Monday, 13 October 2014

Montessori Inspired Transport Unit

I set up this unit back in April and there were a few factors that made this particular themed unit work really well. 
Firstly, I got these great new shelves that fit under the back of our kitchen bench perfectly. More space for more fun activities!
This unit coincided with school holidays which meant that the activities had to suit all three littles at their various ages (7, 4 & 2).

Mainly, we had a lot of our vehicle related toys out for open-ended play. (I'm guessing all of the vehicles and people were being used elsewhere when I took these pics!) Not sure Maria Montessori would approve of all this plastic, though! We have the Fisher Price airport...
Little People Village...
and train...

We also have a big collection of Thomas tracks that make for a very creative play session...
This little train track is a favourite of Rohan's (2).
It opens up to reveal the track and has train storage.

This unit meant that I could also include more advanced construction kits for my seven year old.
The balloon powered cars were fun for everyone with extra explanations of the science involved for the biggest little.

Books are perfect for all ages too...
We had sight words displayed for our early learner...
and a sand tray for practicing letter writing...
This activity used cars to introduce colour...
My two year old was able to match the colours...
While my five year old could see how many car of each colour there were...
A couple of our favourite colourful wooden toys came out to play too...

We introduced colour into our practical life activities too. This one is using tongs...
And this one is pouring water...

I reused the black rocks from the space unit to make a road-surface sensory box. It looks quite dull in this pic but always got lots of use and had plenty more cars added to it over the month.
This simple counting activity was my favourite. Puffs of smoke from trains? Cute! Works particularly well with the Thomas trains as they have numbers too.
The third and final reason this unit worked so well is that our local Aviation Museum has an Open Cockpit Day at the end of April.

This was our second open cockpit day and the boys just love getting to sit in the planes...

They have additional aircraft fly in for the day...
As well as their usual collection of planes and helicopters...
As of this year they now have an F1-11 on permanent display...
Still couldn't convince my kids to climb through the belly of the B52 with me. They think it looks too dark inside (which it is a bit).

(If you're thinking of visiting next year my tip is get there early to avoid the queues - and the heat. The tarmac outside heats up quick and that hanger gets pretty steamy!)  

Getting to wear a real pilot's helmet made this dress-up loving little pretty happy...
Here's our activities arranged in Montessori categories...
Lining up trains
Counting smoke puffs
Colour one-to-one
Colour counting

Sight words
Sand tray
Open-ended play

Open-ended play

Balloon-powered boats
Field trip - Discussing how planes fly

Sensory box
Rainbow puzzle 
Colour matching
Field trip - sitting in aircraft

Practical Life
Tonging stones
Pouring water

Tell me, do your kids love planes, trains and automobiles too? Is it just a boy thing?


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