Category Archives: Teaching Ideas

Ideas and Free printables for the classroom or at home!

DIY Giant Bubbles – 4 simple ingredients – NEW and improved!

We have updated our bubble mixture and its got even better with 4 simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen!

This video shows how big the bubbles can get!

We have played a game called Pop, blow or shoot!  Great for listening and patience!

Basically as the bubble floats off you shot Pop Blow or Shoot!

#

Seb loves this Distributor nerf gun – less than £10 and an accurate shot.   #affiliate

Top tips for giant bubbles

Making the giant bubbles is a skill in itself!

You need to move quite slowly and then almost snip the bubble off by pulling the sticks together smoothly.  You can see Freya doing this in the picture above.

GIant Bubbles Recipe

Ingredients

Glycerine  2 tbsp (affiliate link)
Baking powder 1 tbsp  (affiliate link)
Fairy Liquid 1/2 cup
Corn Flour 1/2 cup
HOT (just boiled) water 6 cups

First, we mixed the dry ingredients with a whisk.

Then, we mixed in the Glycerine and hot water.

We found that mixing half the water glycerine mix so that it makes a thick paste with the cornflour and baking powder.  

Then add the remaining water to make an opaque liquid.

Finally, we added the fairy liquid – we slowly mixed this so that we didn’t create any bubbles.

You can use this straight away but we have found that leaving it to rest over night makes it even better!

DIY Giant bubble wand

2 Nails
Dowel or sticks (we used two bits of  willow) about 40cm long
A weight – you could use a nut – we have used stones with holes or buttons!)
Natural cord or wool – This is my go to I always have a supply.  Jute String 

First, put the two nails in the end of your wooden rods.

Next cut 2 piece of string.  One about 45 cm long, the other about 60cm long.

Put the ends together and tie on to the nail – I used a clove hitch.

No thread the weight onto the other end and then put the other ends together.

Secure with a clove hitch or any knot on the other stick.

I normally leave the string in the bubble mixture for a minute or two before we start blowing bubbles.

We have had so much fun – hope you do to!

As always we hope you enjoy this too!  If you have any questions or feedback please email me info@montessorisoul.com .

Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/montessorisoul please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

Jo

Jo @ MontessoriSoul

Fidget Spinner Tricky Words challenge

Freya and Seb have finally caught on to the trend of fidget spinners! #affiliate We found some great ones on Amazon that didn’t break the bank (around £3) and came quickly.

Seb especially has loved this challenge – he has read his tricky words at least 8 times today!!  I need to make him a harder challenge!

These printables are so easy to use.  I just printed them and laminated them (so they last longer) and then we were ready to go!

Set the spinner spinning placing it on the image top right of this printable and the child has to complete the challenge before the spinner stops.  Lots of options:

How many words can they read?
How many words can they find (adult calls out word)
How many words can they write – CORRECTLY?

I am certain that you will have plenty more great ideas too!

These are the printables available:

Phase 2 and 3 tricky words.

Phase 4 and 5 tricky words.

Year 3 common exception words (part 1)

Blank fidget Spinner template – I have also added a blank one so you can choose your own challenges.

Get a free trial now! #affiliate

As always I hope you enjoy this post, if you have any questions or feedback please email me at info@montessorisoul.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/montessorisoul

Pinterest Board: https://uk.pinterest.com/montessorisoul/ please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

Jo

 

DIY Egg candler

We we have 12 runner duck eggs in our incubator at the moment. They have been in for 5 days and I wanted to check their progress. I normally use the titan egg candler Which is fantastic, however we are mid house move so it’s packed away.

Instead i found this easy DIY version which isn’t as detailed but does a great job.

I used a toilet roll over the light of my iPhone. You could easily use a high powered torch too!

As you can see from the picture above the area of shadow shows that the egg is beginning to develop. If there is no development the whole egg will just glow one colour.

Here is a picture of our incubator. As you can see Freya is very excited about the eggs hatching and is counting down the days.   We bought this incubator second hand but there are lots of others good ones available. Check our incubators on Amazon. #affilate

I would recommend Getting an incubator with an auto turning feature.

We got our eggs from eBay – amazing they were delivered through the post!

We will keep you posted with how the ducklings develop.

