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What Montessori materials does Caspar use?

Apple Tree Game

What materials (other than practical life) does Caspar use? Hannah asked this question many weeks ago. 

As you know we don't homeschool. Although like most parents we do some educational activities at home. It's just that we take a Montessori approach. Like some parents use flashcards or LeapFrog we use Sandpaper letters or a chalk board.

We don't have a lot of Montessori materials at home. We have materials I thought we would use often for example the Sandpaper Letters or the above Apple Tree Game. We also have materials because Caspar has a particular interest in them for example the Continents Globe. 

A lot of our materials aren't specifically Montessori. For example Caspar loves to use our puzzle map. Ours isn't a Montessori puzzle map but it's similar.

I have made our own materials although I don't do this often. For example when Caspar was younger I made our own colour tablets and smelling bottles. 

When using Montessori materials I don't reference the internet. I think it's much safer to reference books and I use Basic Montessori Learning Activities for Under Fives by David Gettman and Dr Montessori's Own Handbook by Maria Montessori. Both of these are very straightforward texts describing how to use and present some of the best know materials. 

Sometimes I present the materials or activities on trays on Caspar's shelves. I did this more often when he was younger. Now he might only have one activity out like this. Most of the materials we use together. It's something we do when we have one-on-one time or when Otis is happy playing in his room. 

The activities/materials we choose depends on;

1. What we have available. For example once I had a huge supply of herbs so I set up a herb matching activity. 

2. Caspar's interests. Caspar's interest change all the time. At the moment he is really interested in looking at the moon so we have phases of the moon cards available.

3. What I think he would enjoy. Sometimes I see something great or have a fun idea and give it a go. Sometimes it works and Caspar loves the activity, sometimes I get it wrong and he's not interested. I purchased the mystery box and the nuts/bolts set thinking Caspar would enjoy them and he does. 


4. Areas that I feel Caspar needs support. If I find that Caspar is struggling with a concept then I may find a material that supports his learning in that area. Lifecycles are a good example. Montessori materials explain lifecycles better than I could. 

5. What Caspar wants to do. Often Caspar will say he wants to do an activity. Colour mixing is a recent example. I don't always know where he gets the ideas from but I try to accommodate his requests as much as possible. 

We use a lot of printables (as shown below) as they are easy and accessible. I have folders full of printables and really should blog about which ones we use more often. 

Montessori Printables I hope this explains the materials we use and the approach we take. I hope I have answered your question Hannah, sorry it took me so long! 


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