Mathematics & Montessori Outdoor Classroom: Learning Through The Art of Play!

NUMBERS+OUTDOORS+CHILDREN=LEARNING, IN A "FRESH AIR" SORT OF WAY! Once again the Montessori-style Outdoor Classroom easily offers academics through real life activities that Preschoolers greatly enjoy.
If you hang one of these lovely clocks in your Outdoor Classroom, the children will be asking, "What time is it?"

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

If a child wants to know what time it is, here's a great "teachable moment" with your beautiful outdoor clock as the featured attraction! In fact, the children can have fun recording in their nature journals what time it was when they spotted a barn finch at the bird feeder. Or, little eyes can keep a look out for when it is time for snack by watching for the hands on the clock to read "10:00." 

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

What a fun moment to discover an outdoorsy kind of way!
Then, we can always go over and check the rain gauge to see how many inches of rain fell last night! Here is even more mathematical information to write down in the child's nature journal.

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

One year our rain gauge got full at 5 inches of rainfall and so we added a second rain gauge so we could continue to measure the rain that year. This led the children into the important activity of adding numbers to arrive at the accurate amount of rainfall. 
Reading from left to right, these gauges pictured below represented 5 inches plus 3 inches for a total of 8 inches of rainfall! 

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company 
These rain gauges may be purchased at Montessori Services 

And, if you have mint growing in your Outdoor Classroom, the children can brew up some mint tea for a delightful outdoor tea party. 

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

To brew the tea, you will need a little 4-minute kitchen timer, and so the children can practice more math skills by setting the timer and waiting patiently for the tea to be ready. Sometimes, the children may like to count out the four minutes themselves rather than setting a timer. In fact, counting out the brewing time turned out to be a favorite activity of the older children who love to practice counting up to big numbers like 60, or 120...all the way to 240!

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

For tea, I heat water indoors and then bring the tea pot of hot water outside. This activity should always be closely supervised by an adult at all times.

We can't forget the important work of mixing up our own homemade wild bird food. You can read more about children plucking & crushing Autumn corn to put in the wild bird feeder at my Blog post by clicking here: Making Art and the Outdoors.

The photo below is the tray set up for an individual child to  mix their own homemade wild bird food. The activity has a picture recipe card to go along with it. (scroll down)

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

Here's my recipe for wild bird seed that is set up on a Montessori-style tray with the picture recipe card prominently displayed so that the child can prepare the seed mixture entirely on her own!

Clip art from Openclipart

This bird seed mixture is the one we use to prepare pretty little bird feeders that can be hung around the garden or the children can take them home to their own gardens.

I got this "bird treat" idea from the dust cover of Lois Ehlert's book, Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf. 
Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

When it comes time to harvest some greens, or radishes, or peas from the garden, the children really enjoy choosing the picture card of the plant they want to harvest. One side of the card has a picture of the plant, and the other side has a number that indicates how many the child can pick.

 Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

The child not only reads the number on the back of the card, but also does a one-to-one correspondence activity when gathering her harvest. Yet more math skills to practice!
You can read more about Preschoolers gaining skills in Pre-Math with seriating and one-to-one correspondence at my  post about Clay Pots. Here's the link: Look What We Did With A Clay Pot!

Probably the most exciting activity of all is measuring the zucchinis that we grew in the Children's Garden. Zucchini plants can get really big if not harvested early, and it's fun to measure the length and then weigh it, too! We grew a giant squash one year that weighed almost 4 pounds! You can see a picture of it at my Blog post by clicking here: Let's Go to Work in the Children's Garden!

Just a darling little group of serious gardeners!
Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

Who says children can't learn important skills in virtually every academic area of curriculum by working outside in the Outdoor Classroom? 
These are just a handful of math-related activities for the Montessori Outdoor Classroom...I would love to hear what your children are doing in your environment. If you like, please leave a comment in the section below and tell us about it!

I have linked this post with a wonderful Blog Hop at Christian Montessori Network that is featuring Math Activities. There are over 20 bloggers posting and LOTS of activity ideas for Montessori Math. You can check it out by clicking this link: CMN Blog Hop: Montessori Math.

Advertising Disclosure: Magical Movement Company may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. Thanks for your support!
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Musical Story for Preschoolers to Enjoy: African Inspired Walk to the River!

