08 May 2009

More Montessori goodness

I've been getting increasingly excited about my Montessori training program. Classes start in just about one month! I preparation, I've already bought (and started reading) my books. I've also been thinking about lessons and doing a little making. As part of my cleaning and packing up my crafting room process, I've decided that I need to make some things to use up those awkward pieces of fabric. You know, those pieces that you *can't* throw away, but aren't big enough for what you really want to make? I have a lot of those. Many I have already 'gifted' on to other crafty friends. Here are two projects I made recently for my friend Allison's Montessori classroom.
The first is a fabric matching lesson. I found four fabrics of different textures and colours. I cut out small rectangles from each (traced a box of chalk as a pattern). Then, I cut out rectangles of a tan twill fabric and sewed them together by edging with some twill tape. There are 4 pairs of little matching rectangles which can be placed with the tan side up for a simple matching activity.
The second is a plant watering apron. The idea came from Montessori By Hand; a wonderful blog full of Montessori ideas. Her apron is beautiful, but I was concerned it was a little 'girly' for the boys' taste. So mine is hopefully more gender neutral, though it uses the same basic ideas. Each morning, the teacher uses the blue flowers to mark plants who need watering. The flowers have a loop of elastic on the back to fasten them to the green straw 'stems.' When a child chooses the plant watering activity, they put on the apron, (which has velcro closures at both the neck and waist straps) and fill the watering can (not pictured). The apron has slots at the top for red "I've been watered" flowers. When the child has finished watering a plant with a blue flower, he can replace the blue flower with a red one. The blue flower can be placed back in the slot on the front of the apron to leave both hands available for carrying the watering can.

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