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Montessori-inspired Sequencing Activities & FREE Printables (KLP Linky Party)

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Yesterday I received a sweet message from a friend and reader on facebook.  She was asking for ideas to help her child better understand the concept of sequencing.  I haven't stopped thinking about this question, recalling the same struggle with Bulldozer for quite some time.  I decided the best way to answer, would be to create a post with lots of fun resources and FREE printables.

I have four kiddos.  Two of them (Dinomite and Princess) are all about order.  Sequencing comes extremely easy to them.  Then, there are my other two children (Bulldozer and Sunshine).  They are the exact opposite.  Whether it be understanding first, second, third, or big, bigger, biggest, or beginning, middle, end, or first, next, last, or yesterday, today, tomorrow, they REALLY struggle.  Sequencing materials, events, stories, numbers, letters, and/or recipes is extremely hard.  Anything that involves the concept of time can bring on tears and meltdowns.  The struggles don't stop there.  When it comes to subtraction and division, they are completely confused, because the sequence or order of numbers they finally understand, reverses.

Over the past couple of years, Bulldozer's ability to sequence has significantly improved. I attribute this to our change in focus from non Montessori to Montessori-inspired activities.  Montessori education is FILLED with sequencing activities that are better understood and applied due to their visual and tangible components.  I'm sure I will see the same improvement with Sunshine next year as she begins to work with the same materials and activities.

How is sequencing taught in Montessori education you ask?  Below, I've included a list of materials with links to instructions, activities, and FREE printables that do just that!  This by no means covers all sequence materials in the Montessori curriculum, but it's a great introduction.

The progression of Montessori language materials is a sequence in itself, but when it comes to stand alone materials and activities, the Montessori Small Movable Alphabets w/ Box and Pink Series are fabulous at teaching the sequence of letters and sounds.
Natural Beach Living has a great post about the movable alphabet along with a FREE printable.  If you're looking for a larger sized FREE movable alphabet printable, you can find one here.  An Everyday Story shares a super fun alphabet sequencing activity using the movable alphabet.

The pink series is the first of three series in the Montessori language curriculum that teach sounds and spelling.  Our Montessori Home gives a fabulous explanation and break down of this series.  Study At Home Mama also shares an explanation of the series along with giving some great storage ideas for small spaces.  Inspiration Laboratories shares an adorable hands on pink series sequencing letter activity idea.  If you're looking for a simple printable related to pink series work, focusing on the letter "o" click here!  The pink series work is fabulous for those who need a hands on component and visual while learning to sequence letters and sounds.  I can not tell you what a difference a little figure makes, as Bulldozer works to identify the first, last, and middle letter of each word.

Montessori math activities are all about order and sequence, but there are a few in particular I feel do so more than others.  The Montessori math curriculum is full of hands on manipulatives and visuals that represent size and sequence.  Some of my favorites include the Coloured Beads StairMontessori Introduction to Decimal Quantity with Tray, and Montessori Hundred Board.
Montessori math beads are by far one of my favorite Montessori materials.  They are such a great way to teach sequence, numbers, and counting.  Planting Peas has a great post that teaches about the presentation and instruction of the Short Bead Stair.  There's also a super cute video in the post you can watch through youTube.  As part of our Antarctica Unit, I created a FREE printable that highlights the colored bead stair.
The Montessori decimal materials, presentation and instruction are amazing.  All of my kiddos love the work.  I fully attribute their knowledge of quantity in numbers to these materials.  Living Montessori Now has a great post full of information about these materials, their presentation and instruction.  You want to be sure to watch the last video in her post.
When kiddos fully understand numbers 1-100, the Montessori Hundred Board is a great way to practice sequencing, whether it be counting just one row, working on odd and even numbers, skip counting, or successfully counting to 100.  Buggy and Buddy has a great post explaining the Hundred Board.  There are some really nice FREE printables offered in the post.  When your child is ready to start skip counting using the Hundred Board and other methods, be sure to visit The Pinay Homeschooler for some great FREE printables to aid you in the sequencing process.

The Montessori science curriculum is FULL of sequencing activities.  What better way to learn how to sequence than to study and understand the life cycles of plants, animals and more, especially when you can use FREE printables!
Cicada Life Cycle from Trillium Montessori
Moon Cycle from Noor Janan Homeschool
Life Cycle of An Insect from Every Star Is Different (Includes life cycles for a bee, ladybug, ant, and butterfly.) 
Life Cycle of an Apple from Montessori for Everyone
Life Cycle of a Pumpkin from Montessori for Everyone
Life Cycle of a Sea Turtle from Every Star Is Different
Life Cycle of a Star from Counting Coconuts
Animal Life Cycles from The Pinay Homeschooler
Montessori-inspired Life Cycle Activities from Living Montessori Now (Includes life cycles for a bean, frog, chicken, and more.)
Life Cycle of a Bird from Every Star Is Different

Another way to practice sequencing in the area of science, is to study food chains.  Here are a few activities and FREE printables we've used in the past.

