5 Montessori Works You Can Create With Materials From Your Craft Supplies
Montessori materials can be extremely expensive. The cost of materials is often off-putting to families looking to begin homeschooling, or a co-op. I know when I began working in a Montessori school, I was amazed at the sheer amount of materials and works. Our head of school happened to be a frugal and financially-minded woman who had a lot of creative ideas to save on costs. When I began homeschooling my son, I decided to look in my arts and crafts supplies to make my own Montessori Materials for our homeschool. These are some of my favorite works which you can easily create yourself at home!
The Top 5 DIY Montessori Materials
Montessori Color Matching
This work can be created with tissue paper, colored paper or cardstock. You have a couple options for variations.
Beginning color matching- Clip out two 2-inch x 2-inch squares of 6 different colors of paper. Use the same type of paper in each color for very young children (2 and under), for older children try using different types of paper. The child will then match the correct sets of colors to one another.
More advanced color matching- Use the squares of paper from above and cut one into smaller squares. Start with 3 colors at a time. Place 3 of the larger squares at the top of the work area and all the smaller squares into a bowl. Allow the student to place the smaller squares on the proper corresponding larger square. This also works well with beads, buttons, or other small items in the corresponding colors. You can also choose to cut our circles, hearts, or any other shape you desire for the child to use for matching.
Counters are a huge part of Montessori Math. These are extremely easy to create yourself from beads or buttons. It is fun to change out the counters based on the month, using hearts in February and pumpkins in the Fall, for example. You may also want to cut out counters into the desired shapes from paper. Wrapping paper can also be fun to use and cut out the little shapes found on the pattern.
Texture matching with different fabrics is a classic Montessori material. Raid that basket of unused fabric for 4-6 different textures of fabric. Cut them into equal sized squares (usually somewhere between 4-inch x 4-inch to 6-inch x 6-inch). Younger students match the fabrics by touch and sight. Older students can be blindfolded to match the fabric textures by feeling only. It’s also fun to put the fabric scraps into a bag or pillow case and have the child find a match by feel. This also works well with different grits of sandpaper.
Save your old greeting cards for this one! Or, use scrapbooking paper, or cardstock. Use a hole punch to punch around the outside of the card. Provide the child with a child-safe needle and some string or thread. Then allow them to lace around the card. This is also a pretty activity to create holiday decorations when laced by hand with ribbon. Older students can work on different types of stitches and even different patterns.
Pouring, Spooning and Scooping
Gather up all those cute little things in your arts and crafts supplies. You know what I mean, all those cute buttons, marbles, small trinkets, and beads in the $1 bins that you just can’t resist and then never do anything with (or is that only me?). These, along with basic dried beans and rice, make the perfect materials for Practical Life works. Use them in the ShillerLearning pouring cups to practice pouring back and forth or pouring into cups and bowls. Place them into a bowl and allow kids to practice spooning them back and forth between bowls. Give students a small child-sized ladle and watch as they ladle the materials. The possibilities are endless.
Hope you enjoy these easy to create Montessori works. Go raid your arts and crafts supplies and see what you can come up with, we’d love to see your DIY works!
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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, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.