I had a lot of fun with this post. It combines a wonderful book, The Garden Classroom by Cathy James, with a Montessori treasure basket and my 17-month-old granddaughter’s love of rocks.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Garden Classroom. All opinions are honest and my own. This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you)
Sneak Peek inside The Garden Classroom
The Garden Classroom: Hands-On Activities in Math, Science, Literacy & Art has creative outdoor garden activities for 4-8 year olds. The author, Cathy James, has a blog I’ve always loved, the popular UK-based NurtureStore.
Cathy’s book is divided into six sections:
- Let’s Grow! Garden Basics
- Play & Imagination
- Reading & Writing
- Science & Math
- Arts & Crafts
- Garden Recipes
The Garden Classroom has lots of beautiful, inviting photos. They make it a joy to leaf through the book to find creative activities for outdoor learning.
You can see a preview of the book here:
There’s also a lovely printable garden journal that goes with the book.
From The Garden Classroom by Cathy James, © 2015 by Cathy James. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications Inc., Boston, MA. www.roostbooks.com
Story Stones – Farm Animal Families Treasure Basket
The activities in The Garden Classroom are designed for ages 4-8. I adapted the story stones activity for a toddler (and for my lack of drawing and painting talent). Because my granddaughter, Zoey, has loved rocks since she was a baby, I knew this would be a popular activity with her.
Typically, the story stones are prepared using paint, permanent markers, colored pencils, or crayons along with optional clear varnish. If you follow my blog, you know that I love creating Montessori-inspired hands-on activities using printables. So I decided to use printables on rocks we found washed up on the beach.
Zoey also loves animals right now, so I made the story stones with farm animal families (5 different kinds of mother, father, and baby animals). I used the free Farm Animal Families Printables from The Pinay Homeschooler.
Watch our YouTube video to see how we presented the activity … and to see Zoey’s response!
Learn more about Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy!
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