Amazon Prime means you get things fast- I don’t know how I would live without Prime! Get a free trial now! #affiliate

As always I hope you enjoy this post, if you have any questions or feedback please email me at info@montessorisoul.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/montessorisoul

Pinterest Board: https://uk.pinterest.com/montessorisoul/ please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

Jo

 

Multiplication and Times Tables – Fun Montessori Style

Freya is starting to learn her times tables at school.  I remember hating this as a child and thinking it was pointless!  I now know the importance of it – but still remember my own struggles so I have been trying to make it as fun and easy for Freya as possible.

I saw this wonderful idea on the blog – The adventures of Adam for getting addition using dice.  Emma has kindly said I can include a modified version for multiplication.

Penguin Multiplication:

By putting the dice in the penguin not only added an element of fun – but also contained the dice!!

Shopping list:

Penguin Ice cube tray
Sharpie pens
12 sided dice

I have chosen to use some prepared sheets for Freya to record the sums.  Free printable – Multiplication Sum sheets blank.

I have also made some Multiplication tables for Freya to check her work herself:

Other Multiplication printables are here:

http://www.montessorisoul.com/free-downloads/timestables/

    Time Table Songs:

    We have quite along car journey at the moment so we have been listening to some times table songs:

    http://www.percyparker.com/

    This is not an affiliate link – this is just something which has really helped!

    We have also found a number of songs which are good on Amazon Music which is free as part of Prime – I don’t know how I would live without Prime!  Get a free trial now! #affiliate

    As always I hope you enjoy this post, if you have any questions or feedback please email me at info@montessorisoul.com

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

    Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/montessorisoul

    Pinterest Board: https://uk.pinterest.com/montessorisoul/ please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

    Jo

    DIY Braille feely blocks – Sensory Fun

    I have been meaning to make this activity for ages.  Freya and Seb have really enjoyed it this morning and I was very surprised how well they could actually recognise the letters.

    We have really enjoyed this magical book called ‘The black book of colour’. #affiliate

    We have also enjoyed a book called ‘Mole’s Sunrise’

    Both of these books help to talk about the concept of not being able to see with young children.

    We started talking about braille and I used this resource from the wonderful website Twinkl – Braille Alphabet strip (I am including this as it is a great site – I have no affiliate link with them).

    That gave me the idea to create a Braille block to he Freya and Seb understand what the letters feel like.

    DIY Braille feely blocks

    These really are simple to make – for ease I have included a link to where you can get the supplies on amazon but you can get these in other places – I got my topple tower from poundland.

    Shopping list:

    Wooden Tumbling Stacking
    Pearl stickers
    Sharpies

    For Feely box:

    Craft foam
    O
    ld shoe box

    Instructions:

    Simply write the letters on the blocks with a sharpie.  I have chosen to use the montessori colours for letters and isolated the vowels by using blue.  Then stick the pearl stickers on!  Voila!

    I also made a quick feely box.  I cut out circles from the shoe box.  I then stuck craft foam on the inside with a cross cut out so the hands can fit in but it covers up and gaps for peeking!

    Here you can see Freya’s hand on the inside of the box.

    I then used double sided tape to stick a laminated version of the Twinkl – Braille Alphabet strip to the top so they could use it or refrence.

    The Game

    Place some or all of the braille blocks in the box and then the person feeling has to say which letter it is before pulling it out.

    Variations could be to place blocks that make a word in the box and the child has to lay the blocks out in order before opening the lid!

    I am sure there are so many other ways we will explore and play with this but for now we will say goodbye.

    As always I hope you enjoy this post, if you have any questions or feedback please email me at info@montessorisoul.com

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

    Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/montessorisoul

    Pinterest Board: https://uk.pinterest.com/montessorisoul/ please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

    Jo

    Slime Bubbles – UK recipe Borax Free

    We have been playing with Slime for the past two days.  Lots of fun, fine motor and this time we added in straws which the children have been blowing bubbles with!  Its been great for controlling breath.

    We whipped up a batch of Borax Free slime (Recipe available here) and added some straws #affiliate

    We have had so much fun!

