So we have moved to doing monthly, Montessori inspired thematic units and getting rid of all the sit down "schooly" type work that my big kids loved at his age. I moved around all our toy storage and turned out two 8 cubed storage shelves into our Montessori work shelves.
Our new plan starts with circle time for all four children. We sing songs, read a story and do our Bible lesson together. Then the older two go off to do their independent work and the two littlies and I head off to the toy room and spend about and hour playing/working together.
Our theme for July has been Dinosaurs. Below is a look at the items on our shelves for this month. As well as the items pictured we also have an art and craft table with playdough, paints, dot paints and lots of collage and boxes that are available to all the children whenever they are feeling creative!
This is our new set up ready for our Dinosaurs theme. The shelves on the left contain activities mostly aimed at Sam and the one on the right is for Nathanael. I don't stop them using the others, but when I sit down to do an activity with them I will choose from the appropriate side.
Our salt dough dinosaur fossils. First we made imprints of various dinosaurs into the salt dough. Then we cooked them and then finally we use them to match the dinosaurs back to their imprint. we also use it to talk about the different characteristics of each dinosaur and learn their names.
Scooping activity. I tend to change this every other week, using different bowls, spoon and filling to keep it interesting. Nathanael loves this and the pouring activity at the moment.
As mentioned above, our pouring activity.
Threading cotton reels. Samuel makes patterns with the different colours like abab or abba etc and Nathanael just threads them
Adding peg "spikes" to our stegosaurus for 1 to 1 correspondence. Samuel patterns them as the pegs are in two different shades. Nathanael just pegs them on any old way.
Cutting dinosaur tails. Samuel is way beyond this in terms of cutting but he thinks it is hilarious to cut up dinosaur tails!
Developing fine motor skills by transferring pom poms with the tongs.
Matching dinosaurs to our 3-part cards. Nathanael just does the toys to pictures. Samuel matches the words too.
Practicing our numbers by counting dinosaur eggs and pegging the correct number and then matching upper case and lower case letters.
So far this has been the favourite. Cleaning dinosaurs with a toothbrush in some dish detergent and then drying them. Our dinosaurs have never been cleaner!!
Feed the dinosaur counting game.
We still have a letter box which has nothing to do with the theme. I change this box each week to another letter. It has sandpaper letters and salt try for writing, a few little puzzles for each letter, books, pictures and other odds and ends beginning with the target sound.
This box looks really boring, but is for our I spy game, learning to identify initial sounds in words. It is actually a favourite despite its sad appearance.
Cutting and sticking dinosaur pictures.
Our foam dough, dinosaur sensory box.