DIY Montessori Materials From Paint Samples
It’s easy for the cost of homeschool supplies to add up fast. Multisensory Education means having lots of hands-on materials. Fortunately, with a little bit of outside the box thinking, you can easily create DIY Montessori materials. You’ll also find great homemade toys for kids can be made from these materials, Paint chip samples are a great way to get started. Most likely you already have some stuck in a drawer from the recent remodel. If not, head to the hardware store or hop on your favorite paint company’s website and request a few. (Sometimes local stores will even put together a little package for you to use for educational purposes).
FREE DIY Montessori Materials & Homemade Toys For Kids With Paint Chip Samples
Gather up your bundle of paint samples to create dozens of beautiful manipulatives, decorations, and projects. Not only will making these give you free supplies, but they’ll also be a great arts & crafts time for your family to work on together. Children take great pride in creating their own learning materials. What child wouldn’t be proud to give a homemade toy to a friend? Take a peek through this list and see what stand out to you- we’ve included ideas for children of all ages.
Color box- This is a classic Montessori Sensorial work. It’s also easy to make as a DIY Montessori Material. Separate the paint samples by color and place in a box. Introduce one color at a time allowing the child to explore shades of that color until they’re ready to move on.
Color matching- Dozens of different options exist for this one depending on the child’s age and ability. A few options include: providing two sets of the exact same color to match, matching household objects to the proper color, or matching items from nature to the right color. Older children can get into the detailed nuance of shade too.
Color Books- This works best with the larger size paint samples. Glue samples back-to-back and use binder rings to create a book. Children can then draw, use stickers or cut out and glue pictures that match each color. Older children can write poems or stories about each color on the pages.
Color tablets- Another classic Montessori work. This requires two sets of the same paint samples with different shades. Cut one card and keep one card whole. Kids can then place the colors in the proper light ---> dark or dark ---> light order, checking their work with the whole card.
Crafts- Once you start to view paint samples as craft supplies- the sky is the limit. Use them for mosaics, scrapbooking, card making, ornaments, homemade games, and more.
Puzzles- Use a larger size paint sample to make a puzzle. Draw a simple design or write a large word on the card. Next, cut into puzzle pieces- only a couple for tiny kids and more for older children. The color gradient helps children to match pieces more easily. This is excellent for kids who have a hard time with puzzles.
Stamping- Get out the stamps and have fun. Children can work open-ended or have stamping tasks- such as stamping words or stamping in a specific order based on the shade of the color.
Punching- What child doesn’t love using the hole punch? Paint samples are a good thickness for children to practice punching and gain hand strength. Try using larger craft size punches in shapes too. Your child may use the punched out items for color matching or crafts.
Cutting practice- These are also perfect for cutting practice. There are lines right on there for cutting already. Or draw a pattern or shape onto the card for the student to cut out. These are especially popular for seasonal shapes and objects.
Mosaic- Put those punched out pieces and cutting skills to good use with a mosaic. This is a great way to use up paint chips after your children are done with other activities. Add in images clipped from magazines or photos to really make it pop! Or add magnets onto the pack and kids can make art on the fridge.
Rainbow- Provide the child with one paint sample of each color. They can create a mosaic rainbow or place the cards in rainbow order.
Make blocks- You’ll need a little extra effort for this one but it’s so worth it. These are well loved as homemade toys for kids. The hardware store can cut the blocks for you. Make sure to measure the size of each paint sample so you’ll have just the right size. There are two options for this. One is to make blocks with each different hue of a color of a different side of the block. The other option is to create blocks of only one hue each so you have an entire set of variating shades of one color.
Color Clipping- Similar to the color tablets, this is designed to help with shade. Take a paint strip with several different shades on it. Cut off a thin strip from one side. Glue or tape on one shade of each onto a clothespin. The child then clips the clothespins onto the proper shade. Colorful binder clips or paper clips can also be used.
Mini Book- The square shaped and large rectangle samples make the best mini books. Use them as book covers with plain paper inside, alternate paint sample and paper, or use with construction paper. A bright, colorful mini book awaits. These are a fun way to make little spelling books, alphabet books, number books or short stories.
Bookmarks- Use the long/skinny samples for bookmarks. Children can decorate them, add ribbon or stickers, and enjoy. These are an easy gift project too.
Schedule Cards- Bring color to your daily schedule. Write one activity per section or use single colored paint chips and write one per card. These also make nice small desk-size schedules for kids to reference all day long.
Math manipulatives- Cut the different shades apart and you’ve got the perfect size math manipulative for little hands. Use in any Montessori-inspired Math project, number matching, or counting.
Spelling- Dozens of options exist for using paint samples for spelling. Here are a few ideas . Write one letter per word on the paint strips, cut them apart, and kids can piece them back together by shade. Write one word on each color. Turn into letter cards. Place spelling lists onto a paint strip.
Word families- This is an additional spelling/ reading idea. Write common word endings such as ing or all on one single color. Use a paint strip of that same shade to write the beginning letters on. Children then match up the beginning letter to the proper word ending. (Such as B+all = ball)
Decoration- Create a cute and colorful classroom and home decorations. Cut samples into letters to spell your child’s name. Cut out different shapes to create a one-of-a-kind art piece. Or make a colorful rainbow in your classroom.
Busy Bag- Put paint samples into a busy bag and see what your child comes up with on their own! If the child is old enough, include scissors, glue, tape, and a hole punch.
Sensory Box- A few samples inside a sensory box add extra color and texture. Add in paint samples that match the current theme of your sensory box. You may which to laminate them or cover them with packing tape to keep stronger for longer.
Take a look at these blogs for more ideas on free or cheap DIY Montessori Materials.
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Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Washington. She loves Washington's outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.