     

    As always I hope you enjoy this post, if you have any questions or feedback please email me at info@montessorisoul.com

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

    Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/montessorisoul

    Pinterest Board: https://uk.pinterest.com/montessorisoul/ please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

    Jo

    Sun Safety for Kids with UV Bracelets

    We all know how important it is to teach our kids about staying safe in the sun.  Since a young age we have talked about this with Freya and Seb.  Sometimes though it is hard for them to see when we need to put on suncream.  How can they tell when UV isn’t visible?  Well they can now with these simple UV bracelets.  As soon as they are exposed to UV they start to change colour!

    As you can see above – the beads are white when there is no UV and then Purple, pink or blue when they are exposed to UV.

    These UV beads are very affordable – I got mine from amazon. #affiliate https://alexa.design/2orsE0O

    I have made these in school too.  It was a great lesson and I didn’t tell the children about the special beads, we just made the bracelets to start with.  I saw this design on the fabulous blog RedTedArt – no need to make my own so here it is.  Simply use the UV Pony beads instead of the coloured ones. You will need loom bands too!

    Once we got outside the children started to notice the change.

    We discussed what it might be.  Eventually we decided it was the sun.  I told the children it was UV light that is invisible but comes from the sun.  This is what also causes sunburn,  So now the children know when their bracelet changes colour they need Sun Screen.

    Here are some pics of Freya and Seb making them too 🙂

    As always I hope you enjoy this post, if you have any questions or feedback please email me at info@montessorisoul.com

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

    Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/montessorisoul

    Pinterest Board: https://uk.pinterest.com/montessorisoul/ please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

    Jo

    Top Tips for lighting fires the Forest School Way

    Lighting fires the forest school way!

    I have learnt alot in my forest school training.  Who knew that you could use pixie pillows (cotton wool), dragons snot (vaseline, although this wasn’t allowed during my assessment) and dragons breath (from a fire steel).  But, what I have really learnt is how to make a good controlled fire, using natural materials.  Most importantly I have leant how to do this safely and remove it leaving little impact on the woodlands.

    Materials:

    King Alfred Cakes are a fungus that is found in woods, often growing on tree stumps and rotting wood.  Now I know what I am looking for I actually see them all the time!

    I have discovered that their are different types of silver birch. Some have this wonderful ‘paper’ that is great for fire lighting.

    I have found it is important to make sure you are prepared with lots of wood in different sizes.  Here I had some dried nettles which lit really well.  I then had some matchstick thickness sticks.  Next, pencil thickness sticks.  Followed by finger thick sticks.  I think you get the idea!  But they were all laid out and ready for when I needed them.  I also had some more birch bark which really burns well.

    First you need to prepare the ground.  Ensure that the soil is suitable for lighting fires, peat for example can catch on fire.  Find some larger logs to make a surround to help contain the fire.  Next use so sticks about thumb thickness and create a waffle effect at the bottom.  This will help ensure that the air can get to the fire.

    In this video you will see that I have used Pixie pillows (aka cotton wool), birch paper and king alfred cakes as the base of my fire.   I have then added some dried nettles in a rough tepee shape to form the base.

    I have used this brilliant fire steel that I found on amazon for just £5.99 – it gives great sparks and my 8 year old can use it with a bit of practice too. http://amzn.to/2oqOX7d #affiliate

    Once it got going I then added the sticks, gradually getting thicker, in a teepee shape to help the air get to the fire.  The key here is to not add the thick sticks too quickly.

    When you want to put the fire out the first thing to do is break the fire up using a stick.

    Once the fire has died down you can then dowse the fire with a bit of water.

    Next, you can remove the surround and any big bits of debris.

    Finally, when you are sure the site is fully cooled, cover the site with leaf litter so you can’t tell the fire has been there.

    As always I hope you enjoy this post, if you have any questions or feedback please email me at info@montessorisoul.com

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

    Pinterest Forest School Board: https://uk.pinterest.com/montessorisoul/forest-schools-ks1/ please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

    Jo

    Easter Egg Pinata

     

    We had so much fun making this Easter Egg Pinata for an event at school.  It was really popular there too!

    I was inspired by a post from Studio DIY for DIY Egg Popper Tree.   I have adapted this idea slightly though – see details below.

    To make this Pinata you will need the following.  Poundland in the UK is where I got my supplies so a ten egg Pinata is less than £4!

