Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

If you haven’t been introduced to our Montessori wall map and quiet book yet, you can read all about it here. This post is for the fastest continent to sew for – Antarctica! Every continent (and the oceans) will have landmarks and animals. Some, like Europe, have more landmarks than animals. Antarctica just has two animals featured, as there are mainly just seals, penguins and other birds.

Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Antarctica was a bit different than the rest in another way: it is the only continent that is hugely affected by the map projection. On the wall map, it is shown as a long, unraveled strip at the bottom. So Antarctica is sewn to the map, but I also made a piece in its actual shape that Jax can compare to it or to his globe.

Overview and Map PatternsAfrica • Antarctica • AsiaEurope
North AmericaOceansSouth America

A quick note: Do you have a website that fits in with our readers’ interests: sewing, felt, homeschool or Montessori? I am trying out a new sponsor banner system and I have my 125×125 spots open for free swaps! There are currently 5 spots left, so please visit the Sponsor page to read more! Check it out to the left! Thank you for the help!

Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

My pyramids are still missing… Time to sew a new one!

Those of you who follow along on Facebook or Instagram might have seen there was a bit of a mishap in Antarctica. Well, the Antarctica in our house, at least. Our golden retriever got a little too excited about my penguin and ate him! Since I had to sew him a second time, I made him even cuter. He now is a daddy penguin with a little chick!

Regardless of that excitement, I still love working on this project! This will be an amazing resource for Jax throughout his school years. Yes, I am giving you all my patterns and printables for free! If you’d like to contribute, visit my support page. School items off of Jax’s Amazon wishlist always help! Especially because our heating/cooling unit just just freaked out and flooded our basement. We are now $6k poorer, despite insurance help. Yikes. I am currently saving up Amazon credit for the handbells on his wishlist. If I can get those, I’ll share a music unit with you all! but it looks like I won’t have enough until the end of September.

Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Materials I Used

The Pattern (see the first post for the main patterns)

Felt from American Felt & Craftwhitesalt & pepper [dark gray], elephant [med gray], black, rubber duckie [yellow] and gray.

Hook & Loop – I used white snag-free Velcro on the backs of all these pieces and on the Antarctica puzzle piece.

Felt glue to tack down the pieces before sewing, printer fabric for the continent label, embroidery floss in colors to match the felt and micro tip scissors.

Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Shown here on the quietbook page that Antarctica will share with South America.

Sewing the Pieces

Antarctica: (Felt used:white) For the Antarctic continent puzzle piece, I sewed down pieces of white snag-free Velcro. On the back, I sewed a strip of white snag-free Velcro to correspond with the Velcro in the quietbook. I finished it by sewing the two sides together around the edge with a blanket stitch.

Label: (Felt used: white) For the continent label, I folded under the edges (just a tiny bit to hide the rough edges) and creased it with my nails. The printer fabric held the folds nicely without ironing. Then I stitched the label to some white felt and trimmed it down to be a border. I cut a matching felt rectangle for the back, sewed snag-free Velcro to it and then sewed both sides together.

Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables  Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

For all of the animals, I started by gluing the pieces down to a scrap of background felt with a very light amount of felt glue. I glue multiple animals at a time to give them time to dry. I sewed them down, trimmed the background and cut a matching backing piece. I sewed snag-free Velcro to the back and sewed both sides together with a blanket stitch.

Penguin: (Felt used: white for the body and background, black for body details, elephant for the shoulders, gray for the chick and rubber duckie yellow for the neck) I started by gluing down the shoulders, the gluing the black wings to the back of the white body. I glued the body down over the shoulders, then glued the neck, feet and head. I then glued down the two parts of the baby chick penguin.

I sewed down all the edges with matching thread. For the baby, I sewed two long, dark gray stitches for wing flaps. I made French knot eyes then highlighted them with a ring of white stitches. The daddy penguin got a dark gray French knot eye.

Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Leopard Seal: (Felt used: white for the background, salt & pepper dark gray for the back and flipper, and gray for the body) I first glued the gray body down, then added the darker back and flipper. To make the spots, I just made lots of little stitches. The tiny spots are just one stitch. The larger ones are a few stitches side-by-side. She has a French knot eye, a little stitch nose and a longer stitch mouth. On the tail and flipper, I made long dark gray parallel stitches.

Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Montessori Antarctic Animals 3-Part Cards

Jax is still focusing on his world continent unit with the world continent 3-part cards I made up for him. We are using our Montessori globe and singing the continent song I made up. So far, He can point out the continents I ask for, and he can usually tell me the names of Africa ans Antarctica without prompting. We’ve also started using the ocean cards a lot. For the animals, we haven’t done a lot of formal lessons yet. We will when we focus on a continent. For now, we pull out our SafariLTD’s TOOB figurines and use out 3-part cards to match them whenever he shows interest. We like to watch short videos about an animal, then study some pictures and draw our own.

Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

These Antarctica cards don’t really have a good match in figurines. I would LOVE if SafariLTD would create continent-themed TOOBs! (Contact them if you are interested too!) You can match the Penguins Toob to their penguins. They don’t have any antarctic seals. Mine is from the craft store where they sell diorama supplies. I mention it in more detail in my ocean homeschool post.

Click here to download my free pdf file to make your own. To make mine, I cut them out, glued them to white construction paper (to match Antarctica’s Montessori color) then laminated them. I love my new laminator! It makes everything so shiny and strong!

Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Exploring Antarctica’s Animals

One thing that came of our basement flood – I had to move all our books out of the bookshelves and I found my The Encyclopedia of Animals: A Complete Visual Guide!

Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

It has a lot of beautiful photos and useful facts about many different animals. Jax and I will be using it to match up with our 3-part cards and read more about the animals.

Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

I didn’t notice until after I took these pictures that there is a penguin called a “jackass penguin“. Oh my! Poor little penguins!

Screenshot courtesy Google Earth.

Screenshot courtesy Google Earth.

I have Google Earth installed so Jax I I can explore the earth. It is great! If you’d like to load a special Antarctica map with all sorts of points already saved, visit this site. Make sure you have Google Earth installed already!

Animals of Antarctica for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

I hope you are enjoying this project as much as I am! I’ve gotten see the maps a few of you have started! If you are sewing along, stop by my Instagram @iolstephanie and leave a comment on one of my photos (I can’t see your photo if it you are private, but I can request to follow you temporarily if you leave a comment about it) or share photos on Facebook. You can also email me.

It’s not even slightly Montessori Monday still, but I hope you’ll check out the other great links!

Montessori Monday

Montessori CVC Word Match Printables

Montessori CVC Word Match Printables

Today I am sharing a little word game I made for Jax’s Montessori language lessons. We have been working on “pink series” words – CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) that can be read phonetically with soft vowels. (There are some exceptions, like egg and ant, but the pink series sticks to the soft vowel sounds as a start.)

Montessori CVC Word Match Printables  Montessori CVC Word Match Printables

As we’ve been working on these kind of words for a little while, Jax could sight read at least a third. Little smarty pants! But the rest he sounded out, and I helped him blend the sounds.

Montessori CVC Word Match Printables

The free printable includes: 20 word cards to match a Montessori movable alphabet set (we have this one), 20 illustrations drawn by me, and 20 word cards in D’nealian handwriting font (they have a set like that too.) So far, I have printed and assembled the pictures and colored text cards. I’ll be adding the handwriting cards soon.

This is Jax's movable alphabet set.

This is Jax’s movable alphabet set.

Montessori CVC Word Match Printables  Montessori CVC Word Match Printables

To make these cards, I printed and cut them out. I cut 2″ squares of pink construction paper and used a dab of glue stick to attach them. Then I ran them through my laminator and cut them out. Make sure to trim our corners if you laminate – they get sharp!

Jax paused to tell me "w" looks like an upside-down "m"...

Jax paused to tell me “w” looks like an upside-down “m”…

Jax was so excited to play this “game” that he couldn’t sit still! I had him choose a word card, then read it and choose the matching picture. (If you want to add a control of error – self-correction – you could make your picture cards double-sided.) He then chose to use his movable alphabet to copy the word.

When he got to the word “cup”, he realized I drew the tiny cup he has in his current language object basket (tiny objects used to represent words in our language studies.) He then changed the game to include finding the right objects.

