My 13-month-old granddaughter, Zoey, has always loved her treasure baskets. She enjoyed her kitchen treasure basket and ball treasure basket for months. For the Christmas season, I put together a Christmas bell treasure basket that took about 5 minutes to prepare. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. Preparing a Montessori-Inspired Christmas Bell Basket I did have the jingle bells and Christmas basket from last Christmas season. They were 55mm jingle bells and a Christmas bell basket from Michaels craft store. I didn’t use the textured bells until this Christmas when Zoey was less likely

Read More...

I’m excited about the new Little Passports Early Explorers edition! I’m a Little Passports affiliate and ambassador. As an ambassador, I received a 3-month subscription to the Early Explorers Edition of Little Passports. Today, I want to share some ideas for using a Montessori-inspired approach with the Early Explorers subscription. Of course, all opinions are my own. (Note: my Little Passports posts contain affiliate links at no cost to you.) Check this out! 2 days only: holiday delivery plus $15 off a 12-month plan with the code JOY15 at checkout! I love the excitement Little Passports can bring to

Read More...

I’ve had a lot of fun finding resources for December holiday songs and rhymes in my free circle time song series! I already published Free Christmas Songs and Rhymes for Circle Time and Free Hanukkah Songs and Rhymes for Circle Time. Today, I’m sharing free songs and rhymes for another special December holiday: Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is observed from December 26-January 1. It’s a holiday in the United States honoring African heritage and culture. I think it’s important to introduce children to a variety of customs, and Kwanzaa has some lovely customs. If you’d like more information to share with

Read More...

It’s the 15th of the month, and I have a new post at PreK + K Sharing … with some fun Christmas activities using free gingerbread printables! Here, I’m sharing the links to lots of free gingerbread printables for preschoolers through 1st graders (and sometimes older). At PreK + K Sharing, I tell where I found my materials and how I used the printables to prepare Montessori-inspired gingerbread activities. I also have links to other posts with additional ideas and presentations. Free Printables Featured in the Gingerbread Activities at PreK + K Sharing Gingerbread Visual Discrimination Printable from Pre-K

Read More...

I’m continuing the December holiday fun in my free circle time song series! Today, I’m sharing Hanukkah songs and rhymes. I love to introduce children to other religions and cultures, and music is a great way to help young children learn to appreciate differences. If you’d like more information to share with children about Hanukkah, here are some fun, helpful videos for a variety of ages: Sesame Street: “Hanukkah With Veronica Monica” “The Story of Hanukkah” The Maccabeats: “Candlelight” The Maccabeats – “Miracle” “Hanukkah Songs” “Chanukah Jewish Rock of Ages” – Official Hanukkah Song (Video) There are many great

Read More...

Welcome to the December 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Greatest Gifts This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have suggested go-to gifts and gifting experiences for the holiday season for all your loved ones. *** Music was one of my favorite curriculum areas with young children. I always had lots of fun singing songs and accompanying them on guitar. As the grandma of a 12-month old, I’ve had a great time reacquainting myself with some favorite CDs (originally cassettes) of mine

Read More...

It’s been a year since my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy was published. I’m happy today to share a free grace and courtesy printable created by a very sweet blogger, Carolyn Wilhelm from Wise Owl Factory. The free printable manners cards can be used for matching or a concentration game. Just print out two copies of the cards. Here’s the download link for the Manners Matching Cards. There’s also a Free Save My Ink Version of Manners Matching Cards! Thanks so much to Carolyn for creating and generously sharing the free manners

Read More...

I love handprint and footprint keepsake crafts. I made sure I had a handprint from both of my kids when they were little. So I wanted my granddaughter’s presents to her parents this Christmas to be handprint and footprint keepsake ornaments. I had helped Zoey make a special keepsake handprint craft for Mother’s Day, but I wanted to add ornaments as well. Shhh! If you know Will or Chea, don’t tell! Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). This post is part of 10 Days of a Kid-Made Christmas featuring 70+ ornaments inspired by books.

Read More...

It’s time to start adding some December holiday fun to my free circle time song series! Christmas is an extra special time for kids, and Christmas songs and rhymes make it even more special. Today, I’m sharing lots of fun, free Christmas songs – both religious and secular songs. I’ll share Hanukkah songs, Kwanzaa songs, and winter songs in upcoming posts. There are many great CDs you can buy that I absolutely love, but I’m just listing free resources here. You can typically find links to buy the CDs for songs on YouTube if you wish. These are songs

Read More...

