I’ve been looking forward to focusing on growth mindset for the beginning of the school year. (Of course, it’s great at any time!) So today I’m sharing the start of our new unit with free brain and growth mindset printables and Montessori-inspired brain activities.
The free brain printables and activities list is in my post here today. The free growth mindset printables are from my BitsofPositivity.com blog, where I’ve been sharing growth mindset resources along with other resources for parenting and character education. The list here is of free human brain printables (and some human anatomy printables that include other organs of the body in addition to the brain.). I’m also including our new Montessori-inspired brain pack (subscriber freebie)!
The links are for free brain printables for preschoolers through 1st graders (some work well for older kids, too). I don’t share coloring pages unless a page has a specific educational purpose related to the human brain. (Note: The list of free growth mindset printables from Bits of Positivity does include some coloring pages because they’re a wonderful way for kids and adults to connect in a growth mindset activity.)
At PreK + K Sharing, I have lots and lots of themed activities and presentation ideas.
Free Printables + Materials Used in the Pictured Human Brain Activities for Preschoolers-First Graders
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).
Montessori Shelves with Brain-Themed Activities
These themed shelves have human brain-themed activities. (On another shelf, I’ll have a few growth mindset activities throughout the month.) You’ll also find Montessori-inspired brain numbers, letters, and and more (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
I always have related books available throughout a unit. I have How Does Your Brain Work?, Think, Think, Think, and Young Genius Brains in addition to lots of growth mindset books. (I’ll publish a post about those at Bits of Positivity.) The open book on the shelf is the DK Smithsonian Picturepedia, which I love to have for a variety of themes. (It’s actually for ages 8-12, but it has great pictures and lots of information that can be shared and adapted according to the interest and age of the child.)
In addition to the brain model, I have the Hape Your Body 5-Layer Wooden Puzzle Girl on the shelf. (There’s also a boy puzzle.) This is to give a general overview of the human body and show the brain along with the other body organs. It was interesting that a week before we started this unit, Zoey asked me to get out this specific puzzle because she loved it so much when we used it for a mini skeleton unit last fall.
You could mix your brain-themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special brain-themed area something like the one pictured. My shelves this month have a mixture of skill levels, although most are for older preschoolers and kindergarteners. Many of the activities can be adapted for a variety of levels. If you’re a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child’s interests and ability levels. If you don’t have room for all the activities you’d like to do, simply rotate them.
Human Brain Model with How Does Your Brain Work? Book
How Does Your Brain Work? has an amazing amount of information for such a simple book!
I got the Learning Resources Brain Model for this unit. It seemed to be the best inexpensive brain model. It is small, but I don’t have a large amount of shelf space. So the size is perfect for us. Of course, the directions for assembling it could be much better. My son-in-law put it together with my 4½-year-old granddaughter, Zoey. Zoey loves the brain model and really liked that her Uncle Tom showed her where the different brain parts were inside her own head.
“Brain” Spelled with Movable Alphabet Letters and Brain Page for My Body Systems Book
Free Printable: My Body Systems Science Booklet from Totschooling
Zoey and I often analyze words, so I spelled the word “brain” with the small wooden movable alphabet letters on the tray with the brain page for My Body Systems booklet. Zoey and I will be adding the other pages to the book, too. We’ll read a bit about each body system during this unit.
Brain Addition with Miniature Brains and Bead Bars
Free Printables: 1-10 Spinner plus Skull and Brain Numbers (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
This activity uses a piece of felt for a table mat (I used the Montessori Services felt table mat) and bead bars from the decanomial box in a Multicraft tray and a Bambu condiment cup (what I used here) or Montessori Services basket. (My bead bars, which I love, are from Alison’s Montessori. You can get bead bars on Amazon, although I haven’t personally used materials from those companies.)
Zoey is totally in love with the miniature brains from the Bag O’ Brains (There are 25 brains in the bag, but I used 20 for this activity).
Zoey had so much fun with this addition activity! She used the spinner to choose the numbers, counted out the brains, found the matching number cards, and then placed the correct bead bars at the end. She did the activity a number of times.
For a younger child, you could use the number cards for DIY cards and counters or another type of counting activity.
B Is for Brain Sand Writing Tray with Left and Right Brain Writing Cards
Free Printable: Montessori Sand Tray Writing for Left and Right Brain from Jana (This is a cool printable and very useful for a variety of ages.)
Free Printables: Cursive “b” brain card for constellation writing tray (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
For the sand tray, I used the wooden tray from the Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Shapes. You can use whatever tray or container work best for you, though. I had gotten some lovely white sand for making kinetic sand and other projects, which works perfectly for the sand tray.
If you would like help with introducing phonetic sounds, introducing objects with sounds, or beginning phonics in general, check out my DIY Beginning Montessori Phonics with Preschoolers.
Brain Movable Alphabet
Free Printables: Brain Movable Alphabet (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
The brain letters can be used to match to sandpaper letters or movable alphabet letters and place letters in alphabetical order. You can also use them for traditional movable alphabet word-building work.