A quick update! Later in the day we played outside with chalk. I wrote all the words for him to hop on and read as a review. Before bed, we played the game again, this time, spinning the basket to pick a word!

Montessori CVC Word Match Printables

Montessori CVC Word Match Printables

I’ll need to get more miniatures, but we had a lot of them!

IMontessori CVC Word Match Printables

Please enjoy this free printable! I plan to add more language materials to share as Jax needs them.

Montessori CVC Word Match Printables

Please check out Montessori Monday for more fresh homeschool ideas! Link & Learn is great too!

Montessori Monday

DIY Felt Poppy Headband

DIY Felt Poppy Headband

Jax has a birthday party to go to tomorrow for a sweet 3 year old girl. A girl! You know I couldn’t resist the urge to sew something girlie for her! (We did get her a fun present as well – one of Jax’s current favorite school toys.)

The first thing I made for little E was a fat quarter pillowcase dress. I fell in love with a poppy print bundle of fat quarters when I went in search of something pink. I swapped one of the fabrics for a hot pink, since the fabrics I chose were more peach and coral. The dress was very easy and quick to make! I went with the lined version and used some white cotton leftover from Jax’s quilt. But I needed something to go with it. And of course it needed to be felt!

DIY Felt Poppy Headband

And so, I present the Felt Poppy Headband!

You could easily make a felt flowered headband to suit your own tastes. Change up the colors and flowers! You can take a look at my Bumble Bee Lacing Maze pattern for more felt flower ideas.

DIY Felt Poppy Headband

Materials

DIY Felt Poppy Headband

I started by stitching the details on the top piece of the poppy. I stitched the center of the poppy on using black floss, then went around the circle making long stitched of various lengths, topped with French knots.

DIY Felt Poppy Headband

I set my poppy aside to make the leaves and stem next. I pinned it in place for the photos to show the placement. I made the stem with back stitch, attaching the leaves with a few stitches up the centers,

DIY Felt Poppy Headband

For the lilac flower, I made a stitch to anchor my thread to the headband, then ran my needle through the ends of all the petals, then fanned them out into a big swirl. I made a bunch of stitches in the center to secure them down. (I added the long stitches in the center of each petal later, but you should do that now.)

DIY Felt Poppy HeadbandDIY Felt Poppy Headband

I stitched the center onto the flower, then filled it in with French knots.

DIY Felt Poppy Headband

The last design element I added was a lazy daisy stitch. (See diagram 2.) I added some stitches in a circle in the center of my daisy to give it extra hold.

DIY Felt Poppy Headband

I went back to finish my poppy next. I blanket stitched the back of the flower on, pulling a little too tight so that the petals curled up. When I was finished sewing the back on, I ran the needle out the center back and made a bunch of stitches to hold secure the flower onto the headband top.

DIY Felt Poppy Headband

The next step is to assemble the headband. I pleated the end of one of the ribbon lengths and made a few stitches in it to hold the folds. I layered it in between the two layers of the headband and started blanket stitching around the edge.

When I was about 2/3 down one side, I paused to trim the backing to match, as the wool felt shrunk a bit with all the stitching. At the other end, I repeated the steps for adding the ribbon.DIY Felt Poppy Headband

All done! I think it came out beautiful.

Yes, this is Jackson... I didn't have any other models handy!

Yes, this is Jackson… I didn’t have any other models handy!

This headband is fully adjustable, as it is meant to be tied in a bow at the nape of your neck. You could also tie it to one side to make the bow more of a feature. I think it looks so pretty with the pillowcase dress because the ribbons bring the two together.DIY Felt Poppy Headband

I’m sure an adult could wear this same headband, but you could also increase the length of the base to make a larger one. I plan to make one (or many!) for myself. What a great scrap-buster!

DIY Felt Poppy Headband

Thank you to all of you who voted for this tutorial on our Facebook page!

You'll be seeing a tutorial for this soon!

You’ll be seeing a tutorial for this soon!

But to those of you who voted for the other choice – DIY sewing labels – I’ll be posting those for you next week. So everybody wins!

DIY Felt Poppy Headband

Happy sewing!

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map

If you haven’t been introduced to our Montessori wall map and quiet book yet, you can read all about it here. This post isn’t actually for a continent… It’s for the oceans! Every continent (and the oceans) will have landmarks and animals. Some, like Europe, have more landmarks than animals. The oceans have a lot of labels, 9 animals and one island landmark.

Overview and Map PatternsAfricaAntarcticaAsiaEurope
North America • Oceans • South America

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Those of you who follow along on Facebook or Instagram have been seeing my progress as I’ve worked on the ocean animals. I’m so exciting to be working on this project! This will be an amazing resource for Jax throughout his school years. Yes, I am giving you all my patterns and printables for free! If you’d like to contribute, visit my support page. School items off of Jax’s Amazon wishlist always help!

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook

Materials I Used

The Pattern (see the first post for the main patterns)

Felt from American Felt & Craft – lilac [purple], cilantro [green], stone [beige], pomegranate [pink], whitesalt & pepper [dark gray], elephant [med gray], black and gray. From Benzie Design – swan [blue] for the water.

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables  Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Hook & Loop – I used white snag-free Velcro on the backs of all these pieces. I used aqua blue hook where the animals attach to the ocean.

I updated this 8/6/13 to add one more ocean Velcro piece in the Pacific near Hawaii!

I updated this 8/6/13 to add one more ocean Velcro piece in the Pacific near Hawaii!

Other Things: Felt glue to tack down the pieces before sewing, printer fabric for the continent label, embroidery floss in colors to match the felt and micro tip scissors.

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Sewing the Pieces

For all of the animals & landmarks, I started by gluing the pieces down to a scrap of background felt with a very light amount of felt glue. I glue several animals at a time to give them time to dry. I sewed them down, trimmed the background and cut a matching backing piece. I sewed snag-free Velcro to the back and sewed both sides together with a blanket stitch.

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map

Sea Star: (Felt used: lilac purple for the star and swan blue for the background) I glued down the sea star then sewed all around it. Using long straight stitches, I sewed a starburst in the center.

Killer Whale: (Felt used: black for the body, white for the markings and swan blue for the background) For the killer whale (orca), I glued the black body down first, then the white markings and the fin. I stitched around all the edges.

Sea Turtle: (Felt used: cilantro green for the shell, stone beige for the soft parts and swan blue for the background) For the sea turtle, I glued the soft parts of the turtle down, then glued the shell on top. I sewed around the edges of the soft parts. On the shell, I used a lighter green thread and stitched all around the edge using longer stitches than I usually do. Then I used long stitches to make a shell pattern. View the image full size to use as a guide.

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Tiger Shark: (Felt used: elephant med gray, white for the teeth and swan blue for the background) For the shark, I glued down the teeth first, then the body and fin. I sewed around all the edges, made some long, parallel stitches for gills and a French knot eye. I made some white zig zag stitches over his teeth.

Sperm Whale: (Felt used: salt & pepper dark gray and swan blue for the background) For the sperm whale, I glued down the body and fin. I sewed around all the edges, made a long stitch for his mouth and a French knot eye.

Dolphin: (Felt used: elephant med gray and swan blue for the background) For the dolphin, I glued down the body and fin. I sewed around all the edges, made a long stitch for her mouth and a French knot eye.

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook

Beluga Whale: (Felt used: white for the body and swan blue for the background) For the beluga, I glued down the body and fin. I sewed around all the edges, made a few pink long stitch for her mouth and a French knot eye.

Octopus: (Felt used: pomegranate pink for the body [but I’d recommend a coral or peach if you have it] and swan blue for the background) For the octopus, I glued down the body and eye bugles. I sewed around all the edges and made French knot eyes in black on the bulges.I made a few light pink long stitches in between the tentacles to show the webbing. Then I made ten bazillion French knots! I used two strands of embroidery floss (of the 6 it comes with) and wrapped my needle twice for each knot.

Humpback Whale: (Felt used: elephant med gray for the body, gray for the belly and swan blue for the background) For the Humpback whale, I glued down the body, belly and fin. I sewed around all the edges and added a French knot eye.

SafariLTD provided me with these beautiful World Landmarks and Around the World TOOBs. I am working with them to make this project as amazing as possible. All opinions of these products are honest and my own. We are planning an exciting giveaway for you at the end of this project!