LET'S CARRY OUR BASKETS DOWN TO THE RIVER AND GET SOME WATER!  Music, Dance, Drama & Fun for your Montessori-style studies of Africa with little children.

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

In the Montessori Classroom, it is traditional to introduce the seven continents to the children through many activities from puzzle maps to art projects and much more! 
The continent of Africa is a wonderfully diverse area of study and I personally think you can spend the whole year with activities about this part of the world! 
The children so enjoy the colorful fabrics, the amazing animals, the intriguing masks, the beautiful geography...the list goes on! But, I think the most wonderful part of African Studies is the music (& dance, of course!)
I like to start the study of Africa with some fun Orff-Schulwerk style music activities with rhythm & drama, and the children seem to love these as much as I do!
When I was learning African Dance many years ago, I discovered that most of the traditional dances are stories about everyday life. So, I love to give the children a little experience with this idea of music, dance and storytelling all blended together!
Musical stories...children so love these!

I begin by putting on some traditional instrumental African drumming music. I'm fond of the album, "Master Drummers of Africa" and just about any song you select will be  appropriate. I recommend listening to the various selections ahead of time, before you do this activity with the children to make sure you enjoy and feel comfortable with the one you decide to play. My favorites for this story are #4 "Meropa" and also #5 "The Story Begins."

This music is available at Amazon at this link: Amazon Master Drummers cd mp3 and at iTunes for downloading

First, I have the children stand and get ready for some movement!
Then I tell this story:
"We're going to learn about the people who live on the continent of Africa today and we'll start with a little music story! In Africa, many people live in villages out in the country and have to go walking to the river to get their water for cooking. So, let's pretend that we are in Africa and we're going to walk down to the river for water! First, let's get our bodies warmed up for our walking-to-the-river dance. We'll start with our feet. Let's walk in-place to the beat of the music."

Photo from the artists at Dollar Photo Club

It's here that we move out feet to the beat of the music and start to really feel the rhythm.

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company
"Next, let's warm up our legs! Bend your knees and move up and down to the music. Then, we'll move our hips, side to side, then make slow circles. We'll move up to our bellies and use our muscles to push out then pull back in...out then back in..."
With each warm-up movement, I give the children a chance to practice the movement several times, but also keep things moving along to the rhythm of the music playing. Frank Leto (one of my favorite music educators) has a great warm up dance song that he narrates on his cd: Steel Band Jamboree: "Room to Move" (at Amazon, CDBaby and iTunes) This can give you an idea of how to lead a group through a dance warmup. 
Also, a great video for an actual African Dance Warm-up that I really like is from Wyoma, called "African Healing Dance" that you can view on youtube at this link: African Healing Dance with Wyoma.

Back to our own Little African Music Story:
"Let's continue to warm up the rest of the body...the shoulders, arms and hands by moving them up and down to the rhythm. Lastly, we move our heads from side to side (ear to shoulder) and then front to back (chin to chest). We'll finish our warm up with rolling the head slowly around in a circle." 

Photo from the artists at Dollar Photo Club 
 "Now, we can start our walk through the jungle down to the river for our water. Reach down for your pretend basket that will hold the water and then you can pretend to raise it up so you can carry it on your head." 
Photo from the artist of Dollar Photo Club

I usually have the children continue our walking dance while staying in their places at the circle, but you can also walk around with them if you have the room. The important part is to move to the rhythm of the African music that is playing on your sound system.

More of the music story: 
"Whew! I hear the river...there it is! Let's cool ourselves off now that we are here. Take your basket off your head and set it down on the ground. Now, let's walk into the river!"
I bend down and pretend to splash water from the pretend river over my head and shoulders. The children love to do this action...all the while we are moving to the rhythm of the music. We splash ourselves a few times more, then I say:
"It's time to fill our pretend baskets with water to take back to our village! Let's pick up our baskets and swoop them through the pretend river and fill them with water. Then, we can carefully lift our baskets up on top of our heads again for the walk back to the village."
So, it's here that we dance our walk back to the village carrying our pretend baskets of water on our heads, through the jungle again, all to the beat of the music.  When we get back to the village, I say:
"Time to put our baskets full of water carefully on the ground. Then let's get our cooking pot ready and fill it up with water for our soup..."
The story can go on a little longer if the children are still interested. You can act out pouring the water into the soup pot, stirring it, putting in the veggies, and then eating the soup from your pretend bowl (hands cupped together.) Otherwise, if the story needs to end sooner, you can always say...
"Now our African story is over and we are back in our classroom. Wasn't that a good time we had?!"
This story can be embellished with more drama. You can move like birds that you might see on your pretend jungle walk. Also, monkey actions are fun and even the gyrating motions of a snake can be added, as these are all moves that can be seen in authentic African dances. Wherever your imaginations take your group, the beat of the drumming from the cd will keep the pulse of the movement & dance going nicely. I don't know very many people who can resist just spontaneously moving when African drumming music is played! You can read about another fun music story from drummer, Beverly Botsford in my Blog post at this link: Music, Dance & Drama: Storytelling with Little Children  