Brain ai Phonogram Card and Booklet
Free Printables: “ai” brain font card (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
Free Printable: Green Series ai Letters from MontessoriSoul (Print two sets if you want to use the pictures for movable alphabet word building.)
This is so easy to prepare, yet it isolates the ai phonogram very well. I have a post and video on how to introduce words starting with phonograms, even with very young children.
Free Printables: Brain Puzzle and Brain Center Learning Materials from The Crafty Classroom
This was amazingly easy to prepare, yet is colorful and appealing to young children. You could have a control page for the puzzle, but I placed it on the tray so that the printed page could be the control even though it’s too small for the child to build the puzzle right on it. For a younger child, I would have a printed control page the same size as the actual puzzle. I just printed the puzzle on cardstock, although you could always trace around the parts on felt to make a felt puzzle if you prefer.
I printed out the page that’s shown in quarter size and made a small control chart for the labeling activity.
Free Printable: Brain Functions Cards from Noor Janan Homeschool
These couldn’t be easier to prepare. I simply printed and cut them out and then placed them in a Montessori Services basket.
This is a simple way to reinforce the functions of the parts of the brain.
Making a Brain Hemisphere Hat
Free Printable: Brain Hemisphere Hat from Ellen Mchenry’s Basement Workshop (This was designed for ages 10-14, but it can be adapted for a variety of ages.)
I have this on the shelf, but I’ll be doing a number of other brain activities first. This will help consolidate the knowledge.
Free Brain Printables for Preschoolers-First Graders
Montessori-Inspired Brain Pack for DIY Cards and Counters, Number or Letter Matching, Number or Letter Basket, Bead Bar Work, Hands-on Math Operations, Number or Letter Salt/Sand Writing Tray, Letter Tracing, DIY Movable Alphabet, and Creative Writing (subscriber freebie, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password – or check your inbox if you’re already a subscriber)
- Nervous System Printables from Homeschool Den
- Human Brain Printables from HomeschoolClipart.com
- Brain and Nervous System Printables from The Crafty Classroom
- Color Your Brain from Margaret Ann Jessop, PsyD
- “Ectomy” (a game about brain parts for older kids but could be used with younger children who are gifted) from Ellen McHenry’s Basement Workshop
- The Nervous System Printable from Spell Outloud
- Human Anatomy Cards and Writing Pages from Natural Beach Living
- Human Anatomy Body Systems 3-Part Cards (subscriber freebie) from The Nature Homeschool
- My Body Unit with Free Printables (subscriber freebie) from Every Star Is Different
- Human Body – Organs Notebooking Pages from Encouraging Moms at Home
- My Body Lapbook from Homeschool Share
- Human Body Lapbook from Homeschool Share
- Human Body Organs Printables from Totschooling
- Free Brain Printables from Teachers Pay Teachers
Free Growth Mindset Printables for Kids and Adults
At Bits of Positivity, I have lots and lots of free growth mindset printables for kids and adults.
More Growth Mindset Resources at Bits of Positivity
In addition to a long list of inspiring growth mindset quotes, you’ll find a number of word-art freebies (which I add to whenever I publish another one) in my best growth mindset quotes for kids and adults.
You’ll find lots of inspiring- and character-building songs in my free growth mindset songs for kids post.
Both kids and adults can gain a lot of growth mindset inspiration from famous failures.
You’ll find lots of great growth mindset books in my post with the the best growth mindset books for kids.
I’ll be adding more growth mindset resources each week at Bits of Positivity during this unit study.
More Anatomy Activities and Resources
- Montessori-Inspired Heart and Circulatory System Activities
- Montessori-Inspired Skeleton Activities
- “All About Me” Free Printables and Activities for Back to School
- Handwashing Activities for Kids – Free Songs and Lessons
- Free Skeleton Printables and Montessori-Inspired Skeleton Activities
- Hands-on Fun with Montessori-Inspired Human Skeleton Activities
- Human Body Unit Study Pinterest Board
Please join me at PreK + K Sharing to see all my posts there over the years: Deb Chitwood at PreK + K Sharing.
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to. Teach Grace and Courtesy! I’m also one of the coauthors of the book Learn with Play – 150+ Activities for Year-round Fun & Learning!
If this is your first time visiting Living Montessori Now, welcome! If you haven’t already, please join us on our Living Montessori Now Facebook page where you’ll find a Free Printable of the Day and lots of inspiration and ideas for parenting and teaching! And please follow me on Pinterest (lots of Montessori-, holiday-, and theme-related boards), Twitter (blog posts by me and others along with the Parent/Teacher Daily and other interesting information), and Google+ (post updates). You can find me on bloglovin’, Instagram, and YouTube now, too.
And don’t forget one of the best ways to follow me by signing up for my weekly newsletter. You’ll get two awesome freebies (and a monthly subscriber freebie) in the process!