SafariLTD provided me with this beautiful World Landmarks TOOB. I am working with them to make this project as amazing as possible. All opinions of these products are honest and my own. We are planning an exciting giveaway for you at the end of this project!

Sewing the Landmarks

I only did one landmark in the ocean set: the mo’ai statues on Easter Island.

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook

Easter Island: (Felt used: salt & pepper dark gray for the statues, cilantro green for the ground and sparrow blue for the background) I went very simple for this one and just glued and stitched the statues and background down. For all the landmarks, I started by sewing the front piece. Then I cut out a backing felt to match the final shape and added some snag-free Velcro to it. I finished sewed around the whole edge, switching colors where needed.

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Did you notice I sewed the backing on? I used regular craft store polyester felt in black – the large piece that they sell in a package. It was only $3, and I figure I can turn it around and use the back as a felt board. I added two loops of ribbon for hanging. I sewed the backing on with a blanket stitch.

Montessori Ocean Animals 3-Part Cards

Montessori Ocean Animals 3-Part Cards

Montessori-style 3-part cards are great tools to help your young child learn new things. Jax loves them! I like to pair them with nature video clips from BBC and NatGeo that I play on YouTube about each animal. I created these ocean animal cards to be used along with SafariLTD’s TOOB figurines and my felt wall map animals. For the ocean, I used the following TOOBs: the Whales and Dolphins Toob and the Ocean Toob.

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

 Click here to download my free pdf file to make your own. To make mine, I cut them out, glued them to orange construction paper (to match North America’s Montessori color) then laminated laminated them. It makes them shiny and strong.

Montessori Ocean 3-Part Cards & Control Chart

Montessori Ocean 3-Part Cards & Control Chart

Jax just started his world continent unit with the world continent 3-part cards I made up for him. He loves his new Montessori globe,  and has his continent song memorized! This ocean set may be a bit advanced for him right now, but who knows – he is always surprising me! Montessori circles back through material, diving deeper into it each time, so it never hurts to introduce something when your child show interest.

Montessori Ocean 3-Part Cards & Control Chart

This set includes 3-part cards for the world’s oceans and a control chart showing the oceans outlined and labeled. You can start with a basic presentation of the oceans on our globe, comparing the globe to the cards. Click here to download my free pdf file to make your own

Montessori Ocean 3-Part Cards & Control Chart

For younger kids, you can have them match the labels to the labels on the control map to help early reading skills. Talk about how the continents look on the cards versus the globe and control chart map projection.

Montessori Ocean 3-Part Cards & Control Chart

For older kids, try a little painter’s tape on the backs of the labels and have them use the control chart to label your globe. Once your child is familiar with the labeled cards and chart, have them start matching the unlabeled cards as well. Eventually you can have them label the cards and the globe on their own.

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Ocean Books

I’ve started collecting some ocean books, so when Jax chooses one in the schoolroom, I can pull out our SafariLTD figurines and 3-part cards to match them. Most of my books are from the thrift store and out of print. These are The Blue Whale, Seashore, John Denver’s Ancient Rhymes: A Dolphin Lullaby (Audio CD Included) (John Denver & Kids Series), Way Down Deep (All Aboard Science Reader) and Baby Beluga (Raffi Songs to Read).

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

I hope you are enjoying this project as much as I am! I’ve gotten see the maps a few of you have started! If you are sewing along, tag me on Instagram @iolstephanie and come comment on one of my pictures (I can’t see your photo if it you are private, but I can request to follow you temporarily if you comment on mine) or share photos on Facebook. You can also email me.

Animals of the Ocean for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

It’s Montessori Monday on Tuesday for me this week, but I hope you’ll check out the other great links!

Montessori Monday

 

DIY Montessori Math Beads

DIY Montessori Math Beads

If you have a young child who is interested in math, the Montessori method of using beads to represent quantities is a great place to start. This is a part of the whole “concrete to abstract” formula Montessori uses. The Montessori bead materials allow a child to experience the difference between 1, 10, 100 and 1,000 with his own hands.

Work in progress...

A work in progress…

These Montessori beads have been a long-term project of mine. I have a lot done, but I still have more to go! My main goal for the moment was to create some base golden bead materials and a bead stair. The next priority is having enough made to do the subtraction snake game. (We’ve actually done some very simple versions of that already.) And I purchased enough beads to make the basic golden bead materials and a full decanomial set (55 of each color) so we can move on to multiplication. Beyond that, we’ll see…

DIY Montessori Math Beads

Our golden bead materials so far…

I used 6mm wooden beads from Fire Mountain Gems. That site gives you lower prices the more items you buy at once. Because the wood beads come in small packs of two 16″ strands, it added up to a lot of little items! I hesitate to say how many of each I got, as I’m not done yet and I’m not sure if I have the right amount yet. You can use their strand chart to help you figure out how many beads you get.

DIY Montessori Math Beads

Our bead stair!

Materials:

  • Bead, beads and more beads!  Gold, dark blue, purple, turquoise, yellow, pink, green and red. I also ordered some grey to use for negative bead stairs eventually. My brown, black and white beads are from a big mixed bag. They are actually 6mm-7mm. But they were out of brown and white when I ordered, and I was able to get a huge bag for $5 due to my volume discount. I don’t really mind that they are a bit bigger, though some of them have huge holes.
  • I ordered 3″ eye pins to save myself time. You could get wire if you can find a good price. I got 10 packs of 100 eye pins for $20. The 3″ ones are long enough to fit the 10 bead golden bead bars. For the bead bars with 6 or less beads, I was able to save the extra wire I clipped off and use it to make more short bars.
  • I used plastic canvas to construct the bead squares and the 1000 bead cube. I’ve seen this technique in several places, but most notably Montessori at Home.
  • My beading tools from jewelry making were a must! I used my wire cutters and my round nose pliers.
DIY Montessori Math Beads

I’m not really a fan of plastic beads, but I think it was ultimately how beautiful the painted golden beads were that drove me to use wood.

Making Bead Bars

The basic steps to make the bead bars are very simple! Starting with an eye pin, load on the number of beads needed. Trim the wire so you have some extra to make a loop. My extra wire was about 9mm. I err on the long side and trim if my loop seems too big.

DIY Montessori Math Beads

Make the end loop by first bending the wire at a right angle to the bead bar, then using the round nose pliers to create a loop. Close the bottom of the loop by squeezing it with the pliers, tucking the end into the hole of the top bead. If your bead holes are big, you’ll need bigger loops.

Bead Bars and Cubes

As I mentioned, I used the technique posted by Montessori at Home to make my hundred squares and my thousand cubes. I still have at least 7 more hundred squares to make!

DIY Montessori Math Beads  DIY Montessori Math Beads

The thousand bead cube was quite the project! Probably because it involves 1,000 beads. Hah! Luckily, it is totally acceptable to have just on beaded thousand cube and then show your child how wooden thousand cubes are models of it. So a set of those and wooden hundred squares is on our wish list.

DIY Montessori Math Beads

I had a lot of extra beads in the smaller colors, so I tried out making some of the bead cubes and squares. I’d need a lot more beads to do a full set of those, so I’ll have to see Jax’s interest level later on.

DIY Montessori Math Beads

Using the Beads

There are online resources that can show you the proper way to introduce the bead materials. I really like Info Montessori. Jax is a creative learner, however, so I often let him lead our activities after I’ve presented the basics. At the moment we are focusing on counting quantities with the golden beads and practicing the the bead stair. He is dying to move on to the addition snake game, but I want him to have a better grasp on the basics first. We’ve done a few simple addition games, though!

We use these small wooden number cards when we work with our bead materials.

Jax is still working on the names of the larger quantities – he gets hundred and thousand confused sometimes. He’s getting quicker and recognizing how many beads are on a bar with practice. That is one reason why I encourage him to use the bead stair right now.

Free Bead Stair Printables

Free Bead Stair Printables

I made Jax some worksheets to use with his beads. One is a control sheet that shows the colors and numbers. The other is a coloring sheet for him to color in the Montessori bead colors. I made the graphics in Adobe Illustrator and the page layout in InDesign. I’m offering our printables free for your educational and personal use!

