Sunday, January 30, 2011

On Our Shelves - February

Like most, our theme for February is Valentine's Day. You can click here to see posts of all the fun things we did last year (when James was 2 & 3/4 years old).

Practical Life
Tweezing Roses. This idea comes from My Montessori Journey. I made these out of felt - click here to see my tutorial.

Weaving Ribbons.

Pouring Confetti Hearts.

Lacing Beads. James really likes this work and it's one we've done a few different times - I just adjust the colors to match our theme.

Open & Close Basket. Always a favorite in our home. There are little heart shaped erasers inside each container.

Buttoning Hearts. This is the same one I made last February. As you can see, it's very similar to our button snake.

Polishing Wood. I'll write more about this soon.


Still on our shelves: Baric Tablets, the Pink Tower, Geometric Solids, Knobbed & Knobless Cylinders.

Moveable Alphabet. I think this is my favorite of all Montessori materials. James loves spelling out words.
I've added some of the objects from our alphabet box to make it even more fun.

Tracing. I found these great printables from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Be sure to check out the link - she has loads of Valentine's Day printables.

Sequencing Hearts. I cut these hearts out of foam paper. I'll create a pattern for James and he'll finish it.

Fine Motor w/ Beads. I really didn't know where to categorize this work, but I thought since it focuses on the pincer grasp (the same used in writing) I'd put it under Language. Anyway, this is actually a connect four type of game (I found at our local fair trade store) and if James is interested I'll teach him how to play it.

Blue Series Work. I have to admit, I haven't been focusing on this as much as I originally thought I would. Not sure why. So, we're still working our way through it all.

Dot Stamping the Letter V. Printable from here.

Valentine Poetry Basket. I'll write more about this later in the week.

Mouse's First Valentine, by Lauren Thompson
Little Mouse's Big Valentine, by Thacher Hurd
Valentine Mice!, by Bethany Roberts
Arthur's Valentine, by Marc Brown
The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats
I purchased all of these at our local second hand store. With the exception of The Snowy Day, which I love, I have to say, none of these books are all that great and I think a couple of them may even be out of print. I also thought it was funny that three of the books focus on mice... I had no idea mice were so connected with Valentine's Day! :)

Cards & Counters. Heart shaped cards and 55 pink buttons as counters.

Addition Heart Game. To play this game James will roll the die and then put the correct number of white hearts into the muffin tin (one for each cup), then he'll roll the die again and put the correct number of red hearts into the tin. He'll then add up all the hearts to find the sum.

Matching Heart Cards. We had this on our shelves last year, too. This year I plan to point out to James that the number of hearts on the card matches the numeral shown.

Graphing Hearts. I found this graph/idea on Kidssoup. I've filled the little heart shaped box with small conversation candy hearts and once James places them on the grid he'll be able to count them and see which colors have more/less.

Still on our shelves: Sandpaper Numerals, Red & Blue Rods, and The Hundreds Board.

Science & Culture
Outer Space. You have no idea what a huge hit our space unit was with James! He loved it all and so I've decided to extend our study of outer space for the month of February.

Still on our shelves: North America Continent Bag.

Art & Music

Composer of the Month: Johann Strauss.

Stamping Hearts. James is crazy about stamps and in this case instead of a self-inking stamper, he'll need to use a little ink pad.

Scissor Practice. To make these I simply put heart stickers on white strips of paper. James will use the heart stickers as guide and cut in between them. The bowl is for the cut bits.

Painting Watercolor Hearts.

Art Basket.

Still on our shelves: Instrument Nomenclature Cards.

I'm linking this post up to The Preschool Corner.

~Thank you for your comments!~


Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

I am always impressed and a bit envious of your terrific presentation and beautiful materials. Space has been a big hit here too, and I hope to do more of it in February too.

Mara said...

Wow, you are amazingly organized! When I grow up, I want to be like Counting Coconuts mom. ☺

Katie said...

I love the chocolate playdoh. It's such a cute idea

Debbie said...

Beautiful activities! I love them all!

Elle Belles Bows said...

Love the idea of pouring the confetti! Kerri

Anonymous said...

