4 Fall Montessori Homeschool Activities for Preschool and Early Elementary

With the sound of rustling leaves underfoot, Halloween comes to an end and your little goblin is gearing up for the big gobble day. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Crisp weather, blazing fall foliage, and the aroma of pumpkin spice delight young and old alike. Bringing autumn into the homeschool is a beautiful way to engage children.



4 Fall Montessori Homeschool Activities

for preschool and early elementary


Here are a few simple-to-pull-together activities, perfect for adding the season to homeschool days or windy weekends with preschool and early elementary students. Children of all ages - and even Thanksgiving guests - may enjoy working with the smelling jars.

These Montessori-based activities engage fine motor, classification, and critical thinking skills. The sensory integration is important for brain development and makes learning fun!


Sorting Tray


Materials:
Small basket or tray that can be carried by the child
3 bowls or similar containers
Fall filler material that can be sorted by color or object
Optional: tweezers or tongs for moving the materials

 

Children love to sort objects. For this activity you’ll need three different objects that come in a set. I used what is called vase filler, found at the local craft store. If you wish, take your child on a nature walk and collect items such as different colored leaves, acorns, pinecones, twigs, feathers, etc. You can also use assorted nuts.

Show your child how to sort the materials and then allow your child to try.

You can make this challenging by simply having three different sizes of twigs. Have the child sort the twigs based on the size. This would be a great opportunity to work on words groups such as “big, bigger, biggest,” “small, smaller, smallest,” “small, medium, large,” “thin and thick,” or “short and tall.”

 



Smelling Jars


Materials:
Small basket or tray
6 or more clear glass or plastic spice containers
3 or more spices
Optional blindfold

 

There is a mystery about smelling objects we are unfamiliar with. It's fun to satisfy our curiosity through our senses. Scents have a powerful effect on memory. There are certain smells that can evoke memories decades old. Select aromas that remind your family of autumn, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, dried oranges, pumpkin spice, celery seed (think Thanksgiving stuffing) or even crumbled dried leaves from the yard.
In this demonstration, I used 3 spices. For each selection, fill two jars with enough material to provide scent. Shown are 6 jars total, with 3 spices placed in 2 jars each.

Invite your child to join you. This activity can be done at a table on the floor. Use a 3-finger grip when holding each jar. Take each jar out and line them horizontally from left to right. Starting with the far left bottle, look at each spice together, name it, note it’s characteristics, holding the jar beneath your nose generously inhale the aroma. What does the scent remind you of?

Note that each spice is in two jars. Mix the two sets of jars into random order. Put the blindfold on yourself and demonstrate matching the jars by scent. Remove the blindfold and check your work.

Offer the blindfold to your child, randomly mix the order of the jars, and ask your child to match the scents. Once the child is done, have the child check their own work by looking to see if the spices match one another based on how they look.

An alternate activity is to identify the scents by name while blindfolded or with eyes closed.

 



Corn Dissection

Materials:
Small basket or tray
Indian corn (there is an amazing variety available)
Tweezers
Magnifying glass

 

 

 

When introducing the ear of corn, encourage the child to carefully examine and appreciate the corn. The child can use the magnifying glass to see all of the beautiful details. Demonstrate how to take a kernel of corn off the cob. Allow the child to use the tweezers to take the kernels off the cob.

Older children can keep an observation journal, draw pictures of what they see and/or writing about it.

 



Pumpkin Washing


Materials:
Small basket or tray
Pumpkin
Scrub brush
Bowl (water can be poured into the bowl once at the workspace)
Small towel for drying


Children enjoy water works and pumpkin washing is a great addition to the fall homeschool schedule. Using a scrub brush, show the child how to wash the pumpkin. Then teach the child how to dry the pumpkin. Make sure to take extra care to clean the crevices. When the child is done, demonstrate how to clean and put everything neatly away.

 

We would love to see your child at work with these fall works. Tag @shillerlearning when sharing on social media.