Bead Stair Control Sheet

Bead Stair Coloring Sheet

Free Bead Stair Printables

In Our Montessori School Room

I try to take quick snapshots with my phone while Jax and I do our school in the morning. The little school room off our bedroom (that was once Jax’s nursery) gets such beautiful light! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see many of our activities. Here is a round up of some of our recent ones!

Our Montessori Room

As usual, I’m a bit late for Montessori Monday! But it is such a great way to find new Montessori resources online that I always make sure to read it! Check it out if you are interested in more great activities!

Montessori Monday

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map

If you haven’t been introduced to our Montessori wall map and quiet book yet, you can read all about it here. This post will be for the second continent in the series: North America! Every continent will have landmarks and animals. Some, like Europe, have more landmarks than animals. North America has a good mix of animals and landmarks.

Overview and Map PatternsAfricaAntarcticaAsiaEurope
North America • OceansSouth America

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Those of you who follow along on Facebook or Instagram have been seeing the animals and landmarks I created for North America. I’m so exciting to be working on this project! This will be an amazing resource for Jax throughout his school years.

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

I am posting this project in segments instead of all at once so that you can sew along with me! You can head to the Facebook page right now to choose which continent (or the oceans!) I should start next.

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map

Materials I Used

The Pattern (see the first post for the main patterns)

Felt from American Felt & Craftorange juice [orange], ice [blue], pastry [tan], doe [brown], cactus [gray-green], chocolate [brown], cilantro [green], white, black, gray, chai [beige] and fresh linen [off-white]. From Benzie Design – swan [blue] for the water.

Hook & Loop – I used white snag-free Velcro on the backs of all pieces, including Africa. I used the soft loop side of orange hook & loop on the front of Africa. I used once piece of aqua blue loop where the narwhal attaches.

Felt glue to tack down the pieces before sewing, printer fabric for the continent label, embroidery floss in colors to match the felt and micro tip scissors.

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

My North America page is not sewn around the edges yet, as I still need to sew the page behind it!

Sewing the Pieces

North America: (Felt used: orange juice orange and scraps of swan blue for the water) For the North American continent puzzle piece, I started by gluing then sewing the water down to the front side. Then I sewed down pieces of orange loop Velcro. (I worked from my stash, so I only had light orange left. American Felt & Craft sells normal orange too!) On the back, I sewed strips of white snag-free Velcro to correspond with the Velcro on the wall map and quietbook. I finished it by sewing the two sides together around the edge with a blanket stitch.

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Label: (Felt used: orange juice orange) For the continent label, I folded under the edges (just a tiny bit to hide the rough edges) and creased it with my nails. The printer fabric held the folds nicely without ironing. Then I stitched the label to some green felt and trimmed it down to be a border. I cut a matching felt rectangle for the back, sewed snag-free Velcro to it and then sewed both sides together.

For all of the animals & landmarks, I started by gluing the pieces down to a scrap of background felt with a very light amount of felt glue. I glue several animals at a time to give them time to dry. I sewed them down, trimmed the background and cut a matching backing piece. I sewed snag-free Velcro to the back and sewed both sides together with a blanket stitch.

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Eagle: (Felt used: chocolate brown for the body, white for the body, orange juice orange for the beak and feet and sparrow blue for the background) I glued down the all the parts, then sewed around the edges. I gave him a black French knot eye and made some long brown stitches for the feathers on the wings.

Caribou: (Felt used: chai beige for the body, chocolate brown for the overlays and hooves, fresh linen off-white for the antlers and fresh cut grass green for the background) I glued everything down, then stitched around all the edges in the appropriate colors. I used a brown French knot for his eye and a long stitch for his mouth. A tiny stitch made his nostril.

Iguana: (Felt used: cilantro green for the body, salt and pepper for the body shading and limeade lime green for the background) I glued and sewed down all the parts, with his neck beard the bottom layer. On the beard, I made long perpendicular stitches to look like the ribbing. He has a French knot eye and long stitch mouth.

Narwhal: (Felt used: chai beige for the body, chocolate brown for the overlays and fins and swan aqua blue for the background) Oh, narwhals, I love you! A bit of a guilty pleasure, as narwhals are one of my favorite animals (my most favorite will be in the Ocean post.) Most of the world’s narwhals are concentrated in the fjords and inlets of Northern Canada and western Greenland,” so for this map, I’ve included them in North America After gluing and stitching around the edges, I gave him a French knot eye and made diagonal stitches along the tusk. To make the spots, I just made lots of little stitches. The tiny spots are just one stitch. The larger ones are a few stitches side-by-side.

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Polar Bear: (Felt used: white for the body, soap sud for the background [discontinued]) For the polar bear, I glued the back legs and body down, then glued the ear on, only pushing one side down so it stuck up. I used a French knot to make the eye, a long pink stitch for the mouth, and black satin stitch for the nose. I stitched all around his body, making longer stitches on his toes for claws, and made one stitch to secure the ear to his head. The background felt I used was one of my last scraps of a beautiful off-white color called “soap sud” which is now discontinued. Fresh linen is another open. It is more taupe then lavender, though.

Beaver: (Felt used: chocolate brown for the body, black for the tail and four leaf clover for the background) The beaver’s tail, back legs and body were glued down, then I sewed all around them. I attached the ear the same as with the polar bear. I used a French knot for the eye and some straight stitches for a stick in his mouth.

Alligator: (Felt used: salt and pepper for the body and cilantro green for the background) I glued his body down and stitched all around. I used olive green to do a French knot eye and a long stitch mouth. I made two lines of tiny dashed stitches to show the bumps running down his back.

SafariLTD provided me with these beautiful World Landmarks and Around the World TOOBs. I am working with them to make this project as amazing as possible. All opinions of these products are honest and my own. We are planning an exciting giveaway for you at the end of this project!

SafariLTD provided me with these beautiful World Landmarks and Around the World TOOBs. I am working with them to make this project as amazing as possible. All opinions of these products are honest and my own. We are planning an exciting giveaway for you at the end of this project!

Sewing the Landmarks

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall MapFor all the landmarks, I started by sewing the front piece. Then I cut out a backing felt to match the final shape and added some snag-free Velcro to it. I finished sewed around the whole edge, switching colors where needed.

Statue of Liberty: (Felt used: rainy day gray-blue [discontinued] for the statue, pastry tan for the base and sparrow blue for the background) I used a pretty gray-blue felt that is now discontinued. It’s one of the problems with using scraps on a project! Blueprint looks like a good option.

For lady liberty, I glued all the parts down. There are some tiny ones! I used a light tan thread to stitch the designs on the base. I used a dark aqua thread to sew details on the statue itself. Don’t worry about too much detail! The overall effect doesn’t really need it.

See the photos for a sample of what stitches to do. I worked from the lovely SafariLTD replica.

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Mt Rushmore: (Felt used: gray flannel for the mountain and gray for the details) For Mt Rushmore, I glued the lighter gray details down, then stitched a light gray design to give them some faces. Very simple stuff like their hairlines, eyes/nose/mouth and some shirt details for Washington.

Temple of Inscriptions: (Felt used: pastry tan) I think the temple came out pretty for having only used one color of felt. I glued the stair overlay down, then started stitching rows of back stitch. When I’d get to the overlay, I’d do one long stitch across it. I did an additional long stitch in between rows to make small stairs. At the top, I stitched little brown triangles to make the arched windows. I didn’t pull the stitches super tight, which let them have the curved shape of an arch.

Montessori North American Animals 3-Part Cards

Jax just started his world continent unit with the world continent 3-part cards I made up for him. I finally ordered a Montessori globe after saving up for it, so I’m not really rushing the lessons. However, he saw me working on the cards and asked to have a lesson. He is loving them! I created these cards to be used along with SafariLTD’s TOOB figurines. North America’s animals use a wide range of TOOBs: Arctic Toob, Whales and Dolphins Toob, and River Toob.

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Click here to download my free pdf file to make your own. To make mine, I cut them out, glued them to orange construction paper (to match North America’s Montessori color) then laminated them. I love my new laminator! It makes everything so shiny and strong!

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

North American Animal Silhouettes

Another activity that will help Jax with him reading and writing skills is the North American animal silhouette match. Drawing lines between the matches help with writing skills, and recognizing the similarities between the photos and silhouettes helps build visual skills needed for reading. Silhouettes from All-Silhouettes.com, 2, 3.

