecraftycrow.net/2011/09/apple-crafts.html

Video: How to Craft Apple Stamps

http://www.howcast.com/videos/343105-How-to-Craft-Apple-Stamps

For some additional apple themed lesson planning, peruse through the unit study Hands-On Autumn Adventures – Autumn Leaves, Pumpkins, and Apple Classification Harvesting Activities and Unit Studies  http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf

Need a little more inspiration?  Why not bake Oma’s Cake, a German recipe using pears or apples, and let the fruity, cinnamony fragrance stoke your autumn spirit! http://www.amonco.org/creative7/montessori_fall7.pdf

Pumpkin art and crafts

Even your youngest students can have fun, with your help, making adorable fingerprint pumpkins. http://www.billybear4kids.com/Learn2Draw/FingerPrints/Pumpkin.shtml

Simple Kids’ Crafts breaks the process of drawing a pumpkin down into very simple steps. http://www.simplekidscrafts.com/?z=summer-drawings-how-to-draw-a-pumpkin

Whether for carving or just on paper, these cute jack-o-lantern face ideas will get kids inspired to expand their own pumpkin caricatures. http://www.how-to-draw-cartoons-online.com/drawing-pumpkin-faces.html

Combine some really fine watercolor art techniques with color theory, art appreciation, literature, and Canadian geography in this well-presented pumpkin art lesson for young children. http://www.scs.sk.ca/van/inventions%20articles/inventions%20articles/Giant%20Pumpkins.pdf

Now that your students are comfortable with their shapes, why not try sculpting some of these traditional autumn motifs in sandable, paintable/stainable home-made wood dough? Richard from The Lord Company shares a recipe and instructions. http://www.amonco.org/creative/montessori_fall2.pdf

Music and poetry

Get into the spirit of the season with fun autumn songs and rhymes!

NIEHS’ Kids’ Pages:  Songs

http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/games/songs

Early Years Experience’s Songs and Rhymes Page

http://www.bigeyedowl.co.uk/show_songs.php?t=50

Preschool Express’ Music and Rhyme Station

http://www.preschoolexpress.com/music_station.shtml

Go more in-depth with Classical Magic’s lesson plans revolving around “Autumn” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.  http://www.amonco.org/creative7/montessori_fall7.pdf

There are also a number of neat YouTube videos like this one that use Vivaldi’s “Autumn” as the background music for beautiful scenes of grape harvests, mushrooms growing in the woods, autumn foliage, and more seasonal sights your students might enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uaVhKocqPw

For more suggestions of classical pieces children might enjoy, as well as ideas for getting students involved with the music, check this blogpost.

http://www.prekinders.com/classical-music

Want to get more hands-on? Anna from Wood, Etc. shares instructions for making a Zebra Stick Craft. http://www.amonco.org/creative08/montessori_fall8.pdf, and Lois from Bountiful Spinweave, shares instructions for making the Broken Rib Scarf with Seed Stitch Border. 

* * * * * *

It is a common theme in literature and poetry that autumn is a sad time of year, and although many writers have lauded autumn  in their own ways, http://www.livinglifefully.com/fall.html , perhaps Samuel Taylor Coleridge explained the beauty and spirit of autumn the best.

Why is it that so many of us persist in thinking that autumn is a sad season?

Nature has merely fallen asleep, and her dreams must be beautiful

if we are to judge by her countenance.

 

Help your students see, explore and appreciate the beauty of this magical season through the arts!  Refer back to this post during the next few weeks to see how you can infuse some of these creative ideas into your existing curriculum.

Leave a comment »

Get in the Spirit — Gathering and Giving

“Even the smallest act of caring for another person is like a drop of water -it will make ripples throughout the entire pond…”

― Jessy and Bryan Matteo 

Autumn brings many opportunities to celebrate and show appreciation. Hospitality and generosity are important virtues to help children develop at a young age, and they make holiday gatherings and gift-giving and –receiving situations much more enjoyable for everyone.

It is healthy for children to help plan, set-up, and cook for gatherings, so they learn the effort that goes into (and the pleasure that can be derived from) serving others and making them feel welcome. Children’s natural creativity and enthusiasm in the preparations can also add a lot of charm to an event. 

