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What’s New & Different on our Montessori Shelves


Every month I like to freshen up our Montessori work shelves. Here are a few new trays I’ve added for my boys (2.5 and 4 years old). As you will notice these baskets and trays don’t require much money to put together. Hopefully the work is accessible to you so that you can easily integrate the ideas into your home.

“The skill, care, and devotion with which the directress gets ready the environment is the very condition of the children’s freedom.”   ~ E.M. Standing


{Nuts & Bolts Matching}

Great for problem solving and fine motor skill development. Very simple presentation with a small bowl, three pairs and a piece of black felt to act as the work mat.


{Cap & Bottle Matching}

A variation of an Open & Close Tray, this work requires the child to match the top to its bottom mate. Then, placing the top onto the jar or container requires fine motor work.


{Needs versus Wants Work}

I presented this work at a “circle time”.  As an effort to teach my children financial responsibility, the idea is to sort those things in life that we need and those things in life we want. In this image you see a real peat, a tv remote, a felt shirt and a train.


{Fruit Exploration}

We will be studying the insides of many plants over the next several months. One work we’ll be doing is matching half and whole fruits. As an introduction to this work, I wanted my boys to have a chance to explore whole fruits. The idea is to use our hands and eyes to examine the fruit and to label what we’re experiencing so that they may compare and contrast the fruit. At this point, I introduced vocabulary to the boys. My 4 year old was able to describe what he was experiencing and teach his younger brother.


{Pine Cone Exploration}

Similar to the above work, we’ll be taking a closer look at pine cones to begin our journey to discovering seeds and trees. These pine cones came from my sister’s place in California. I added several others from our yard. There were tiny ones and this large one. We talked about what makes them similar and different. This work combines botany, sensorial, math and language.

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