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Activities:

Introductions and Matching: There are so many activities that can be done with all of these materials. You could start with the SafariLTD figurines and introduce the name of each animal to them. You can then present the felt versions for them to match up. Once they are comfortable with the animals and know them by name, you can show them the labeled photo cards and have them match them. Once they have advanced some, you can use the unlabelled cards and have them match the right words to each card or figurine.

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Starting Sounds: For a great language activity, have your child tell you the starting sound for each animal. To make games like this extra engaging for Jax, I call them “letter races” and have him run to our movable alphabet and grab the right letter. For correction of error, match your 3-part cards to see if the answers were correct.

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

On the Map: You can move the wall map to the floor and have your child place the right SafariLTD figurines on each continent. While you are still introducing them, you can stick to one continent at a time and match the names or photo cards. Seeing the animals on the maps is a great way to help them remember!

And of course your child can match the correct felt animals and landmarks on the wall map or in the quietbook while on the go.

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Animal Videos: After Jax matches his animal, I like to have him choose one and then I queue a video about them on YouTube. I like the NatGeo and BBC clips. Seeing the animals in motion really captures his interest and helps him remember them. He was really taken by the mandrill video when we did your African animal cards.

Animals of North America for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

I hope you are enjoying this project as much as I am! I’ve gotten see the maps a few of you have started! If you are sewing along, tag me on Instagram @iolstephanie (I can’t see your photo if it you are private, but I can request to follow you temporarily) or share photos on Facebook. You can also email me.

I’m very late for Montessori Monday this week, but I hope you’ll check out the other great links!

Montessori Monday

I Love Felt! Do You?

I love felt! Do you?

I might have a bit of a felt addiction… Do you? But who can blame me? It is colorful, soft and easy to work with! From the early baby toys/books I sewed for Jax when he was only 1.5 years old, to the educational (but fun!) pieces I am working on now – felt is the best!

I love felt! Do you?

Thank you!

Our little corner of Facebook is about to celebrate 3,000 likes! And I wanted to say “thank you” to YOU! Your kind words, encouragement and suggestions keep me inspired to continue to create. You can also find me on other social networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Almost 3,000!

Almost 3,000!

How do you read your favorite blogs?

Felt Patterns on Imagine Our LifeI was a long-time devotee to Google Reader and I’m still mourning its loss. For now, I am trying out both Feedly and Blog Lovin. (If you are a user of Blog Lovin, you can follow this blog here.) But due to working part time from home (I’m a web/graphic designer), homeschooling Jax and constantly crafting, I am always a month behind in my blog reading! How do you read your favorite blogs? And do you have any great blog suggestions for me to add to my reading list?

If you haven’t already, I’d like to invite you to sign up to receive our posts via email. If you scroll down to the bottom of the site, you’ll find a little box to put your email address into. After you submit it, text will pop up letting you know an email has been sent to you to confirm your subscription. (I highlighted the screenshot to show you the text.)

Subscribe via Email  Subscribe via Email

Once you’ve confirmed your subscription, you’ll get all our new posts sent to you as soon as they post! Fun and easy! I do this for a few of my favorite blogs that I want to stay current on.

Subscribe via Email

Let’s swap!

I’m still testing out having blog/shop banners and buttons on the site. I’d love to link up with a lot of relevant sites – sewing, felt, homeschool, Montessori… If you have a site and you’d like to purchase an ad, visit our Support/Sponsor page. Would you like to swap an ad and put my site on your page? Just contact me!

Thank you so much for following along with me and Jax on our adventures! I hope to have the patterns and tutorials up tonight or tomorrow for North America in our Montessori World Map project. Visit our Facebook page to vote for what is next!

I love felt! Do you?

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

If you haven’t been introduced to our Montessori wall map and quiet book yet, you can read all about it here. This post will be for the first continent in the series: Africa! Every continent will have landmarks and animals. Some, like Europe, have more landmarks than animals. Africa is heavy on the fun animals!

Overview and Map Patterns • Africa • AntarcticaAsiaEurope
North AmericaOceansSouth America

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook

Those of you who follow along on Facebook or Instagram have already seen the animals and landmarks I created for Africa. I’m so exciting to be working on this project! It was YOU who voted on the Facebook page to make a world map the next quietbook project, and I’m so glad! This will be an amazing resource for Jax throughout his school years. I am posting this project in segments instead of all at once so that you can sew along with me!

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook

Materials I Used

The Pattern (see the first post for the main patterns)

Felt from American Felt & Craftjungle vine [green], pastry [tan], doe [brown], cactus [gray-green], chocolate [brown], cilantro [green], white, black, gray, chai [beige] and fresh linen [off-white]. From Benzie Design – swan [blue] for the water.

Hook & Loop – I used white snag-free Velcro on the backs of all pieces, including Africa. I used the soft loop side of green hook & loop on the front of Africa.

Felt glue to tack down the pieces before sewing, printer fabric for the continent label, embroidery floss in colors to match the felt and micro tip scissors.

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook

Sewing the Pieces

Africa: (Felt used: jungle vine green and scraps of swan blue for the water) For the African continent puzzle piece, I started by gluing then sewing the water down to the front side. Then I sewed down pieces of green loop Velcro. On the back, I sewed strips of white snag-free Velcro to correspond with the Velcro on the wall map and quietbook. I finished it by sewing the two sides together around the edge with a blanket stitch.

Label: (Felt used: jungle vine green) For the continent label, I folded under the edges (just a tiny bit to hide the rough edges) and creased it with my nails. The printer fabric held the folds nicely without ironing. Then I stitched the label to some green felt and trimmed it down to be a border. I cut a matching felt rectangle for the back, sewed snag-free Velcro to it and then sewed both sides together.

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook

For all of the animals, I started by gluing the pieces down to a scrap of background felt with a very light amount of felt glue. I glue several animals at a time to give them time to dry. I sewed them down, trimmed the background and cut a matching backing piece. I sewed snag-free Velcro to the back and sewed both sides together with a blanket stitch.

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Lion: (Felt used: pastry tan for the body, doe brown for the main/tail and cactus gray-green for the background) For his ear, I put glue on the entire back side but only stuck it down where it attached to the head. The glue dries to stiffen the ear. I made one stitch across the bottom of the ear to keep it secure. I sewed around all the edges, then made some long stitches in the mane and tail. His eye is a French knot with a black stitch going vertically through the center. His mouth is a long stitch and his nostril is a little stitch.

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook

Camel: (Felt used: doe brown for the body, pastry tan for the background) I started sewing the camel from the SafariLTD figurine before I’d done anything more than check where in Africa camels were located (northern and the horn). Once I started researching for the 3-part cards, I learned that African camels have one hump – Asian camels have 2! Oops! I’ve included patterns for both, so you can take your pick. I sewed all around his body. His ear is done the same as the lion’s. He has a French knot eye and a long stitch for his mouth.

Elephant: (Felt used: gray for the body, fresh linen off-white for the tusks and cactus gray-green for the background) The elephant’s ear is glued down on one side. I actually forgot to put some stitches in, so I have to go back to that. I added some back stitching to make the wrinkles around her legs and a French knot eye. I used gray floss to stitch a line over the eye for an eyelid. The mouth is a long stitch.

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook

Giraffe: (Felt used: pastry tan for the body, doe brown for the spots, chocolate brown for the hooves and mane and cilantro green for the background) I glued down the mane and body (with the body on top), then glued the hooves, tail end and spots on. I stitched all the way around, making longer stitching in the edge of the mane and tail to look like hair. I used a few small stitches to sew each spot down. There is a French knot at the top of the horn and for the eye. I stitched a little nostril and a mouth. The ear is attached the same as the lion’s.

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Zebra: (Felt used: white for the body, black for the hooves/muzzle and doe brown for the background) The zebra has the most intricate stitching. After I sewed all around her body, hooves and muzzle, I made a French knot eye, white long stitch mouth and attached the ear the same as the others. Then, using black floss, I stitched on the stripes, using my SafariLTD figurine as inspiration. The stripes were stitched almost in a kind of satin stitch (where you fill in an area with stitched that all go in one direction). I just kept added stitches to widen the lines, often at angles to make them slightly triangular. At the neck where the mane would start, I made sure to start a new stitch in the stripe at a different angle to show the neck’s edge.