This African Music Story movement, dance & drama activity is also very energizing for the children (as well as the teachers.) What a wonderful way to introduce the content of Africa to your group!

Children before African Dance Warm-up:

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

Children energized after the Dance Warm-up in the African Music Story:

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

At the next circle time, I like to introduce walking while carrying a basket on the head. I am always amazed at how many children like to practice this without holding on to the basket! (like the 4 yr old girl pictured in the header photo of this post!) You can place a tray on the shelf with a basket (or 2) for the children to practice "walking on the line carrying a basket on the head" during work time. If you add some African cloth, the children can even dress up for the activity. Most enjoyable! 

 I recently got inspired all over again, when I purchased and started putting together the Montessori materials for the Seven Continents Bundle from Trillium Montessori. The Africa unit is especially stunning!  There are many lovely photo-filled activities for young children and all seven continents are presented in this download bundle. It's an amazing value! 

You can literally have all your continent study materials for the children for a very reasonable price! I have recently become an affiliate with this Trillium Montessori Product and you can order your own set by clicking here:

Cultural Studies have always been one of my favorite areas of the Montessori curriculum and incorporating Music and the Arts is always an important component! My upcoming posts will feature more Arts & Music Activities about Africa (and the other continents, too!):

  • "African Balance Beam Fun": Crossing the Bridge at "Alligator Alley" 
  • "Fanga a Lafia": beautiful African Village Welcoming Drum Song & Dance!
You might also enjoy my post about a musical story from the Rain Forest of South America to go along with your studies of that continent. Here's the link: Musical Story for Preschoolers: Hiking in the Rainforest.

I am so happy that you have come by for a visit to my Blog and I hope you get some fun ideas for musical storytelling with your group. Feel free to leave a comment in the section below...I love hearing your stories! 

Advertising Disclosure: Magical Movement Company may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. Thanks for your support!
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Please Pass the Salad Spinner: Preschool Art That is Just Plain Fun!


Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

Salad Spinner Art: In my many years of teaching, this has by far been the favorite activity on the Art Shelves in the Montessori Preschool Classroom. 

Basically, the activity consists of: 

  • a hand-crank salad spinner 
  • round paper, cut to fit inside the spinner 
  • squeeze bottles of paint
  • art mat
  • art smock (very important!)

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

If the salad spinner is large enough, then a paper plate works nicely for the round paper needed to fit inside. However, my favorite salad spinner that has worked well with young children is the type with a handle (pictured above) and it is a bit small. The teacher can pre-cut paper to fit, or you can make a cardboard circular template for the older children to cut out their own paper for the activity. (This is a great extension and very satisfying for the older children!) You can see the circle cardboard template just behind the salad spinner in the photo. 

I have found salad spinners at second hand stores and this is a great place to purchase one, since it will not be usable for spinning lettuce anymore after it is used for this art activity! 
However, I did find my favorite spinner with the handle that you can buy on line. Here is that link: Progressive Salad Spinner at Everything Kitchens I like this spinner best because it is easier for the child to control without help, and in order to hold the handle, the top has to be on securely---more success and less mess!

Once the child has put on an art smock and set up the art mat at the table, then it is time to make the project! 
First, you open the lid of the spinner and place the round paper in the bottom of the lettuce basket.
Then, you squeeze some paint onto the paper. 
I usually have 2 squeeze bottles of paint set up with this activity and if you use 2 primary colors, then you have a color-mixing activity, too!