Jessica Zahner

Jessica Zahner has been working in education for 15 years - in both AMI and AMS Montessori schools. Assisting children with learning challenges, including students on the Autism Spectrum and other at risk students, is one of her specialties. As a homeschool mom she and her daughter are traversing the unique experience of home education of an only child. Jessica is fondly known for her passion for Practical Life and loves teaching parents why and how these skills are foundational for their children. The Zahners live on a working ranch and enjoy farming, gardening, and country life. When not caring for their livestock, enjoying practical homeschooling with her daughter, or working with Shiller Learning customers, you might find Jessica enjoying a perfectly brewed cup of tea from herbs grown in their abundant tea garden.

 

See Inside Our Kits

Language Arts Kit A (PreK/K-G1)

Language Arts Kit B (G1-G4)


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Homeschool Teacher Appreciation Coupon Pack Freebie



Teacher Appreciation Week is May 1st through 7th – running right into Mother’s Day on May 8th.

It’s a perfect time to highlight all the ways that homeschool teachers guide their learners in the education journey. ShillerLearning has created a FREE downloadable pack of simple thank you coupons redeemable for a variety of family activities.

Share the printable with your child and invite them to participate in Teacher Appreciation Week. Print them in color on fancy paper or in black and white on plain paper for your child to color and decorate. If your child is not yet reading, read through the different activities. The pictures will help them to remember the activity on each slip.

The coupons to be gifted are chosen by the student. Each child may show appreciation differently. While one may carefully select a single activity as a grand gift, another may opt to give many or all coupons and surprise you throughout the week. As with learning, there is no one right way.

The recipient chooses when to use a coupon. If your child has a day with a rough patch, redemption of a coupon for an activity may help everyone to pivot - and redeem the day.

Thank you for all you do to lead the next generation in fulfilling their potential!

Antoinette LaGrossa

Veteran homeschool mom of five, Antoinette LaGrossa has been homeschooling since 2001. Having experienced her family’s frustration with multiple math programs, Antoinette understands the struggle that can come with teaching math. Everything changed in 2004 when she tried ShillerMath. She quickly joined the ShillerLearning team and has been supporting home educators for almost two decades - sharing hands-on learning tips, encouragement, and practical experience from homeschooling five very different children. Antoinette speaks at conventions across the country and is host of ShillerLearning’s Tuesdays@2.

 

See Inside Our Kits

Language Arts Kit A (PreK/K-G1)

Language Arts Kit B (G1-G4)


The Family Guide to Homeschool Conventions


Finding Inspiration to Refresh and Renew Your Homeschool




The Family Guide to Homeschool Conventions


Homeschool convention season is kicking off! ShillerLearning homeschool coaches LOVE convention season and can't wait to meet new homeschool parents. Most homeschool conventions run from March through July.  

 

Why should you attend an in-person convention?

 

Conventions provide so many opportunities for homeschooling families. You can flip through the curriculum that you've been eyeing online, connect with families in your area, gain encouragement and inspiration from the many wonderful speakers, and get prepared for the next year of your homeschool journey.

Have you ever walked into a convention center and felt immediately overwhelmed? I have. When I was first starting my homeschool journey, I attended a convention with a close friend that was also beginning her homeschooling journey. We looked at the session titles and descriptions online to try and prepare ourselves for the weekend.

When we arrived at the convention we realized that there was so much more going on than we had planned for. Some of the sessions we tried to attend were full. We were shocked to see people sitting on the floor and standing outside. We tried to go to the exhibit hall between sessions; it was shoulder-to-shoulder people. We quickly realized that we had no clue where to start.

As we stood outside the exhibit hall we must have looked as lost and confused as we felt. A veteran homeschool mom approached us and was able to help us wrap our head around all of the goodies. She gave us some great tips to get the most out of our first convention.

I've now attended multiple conventions as both an attendee and an exhibitor. With the help of some other veteran homeschool moms at ShillerLearning, I have compiled a list of things that I hope will help you get prepared to attend a homeschool convention in your area.

  • Decide which convention you want to attend:

I haven't been to a bad homeschool convention yet, so pick the convention that works best for your family and budget. Don't feel like you have to travel to a destination convention to get the most out of attending. Find the convention that best fits your needs and budget. And, yes, there are destination conventions!