From my Google Analytics report for November 2014 Thank you to all my referrers! Top 10 Referring Sites (Not counting sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Blogger) 1. Kids Activities Blog 2. One Perfect Day 3. Fantastic Fun and Learning 4. PreK + K Sharing 5. Lemon Lime Adventures 6. Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds 7. Montessori Nature 8. Little Passports 9. B-Inspired Mama 10. Edventures with Kids Thank you to all my readers! Top 10 Visited Posts 1. Free Educational Songs for Circle Time 2. Free LEGO Printables and 70+ LEGO Learning Activities 3. Free Fall

Read More...

Life for moms with babies can be overwhelming, but following Montessori principles can make it easier in many ways. Helping your baby learn to concentrate by not interrupting a cycle of concentration is always important. Another important Montessori principle is to observe your baby to be in tune with your baby’s needs and interests. (Of course, both of these principles are important for children at any age!) “It follows that at the beginning of his life the individual can accomplish wonders – without effort and quite unconsciously.” Maria Montessori (The Absorbent Mind) Using Montessori Principles with a Baby If

Read More...

UPDATE: Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, you’ll still find some great deals here! Just click on the links and check out the sites for sales. Happy Cyber Monday! I have some very special deals for Montessori families and other families wanting to give their children special learning and play opportunities. Note: I updated this post on Monday morning to allow for Cyber Monday changes. Before I start with the deals, though, check out this awesome giveaway! A Chance to Win Some Awesome Gifts Open worldwide! Cyber Monday Specials Note: I’ve updated this with

Read More...

This post contains calendar observances and themed activities for December 2014. If you’d like an updated calendar for any year, you can find it in my December Themed Activities for Kids. This calendar is different because the calendar observances with changing dates are added into the list of December dates, making it less likely that you’ll miss an event. I love using unit studies and themed activities for holidays and calendar observances. You’ll find all my unit studies and holiday posts in my “Should You Use Unit Studies?” post. You might choose to plan unit studies based on your

Read More...

I’m excited to be part of a HUGE collaboration of Kid Blogger Network roundups and an AMAZING Christmas cash giveaway! My roundup has 20+ Christmas phonics activities from Kid Blogger Network bloggers … with lots of great ideas for reinforcing phonics skills during the Christmas season. Montessori Phonics Phonics is a very important part of the Montessori language curriculum. Note: In Montessori education, we teach phonetic sounds before letter names. For any of the activities below, I would emphasize the letter sounds. Also, if you want to follow Montessori tradition, make the letters lowercase for your activities. Of course,

Read More...

I had a lot of fun putting together some activities in a number of curriculum areas using materials from the Building and Blocks Toolbox from Montessori By Mom. To go along with the building and blocks materials, there’s also a versatile free shape punching printable for my readers. Disclosure: I’m a Montessori By Mom affiliate. I was given the Building and Blocks Toolbox for this review/activity post. This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). Montessori By Mom Montessori By Mom is a small business started by Nathan and Teresa Hadsall, two teachers who wanted to empower

Read More...

Israel is the second package of the year-two Little Passports World Edition Subscription. Today, I’m going to share some Montessori-inspired activities that work well with the Little Passports Israel package … not too long before Hanukkah! I also have a special giveaway of a 3-month subscription for the new Little Passports Early Explorers Edition! (Giveaway is open in the U.S., Canada, UK, and Australia.) Disclosure: I’m an affiliate for Little Passports and, as an ambassador, I received a 2-year subscription to the World Edition of Little Passports. I have posts for each of the year-one packages with Montessori-inspired activities

Read More...

I had a super-fun experience last week … making banana playdough for the first time and watching my granddaughter’s first experience with playdough! Thanks to Asia Citro and her FABULOUS new book, 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids, I’m a convert to playdough making. Back when I was a Montessori preschool teacher in the 1970s and school owner/teacher in the 1980s, I purchased playdough and other art and craft materials for my classroom. It’s exciting to see that many moms today are making their own playdough and craft materials.  As the first-time grandma of a just-turned one year old, I

Read More...

I’ve always loved preparing holiday-themed educational activities. Today, I’m sharing some fun Montessori-inspired Christmas activities I prepared using Spielgaben educational toys and free printables I found online. For one of the activities, I created free printables. This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Spielgaben. All opinions are honest and my own. This post also contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). In case you’re not familiar with Spielgaben toys, they are exceptionally high-quality educational toys designed for ages 3-12. The yarn balls from the 1st set can be used with babies and toddlers, too.

Read More...