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

After, you've applied the paint that is desired for the project, then you attach the lid (make sure it is secure!) and then start spinning!

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

When you open the lid again, the paint colors have blurred together to make a very fun design! It's a little like magic! You can continue to add paint and spin until you have the design you want, but I have found that the most beautiful designs result with the least amount of usually one spin turns out the best!

This activity, as is true for most art projects, usually requires some scrubbing up afterwards. With older children, I also have them clean out the salad spinner in the sink so that the activity is ready for the next person. 
Next, is scrubbing the art mat and this is one of the most satisfying activities in the Montessori classroom: SCRUBBING! Children in the Montessori environment begin at an early age to scrub...tables, chairs, art mats, outdoor toys, indoor toys and more! Art mats usually get scrubbed several times a day.

The scrubbing baskets (plastic carry-alls) are stored on a shelf in the Practical Life area of the classroom and I usually locate the Practical Life and Art Areas near each other and ALWAYS near the sink! To learn about Montessori Practical Life activities click on this link: Practical Life Scope & Sequence at Montessori Print Shop

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

As you can see by now, this Salad Spinner Art Activity has many components and little children enjoy the whole I mentioned above, there is always a waiting line for this activity and I dare not ever "retire" it from the Art shelf!

Advertising Disclosure: Magical Movement Company may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. Thanks for your support!
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What's the Magic Word? Music Please! Oops, That's Two Words

Let's just do both!

In music class, children learn a lot about listening attentively, waiting patiently, and playing/singing (acting) their very best. In the "Montessori world" we call these Lessons in Grace & Courtesy. 

Aren't these the character traits that we all strive to instill in our young children throughout their childhood? It's just good manners! Interesting how music and good manners can strengthen each other.

For music class to benefit all, there have to be ground rules and generally these are based on common sense and good manners. 

As in every early childhood activity, safety is the top consideration. Throwing a musical instrument (even by accident) could end up hurting someone, so from the very beginning, we teach the children to take good care of the instruments and handle them gently. 
Preschoolers understand this pretty well, however, the toddler group LOVES throwing and this is a developmental need of this age group!
I don't offer egg shakers to's just so easy to throw them!  Small maracas (with handles) are better for toddles since they can be given two of these and then both hands are occupied. Short rhythm sticks are good for this age group as well. The children are pretty busy holding on to these instruments. 
The following are excellent choices for both Toddler & Preschool music class! Click on the links to see more.

Photo by Jeri-Jo Idarius Photography from Carolyn's Archives

The best safety measure is prevention, of course. I spend a lot of time encouraging the children to use their strong finger, hand, and shoulder muscles to control how they handle the rhythm instruments. 

We begin each class with a little warm-up not only of our voices, but  also of our muscles in the hand/arm that we will be needing to play instruments. 
We simply "flex" these muscles in a quick activity, but the children love to show me how strong they are by flexing and  relaxing (good exercise in control too!) And, I always make it very dramatic and fun!
Later, when we are preparing to play our instruments, I remind them of using their strong finger & hand muscles to hold on to the instruments so they can make a pretty sound with them.

If a child accidentally drops his/her instrument, I ask if they are OK and remind them to use their strong muscles to control the instrument. However, if a child throws or pokes their instrument on purpose, then I quietly take the instrument away saying, "I'll bring this back to you when you are ready...for now you can pretend that you are playing."
Whenever I have done this, all the children tighten up their instrument playing and usually the "thrower" is "ready to play their best" within a few moments.

Throughout the class, the children are not only moving to music with consideration of the other children close by (their neighbors), but they are also not moving at certain times. 

Even though it is challenging for young children, I ask them to "rest" their instruments when we are first giving them out, since some of the children don't have theirs yet. This concept of "resting our instruments" is re-inforced at EVERY class. Just a little friendly reminder each time, before we even start to give the instruments to the children. I'll usually say," Are we going to pick up our instruments right away or are we going to rest them until everyone has theirs?"

Photo by Jeri-Jo Idarius Photography from Carolyn's Archives

I always comment on how considerate the "musicians" are in our group today! As soon as the instruments are distributed, I instruct the children, " Now, play your instrument your favorite way!" This way, they all get some fun open-ended time to explore the different ways to make a sound with their instrument before we try some more structured musical activities.

