Category Archives: Teaching Ideas

Ideas and Free printables for the classroom or at home!

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.

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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

 

Glitter Slime – Borax Free – 4 simple ingredients

Glitter borax free slime

This has been an absolute hit this weekend with all ages!!  Freya and Seb loved making the slime – the glitter has been contained and not spread everywhere and they have played and explored for hours!  That’s a win-win-win for me!!

This is an amazingly simple recipe without and borax and uses ingredients that can be purchased easily any where in the world – not hunting for borax or liquid starch which we find hard to find in the UK.  Here is a shopping list – I have included affiliate links t make it a bit easier:

Ingredients:

PVA Glue – I always buy 5 litres at a time as we use PVA a lot – you could just buy a smaller bottle – PVA Glue on amazon

Bicarbonate of soda

Contact lens solution – if you don’t buy this one check it contains boric acid as this reacts with the bicarbonate of soda to help make the slime apparently!

Glitter – any glitter will do!! In the UK I have found B&M home stores has amazing big tubs of glitter for just £1.99

Method:


For each 1 cup of PVA glue that you use you will need 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda.

Mix these together in a bowl.

Add desired amount of glitter – you can always add more later 🙂

Glitter slime

We added lots!

Next you need to add the contact lens solution – we add about a tablespoon at a time.

Contact lens solution slime

Mix well and then add another tablespoon.

Repeat this until the desired slime is achieved.

It will start to come together in a lump on the spoon.  If you then touch it with your finger to test if it is sticky.  If it is – add some more contact lens solution.

Now you are ready to play!!

Glitter slime blue and green

You can roll it…

Stretch it…

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.

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

Jo

Learning about the layers of planet earth 

Playdough layers of the earth

We are learning about the planet earth at school at the moment. Freya and I have had fun tonight making play dough versions of the planet earth. We have made different colours of play dough using our 3 minute play dough recipe.

Quick no cook playdough

Once we had made the play dough Freya made the planet like this.

First with the yellow play dough she made a small ball of play dough for the inner core. She then wrapped this in a layer of orange.

Next, she made a ball of red play dough and then flattened it to make a circle which she wrapped around the core to represent the mantle.

Finally, she used blue play dough to wrap round to create the oceanic crust and green for the continental crust.

Once she had create the earth she sliced the earth in half to reveal the layers.

We have also used these three part cards of the layers of earth to help learn the names of each layer.

 See my other printables linked to layers of the earth:

Three part cards layers of earth
Three part cards layers of earth
Free printable cards showing the layers of the earth - including inner core, outer core, mantle, crust, continental crust, oceanic crust. ...
Download
Great Britain (parts of)
Great Britain (parts of)
Free Montessori Three part cards to help teach the names of the countries that make up Great Britain. ...
Download
Continents Cards
Continents Cards
Free Montessori Three part cards to help teach the names of the continents in Montessori colouring. ...
Download

As always we hope you enjoy this too!  If you have any questions or feedback please email meinfo@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

Laminated Poppy pictures for Remembrance Day

This was one of my favourite activities last year and the children loved it too!! Cut the apple in half  and use ready mix paint the flat side with red paint.  Print it onto the INSIDE of a laminating pouch.  Add a black center. We used a cut off carrot! Then you can add a stem and leaves with a paint brush.  Now it is really important to make sure that it dries properly! See top tips below! Once it is dry you can close the laminating sheet and put it through the laminator. 

We cut some of ours out and left some on whole sheets.  They look so beautiful a perfect way to introduce rememberance day.  See more Remembrance Day ideas in these other posts: Rememberance day including how to finger knot a poppy.  I also have a Remembrance Day board on Pinterest with lots of ideas.

Top Tips: Make sure paint is dry or it will spread out! Let the paint dry naturally or it will crack and peel.  It still looked ok laminated though 🙂

 

I have been asked about books for Remembrance day. This book is absolutely beautiful. It has a nice repeating refrain through out and the illustrations are out of this world. It shows the life’s of 2 friends that are young when the war breaks out and their time in the war and then when they are old. It is thought provoking without being too graphic for young children. I have used it with 3 – 8 year olds who all lived it and listened carefully and thoughtfully. Here is a link to it in amazon http://amzn.to/2e6c9Dr (affiliate link)

See all my Remembrance Day printables:

Simple Fabric Poppy instructions
Simple Fabric Poppy instructions
Some simple instructions for children to independently create these beautiful fabric poppies. 7 simple steps and from scraps of material. Â ...
Download
Remembrance Day writing frame
Remembrance Day writing frame
Here is a writing frame for remembrance day to encourage children to think about how they feel. ...
Download
Remembrance Day photo facts
Remembrance Day photo facts
Photos to show children about Remembrance day.  Including photos from World War 1 and 2 as well as modern day for children to compare. ...
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

    UK slime recipe

     

    We were so excited to find this new slime recipe – it works brilliantly and the addition of shaving foam gives it a lovely fragrance too!

    We saw the original recipe on Instructables – but we’ve tweaked the recipe a bit for the U.K. Market.

    The secret ingredients…

    UK slime borax substitute

    Ingredients:

    For ease I have included affiliate links to amazon.

    PVA Glue – I always buy 5 litres at a time as we use PVA a lot – you could just buy a smaller bottle – PVA Glue on amazon
    Bicarbonate of soda
    Contact lens solution – the ingredients must include boric acid for it to work.
    Shaving foam – we like lemon and lime as it smells great!

     

    Method:

    First mix 1 cup of PVA glue, 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda and 1/2 a cup of shaving foam.

    If you want you can also add colour at this point – just a few drops.

    Mix until it is a cake batter consistency.

    Next add a good squirt of contact lens solution – mix well.  Add another squirt and mix.  You should notice the mixture starts to thicken and will start to create a ball.

    Keep adding a squirt of contact lens solution until you have the desired consistency.

    When you think you are there tip the slime out and knead well.  If it is still a bit sticky add another squirt of contact lens solution and knead.

    At this point you can add some more shaving foam if you want to make it a bit fluffier!

    We really hope you enjoy this recipe, we have!!  It is quite a stiff mixture but it does still ooze!

    For a more liquid recipe try the following instructions:

    Ingredients:

    For ease I have included affiliate links to amazon.

    PVA Glue – I always buy 5 litres at a time as we use PVA a lot – you could just buy a smaller bottle – PVA Glue on amazon
    Bicarbonate of soda
    Contact lens solution
    H
    and hot water

    Method
    Dissolve 1tsp of bicarbinate of soda in 1 cup of water.

    Combine with 1 cup of PVA and mix well.

    Add colour if desired.

    Now add some big squirts of contact lens solution – mixing well between each squirt until you get desired mixture (I estimate this is about 1/4 cup)

    We have tried using it with straws too – so much fun! Look at this blog post – Sime and Straws!

    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 x

    Jo @ MontessoriSoul