  • Get familiar with the area and venue:

Take the stress out of travel by getting familiar with the area. Know where to park, look up area attractions, find nearby parks if you need to take a break, find what restaurants are nearby (and if they are allergy friendly if necessary).

  • Decide who you are going with:

A. Make it a family event: Homeschool conventions are excellent family events. Make sure you check the specific rules for the convention that you will be attending before you go, so you know if your kids will be allowed to shop on their own in the exhibit hall or if they will need to stay with you. Some conventions also have wonderful kid and teen programs that kids can enjoy while you shop and attend sessions on your own. If the convention you are attending does not have a kids program, try to take someone (spouse, gradparent, etc) with you that can help with the kids while you are talking to vendors in the exhibit hall. Take the FREE ShillerLearning Roadschooling Activity Pack to keep the kids occupied with fun activities in the car and during the event.

B. Take a friend: I've met several moms over the years that use homeschool conventions as a mom's getaway. If you could use some time away, plan a trip with some of your homeschool mom friends.

  • Know the vendors:

If the convention you are attending lists the vendors online, get famliar with the vendors before you go. Visit their website to find out what curriculum they offer.

  • Be flexible with your schedule:

Most homeschool conventions will post a schedule of events online so that you can plan your trip before you get there but be flexible in your planning. Things arise that cause event organizers to make last minute adjustments to the schedule. When you check in, ask for the most updated schedule (some events print schedules and others may use an app).

  • Make time to go to the exhibit hall:

The exhibit halls are full of vendors with tons of yummy curriculum on display. This is the best time to flip through some of those books that you've been interested in. I found that the exhibit hall isn't as croweded when there are sessions going on. That was my favorite time to go browse as an attendee!

  • Bring a good bag to carry things:

Even if you don't plan to buy anything, you will have the opportunity to pick up many wonderful freebies and infromation packs from the vendors. Bring an easy-to-carry or rolling bag. I like to take a carry-on size rolling suitcase in with me. Make sure the venue doesn't have any bag restrictions before you go.

  • Bring snacks:

If the venue allows outside food and drinks, bring them! Snacks and drinks can get expensive for your whole family at some of the convention venues. I've seen families bring rolling coolers. I pack a small cooler in my carry-on suitcase. Some venues do not allow outside food and drinks inside the venue, but you can always plan time to go back to the car for lunch.

  • Set a budget:

The exhibit halls have so much wonderful curriculum and homeschool resources, and the vendors are usually running great sales. Set a budget ahead of time so you don't overspend. Bring cash or have a way to keep track of your purchases so that you don't go over budget.

  • Shop before you buy:

Don't make impulse purchase. Take the time to go through through the whole exhibit hall, making a list of things that you want before you start buying anything. Prioritize your list and make sure your purhases stay within that budget you made.

  • Ask vendors if they offer free shipping:

ShillerLearning offers free shipping at conventions! Many others do this also. This allows you to buy the things at a discounted price and have it shipped to your door so you don't have to carry around heavy boxes.

  • Dress in comfortable layers:

If you are spending all day at a convention, you don't want to be miserable. The convention hall might be hot while the speaker rooms are freeing. Dressing in layers will allow you to be comfortable regardless of the room temperature.

  • Wear comfortable shoes:

Leave those super cute but uncomfrtable shoes at home! Some of the homeschool convention venues are huge and you will be on your feet in the exhibit hall and walking from one session to another.

  • Bring something to take notes:

Bring a notebook, tablet, laptop, or even your phone to take notes in. You will want to take notes during sessions and jot down things that speakers say.

  • Sign up for giveaways:

Many vendors will offer giveaways during hte convention. make sure to sign up for those when you visit their booth. If you don't want to write your information multiple times bring address labels that you can stick on the vendor forms. Include your name, phone number, email address, and mailing address. Be sure to sign up for the ShillerLearning convention give-away at our booth!