During other parts of music class, we will often sit quietly to listen to some music or musical sounds that go along with the theme of the lesson for the day. We usually do "focused listening" activities after we have just finished a movement activity in which the children have been up and moving!

Photo by Jeri-Jo Idarius Photography from Carolyn's Archives

When they are sitting again, I ask them to get their ears ready for listening to some music. We do this by rubbing our ears gently around the edges..."like giving our ears a little massage." This helps children settle so that they really can listen to the music. This kind of listening activity will be set up to last for about one minute. (short excerpts!)

Once again, politely listening in music class goes hand in hand with lessons in Manners & Social Graces that the children are working on throughout their early years!

When we do play or sing in music class, its important that the children put forth their very best! I ask children to sing in their "pretty singing voices" and sometimes I show them by singing for them! I model the correct way to take a breath and then how to sing out (but not too loud) so that the voice fills the room! Perhaps, they've been "screaming" out the song...I have them stop. Then, I tell them that I am going to sing in my best singing voice. Once they see & hear me "showing them" my pretty singing voice, then the group immediately corrects and we sound just beautiful again!

Photo by Jeri-Jo Idarius Photography from Carolyn's Archives

Likewise, with playing the rhythm instruments. Sometimes, children want to play loudly, or wildly, or with a very large motion that can disturb the other children in the group. 
That's when I remind the children to use their strong muscles to control their instruments so that they can play their very best! Sometimes, when children are trying out a small hand drum for the first time, I will take it around to each child to play a little rhythm. When a child plays too loudly and it doesn't sound good, I ask that child to try it over and to use their strong muscles to strike the drum with a purpose so that the sound is pleasant and resonates. I think the reminder of using the "strong muscles" of their hands helps the child focus on control...and that is what is important in making music.

Photo by Jeri-Jo Idarius Photography from Carolyn's Archives

Sometimes music class has a special one of a kind instrument that will be passed around the group for each child to try out. While waiting for their turn, the children must practice waiting patiently! Now, that is one of the big things we are all working on in the Social Graces category!

I hope I've helped you see that music class is yet another opportunity to teach children Good Manners & Social Graces! I'd love to hear your ideas, so feel free to leave a comment below and I'll reply right away.

Advertising Disclosure: Magical Movement Company may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. Thanks for your support!
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Just Let the Children Play Outside! Do We Really Need a Reason?

"It is true that man has created enjoyments in social life and has brought about a vigorous human love in community life. But nevertheless, he still belongs to nature, and especially when he is a child, he must draw from it the forces necessary for the development of the body and of the spirit." (From The Montessori Method   by Maria Montessori p. 153)
All photos were taken by Carolyn at the Fountainhead Montessori School Outdoor Classroom

Is there a child anywhere that doesn't love being outdoors? I believe that children and the outdoors go together without question and probably most people would agree. Yet, when it comes to creating the time & the place for outdoor activities in the modern Preschool environment, many of us just might need to defend our deep-seated convictions that children benefit in all areas of development by being outdoors at school. There are some that might question that the children are actually learning anything when playing outdoors and especially when we call it a "playground." 
So, we can start by creating a place called the "Outdoor Classroom" and this helps set a different idea in the minds of those doubting the cognitive benefits for children spending Preschool time outside. At the Fountainhead Montessori School in Dublin, CA, the Outdoor Classroom is also a "nature-based playground." While some of the children are busy tending the gardens or feeding the birds, other children are practicing walking on the log balance beams or creating a pretend picnic under the outdoor canopy. You can read more about this lovely outdoor preschool environment at my post: Outdoor Classroom: A Great Selling Point for Your School.

Maria Montessori describes the outdoor environment at the  Casi dei Bambini, the first Montessori Preschool:
"In the first 'Children's House' in Rome we have a vast courtyard cultivated as a garden, where the children are free to run in the open air...which is planted on one side with trees and a branching path in the middle, and on the opposite side, has broken ground for the cultivation of plants. This last, we have divided into so many portions, reserving one for each child. While the smaller children run freely up and down the path, or rest in the shade, the possessors of the earth (children from 4 years up) are sowing, or hoeing, watering, examining, the surface of the soil, watching for the sprouting of plants." The Montessori Method p. 161 

In the Children's Garden of the Outdoor Classroom at the Fountainhead Montessori School, each of the preschool classrooms has their own raised bed garden plot. The children chose what seeds to plant and they have tended their little garden patch with much love! 
For the older children in the elementary program, there are some innovative intensive gardening practices being set up, as well. For this group of children, the Fountainhead Outdoor Classroom has a section of "Square Foot Garden Boxes." These are designed to apply mathematical calculations to gardening! Each 3ft x 3ft garden box is set up to accommodate the particular sizes of the plants. 

