Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Tot School Tuesday! September 6, 2010

Tot School 

Bitty Bug is 19.5 months old

Like her big sister, Bug had a busy learning week!  She’s still trying to do all of Monkey’s work, so things got pretty interesting when Monkey had a bunch of work out that utilized water.  Let’s just say that by the end of the week, Bug was also an expert at using a sponge to clean up spilled water!  😉

Bug using Tactile Board 1 to learn the difference between smooth and rough

This was actually very hard for Bug--putting pipe cleaners into the holes of a parmesan cheese shaker. She kept trying to use the far end instead of grasping near the end that she was trying to put in the hole.

Transferring water back and forth with the tea cups

Bug loved to play with the maracas this week! I think she tried them every day!


Those were all of the pictures I was able to snap of her working…the rest of the time I was too busy chasing Bug around with eye droppers, basters, and pitchers of water!  She loved trying to transfer the water with the baster and eyedroppers…or rather, she liked using the baster and eye dropper to blow bubbles in the water. 😉


Behind the scenes: Making Materials September 1, 2010

Filed under: Preschool — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 9:06 am
Tags: , , , ,

Since we do make some of our own materials, I wanted to post the process in case there was someone else that can use the information.  When we bought our material, I wanted to only buy things that a) we couldn’t make ourselves and b) would be used a long time.  For things that would only be used a short time or were easy enough to make ourselves, I didn’t want to have to shell out the cash for (because let’s be honest….Montessori materials are expensive.  There’s no real denying that one.)

Because we only have 2 children we’re homeschooling, we also didn’t need to make some of these things so that they’d last a long time.   So, especially for things like the tactile boards, we took frugal shortcuts.

Dressing Boards

To make dressing frames, we went to Goodwill and found a bunch of wooden picture frames. We took off the back and the glass, leaving just the wood frame. We also went through the bins of old clothes we have at home and picked out some with snaps, large buttons, small buttons, ties, hook & loop, buckles, etc.
We trimmed them to size, and used a power stapler to staple them to the frame.

Tactile Boards

To make the tactile boards, I took some firm foam board and 5 different grades of sandpaper.
For the first board, I glued a piece of rough grade sandpaper onto half of the board, leaving the other half smooth. For the second board, I glued 5 strips of rough grade sandpaper on the board, leaving a strip of smooth foam board exposed between each piece of sandpaper. For the third board, I glued 5 different grades of sandpaper, with the rough one on the top and the smoothest grade on the bottom, leaving a strip of smooth board exposed between each piece.

Tactile matching cards

With the left over sandpaper, I cut two small squares of each of the 5 grades of sandpaper.
Then I glued each piece onto a piece of foam board. On the back of the foam boards, I numbered each pair so that there was an additional control of error.

 Color grading tablets

To make these, I picked up strips of paint chips from the hardware store. Then I glued them onto the foam board.

After gluing the paint chips to the board, I cut out each chip. I numbered each color group (eg: the 3 blue ones, I numbered 1. the three purple ones, I numbered 2, etc.)