  • Have FUN:

These events should be fun and refreshing for you. Don't stress and remember to enjoy your trip!

Visit ShillerLearning at these 2022 homeschool conventions:

March 4-5, 2022

 

THE Homeschool Family Expo

 

Klein United Methodist Church

5920 FM 2920

Spring, TX 77388


March 17-19, 2022

 

Great Homeschool Conventions - Greenville, South Carolina

 

Greenville Convention Center

1 Exposition Dr

Greenville, SC 29607


March 24-26, 2022

 

Great Homeschool Conventions - Missouri Homeschool Convention

 

St. Charles Convention Center

1 Convention Center Plaza

St. Charles, MO 63303


March 31-April 2, 2022

 

Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention - Round Rock

 

Kalahari Resort and Conventions

3001 Kalahari Blvd

Round Rock, TX 78665


April 21-23, 2022

 

Great Homeschool Conventions - Midwest Homeschool Convention

 

Duke Energy Convention Center

525 Elm St.

Cincinnati, OH 45202



April 21-23, 2022

 

Texas Homeschool Coalition - Allen

 

Delta Allen Hotel

777 Watters Creek Blvd

Allen, TX 75013



May 5-7, 2022

 

Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention - Pigeon Forge, TN

 

LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge

2986 Teaster Ln

Pigeon Forge, TN 37863



May 26-28, 2022

 

FPEA - Florida Homeschool Convention

 

Rosen Shingle Creek

9939 Universal Blvd

Orlando, FL 32819



May 26-28, 2022

 

Texas Homeschool Coalition - The Woodlands

 

The Woodlands Waterway Mariott

1602 Lake Robbins Drive

The Woodlands, TX 77380



 June 9-11, 2022

 

39th Annual Virginia Homeschool Convention

 

Greater Richmond Convention Center

403 N 3rd St

Richmond, VA 23219



June 16-18, 2022

 

Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference 

 

Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center

15500 E 40th Ave

Denver, CO 80239



June 16-18, 2022

 

Great Homeschool Conventions - California Homeschool Convention

 

Ontario Convention Center

2000 E Convention Center Way

Ontario, CA 91764



July 15-16, 2022

 

AFHE - Arizona Families Home Education Convention

 

Phoenix Convention Center

33 S. Third Street

Phoenix, AZ 85004


Stop by the ShillerLearning booth to say hi!


Amanda Crawford

Amanda Crawford lives in East Tennessee with her seven children and husband of sixteen years. Amanda has a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture with a concentration in Education, a Masters in Instructional Leadership, and Ed.S. in Instructional Leadership. She taught high school agriculture for eight years in a public school. When her oldest was 3, Amanda transitioned to her new role as a stay-at-home/homeschooling mom. To prepare for kindergarten with her oldest in 2015, Amanda excitedly attended her first homeschool convention where she and her family discovered the ShillerLearning math and language arts curriculum. Seeing how the kids were drawn to the hands-on manipulatives at the booth and then using the curriculum with her kids for about 6 months, Amanda joined the ShillerLearning team and has been helping other homeschool families through online events and at conventions across the country.


See Inside Our Kits

Language Arts Kit A (PreK/K-G1)

Language Arts Kit B (G1-G4)


Give Your Child the World, One Continent at a Time

Do you have a child that is curious about the world? Do you want to introduce your child to other cultures?

It is important to educate our children to be good global citizens. To achieve this our children need to have a good understanding of our world.

Children begin to develop a sense of their place in the world at a very young age. Informal geography can be introduced as soon as they begin to show interest in these things. Maps, globes, books, movies, documentaries, songs, puzzles, games, and pictures are all helpful teaching tools to drive your child’s interests.



Give Your Child the World,

One Continent at a Time


The geography of a region affects the lifestyle of its inhabitants. Learning about world geography and cultures helps children to understand current events and our place in the world. Studying geography gives us an opportunity to observe and analyze the natural environment and the diversity of plant, animal, and human life.

