Monday, 24 November 2014

Montessori Inspired Farm Unit - Part 1

One of the most inspiring blogs I've found online is Sorting Sprinkles. Valerie puts together the most amazing Montessori units with varying themes and according to different age groups.

When I saw her posts about the Farm Unit she had put together for her toddler daughter it was love at first sight! I couldn't wait until Rohan was old enough for me to steal all of these amazing ideas. (You can see Valerie's farm posts here and here).

Of all the themed units we've done this year - food, transport, space, Africa and Egypt - this one has been our favourite. Yep, even over Dinosaurs! (which I'll blog about soon). We loved it so much we kept it set up for two months.

I've had trouble cutting down the number of photos I want to show you in this post so this is a long one! Go make a cuppa first, I'll wait.

Ready? Okay...

If you've read any of my other Montessori posts or follow me on Instagram you'll know that Rohan really, really loves matching things to cards- especially when they are animal figurines. (He may be a little too organised like his mama!)
Over time we built up quite a collection and early on I would spread out the cards to focus on identifying the male, female and/or adult and baby names of the main farm animals. 
This is also an activity he could do by himself - spreading out the cards and matching them. Oh, how I love this closed-eye, so-proud-of-myself smile! 
This sensory tub was a lot of fun to set up...
I used the coloured rice from our Hungry Caterpillar tub as grass, then added a pig pen and a pond for the duck and goose.
And great to play with - It lasted all of an hour before he had everything - rice, dirt and water - all mixed in together (and a few dinosaurs attacking the animals!) but oh, boy did he have fun!

After that we kept a few mess-free farm models set up for imaginative play. These were used for a large part of every day. 

Our Fisher Price Little People Farm...
And our Duplo farm set...
The art activities were my absolute favourites. How cute is this painting-mud-on-a-pig? (The little sponges help develop pincer/pencil grip)
Then we finger-painted spots on a cow.
And stamped animals into this farm scene.
Our finally sensory activity was play dough with farm animal shaped cutters.
We set up a reading corner with all of our books about farms and farm animals. Rohan's favourites are The Pig in the Pond and Stuck in the Muck.
On the other side of the room we had our shelves filled with puzzles, language, math and practical life activities.
I love that most of our learning happens before we've even gotten out of our pyjamas!
Our practical life activities include spooning corn...
Using an eye-dropper to transfer coloured water...
and pouring beans...
We introduced Math concepts with simple 1:1 feeding the chickens corn...
And sorting numbers from farm animals...
Of the few farm puzzles we had on display, this Melissa and Doug set was a winner. He complete these multiple times a day. They're a good size to fit in the nappy bag too and came in handy when we took his brothers out for hair cuts (I'm not prepared to cut his curls - like ever!)
In addition to learning the names of the farm animals, our language activity included this map which introduced concepts such as "next to" and "across the road from". I'm also amazed I didn't teach him any bad words because he kept leaving this plastic snake in various places and scaring the life outta me! One of the reasons I don't think I could ever actually cope living on a farm! 
We were also able to do a bunch of other activities that, I thought, related to farm life and growing and cooking from scratch but I'll save those for another post!

Have you ever visited a farm? 

 

3 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It's the pig that really did it for me! I waited a whole year to be able to do this unit after being incredibly inspired by Valerie's posts and it was worth it. I may have enjoyed it more than Ro!

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  2. Thank you so much for the credit Sarah! It looks like your son really enjoyed this theme too! I'm glad I was able to generate some ideas for you to try at home with your little one! :)

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