Rhinoceros: (Felt used: gray for the body, chai beige for the background and fresh linen off-white for the horns) The Rhino was stitched very simply, though I did add some back stitching to show the wrinkles at the tops of his legs. He has a stitched mouth and nostril and a French knot eye.

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

SafariLTD provided me with these beautiful World Landmarks and Around the World TOOBs. I am working with them to make this project as amazing as possible. All opinions of these products are honest and my own. We are planning an exciting giveaway for you at the end of this project!

Pyramids & Sphinx: (Felt used: doe brown and pastry tan) I combined two landmarks into one felt piece for the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, as they needed to be at the same spot on the map. I will eventually make 3-Part cards for the world landmarks, and there will be two for these to make the beautiful SafariLTD figurines.

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

I started by gluing down the layers: the pyramid sides onto the pyramids, then the sphinx, torso, face and finally the features. You may need tweezers for those. Goodness, they are small! I made some small stitches in the features to keep them secure, but didn’t sew down anything else. I cut out a backing felt to match the final shape and added some snag-free Velcro to it. Then I sewed around the whole edge, switching colors where needed.

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Montessori African Animals 3-Part Cards

Jax just started his world continent unit with the world continent 3-part cards I made up for him. I’m saving up for a Montessori globe at the moment, so I’m not really rushing the lessons. When we start on his Africa unit, I will present these cards. I created these cards to be used along with SafariLTD’s TOOB figurines. My African animals use the Wild Toob and Monkeys and Apes Toob. I also need to pick up an okapi figurine. It will be a larger scale than the TOOB animals, but it is worthwhile for Jax to have something 3 dimensional to look at.

Montessori African Animals 3-Part Cards

Click here to download my free pdf file to make your own. To make mine, I cut them out, glued them to green construction paper (to match Africa’s Montessori color) then laminated them. I’m still loving my new laminator! It makes everything so pretty and durable!

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Africa Maze

Jax is really into mazes right now, and they are great for pre-writing skills! I’ve designed two mazes for him – one basic and one advanced. Grab them here! We’ll most likely laminate them so we can reuse them. I’ve included an answer key page on this if you want some correction of error. Silhouettes from All-Silhouettes.com.

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

African Animal Silhouettes

Another activity that will help Jax with him reading and writing skills is the African animal silhouette match. Drawing lines between the matches help with writing skills, and recognizing the similarities between the photos and silhouettes helps build visual skills needed for reading. Silhouettes (except for mandrill) from All-Silhouettes.com.

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Activities:

Introductions and Matching: There are so many activities that can be done with all of these materials. You could start with the SafariLTD figurines and introduce the name of each animal to them. You can then present the felt versions for them to match up. Once they are comfortable with the animals and know them by name, you can show them the labeled photo cards and have them match them. Once they have advanced some, you can use the unlabelled cards and have them match the right words to each card or figurine.

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

Starting Sounds: For a great language activity, have your child tell you the starting sound for each animal. To make games like this extra engaging for Jax, I call them “letter races” and have him run to our movable alphabet and grab the right letter. For correction of error, match your 3-part cards to see if the answers were correct. (We haven’t started on the soft G sound, so we might skip giraffe for now.)

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

On the Map: You can move the wall map to the floor and have your child place the right SafariLTD figurines on each continent. While you are still introducing them, you can stick to one continent at a time and match the names or photo cards. Seeing the animals on the maps is a great way to help them remember!

And of course your child can match the correct felt animals and landmarks on the wall map or in the quietbook while on the go.

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook with Printables

I hope you are enjoying this project as much as I am! A number of you have told me you’ve already begun the huge wall map. I’m really excited to see how they turn out! Tag me on Instagram @iolstephanie (I can’t answer on your photo if it you are private, but I can try to comment in a different place) or share photos on Facebook. You can also email me.

Animals of Africa for the Montessori Wall Map & Quietbook

I’m a bit late for Montessori Monday this week due to vacation, but I hope you’ll check out the other great links!

Montessori Monday

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards

I am so excited to introduce you to make latest big project! Those of you who follow along on Facebook or Instagram have already seen a lot of fun sneak peeks. Plus, it was YOU who voted on the Facebook page to make a world map the next quietbook project!

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards

This project will be presented a little different than normal. Because it is SO BIG, I’ll be giving you a chance to sew along with me by posting a great deal of the patterns today. I am creating each piece by hand and then drawing up patterns from the finished product, so some elements will be provided in later posts.

Overview and Map Patterns • AfricaAntarcticaAsiaEurope
North AmericaOceansSouth America

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards

The Plan

Today I am giving you the massive pattern for the world wall map and the continent puzzle pieces that can be attached to it. I also included the cover text for quietbook stores all the pieces. Here is pattern. [The pattern was updated 07/24/13 to add the water beside Baja California on North America. Sorry I forgot it!] And here is a pdf with the continent and ocean labels that get printed onto printer fabric. There will be additional posts for the other continents that will include patterns for regional animals and landmarks.

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards

Materials

Felt: I am mainly using scrap felt to create the continents and smaller pieces of this project. The beautiful wool blend felt I get from American Felt and Crafts is just too good to waste! So I am digging into my scrap basket and using all I can. However, this project does require some larger cuts of felt. I ordered 1 yard of “Swan” blue felt from Benzie Designs. This was used to make the 34″ x 18″ wall map and then three 12″ x 18″ pages for the quietbook. I also ordered a 12″ x 18″ sheet of “Peacock” aqua blue felt for the cover, 2/3 yard of white (you only need enough for the long strip version of Antarctica, but I bough extra for other projects) and 1/3 yard of “Peppercorn” tan for the wall map continents. The continents are in traditional Montessori colors including: white, orange, pink, red, green, yellow and brown. I will eventually buy some backing felt or fleece for the back of the map to finish it off, but I have a few little bits to finish sewing first. Note – Antarctica is sewn down to the wall map due to the map projection. But I did also make a continent piece in its actual shape. You just can’t place it on the map.

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards  Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards

Other: If you plan to print out the continent and ocean labels, you’ll need printer fabric. I use a roll that I can cut down to use in my 4″ x 6″ photo printer when I just have a little bit to print. I’ve also seen sheets for sale. For the pockets in the back of the book, you’ll need clear vinyl. I get mine in the home decor department of the fabric store. I am using felt glue this time around to lightly tack down small felt bits before sewing them. It is working out great! I have that exact kind, but found a better price in the craft store. I will be adding some closures to the quietbook – two buttons and some elastic cord loops. I’m still looking for the right ones. The big thing you need… hook and loop! I use snag-free Velcro inside the quietbook and on backs of all the loose pieces. It won’t fuzz up your felt when you close the book or store the pieces together. I also use a lot of colored hook and loop. I use the soft loop side on the fronts of the continents (for the animals and landmarks to stick to). For a stronger hold on the wall map, I used the hook side. This means I will have to put some tissue paper over it if I ever roll or fold it for storage to avoid fuzzing up the felt. I got this turquoise hook and loop for the ocean. The tan Velcro is sold with black and white Velcro in the store. All the novelty colors are available from AFC. I didn’t have the best match in orange, but I am using pieces from my stash.

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards

Felt Wall Map

This piece is not yet finished (it needs a backing and loops at the top), but it is almost there! To make it, cut out all the large pieces and arrange them on the blue backing. Use a thin layer of glue to tack them down. Too much glue will make it tougher to sew through. Then cut out the zillion little islands and glue them down as well. I cut mine free-hand. I didn’t feel like it had to be super accurate at that scale – the overall effect when they are all in place is good enough! Once everything is glued down and dry, sew around all the edges. I used “Dual Duty Button & Carpet” thread in tan. Worked great!

I updated this 8/6/13 to add one more ocean Velcro piece in the Pacific near Hawaii!

I updated this 8/6/13 to add one more ocean Velcro piece in the Pacific near Hawaii!

After that, sew strips of hook and loop on to the map where indicated in the above photo. The ocean ones are for sea animals, the land ones are to hold the continents. I will eventually sew a backing on with some hang loops at the top.