You can also reinforce positive attitudes about patience, thrift and the satisfaction of a job well-done by encouraging children to make and give home-made presents rather than store-bought items. 

Children sometimes need specific guidance about proper behavior in social situations, which you can provide through practice and also good role modeling.

With a little planning, patience, creativity, and perhaps some of the ideas below, hopefully everyone will enjoy the celebrations of the season—and the lessons they teach.

Party preparations and decorations– 

If little ones have trouble remembering all that belongs on the table, you might download a cute free placemat which shows a proper casual place setting. http://www.positivelysplendid.com/2011/05/dinnertime-doodle-mats-ssg-idea-16.html or try your hand at some more decorative, but still instructional, mats like these. http://simplekids.net/learning-to-set-the-table

Why not try some fancy napkin folding to dress up your seasonal table? For paper napkins. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG-cG939aR4 For cloth napkins. http://bumblebeelinens.com/napkinFolding.php

Have students channel their arts and crafts talents into projects like these that can double as party decorations, place mats, and other theme-setting items. http://www.allkidsnetwork.com/crafts/fall

For lots of cute decorating ideas and planning tips for sharing Thanksgiving festivities with children, check out Thanksgiving Kids. http://kidsparties.about.com/od/thanksgiving/tp/ThanksgivingHub.htm 

Combine nature study with homemaking with inspirations from these free fall party centerpieces and other decorating ideas from Chickens in the Road.  Show your children that you don’t have to be fancy to be festive. http://chickensintheroad.com/house/crafts/how-to-decorate-for-an-autumn-party-for-free

Here are cute tablecloth and trivia ideas for family dinners from Rachel Hollis (though the garland made of book pages seems like it might send a rather mixed message to young people).http://mychiclife.com/2012/02/26/nate-berkus-family-style-entertaining/ 

Turn cheap, flimsy window screening in festive leaf shapes http://www.crafts-for-all-seasons.com/autumn-leaf-craft.html

Later in the season you could make cute Snow-Covered Pine Trees http://www.amonco.org/creative3/montessori_fall3.pdf

Home-made gift ideas—

Hostess gifts are a gracious gesture in a hectic world. Some of these are simple enough for children to help make. http://momadvice.com/blog/2009/12/a-round-up-of-homemade-hostess-gifts 

A wide variety of gift projects using many different skills and techniques. http://www.llemonade.com/gifts.html 

Here is a great round-up of easy gifts kids can make from the UK’s Activity Village. http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/gifts_kids_can_make.htm 

Mix-in-a-jar recipes are fun gifts to make with children of all ages because there is no cooking required. Many recipes make enough to keep some and give some as gifts; but if one you like does not, have older kids do the math to make a larger batch! http://marymae.tripod.com/jarlinks.htm , http://www.razzledazzlerecipes.com/christmas/gifts , http://www.mixesinajar.com

Introduce students to the concept of felting wool with this Felt Ball Ornament project and some other felting activities. http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf 

Use a tile, paint, and some cork to make a Kitchen Trivet. http://www.amonco.org/creative/montessori_fall4.pdf

Learn to needlepoint with a continental stitch on plastic canvas.You can make very attractive coasters with these instructions for students 8-12 years old. http://www.amonco.org/creative6/montessori_fall6.pdf

It’s not too early to start work on home-made gifts for Christmas, either. http://spoonful.com/christmas/homemade-christmas-gifts

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Teresa

Putting on our party manners—

Here are lots of good ideas for helping children know how to behave in a variety of social situations. http://childcare.about.com/od/behaviors/a/manners.htm , http://www.eduguide.org/library/viewarticle/1132 , http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/25-manners-every-kid-should-know-by-age-9-2480238.html

“Gracious acceptance is an art – an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving…. Accepting another person’s gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you.”

― Alexander McCall Smith, Love Over Scotland

Enjoy your holiday gathering and giving!

Leave a comment »

Some 1999 Fall Lessons and Resources Revisited – Part I

Are you looking for additional Canadian Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and other worldwide autumn/winter holiday lesson planning information?  If so, you’re likely to find some of  what you need in the original AMC 1999 autumn issue.  This issue, located at  http://amonco.org/fall99.html , has just received a facelift.

