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The World Around Me: My Family

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Bulldozer has been really struggling during learning time, needing one-to-one assistance 99% of the time, until we come to Friday, when he's discovered the four easiest activities on the shelves and has done them once already.  This process has been extremely frustrating for both of us.  I reflected on what activities seem to work for Bulldozer and worked hard to incorporate those this week.  Today was our second day of learning day, our first day of independent shelf work.  He completed almost all four tasks without help.  I was so proud of him.  I need to remember he struggles with any activities that have more than one step involved.  What a fabulous week for him this has been so far!  There are some activities with no picture. I chose to keep the identities of my kiddos private.  Permission by extended family members has been given to show their pictures in this post.

Letter Recognition
I was thrilled to find this idea while searching for a fun way to have the kiddos review their upper and lowercase letter recognition this week.  Granted, the activity from my source looks much prettier than mine.  Instead of gluing letters on sticks etc., I just used marker.  Since I used the same color marker for both sets of letters, I added a dot to teach stick, blue for uppercase and green for lowercase letters.  This way the kiddos won't get confused.  This was the first activity Princess chose this week. She did fabulous with it!

Source:  I found this idea at Smart School House.

Family Names
 Taking advantage of our new movable alphabet, I created an activity using our family members to go along with our theme for the week.  We don't have uppercase letters, but the kiddos don't know about that yet.  I'm hoping each kiddo will practice spelling out the names of each of the members of our family.

Source:  I made this printable. The Movable Alphabet and Numbers Printables is a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, be sure to folow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Pink Ending Sound Cards
We've used these before, but I've never required the kiddos to actually write in the letters.  I think they're finally ready!  We'll see!

Source: These cards are available for free at Montessori Print Shop.

Money Match
 I just loved this activity when I saw it. What a great way to review coin values.  There are so many options available within the printable.  Bulldozer did fabulous with it today.

Source:  I found free printable for this activity at Counting Coconuts.  I used flashcards we have at home as control cards.

Family Member Age Sequencing

 One of Bulldozer's goals for the year is to be able to sequence. He really struggles in this area.  Seeing as how last week's activity went so well, I decided to do something similar. This time the kiddos will sequence the pictures of our immediate family members from oldest to youngest.

Source: I created all of the cards for this activity.

Addition Wheels
 Princess absolutely loves this activity.  Nine out of ten times, when she feels up to it, she answers them all correctly.  Such a smart little girl!

Source:  I found the free printable for this activity at Montessori for Everyone.

Time Puzzles
 My mother found these at a yard sale and knew we'd have fun using them.  Princess loves puzzles, so this was a hands down winner with her.  I'm really hoping the other two will enjoy it too!
Source:  My mother's yard sale excursion.

Living vs. Nonliving in Nature
This activity was designed specifically with Bulldozer in mind.  He loves these sorting activities, and goes nuts over any type of storm right now (hence all the types of storms in the pictures).  I love how the printable turned out as all of the items are those in nature.  Bulldozer loved the activity and completed it all on his own.
 Source: I created this printable.  The Living and Nonliving Things Printable is a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Taste Testing
I find it so comical that any time I have taste testing on our shelves, Dinomite goes straight for it, yet getting him to eat anything at the table is impossible.  This week we tasted sugar-sweet, salt-salty, cocoa-bitter, and lemon juice-sour.  So far it's been a huge hit.

Source:  My apologies for not writing down where I found this activity.  If anyone has a source, please write it in a comment.  Thank you!

Our Family Tree
 We've done this activity before, but it's been a while.  Dinomite has really enjoyed learning and understanding how everyone is related, especially Mommy's and Daddy's brothers and sisters.

I drew a family tree on a piece of cardstock, with lines connecting family members. The kiddos will place family member pictures where they belong on the tree.

Source: I created this activity.

Family Interests Sorting
The basket for this activity holds several objects, representing interests and passions of those in our home.  To make it fair, I chose three objects for each person.   Daddy likes baseball, basketball, and Superheroes.  Mommy likes music, traveling (puzzle piece of Europe), and flowers.  Dinomite likes sea monsters, snakes, and LEGOS.  Bulldozer likes monster trucks, cows, and LEGO DUPLOS.  Princess likes My Little Pony, Disney Princesses, and puzzles.  Sunshine likes babies, doggies, and kitties.

The kiddos will sort the items in the basket, placing them underneath a picture of each family member.

Family Families
 The closest family we have live over an hour away.  Needless to say, we don't see extended family often.  When we do, the kiddos get very confused about who belongs to who.  I created this activity to help them sort it out.  In the basket are labeled pictures of their four aunts' and one uncle's families.  In the cup beside it are individual pictures of aunts, uncles, and cousins.  The kiddos will match up the individual pictures to the family pictures.
My sister gave me permission to use her family photo as my activity example.
 I'm hoping this activity will not only help them learn who's with who, but also help them become more familiar with names.

Source:  I created cards for this activity.

Land Form Matching
 We've done land forms in the past, using the clay models, with pouring water etc.  I wanted to do something different this time, mostly because I didn't have any clay on hand, and didn't want to clean up the mess.  Not to mention, the kiddos didn't really understand the concept of what they were doing.  All they knew was that they were able to practice pouring water.

This time, I created landscape picture cards they're able to match up to the land form drawings.  I know for me, this helped tremendously in learning the differences between each land form.  It's been a hit with them as well.  All of the photographs I've used are land forms in the United States of America. They thought this was really neat.
Source:  I found these free land form cards at Montessori Mom.  I created the United States of American Land Form Nomenclature Cards. These cards are a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Visual Arts:
Marble Painting
 This activity is nothing new.  It's pretty much everywhere.  Still the kiddos love it and I wanted something fun for them to enjoy this week.

Orchestra Instruments
It's been a while since I've brought out this activity. The kiddos will match instruments to names, but also group them by type.  Dinomite does very well with this!

Source: I created the printable for this activity. The Orchestra Instrument Nomenclature Cards are a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Sensorial/Practical Life:
I Can Wash Myself
 None of the kiddos can bathe themselves yet.  Dinomite wants to try a shower. I've told him he can't until he can wash himself by himself.  I desperately wanted to make step by step sequence cards for him to go along with this activity, but couldn't find any pictures I really liked, and then forgot to take pictures of his body parts.  Still the activity has gone well.  I'm using a bar of soap specifically because all three kiddos have an extremely hard time keeping it in their hands.  Practice makes perfect right?

Cotton Balls & Clothespins
 This is quite simple, but to my surprise was the first activity Bulldozer pulled off the shelves this week.  He really enjoyed it. The kiddos use a clothespin to transfer individual cotton balls to the other bowl.

Living Thing Lacing Cards
 These are not a favorite in our house, however, it's still a skill that needs to be learned.  Dinomite tried today, only because he had done all of the other activities on the "fun shelves: and there was still time left.

The kiddos love this game.  They don't use the timer until after they've put all of their pieces in.  Then they love to watch them all pop out.  It's super cute.

So far we're having a fabulous week!  Next week's focus of the world around me will be our country.

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  1. Your units are fabulous ... and so are your printables! Thanks so much for sharing them! I featured your Landscape Picture Cards (which are perfect for my post today) and other printables as my Free Printable(s) of the Day at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and on Pinterest.

  2. Thank you so much Deb! I always know you've featured one of my posts when my viewing audience soars overnight. Lol. You have quite an audience! I'm so flattered you like my work.

  3. Thanks for sharing your land form cards! Also, we'll be making that family matching game ASAP. So many cousins to keep track of!