What is culture? Culture is simply the way of life of a group of people. These groups could consist of people from the same family, school, workplace, church, neighborhood, town, city, county, state, or country. Each person can be a part of multiple small cultural groups that make up their personal culture.

Why is world culture important? Are your children benefiting from learning about world cultures? Teaching world culture to our children at an early age gives them a better understanding of the world. Children are naturally accepting of others, and as parents we need to nourish that natural acceptance.

 

"Give the world to the small child." - Maria Montessori


Geography is a subject that homeschool parents can struggle to teach. Resources can be costly, boring, time-consuming to create, or all of the above. A homeschool geography curriculum doesn’t have to be expensive! ShillerLearning strives to make these subjects accessible for all students and has created a NEW activity pack that will feed that curiosity!

In the ShillerLearning Geography Literature Pack, we’ve included a literature list of beautiful books that will help teach geography and give in-depth exposure to cultures around the world. You’ll be able to find most selections at your local library. This activity pack takes you on a narrative tour of the continents - and takes the stress out of teaching world geography and culture to your preschool and elementary children.

 

Travel with us to every continent to learn about the different cultures around the world! Topics include historical and geographical landmarks, foods, sports, and native animals. Add sensorial exploration of these continents by partnering this pack with the ShillerLearning Around the World in 80 Activities Pack.

We'd love to see your children at work learning about geography and culture. Tag @shillerlearning on your favorite social.

Amanda Crawford

Amanda Crawford lives in East Tennessee with her seven children and husband of sixteen years. Amanda has a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture with a concentration in Education, a Masters in Instructional Leadership, and Ed.S. in Instructional Leadership. She taught high school agriculture for eight years in a public school. When her oldest was 3, Amanda transitioned to her new role as a stay-at-home/homeschooling mom. To prepare for kindergarten with her oldest in 2015, Amanda excitedly attended her first homeschool convention where she and her family discovered the ShillerLearning math and language arts curriculum. Seeing how the kids were drawn to the hands-on manipulatives at the booth and then using the curriculum with her kids for about 6 months, Amanda joined the ShillerLearning team and has been helping other homeschool families through online events and at conventions across the country.

See Inside Our Kits

Language Arts Kit A (PreK/K-G1)

Language Arts Kit B (G1-G4)


Kids Love This Homeschool Freebie Bundle


Freebies are a great way to try a variety of homeschool curriculum resources. ShillerLearning has the best pack of free samples around! There are over two hundred pages of homeschool freebies waiting for you in the ShillerLearning Homeschool Freebie Bundle. You’ll find math activities for pre-k through pre-algebra, language arts lessons for preschoolers through 4th-grade students, plus coordinating homeschool planners for both parents and students with beautiful printables, tips on structuring your homeschool day, goal setting, encouragement, and more.

And it’s all free. No catch.

To start planning for your best homeschool year yet and to try no-lesson prep, Montessori-based, multisensory lessons, download your ShillerLearning Homeschool Freebie Bundle today. These activities will help your child reach his or her full potential and have fun while doing so.

Your family will enjoy the samples activities from:

 

Math Lesson Book 1 (Math Kit I)
Shapes
Finding 1’s on the number grid
Absolute and relative estimation
Inequalities using the number line

 

Math Lesson Book 2 (Math Kit I)
Number Patterns
Addition to 6 with pictures
Roman numeral X
Counting by squares

 

Math Lesson Book 3 (Math Kit I)
4-digit subtraction with exchange
Days of the week review
Mirror images
Geometry: area of a rectangle

 

Fractions Lesson Book (Fractions Kit)
Identifying fractions
Naming fractions
Writing fractions
Fraction equivalence
Fraction addition: same denominator (ninths)
Fractions of an hour
Fraction sequences
Fraction strips
Least common denominator using prime factors
Multiplying fractions

 

Math lesson Book 4 (Math Kit II)
Law of commutativity
Percent etymology and symbol
Operations
Average
Visual addition and subtraction
Decimal numbers: thousandths


Math Lesson Book 5 (Math Kit II)
Absolute value
Lines, segments, and rays
Logic
Strange magic square
Geometry solids
Appropriate time measures
The protractor and the radius
Sequencing using division
Multiplication patterns for even and odd
Set unions and intersects