Put some spice in your pumpkin presentations by perusing through this issue. Locate a special pumpkin unit study that can be easily adapted for either a Montessori school or home based classroom.  If you are currently creating your own fall themed classified reading activities, check out the pumpkin based investigation link.  Jot down the types of activities you wish to use for your classified reading presentations.  With your list in hand, you can quickly and easily make an interesting pumpkin classified reading card activity that your students are sure to appreciate.

                

Help children experience the majestic beauty and meaning of this upcoming season.  Participating in hands-on exercises involving autumn leaves,  analyzing and creating fall themed poems, and investigating and using Thanksgiving recipes from the past, helps students truly experience just some of what autumn has to offer.

This 1999 issue http://amonco.org/fall99.html also contains lesson planning for several upcoming holidays including Christmas and Hanukkah.   All dead links have been removed and new ones with fresh autumn themed material have been added.

Many of the older AMC issues are in the process of receiving a facelift, so stay tuned for more fall and winter based resources in the weeks to come!!    🙂

Heidi Anne Spietz

American Montessori Consulting

Celebrating 24 Years of Serving School and Home Educators

Montessori for the 21st Century

http://www.amonco.org

Leave a comment »

Sara’s Holiday Stewed Fruit Muffins

Stewed Fruit Muffins
Sara L. Ambarian

These rich, aromatic muffins are delicious with an autumn or winter breakfast, or as a slightly-sweet accompaniment to a holiday dinner or buffet.  Makes 12 regular or 18 small muffins. /

Stewed Fruit–
1 cup mixed dried fruit (or any combination of dried apples, apricots, peaches, pears, prunes, raisins, brown or yellow raisins, cranberries, and/or sour cherries)
–pack the whole fruit in the cup to measure, then chop into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4- 1 cup water (depending on how soft you want your fruit, use more water for softer fruit)
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar, optional

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan, and cook at a simmer over medium-high heat.  Stir frequently initially, then constantly as the liquid absorbs, until the fruit is rehydrated to your desired consistency (approximately 10-20 minutes.)  Set aside to cool at least 15 minutes, before adding to muffin batter, or store in refrigerator up to several days.  (This recipe also makes a nice topper for oatmeal or ice cream, and can be doubled to make a simple side dish/condiment for pork or poultry.  For a topping, you may prefer to add the optional brown sugar. Serve warm or cold, as desired.)

Muffins–
1 1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour
1/2 cup whole wheat or buckwheat flour
1/4 cup flaxmeal, optional
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup cooking oil

cinnamon-sugar, “Sugar in the Raw”, or decorative coarse sugar sprinkles, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease muffin tins or line with paper muffin cups.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well.  Combine egg, milk and oil in a small bowl or 2-cup liquid measuring cup, and beat egg lightly.  Make a well in the dry ingredients, then pour in egg mixture all at once.  Stir together until just moistened and fully mixed.  Do not over beat. Batter should be lumpy. Gently fold in cooled stewed fruit.

Spoon batter into muffin tins, filling only to 2/3 of capacity.  Sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar or decorative sugar, if a glazed top and sweeter muffin is desired.  Bake 20-25 minutes for standard-sized muffins, 15-17 for small muffins.  Serve warm or room-temperature, as desired.  Makes 12 standard or 18 small muffins.  Warm muffins are delicious with butter, or with butter and apple butter if you like a sweeter muffin.

Variation: You can make a similar muffin using 1 to 1 1/2 cups packaged mincemeat in place of the stewed fruit; however, the resulting flavor is a little more “grown-up”.

Enjoy!

About Sara L. Ambarian
Copyright 2011
All Rights Reserved.
Website: http://condortales.com/bridestouch.html
Sara L. Ambarian is the author and illustrator of /A Bride’s Touch: A Handbook of Wedding Personality and Inspiration/.  Sara is also a designer, wife, and mother with professional and personal experience in a wide range of subjects, including: arts and crafts, fashion, weddings, homeschooling, cooking, nature, and travel.

Leave a comment »

Practical Life Lessons for the Holidays

Please see https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/practical-life-lessons-for-the-holidays-2/ for updated 2014 lesson planning ideas!