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards  Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards

Quietbook

I have started this, but it is only about half done. To start the book, I stacked the 12″ x 18″ sheets with the cover piece on top, then sewed a dashed running stitch through the center. I then folded along the stitching to make the book. Once the sewing is done, each page is made by sewing two layers together. I have the first and last (cover) pages done in these photos.

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards

I will go into more detail later, but the cover has the title letters sew on (“of the” is back stitched), and the last inside page has two clear vinyl pockets sewn on – one for animals of the world and one for labels and landmarks.

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards

The pages will be sewn with dotted outlines and snag-free Velcro so you can match and store the continents. Some pages will have more than one continent, as shown.

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook

I came back to this post after finishing the continent pieces so I could share the final positions of the loop Velcro. Africa’s and North America’s are already posted in their patterns. See the rest above.

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards  Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards

Montessori Continent 3-Part Cards

Jax just started his world continent unit with these 3-Part cards I made up for him. Click here to download my free pdf file to make your own. To make min, I cut them out, glued them to card stock then laminated them. I’m loving my new laminator!

Montessori Continents Free 3-Part Cards

So far, I am presenting them to him to introduce the names and shapes, and we are matching them and finding them on the felt map. As he learns the names, he can start matching the labels to the pictures. Once all the felt continents are done, we will use them with the cards as well.

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards

World Animals & Landmarks

One of the most exciting parts of this project is still to come… I’ll be making little felt animals and world landmarks that can be placed on the continents and matched to the beautiful miniature replicas made by SafariLtd! I’ve been slowly collecting each TOOB I’ll need whenever I have 50% off coupons or store credit. They are so neat that I want to play with them myself!

Shopping List

√ Wild TOOB
√ Arctic TOOB
√ Around the World TOOB
√ World Landmark TOOB
√ Rainforest TOOB
√ panda cub
√ Whale TOOB
Ocean TOOB
Land Down Under TOOB
√ River TOOB
√ Pets TOOB (hedgehog only)
√ snow leopard cub
√ peacock
√ leopard seal – other brand

 

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards

I’ll be working with SafariLtd to bring you a great giveaway at the end of this project, so stay tuned!

Montessori Continents Map & Quietbook with 3-Part Cards

I hope you’ll sew along with me!

I am giving you these patterns totally free, despite the days of work going into them. I think it will really help out teachers and homeschoolers alike! If you’d like to contribute in some way, you can read more here. Also, Jax’s wishlist is where I add homeschool items I need to buy. One easy way to help? Share this project and Imagine Our Life with your friends! Thank you!
 

For more great Montessori ideas, visit:
Montessori Monday

Solar System Unit with 3 Part Cards

Now that Jax is being homeschooled, I tend to make his quietbooks more educational. (My current project is a huge world map and continent book!) I am so happy that I made a solar system quietbook page a while back, as Jax suddenly showed interest in the planets. We’ve been studying the solar system for a couple weeks now and my little smarty pants just loves reciting the planet names and answering questions about them!

Solar System Unit with 3 Part Cards

Our Solar System Unit (age 3)

Felt Planets & 3-Part Cards

We have been working with the quietbook page, plus using the felt planets on their own to match with some 3-part word and photo cards. You can use my free pattern and instructions to sew your own planet set.

Matching planets and their labels.

Matching planets and their labels.

You could even use the template with colored card stock instead of felt to make a no-sew set of the planets: Cut out the pattern pieces, then cut around them on colored card stock. Embellish with pens or colored pencils. Use a glue stick to piece each planet together, then laminate them to keep them safe and sturdy.

I am providing my 3-part cards free for educational use! Click here to download the pdf. To assemble, print out the cards ad cut them out. Glue them to card stock backs, then laminate and trim. I just got this laminator.

Solar System 3-Part Cards

Solar System Unit with 3 Part Cards  Solar System Unit with 3 Part Cards

Planet Art

We did a simple art project one day. I asked Jax to choose a favorite planet photo card from the basket and had him bring his jar of colored pencils to the table. I asked him to pick out all the colors he saw in the photo, then gave him a sheet of white paper with a circle drawn on it to color in.

Planet Art

I cut out the circle, then he glued it to some black paper. He used a white pencil to make stars. I wrote the planet name down as he read the letter we needed off the card.

Solar System Unit with 3 Part Cards

Solar System Fetch

Today is a rainy day, so I used our big chalkboard for this game, but your sidewalk or driveway would work great! Draw the solar system and ask your little one to “Go fetch!” a certain planet. Ask for them by name or number (“Go fetch the planet that is the 3rd from the sun!”) or even by a fun fact (“Go fetch the biggest planet!”) Kids love to get up and move while they learn!

Solar System Unit with 3 Part Cards  Solar System Unit with 3 Part Cards

The Planet Song

I stumbled upon a cute, simple planet song on YouTube that Jax adores. We usually close out a solar system activity by singing this song together. This song helped him learn and remember the names of the planets.

There is also a longer song with facts about each one.

Mobile Montessori’s Planets of the Solar System App

We bought this app ourselves and this review is our own honest opinion of it.

We purchased Mobile Montessori’s Planets of the Solar System app to reinforce what we were studying. It cost $1.99. It includes a learning center with audio clip facts about the sun and the 8 planets, a planet size game (drag the planets into place), a small demonstration comparing orbit speeds and a 3 part card activity.

Planets of the Solar System App

We only have the original iPad – a hand-me-down one at that. We have some trouble with the app crashing, but Mobile Montessori confirmed it is due to our older device. They have great support and offered this tip:

Here’s a tip: Double-click the home button on the iPad and all the apps that are “paused” in the background will show up at the bottom. You can “turn them off” by holding one of them down with your finger until they all wiggle. Then touch each one and they will shut down completely. Shut them all down and I bet our Solar System app will run smoother for you!

Planets of the Solar System App

The app itself is pretty, combining the beauty of the planets in our solar system with the simplistic design that Montessori uses. Jax doesn’t use the learning center too much on his own, but we have begun to listen to the facts together. He enjoys dragging the planets into place in the scale game. He always comments on how tiny Mercury is – just a little speck next to big Jupiter! We don’t get that comparison with our felt planets or photo cards.

Planets of the Solar System App  Planets of the Solar System App

The 3-part cards are just like the ones I made, so Jax knew just what to do. They will be good for him to revisit the activity on his own. I really like the idea of watching the planets orbit the sun. It is Jax’s first experience with how the solar system is actually laid out. However, it is small on the screen and crashes the most of all the parts of the game.

At just $2, the app has been a good fit for our solar system unit. We are looking forward to getting more into the facts as we circle back through this unit.

Planet Counting

Jax created this activity on his own. After matching our felt planets and 3-part cards, he ran to get our bowl of glass pebble counters. He then counted out the correct number of pebbles for each planet.

Solar System Unit with 3 Part Cards

We have a lot more we are planning to do with the solar system, but this has been a great start!

Solar System Unit with 3 Part Cards

Montessori Monday

Ocean in a Bottle & Sea Creature 3-Part Cards

A sewing note first… Exciting sewing projects in the works! You voted on Facebook that the next free quietbook pattern be a world map. Your choice was perfect, as I need to start geography and world studies with Jax in homeschool! I’m really excited, as this will be a quietbook with all the continents, plus removable landmarks, labels and animals. Not only that, but there will be a big wall map to learn where everything goes! Lots of updates will be posted and I’ll be blogging each continent separately so you can sew along. Here’s a little peek!

Due to an upcoming beach trip for my birthday, Jax and I are studying the ocean right now. Here are two more activities we’ve been doing on that theme.

Sea Creature 3-Part Cards

Sea Creature 3-Part Cards

Montessori uses a lot of 3-part cards in the 3yo – 6yo age group. They can be used in any subject to aid in adding vocabulary, learning to sort/classify, reading practice and so much more. Three-part cards are made up of two photos – one with a label, one without – as well as a separate label. Younger children start with the labeled card to help them learn the vocabulary. One of the best ways to use them is with small objects that match the photos. Older kids can work with the unlabeled card, matching the correct words or writing their own.