Everything looks beautiful! I want to come and learn and play right along side of James!!

Corrie said...

I love the idea of sensory tubs, and I use them a lot. But I've recently been thinking about why....What do you think? What is the objective of sensory tubs?

Olives and Pickles said...

All the activities look so nice and fun!!James will enjoy them so much.
Good job Mama : )

melissa said...

Beautiful, as always! I'm really intrigued by your graphing hearts. I have never seen anything like it before. I also love the seasonal twist on cutting practice. Logging both ideas away for future use!

Deb Chitwood said...

FANTASTIC, as always! I love the way you can take a simple pouring activity and make it creative, attractive, and seasonal (like pouring confetti hearts). All your activities are wonderful! I featured your post at

Kendra said...

I'm newish to your site and LOVE all your ideas.... I'm 9 months pregnant with my second and JUST might go right down your list and use most of these activities for this month with my three year old since I think most of them are appropriate for her! ha!

I tell you, you're also an inspiration to get organized in general:)

The girl who painted trees said...

We love connect four here, but we have an ugly plastic one. Love yours. We do a lot of painting at our house, but I love the way you present it on a tray. It looks so well contained. Our set up is a bit different - on shelves instead of trays. I give Bear quite a lot of artistic freedom so she has access to everything and it's all well organized out on the shelves for her.

Counting Coconuts said...

You all are very sweet! Thanks so much for your comments, they always make me smile.

@Corrie: You'll want to have a look at this post to see my thoughts on WHY sensory tubs are so great:

Sippy Cup Central said...

As always, this looks wonderful. Happy Learning! Karen

fjkelly said...

Love the works, as always! Such love and care :-) I noticed that you have a print version of the moveable alphabet (as opposed to cursive). I was wondering what your views on this (rather contentious!) issue might be? I would like to introduce letters at home and was favouring the print sandpaper letters, but I know that when my daughter attends a Montessori preschool she will be exposed to cursive. Do you think this will be confusing for her?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Counting Coconuts said...

Hi Fiona,
You know, I didn't give the print vs. cursive first issue any thought whatsoever. I learned to print first with cursive coming years later and I've never had any problems with my handwriting in either form. I personally think it's easier to learn to print first and I don't really see the necessity of learning cursive until much later. I'm afraid I couldn't say how learning one form at home and another at school will affect your daughter... perhaps it'll be like learning two languages at once? Children at this age are amazingly adept.

Nikki's Mummy said...

Your activities are, as usual, amazing. You are such an inspiration! It makes me quite impatient for my one year old to catch up so I can start doing some of these activities with him...

twolittleseeds said...

Totally amazing! x

Carissa said...

I love your ideas. I added a few to my own February plans. Thank you! A twist that I gave to your "cutting between the hearts" was that I created a pattern and had him put the rest of the hearts on today to complete the pattern. I will have him cut it apart later this week.

fjkelly said...

Thanks for your thoughts Mari-Ann! I was wondering if I might be overthinking it :-) Like you, I printed first and later learned cursive with ease. I've just been told that traditional Montessorians think cursive is the only way to go.


Anonymous said...

I love the chocolate playdough, but I just know Lex would eat it.

Anonymous said...

You are so inspiring! Thank you for taking the time to photograph all of your wonderful work! I am a teacher and you can bet we'll be using some of these ideas in our classroom during the next couple of weeks.

Jennifer Williams said...

That all looks lovely, I especially like the pouring heart confetti and the graphing idea, as well as the buttoning hearts! Just a mention... i found the blue series more motivating for my daughter when i simplified the number of digraphs we did at one time, so i did 'blue box' type set-ups with pictures and objects of maybe 'cr' and 'cl' sounds for a week or two, then we switched around to 'sh' and 'th' and i did some extension activities (just games and word wheels and bingo and the like) to reinforce the blend. Jen x

Natym said...

All is very beautiful! Thanks a lot!

I featured your post on my french blog :


Deb Chitwood said...

Now I linked to your lacing beads at

twolittleseeds said...

Hi, I have linked. Thanks for the inspiration! xx


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