 

Math Lesson Book 6 (Math Kit II)
Cube views
Graphing curves
Sum of the angles in a triangle
Playing cards: counting points
Solving for unknowns
Rational numbers
Area of a circle
Degrees in a triangle


Language Arts Lesson Book 1 (LA Kit A)
Montessori insets (shapes): triangle
The letter d
Words that begin with d
Words starting with d
The four seasons
Aural training game
Mother Goose rhyme
Posture

 

Language Arts Lesson Book 2 (LA Kit A)
Introducing oneself
Retelling a story
Parts of speech: verb
Montessori insets (shapes): oval
Holding the pencil: tripod grip
Days of the week
Pattern practice

Language Arts Lesson Book 3 (LA Kit A)
Retelling a story
Story-telling practice
Montessori insets (shapes): circle
Color identification
Peripheral vision
Short-term memory practice

Language Arts Lesson Book 4 (LA Kit A)
Telling a story
Comparatives
Identifying unknown things
The months of the year
Touch typing: no peeking!
Geography: etymology
Parts of speech: adjective
Geography: land and water
Rhyme ee
Introduction to Shakespeare

 

 



Language Arts Lesson Book 5 (LA Kit B)
Introduction to the circle kit
Typing introduction/review
Parts of speech: verb
Parts of speech: noun grammar symbol
Other languages: Spanish
Consonant blends: /ch/
How to tell a story: suspense
Book report

 

Language Arts Lesson Book 6 (LA Kit B)
Keeping the eyes and head still
Shakespeare Sonnet #18
Other forms of communication
Part of speech: adjective
Long u: silent e
Diagramming parts of speech: preposition
Trees and measurement

 

Language Arts Lesson Book 7 (LA Kit B)
Short a words
Principled thinking
Song for 10 tough words
Script-writing your name
Dollars
Nonfiction: biography
Touch typing: emails and phone numbers

 

Language Arts Lesson Book 8 (LA Kit B)
Synonyms
First, second, and third person singular
Infinitives
Puns
Can vs. may
Contractions
Diagramming parts of speech: adverb
Parts of speech: conjunction
Subjects and predicates

 

We would love to hear about your favorite activity in the freebie bundle. Tag @ShillerLearning on social media or comment below!

Would you like to try more hands-on learning at home?

All ShillerLearning kits come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Open and use the manipulatives and even write in the book. If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, send it back for a full refund of your kit purchase price.


Antoinette LaGrossa

Veteran homeschool mom of five, Antoinette LaGrossa has been homeschooling since 2001. Having experienced her family’s frustration with multiple math programs, Antoinette understands the struggle that can come with teaching math. Everything changed in 2004 when she tried ShillerMath. She quickly joined the ShillerLearning team and has been supporting home educators for almost two decades - sharing hands-on learning tips, encouragement, and practical experience from homeschooling five very different children. Antoinette speaks at conventions across the country and is host of ShillerLearning’s Tuesdays@2.




21 Free Montessori Based Winter Printable Activities

Fun Winter-Themed Activities to Engage Your Children with Math & Language Arts



If you haven’t seen our winter printables pack yet you are in for a treat. This pack is a perfect addition to your homeschool, no matter what type of homeschooler you are: Montessori, Classical, Charlotte Mason, Unschooling, Unit Study, or Eclectic. I don’t want to spoil the surprise or bore you to tears by describing every detail of all 32 activities, so I wrote a little poem to read. Or you can just watch Jonathan recite it in the video below...

Twas 16 days before Christmas and all through the town
The printers where whirring, putting ink down;
ShillerLearning’s FREE activity pack was created with care,
To enrich homeschooling for kids everywhere;

The children were nestled in their homeschool room,
Where winter Montessori works would be done soon;
And mamma with her printables, all fresh from her pack,
Which she just printed from her Windows or Mac,

When out from the works there arose so much learning,
The children were matching shapes by carefully turning.
Away to the mailbox I flew like a flash,
To get greeting cards for lacing which were done in a dash.