Montessori Geography Curriculum follows the sequence of biggest to smallest, introducing the world as a whole, continents, countries, states, cities, etc.  There are so many fabulous activities out there that teach this sequence.
Living Montessori Now shares some really creative ideas for teaching sequencing concepts in geography.  You can also view an activity we've done in the past that helped the kiddos understand where they are on the map in a sequential way working from biggest to smallest. 

When children start the Montessori elementary curriculum, they spend much time studying and creating time lines to document history.

Practical Life:
In my opinion all practical life activities include learning a sequence of some kind, as each activity must be completed step by step, in order to produce the desired outcome.  The activities are very hands on and require children to learn spacial relations which is a prerequisite for understanding sequence. (At least that has been the case with my own kiddos.)  Like all Montessori activities, materials are set up from left to right.  Pouring, scooping, spooning, and other activities are completed by moving the hand left to right, to train the child and prepare them for reading and writing, and helping them understand that sequence.
In the past, we have worked on a few very sequential practical life activities.  These include blowing your nose, washing hands, and brushing teeth.  For more details about these activities and FREE printables visit my Immune System & Personal Hygiene Unit.

When I think of sequencing and Montessori, the first activities and materials that come to mind are from the sensorial curriculum.  These are the ultimate sequencing activities for young children and for those that need a hands on visual approach.  The best part about the materials and activities is that the kiddos don't even know they're learning because they're having so much fun.  Once kiddos complete the initial activities successfully, there are countless extensions for each individual set of materials and for them combined.  Sadly, I have yet to purchase any of these materials for my classroom.  They will be here before the start of the new school year in July though for everyone to enjoy!

You will notice just by looking at the sensorial materials they are packed full of opportunities for exploring and learning sequences of size, length, color, and more.

Carrots are Orange shares a great explanatory post about the Montessori Cylinder Blocks.  The post is very detailed and should answer any questions you may have about the material.
Carrots are Orange also shares a great explanation about the Montessori Pink Tower.
The Natural Homeschool has written a post all about the Montessori Brown Stairs.  She also includes some extension activities.
Carrots are Orange has a post all about the Montessori Long Red Rods.
Carrots are Orange also shares a great explanatory post about the Montessori Knobless Cylinders.
Study at Home Mama shares great information about the Montessori Color Tablets Matching Activity (3rd Box), and how to make your own!
Carrots are Orange has a post about the Montessori Binomial Cube
Montessori Primary Guide explains how to use the Montessori Trinomial Cube

Maria Montessori was truly inspired when she developed this curriculum.  She created so many opportunities for children to learn sequencing at their own pace, focused around their own interests, and in a way that they could understand the concept.  Visuals and hands on components to the concept are always provided.  In answering my reader's question, follow your child's interests and create opportunities for him to learn how to sequence in ways that are enjoyable.  There are options in every subject area.  I highly recommend using Montessori principles, materials, activities, and printables.  It has made all the difference for my own children.

It's been a while, but the Kids Learning Printables Linky Party has returned!

Welcome to the Kids Learning Printables Linky Party!

co-host Montessori Nature

From now on I will be sharing feature posts on facebook and Pinterest only, in hopes that they will receive more traffic.

Here's how this works!

1.  Link up to 3 educational printables for kiddos.  Free, paid, and giveaway printables are welcome.
2.  Add our Kids Learning Printables Linky Party Button to your post or blog.
3.  Support your fellow educators by commenting, pinning, and/or sharing the post published before yours.
4.  If you're not already doing so, follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitter, and/or through my blog.
5.  You give me permission to use and repost images from your blog.

1.  Visit all posts.
2.  Share and pin as many links as possible throughout the week.
2.  Feature my favorite posts in next week's link up.
3.  Get to know you, your blog, and your printables for future use.

Let's get this party started!

Kids Learning Printables Every Star Is Different


  1. Thank you for including our Pink Series and Colour Tablets post -- this is a great resource -- pinned!

  2. Thanks for including our post! Plus I am looking for life cycle activities so your compilation above is just absolutely perfect! Sharing and pinning!

  3. Such a great amount of amazing material!! thanks for putting it together!

  4. Love all the links! So helpful thank u:)