Sea Creature 3-Part Cards

I knew I wanted to do sea life ocean matching after seeing this Pinterest pin. Armed with a 50% off coupon, I headed to the craft store for SafariLTD’s great Coral Reef TOOB (also here on Amazon). Alas, they didn’t have it! After some pouting, I used the coupon on their Wild TOOB for our world project and let Jax choose a small figure to put in our ocean-in-a-bottle (see below). He chose a dolphin calf (also here on Amazon, but cheaper in-store). I still really wanted to do some matching, so we checked the miniatures aisle. We had luck with this brand, which sells items for dioramas and school projects. I bought one sea life pack 7004 (all that was in stock) and two fish packs 7069. They do appear to have random assortments in each pack, so you might get something slightly different. My sea life pack had: sea turtle, octopus, penguin, dolphin, killer whale and seal. I got the two fish packs because I spotted three fish I recognized between the two: clownfish, blue tang and butterflyfish (I added the black dots with a Sharpie.)

Sea Creature 3-Part Cards IMG_2357 Sea Creature 3-Part Cards

I am a graphic designer by day, so laying out custom cards was a simple process, and I am happy to share my file with you! All of the photos are either public domain, creative commons or by me. All have been credited as required. Please use this file for educational use only. Click here to download the PDF file.

Sea Creature 3-Part Cards

To assemble, cut out the cards, mount them on card stock, them laminate. So far I’ve only constructed my labeled cards, as I ran out of the packing tape I was laminating them with (but a laminator is on its way to me!)

Sea-Creature-3-Part-Cards

Jax has had a great time working with these cards so far. We’ve done simple matching games, as well as more in-depth lessons.

Sea Creature 3-Part Cards  Sea Creature 3-Part Cards

In one activity, he’d draw a card and we’d talk about the sea creature and watch videos.

Sea Creature 3-Part Cards

Jax invented a game in which he’d trace the first letter of the animal’s name with glass pebbles on his sandpaper letters.

Sea Creature 3-Part Cards

I’m sure we’ll come up with more fun ideas over the next couple of weeks!

Ocean in a Bottle

Ocean in a Bottle

There are so many posts out there on how to make an ocean in a bottle. Here is how it went for us!

We ditched the sand. Too hard to see in!

We ditched the sand. Too hard to see in!

First, I needed the perfect bottle. I don’t drink soft drinks or anything, so I didn’t have much on hand. I had one water bottle in the fridge from a long walk we’d taken, but if you squeezed it, you could smash it in. I needed something with thick plastic, a smooth shape (for no distortions) and a wide mouth (to put the dolphin through.) I browsed the water aisle at the supermarket and found the perfect one – a $2 plastic bottle of VOSS water (which btw, tastes like… water!) These come in glass as well, but Jax definitely couldn’t manage a heavy water-filled glass bottle yet.

Ocean in a Bottle  Ocean in a Bottle  Ocean in a Bottle

We started out using some craft sand in our bottle, but it didn’t work out. As soon as we added our colored water to the sand, it got super frothy and stuck to everything. We rinsed out the bottle and started over without the sand. Jax did enjoy pouring it in with a funnel, though.

Ocean in a Bottle  Ocean in a Bottle

I dropped both blue and green food dye into our water and Jax stirred. We wanted a pretty turquoise ocean. Jax held the bottle while I poured, then he chose some tiny shells and added them in with the dolphin calf.

Ocean in a Bottle

Hi, I’m cute!

I put some paper down before pouring the oil in. I filled the bottle the rest of the way with the oil (but not where the cap covers.) Not pictured, I wiped the bottle down until it was clean and dry, then ran some hot glue around the top before screwing the cap on tightly.

Ocean in a Bottle

The oil and water separate to simulate the look of the air and ocean waves when you rock it back and forth. Just figuring out how to hold the heavy bottle and make the correct motion was a good activity for Jax!

Ocean in a Bottle

He really enjoyed watching the waves, and when he is a little older, we can discuss the science behind them.

Aquarium Scavenger Hunt & Coconut Sensory Sand

We’ve just begun our first themed homeschool unit: the ocean! We will be going to the beach for my birthday weekend in one month, so it is perfect timing to learn all about the beach, the ocean and sea life before we get there.

Aquarium Scavenger Hunt & Coconut Sensory Sand

To kick off the unit, we took a visit to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. I was pretty sure Jax was going to love it, but I wanted to make it extra fun and engaging. I created a colorful aquarium scavenger hunt!

Aquarium Scavenger Hunt & Coconut Sensory Sand

Our scavenger hunt held up well. I had the sheets back-to-back inside a freezer bag that I trimmed and taped closed.

To make an aquarium scavenger hunt:

Being a graphic designer by day, I used Adobe InDesign to make my scavenger hunt layout. You could easily make a table in Microsoft Word. The photos were copied from the aquarium’s exhibit list, and I made sure to check if the exhibits were closed. (My absolute favorite animal, the green sea turtle, was not on exhibit. Boo!)

Ready to hunt for sea creatures with daddy! Happy Father's Day!

Ready to hunt for sea creatures with daddy! Happy Father’s Day!

I made sure to include boxes for marking off found animals, a large simple name for each one, then a smaller full name. Not shown, I typed up facts about each one as I added it to the hunt. Information like: region, fun fact and which exhibit it was in. I ended up remembering the facts and not needing to pull out my list. The font I used is a free Dnealian handwriting font, often used in Montessori.

Some animals we found from our list:

Poison Dart Frog

Poison Dart Frog

Porqupinefish

Porqupinefish

Dolphin

Dolphin

Aquarium Scavenger Hunt & Coconut Sensory Sand

Golden Lion Tamerin

In order to make the scavenger hunt easier in a dark, crowded aquarium, we used stick-on jewels to mark off each animal. They we very easy to peel and stick quickly. They were repositionable as I had laminated the two sheets of the hunt together with a freezer bag.

Searching for sea animals!

Searching for sea animals!

The scavenger hunt was a big hit! I ended up carrying it most of the time so Jax’s hands were free to point and explore. I’d tell him what we needed to find in each tank, and we’d hunt together and mark each one off with a gem. We found a lot more than I’d thought we would! (The reason I made my hunt so large so so he’d have more opportunities to find the animals.) I made sure the point was to find as many as we could, not that we had to find all of them.

The Baltimore Aquarium is in those triangular buildings. We walked the Inner Harbor after lunch. Jax got a break with a hip carry in my ring sling.

The Baltimore Aquarium is in those triangular buildings. We walked the Inner Harbor after lunch. Jax got a break with a hip carry in my ring sling.

Aquarium Scavenger Hunt & Coconut Sensory Sand

Coconut Sensory Sand

Today we did beach-themed sensory work. Using three ingredients (4 cups white flour, 4 cups wheat flour and 1 cup coconut oil), I mixed up some amazing smelling sensory “sand” for Jax. (Thank you And Next Comes L for the recipe!) I hid seashells from our collections as well as dollar store glass gems. I presented the bin to Jax with a small sifter shovel from Target and a bowl for collecting his beach treasures.

Aquarium Scavenger Hunt & Coconut Sensory Sand

He started out hesitant to get his hands dirty, but soon the excitement of finding treasure won over staying clean. He scooped, sifted and dug to find all the hidden objects. Then Jax suggested we write letters in the sand. He wanted to write the words “ocean” and “wave” that were up on his chalkboard. We also made impressions in the sand with the shells and our hands. Jax made “sand balls” by squeezing handfuls then laughed as he crumbled them.

Aquarium Scavenger Hunt & Coconut Sensory Sand  Aquarium Scavenger Hunt & Coconut Sensory Sand  Aquarium Scavenger Hunt & Coconut Sensory Sand

I’ve seen on many blogs that you can write letters on shells and hide them. I didn’t want to write on our vacation shells, so we didn’t do that yet. There are lots of fun things you could do with sensory sand!

More Montessori fun with glass pebbles

There are so many great Montessori-inspired activities to do with dollar store glass pebbles, from sensory bins to counting tools!

This past week, Jax and I have already used them for counting with our number cards and to trace our sandpaper letters. Some other ideas are:

Aquarium Scavenger Hunt & Coconut Sensory Sand  Aquarium Scavenger Hunt & Coconut Sensory Sand

Find more Montessori activities at the Montessori Monday link-up!
Montessori Monday