    Shopping list (affiliate links for amazon):

    Plastic eggs
    Pipe cleaners
    Tissue paper
    String (I love jute string for its natural feel)

    You can choose to hide whatever you like in the eggs.  Here are some ideas we tried-

    Mini chocolate eggs
    Easter chicks
    Sweets
    Tattoo stickers
    Letters – we did this as part of a challenge where children collected eggs with letters in and had to find the code word to get the prize!

    Instructions:

    First thread a pipe cleaner through the two holes in the bottom of the egg.

    Now form the pipe cleaner into a loop.

    Finish by wrapping the pipecleaner ends round so they are tucked away.  I have put a marshmallow in this one.

    Now close the egg and choose some tissue paper to wrap it in.  Cut a square of tissue paper.

    Cut 2 pieces of sting about 60cm long.  Tie one onto the bottom of the pipe cleaner loop.

    Now roll the tissue paper round the egg and then twist the ends like a sweet wrapper.  Twisting the pipe cleaner with the tissue paper will help hold it securely.

    Secure the top of the tissue paper with the other piece of string.

    Now repeat, making as many eggs as you think you will need.

    I actually tied mine all on to an old sellotape roll – but you could just tie them all together.

    We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!!

    As always I hope you enjoy this post, if you have any questions or feedback please email me at info@montessorisoul.com

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/montessorisoul please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

    Jo

    Why we have Seasons and Solstices

    Learning about Seasons and Solstices

    We were discussing that today is the shortest day and what that means.  This lead to us doing lots of experiments about the planet earth and how it goes round the sun.  How this creates the seasons and longer and shorter days.

    We started reading the book: Christmas a very Peculiar History. #affiliate link to amazon.

    We only got this book yesterday but we are really enjoying it.  It has lots of interesting facts about Christmas and its history and has sparked lots of great discussion.

    Why do we have seasons?


    To look at this we first created mini planet earths using polystyrene balls.

    Seb added some great details including the deserts in yellow and the great barrier reef in light blue because it is shallow!

    We then used these Earth’s to go round the sun (a lamp).  We made sure that the earth always stayed tilted in the same direction by pointing the axis (skewer) at a light switch on the wall!

    We also watched a great video on Youtube :  https://youtu.be/l64YwNl1wr0?list=PL_xJbWq4gkTAI9eWuKrPGiJgQ8GEjlllo

    From this we could see that when the top of the planet earth (Northern Hemisphere) is pointing towards the sun we have our summer, but the bottom of the earth has winter.

    We also noticed that when the earth moves round into the Spring and Autumn positions they have similar amounts of light.

     

     

    Why is Summer hotter and Winter colder?


    When the days are longer the weather is naturally warmer as it is exposed to the sun for longer.  But we also have to think about the power of the sun.  In the summer the sun is high in the sky and points straight down on the earth so it lands in a more concentrated area.  We demonstrated this with a torch and the Seb drew round the light.

    When the sun is lower in the sky its light lands on the earth at an angle and therefore it is spread over a larger area.

    This means that it is less powerful.  We then demonstrated this using jam!!

    We started with two identical servings of jam.  One was spread on a biscuit, to represent the small area that the light lands on in summer. The other pot was spread on toast to represent the larger area that the light lands on in winter – when the sun is lower.

     

    We tasted both and discussed how the same amount of jam was spread out further on the toast and therefore less strong.

    Here is an illustration to help explain it.

    Why is the sun hotter in summer

    See my other resources linked to seasons here:

     

    Days of the week cards
    Days of the week cards
    Free cards with the days of the week on - designed to match month and date cards. ...
    Download
    Seasons label cards
    Seasons label cards
    Free montessori three part cards with beautiful images of trees to illustrate the seasons. ...
    Download
    Season Name cards
    Season Name cards
    Cards with labels for the Season names with colour coded backgrounds to link in with my months cards. ...
    Download
    Month Name cards
    Month Name cards
    Cards with labels for the Month names with colour coded backgrounds to link in with my season cards. ...
    Download

    As always we hope you enjoy this too!  If you have any questions or feedback please email me info@montessorisoul.com .

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/montessorisoul please like me to keep up to date with my posts as I make new materials all of the time.

    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/montessorisoul please follow me to see my latest pins and what is inspiring me.

    Jo

    Jo @ MontessoriSoul