The snowmen with numbers were done with a nod
Gave the children practice learning even and odd,
When, even numbers came with snowflakes cut out,
The students learned those with a shout!

With 3-part cards, of a winter theme,
I knew in a moment they were learning.
More eager than beavers the learning came,
And the children pointed and said objects by name;

Now snowflake! now coat! Now, sled and hat!
On we continue learning words on our mat!
To the top of the shelf the winter works go,
We’ve even matched flakes of snow.

As the achievement badges are colored and done,
The children learned and had fun,
So until next pack we will now wait,
For the new ShillerLearning printable pack, which will also be great.

...Happy Holidays from ShillerLearning! We hope you enjoy this beautifully designed free printable pack.

Here are some things about this pack in particular that we think you'll love. It...

  • Is 100% FREE!!

  • Brings Montessori fun of the season to homeschooling through winter.

  • Is print and go. Just like our lessons, it requires very little prep work.

  • For many ages. Most activities are for the preschool and early elementary crowd. We also do some activities for older children and even some that can be enjoyed by all your kids together.

  • Includes a wide range of Montessori subjects.

  • Designed to be used as standalone works. However, for those of you who have ShillerLearning math or language arts curriculum, we include some suggestions from our materials. You'll still be able to use these packs without them though.

     

Request your own copy of the 21 free Montessori activities with beautiful printables.

And don't forget to take photos of your kids having fun with them too! We love seeing your family enjoy Montessori-based fun on our Facebook page.


See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher now homeschooling her only child. Amanda and her family reside in an Airstream parked in Washington State. She loves Washington's outdoor opportunities. When not homeschooling, she also blogs, works as a virtual assistant, and loves creating hand-lettering pieces.


8 Thanksgiving-Themed Montessori Activities Using Household Materials

Preparing for your family's Thanksgiving feast is a great way to spend time with each other and have fun! Thanksgiving brings family traditions that have been cherished for generations. For those who may not have space for extra bodies, consider creating an area such as the kitchen table for your child’s workspace or offer a floor table.

In this blog post, we add a few practical life lessons to our Thanksgiving-themed homeschool shelves plus activities to help prepare the table where the family feast will be on display. Nut Grinding, Butter Churning, Thanksgiving Punch, Flower Arranging, Table Setting, Note Cards, Feather in the Top, and Water Transfer not only allow your preschool to early elementary child to participate in helping to prepare a Thanksgiving feast for all to love but will also develop muscles for writing and motor skills, learn about simple mechanics, and prepare for mathematics.




8 Thanksgiving-Themed Montessori Activities Using Household Materials

Nut Grinding

What you need:

  • Nut grinder or a zip seal plastic bag with a small hammer
  • Nuts of your child’s choice

 

What to do:

If you are using a nut grinder, simply add the nuts with no shell in the top of the grinder. Put the lid on and allow your child to crank the handle. Your child will notice the grinded nuts in the jar.

If you are using a plastic bag and hammer, put nuts without the shell into the bag and seal. Allow your child to use a hammer to crush the nuts in the bag.

One you have crushed nuts, feel free to store them for later use for Thanksgiving desserts, salads, or casseroles.

You may want to use them for a yummy snack such as caramel drizzled apples, topped with nuts.




Butter Churning

What you need:

  • Butter churner or mason jar (If you wish to cheat you can use a mixer.)
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Cheesecloth or fine strainer

 

What to do:

Set the whipping cream out and allow it to warm to room temperature.

Once the cream is warmed to room temperature, then pour it in the mason jar, mixer bowl, or churn jar.

Shake or churn until the cream starts to thicken into a solid. This is where the mixer can come in handy. It takes a little bit before the process is completed.

Next, separate the liquid from the butter using a cheesecloth or strainer. Once all the liquid is separated, use an airtight container to store your butter.




