Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Themed Montessori Shelves

I have been thinking a lot about the upcoming Christmas holiday this year, and for whatever reason I've really been in the creative zone when it comes to Christmas crafting. I've been working on some themed ideas for quite a while, and then I saw Lori's post on the same thing from Montessori MOMents last week. I encourage you to check out her ideas because she's got some great ones!

Here's what you can find on our shelves this week:

1. Gingerbread playdoh work. I used this recipe, from The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle and it turned out really well, although I used more spices than the recipe called for. I provided a rolling pin, muffin tin, and come cookie cutters, plus a few beads and sequins for gingerbread man decorating, and the kids helped themselves to some great fine motor work.

2. Red, green and white, candy-cane scented rice pouring. Oh yes, it was as awesome as it sounds, and yes, this became the instant favorite pouring activity. You can check out the post on how we made it here.

For my younger daughter, age 21 months, who just started pouring activities because she wants to be *just* like her big sister, we used some Christmas colored pom poms as a starting material, rather than rice. She loved it!

(We also continued to use the rice in a sensory bin, which we created last week.)

3.We used Christmas colored pom poms and buttons for sorting and tweezer transfers, as well. (Ben, age 6, worked on tweezer transfers with the buttons, Ava, age 3, worked on tweezer transfer with pom poms, and Eleanor, age 21 months, worked on sorting colors.)

 4. We created some Christmas-themed geoboard work, which you can read about here. This Christmas tree is a sample of a design that I created, and the kids imitated using the boards.

5. I set out a large bead lacing basket using pipe cleaners for my 21-month old. She's been watching her sister do her lacing cards (pictured below) and has become interested in doing the very same thing. Since the pattern of lacing is still a reach for her, I started her out using pipe cleaners for their rigidity and large wooden beads for their weight.

6. Christmas-colored lacing cards for my 3 year old.

7. My Christmas tree activity, which I used as a size sorting activity in the same way one uses rods. I set out the paper cut outs in random order, and the child was asked to sort them by size to make a Christmas tree. This was perfect for my three year old, and my 21 month old liked to "help" her. My six year old was inspired to make his own version for his sisters, which required some great practice as well.
8. I recently discovered these glass magnets (which look like Christmas tree ornaments to me), and I used them to make a letter identification game for each child. I cut out two Christmas trees and wrote uppercase letters on one, lowercase on another. Since my 6 year old has a clear grasp on letter identification at this point, this activity was geared toward the younger kids. As I called out a letter, the child needed to add an "ornament" to the tree which covered the letter, which eventually produced a fully decorated tree. (As a note, this was a review since I only included letters for which we'd already done three period lessons.)

9. Since we're hoping that Santa will bring us some sandpaper numerals, we're still using these puzzle numerals to conduct our three period lessons. To create a bit more festive atmosphere, I changed out the counting coins to red, white and green. Simple, yet effective. (Smile.)
Despite the fact that this may be the worst picture I've ever taken, I'm sharing it with you anyway, so you can see the full layout. I can't wait to do a few more Christmas-y crafts to really finish decorating the schoolroom!

What do your shelves look like these days?


  1. wow,so much inspiration!Love this post!Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Hi Erika,

      Thanks for the kind words! I hope you find some of it helpful with your little ones! :)

  2. Great ideas! Love the geoboard, I need to use ours more! I bought great see thru ones o use with the light table and have yet to use them!

    1. A transparent geoboard sounds amazing. Do you remember where you got it, by any chance?

  3. WOW! What a wonderful crafts! My little baby girl will like this definitely.



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