From Wikipedia:
"To encourage a variety of different crops over time, each square would be used for a different kind of plant, the number of plants per square depending on an individual plant's size. For example, a single tomato plant might take a full square, as might herbs such as oreganobasil or mint, while most strawberry plants could be planted four per square, and up to sixteen per square of plants such radish. Tall or climbing plants such as maize or pole beans might be planted in a northern row (south in the southern hemisphere) so as not to shade other plants, and supported with lattice or netting. 

You can read more about this method of gardening at this link: Wikipedia Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening Method

I asked a group of Preschoolers today what their favorite thing is about the Outdoor Classroom. One 3 yr old quickly answered, "I like to push the wheel barrel around!"
A child-size wheel barrel is not only a useful tool for working in the Children's Garden, it definitely helps a child develop coordination and balance.

A five year old was excited to tell me her favorite thing about the Outdoor Classroom is seeing the birds up close. In fact, she and her friends had seen a total of  "eight wild birds up close and they didn't even fly away!" Then, she went on to tell me that the birds would not fly away until the children were five steps away. "When you get four steps away," she said, "the birds always fly away!" 

A group of little boys excitedly showed me the cucumbers growing in their classroom's garden bed. And, then they took me on a tour of the butterfly garden where the children had planted flowers for the butterflies to collect nectar, as well as milkweed plants where the butterflies can lay their eggs.

Mary Cooper, the coordinator of the Outdoor Classroom at the Fountainhead Montessori School in Dublin, CA., told me that one of the favorites of the children is the worm bin. 

The worm bin in the Outdoor Classroom is set up for creating "compost tea" as an organic method of fertilizing the soil in the Children's Garden. Mary went on to tell me that the children recently made "worm compost tea" to spread on their recently planted classroom garden beds. She described the process:
"I read that you don't always have to aerate can just mix it. I set it up so that everybody had a plate of worm compost from the worm bin.
First, they sorted out the worms...'rescued' them to put back in the worm bin...then they took the "worm dirt" (castings/ compost) that was left and mixed it with water to make the "tea" to pour on the garden soil. The children loved it. 
Because, first you got to play with the worms then you got to play with the dirt & water, you know...mud!"

Later, Mary facilitated the children in writing/drawing in their outdoor nature journals about the worms. She also made sure the children had "shelf works" in their indoor classrooms that supported their outdoor experience with garden worms. (Ex: "Parts of the Worm" 3-part cards & booklet making)

You can read more about "worm compost tea" at this link: World of Worms Compost Tea.

You might also like to read more at my Blog post on Worm Bin care and Composting: Caring for the Worm Bin In Winter

When you have the opportunity to observe children in the well-planned Montessori-style Outdoor Classroom, it becomes obvious that these children are reaping more than  radishes and cucumbers!
"It has been understood...that the best means of invigorating the child is to immerse him in nature. But, if for the physical life it is necessary to have the child exposed to the vivifying forces of nature, it is also necessary for his psychical life to place the soul of the child in contact with creation in order that he may lay up for himself treasure from the directly educating forces of living nature. The method for arriving at this end is to set the child at agricultural labor, guiding him to the cultivation of plants and animals, and so to the intelligent contemplation of nature." (From The Montessori Method,  by Maria Montessori p. 156)
We Montessori educators are always striving to create the environment that fulfills the developmental needs of the whole child. The Outdoor Classroom is an important component in naturally providing what the child needs to become the responsible, intelligent and caring adult of the future. I have lots of articles on the Outdoor Classroom that you can check out by clicking OUTDOORS in the header at the top of this blog.

I'm sure your group enjoys the great outdoors and that there are many lovely activities that are going on in your early childhood outdoor environment. I would love to hear about your ideas...I invite you to leave a comment at the end of this post!

Advertising Disclosure: Magical Movement Company may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. Thanks for your support!
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