Punch Activity

What you need:

  • Construction paper
  • Printed image
  • Cork board or carpet sample for local hardware store (this is just used to protect the surface you're working on from the puncher)
  • Pin punch or awl (found at a local craft store)

 

What to do:
In this activity, we use a printed image to punch holes to transfer the image onto a beautiful piece of paper. To start, have your child pick a printed image. Then put the cork board down on the table and place the construction paper on top of the cork board.


Then place the printed image on top of the construction paper. Have your child follow the black line on the image and punch small holes closely together to create the image on their construction paper.




Flower Arranging

What you need:

  • Assorted fresh flowers
  • Small vases
  • Funnel
  • Small creamer pitcher with water
  • Scissors
  • Towel for wiping any spills


What to do:

Have your child select the flowers they wish to use for the arrangement. Your child may use scissors to cut the flowers. Your child will need to measure to ensure the stems are at the desired height in the vase by holding the main flower next to the vase and trimming the stem accordingly.


Once your child has the flowers they wish to use, have them pour a small amount of water into the vase using the funnel and small pitcher of water. Now your child can arrange the flowers as they wish in their vase. Have your child put their new arrangement where they choose such as the kitchen table, coffee table, end table or maybe on the kitchen counter.


Be sure your child cleans everything up and places everything back on the shelf when they are done.





Table Setting

What you need:

  • Placemats
  • Drinking glasses
  • Knifes, fork, spoons
  • Plates


What to do:

Show your child how to set the table and then have your child try. Once your child has a good understanding of how to set the table, allow them to do the whole table by themselves. A table setting printable is available in the Grace & Courtesy Activity Pack.



Name Cards

What you need:

  • Pen
  • Paper or cardstock
  • Art supplies for decorating the cards
  • List of names of people who will be attending Thanksgiving dinner


What to do:

Give your child a list of names of people who will be attending Thanksgiving dinner. Next, fold the paper or cardstock in half so the name card is freestanding and then flatten the paper out so your child knows where to write.

Now, have your child write each name on the paper. You may even offer your child to choose where people will sit by placing the name card on the plate they just set.



Feather in the Top

What you need:

  • Feathers
  • Parmesan cheese shaker (this type of container works best) or pepper shaker

 

What to do:
Show your child how to place the feathers in the hole on the shaker one at a time.

Allow your child to try. Once your child has an understanding of what to do, you may let them work independently. Add a decorative ribbon and this can make a beautiful accent piece in the Thanksgiving table display.




Water Transfer

What you need:

  • Towel
  • Two small cups, glasses, or bowls
  • Dropper
  • Optional: food coloring or natural coloring agent (ex: turmeric, beet powder, red onion peels)


What to do:

Place a small amount of water in one container. If you wish, add fall-inspired food coloring. Now, show your child how to move the water to the other empty container using the dropper. If a single drop spills on the work space, IMMEDIATELY stop and wipe the spill up. This teaches the child to be mindful of messes and to clean up after themselves. This task may seem simple but there is a lot of learning within this single activity. It teaches the child patience from watching the drop leave the dropper. It slows the child’s mind and body by using the dropper to move the water instead of pouring. It also shows the child how suction works.




I hope these Thanksgiving activities have inspired you to bring some Montessori-style learning into your homeschool. Please feel free to share your homeschool adventures with these Thanksgiving-inspire works on Facebook or Instagram #ShillerLearning. Here is a photo of our seasonal shelf.



Check back soon for more inspiring Montessori ideas.


From our family at Shiller Learning to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!


Jessica Zahner

Jessica Zahner has been working in education for 15 years - in both AMI and AMS Montessori schools. Assisting children with learning challenges, including students on the Autism Spectrum and other at risk students, is one of her specialties. As a homeschool mom she and her daughter are traversing the unique experience of home education of an only child. Jessica is fondly known for her passion for Practical Life and loves teaching parents why and how these skills are foundational for their children. The Zahners live on a working ranch and enjoy farming, gardening, and country life. When not caring for their livestock, enjoying practical homeschooling with her daughter, or working with Shiller Learning customers, you might find Jessica enjoying a perfectly brewed cup of tea from herbs grown in their abundant tea garden.

 


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