It’s the 15th of the month, and I have a new post at PreK + K Sharing … with some fun activities using free printables to go with the book (and ballet) The Nutcracker! Here, I’m sharing the links to lots of free Nutcracker printables for preschoolers through 1st graders (and sometimes older). At PreK + K Sharing, I tell where I found my materials and how I used the printables to prepare Montessori-inspired Nutcracker activities. I also have links to other posts with additional ideas and presentations. Free Printables Featured in the Nutcracker Activities at PreK + K

Read More...

As the grandma of a 12-month old, I’ve had LOTS of fun reading books to a baby over the last year. For my gift guide today, I want to share some of my favorite Montessori-friendly books for babies. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. Montessori-friendly books for babies have realistic images. The books might have real pictures or drawings, but they don’t have fantasy or smiling or talking animals. Because babies are learning about their world, it’s most helpful for their books to show reality. (Note: I’m not a strict Montessorian. I use a

Read More...

If you’re a Montessori homeschooler, you might like to buy special gifts of Montessori materials for your homeschool. Or, grandparents might like to buy a gift for your homeschool. Today, I’ll share my gift guide with ideas of Montessori materials and Montessori-friendly products that would be helpful for Montessori homeschools. I’ll focus mainly here on materials for preschoolers through age 7. For elementary Montessori materials, see my post “Where to Buy Montessori Elementary Albums and Materials.” Following is a variety of products I think are wonderful for Montessori homeschools. Choose according to the materials you need and your budget.

Read More...

I love both Montessori education and Little Passports. I’ve found that they can work well together in a Montessori homeschool and/or Montessori-friendly home. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). Little Passports has had some exciting happenings recently: Inc 500/5000: Little Passports was ranked No. 609 overall and 46 in the Consumer Products & Services category on the 2014 Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Time for Kids: Last month Little Passports was on the cover of Time Magazine for Kids! Going Global: Little Passports just launched in the UK

Read More...

Check out the special deal at Little Partners! If you purchase the Learning Tower in December with code december at checkout, you’ll get $20 off plus free puppet theater and free shipping (total savings of $40.99)! (12/18 Update: Christmas delivery can’t be guaranteed at this point.) Disclosure: I received a Little Partners Learning Tower to facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive review. My opinions are honest and my own. I’ve always loved having my kids work together with me in the kitchen, and I’ve been looking forward to having grandkids work with me in

Read More...

I’m having so much fun with my free circle time song series! I LOVE Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving songs are lots of fun for circle time in the classroom or at home! There are many great CDs you can buy that I absolutely love, but I’m just listing free resources here. You can typically find links to buy the CDs for songs on YouTube if you wish. These are songs that I’ve found online for preschool teachers and childcare providers. They are also great if you’re a homeschooler or parent supplementing your child’s learning at home. And I think they’re

Read More...

Thanksgiving was always one of my family’s favorite holidays. It’s a perfect time for fun learning activities, etiquette practice, and family togetherness. Here are some posts with lots of Montessori-inspired Thanksgiving activities and ideas to use throughout November. At the end of the post, you’ll find the Montessori Monday linky (open throughout the week) and the AMAZING Festive Family Holiday Hop and Gift Guide Giveaway (with prizes worth a total of $1800)! Montessori-Inspired Thanksgiving Ideas Montessori-Inspired Gratitude Activities How to Help Your Child Feel Comfortable Greeting Relatives Table Setting How to Teach Your Child Table Manners for Holiday Gatherings

Read More...

From my Google Analytics report for October 2014 Thank you to all my referrers! Top 10 Referring Sites (Not counting sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Blogger) 1. Fantastic Fun and Learning 2. Kids Activities Blog 3. PreK + K Sharing 4. B-Inspired Mama 5. Teach Preschool 6. Montessori Nature 7. Crystal & Co. 8. Free Homeschool Deals 9. Edventures with Kids 10. Gift of Curiosity Thank you to all my readers! Top 10 Visited Posts 1. Free Fall Songs and Rhymes for Circle Time 2. Free Halloween Songs and Rhymes for Circle Time 3. Free Fire Safety

Read More...

This post contains calendar observances and themed activities for November 2014. If you’d like an updated calendar for any year, you can find it in my November Themed Activities for Kids. This calendar is different because the calendar observances with changing dates are added into the list of November dates, making it less likely that you’ll miss an event. I love using unit studies and themed activities for holidays and calendar observances. You’ll find all my unit studies and holiday posts in my “Should You Use Unit Studies?” post. You might choose to plan unit studies based on your

Read More...