Today I wanted to show you a book that I use regularly and that I find really useful. It is Basic Montessori: Learning Activities for Under-Fives by David Gettman.
I often pull out this book, flip through it and write down some activity ideas. The book is divided into chapters including; Montessori and her Theories, Practical Activities, Sensorial Activities, Language Activities, Mathematical Activities and Cultural Activities.
I love that the book starts with Montessori and her Theories because it provides background and a starting point for learning and teaching/parenting the Montessori way and covers sensitive periods, order, the prepared environment, independence, how the adult can help the child and how to present an activity.
However the reason I still find it useful is because the rest of the book is dedicated to activities. Many of these activities my children will do at (Montessori) school. And that is fantastic, the book will give me a really good idea of what they are doing at school and is a great resource to refer to. My child can say they are working on the Trinomial Cube and I can look it up and know exactly what they are talking about. So many of the activities in the book require specific Montessori materials. Which is also good if you have (or are thinking about getting) some materials and don't know exactly what to do with them.
However Basic Montessori includes many activities that can be done with household objects or DIYs. Many of the activities are totally suitable for the home environment. The activities are all Montessori activities which is really valuable, I really appreciate a book that uses Montessori in the title and is genuinely Montessori.
Another really good part of this book is that each activity is written in a concise and thorough way. Each activity has sections detailing the Aim, Materials, Presentation and Exercises. While there are no photographs there are a few illustrations. The book is just over 200 pages long and while I wouldn't call it a curriculum it certainly contains many Montessori lessons for children from around three to five years old. It is also really easy to read and to use and is factual and to the point. It was first published in 1987 and remains relevant.
If you have a child from three to five years old and do some Montessori activities at home I recommend reading this book. It would also be useful for a preschool, playgroup or homeschool setting. If you have read it I would love to hear your thoughts - especially if you would recommend it to others.