Enjoy!

Heidi

Leave a comment »

Accentuating Autumn with Some Fresh Lesson Planning Ideas

With autumn just days away, it’s time to review what’s new and relevant for the autumn months.

Please click on the following links for free lesson planning information:

Fun Filled Fall PreK – High School Lesson Plans

Leave a comment »

Starting the School Year Right: Back-to-School Ideas for the Montessori School and Home Classrooms

Most of us—teachers, parents, and students alike—want to start each school year off as pleasantly and productively as possible.  If you are reading this, you are obviously taking extra steps to make the most of the educational opportunities available, which is wonderful both for you and for the children with whom you come into contact.  We hope that some of the following ideas will help get you in the spirit as you start the new school year.

Remembering why we’re here

Since Maria Montessori’s philosophy is child-centered and prioritizes an orderly, inspirational atmosphere, your mindset and focus as a facilitator are crucial. Perhaps you could benefit from a little inspiration “from the source”, in the form of the following Maria Montessori information:

http://www.essortment.com/maria-montessori-biography-20482.html

http://thinkexist.com/quotes/maria_montessori

You can also read more about Maria Montessori and other famous people with Montessori education connections at The Creative Process: http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf

Meeting new classmates and working as a group

Dale Gausman, from North American Montessori Center, shares a simple “Getting to Know  Each Other” activity, which  focuses on listening and speaking skills while helping students relate to one another.

Rita, also from North American Montessori Center, provides instructions for making a “Friendship Tree” with personalized, hand-printed paper leaves for each student.  This fun project will also make an attractive classroom decoration.

Find both of these classroom ideas at http://www.amonco.org/creative3/montessori_fall3.pdf

Hands-on gardening projects

Another way to get students working together right from the start, and to celebrate the start of a new class community is to plant a tree. Rae, from The Creative Process, provides lesson ideas and resources for this class project here:  http://www.amonco.org/creative/montessori_fall4.pdf

More information and educational ideas are also available from the Arbor Day Foundation:

http://www.arborday.org/arborday

Continuing with botanical/gardening themes, Rae also encourages you to use autumn to plan for your classroom spring garden. This makes good sense for gardeners young and old. Many autumn garden chores can make spring planting easier, fall is when seed catalogs become available to plan your order, and off-season planning can increase interest when spring arrives. Also, looking at the photos and descriptions of beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables is very cheering as the weather starts to turn cool and gloomy.  See Rae’s tips here: http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf

Why not kick your garden plans into high gear with new resource material to study over the fall and winter?  Farm Country General Store has a number of interesting gardening books, like All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew, on sale now at http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/product_info.php/products_id/929617

For more fall garden planning/chores, check out these interesting sites:

http://www.the-landscape-design-site.com/blog/2008/10/fall-gardening-checklist-preparing-the-fall-garden-for-spring

http://accomplishedwoman.blogspot.com/2009/09/gardening-fall-plan-for-spring.html

http://www.hgtv.com/landscaping/plan-your-spring-garden/index.html

Staying calm and focused

Many children (and adults) find the start of school stressful, with re-adjusting to a more structured environment, spending more time away from family, meeting new classmates, etc.  To help, Georgette Baker of Cantemos bilingual music and books suggests simple “Relaxation Exercises for the Classroom”. These techniques are basic enough to use with very young children, but can also benefit all of us – in or out of the classroom or homeschool environment. Why not take a moment to find out more at: http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf

*****

For more miscellaneous ideas, here’s a round-up of back-to-school ideas for both classroom and homeschool environments:

http://homeschoolparent.blogspot.com/2011/07/homeschool-organization-inspiration.html

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/8164433/tips_for_incorporating_a_back_to_school.html?cat=2

5

http://www.flylady.net/pages/FlyBacktoSchool4.asp

http://www.lmma.net/montessori-education/beat-those-back-to-school-blues

http://tips.atozteacherstuff.com/back-to-school-tips

http://backtoschool.about.com/od/forteachers/Preparing_for_the_First_Day_of_Class.htm

For all of your year round lesson planning, visit
http://www.amonco.org and
http://www.amonco.org/directory.html

3 Comments »