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Friday, April 18, 2014

DIY Montessori learning materials

This week I have been busy bee making and using some homemade Montessori learning materials. They seem to be a big hit with the kids and a much welcomed change to some of the online materials we have been using this yr. I thought I would share some and tell you how I made them at very little cost to me.

These are the number tiles used with the 9 layout. I still need to make 9 thousand blocks but I will be using the base ten set I already have instead of the Montessori bead set. I used a bundle of shims I had in the shed. Shims are angled pieces of wood used to level things like cabinets. You can get them for like $4 at Lowes. I cut off the thin end , sanded them down and wrote the numbers on with sharpie. Then I coated with triple coat finish. If I would have paid better attention I would have color coated the ones and thousands green and the tens blue and the hundreds red. Oh well these will do for now.

These are the blue and red color rods for counting. The real Montessori ones are actually connected where mine are not. I used an old jenga game no one played with any more. I figure not only can the kids use them for counting but the can use them for block building as well.

The addition board you can get this print out free from Montessori Print shop here  I just laminated it and attached to a file folder for easy storage.

you can get basic math equations as well off Montessori print shop in addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. I would laminate because you can use them over and over with many different resources.

The teen board is used for learning numbers 10-19. The real ones are wood but I used two different colored poster board. The pink is two inches wide and has ten 10's on it and then the green tiles are 1 in and are 1-9.

My 4yr old Maverick working with the teen board.

This is my daughter Alyssa working with the division board. I made it using a paint canvas but you could make one using some ply wood . It really could be used for multiplication as well.

The Montessori stamp game also from Montessori print shop. It is used when learning place value and can also be used along side a set of base ten blocks. i don't have a color printer so I cut construction paper in the needed colors to fit my printer and the number tiles printed out just fine. I laminated everything so it will last longer.

Our morning wall is not really Montessori as far as I know but is a great learning aid to have for young children who are just learning about the calendar, seasons, weather, ect. This is the first thing we do everyday.  You can buy one off amazon for about $30 or you can piece together your own for about ten using items from dollar tree and walmart.

My 4 yr old working with the 1-10 cards. I suggest using two different colors so you can cover even and odd numbers in a very visual way. The glass gems run 1-2 dollars at walmart. This is what he has worked on all week. I mix the cards up and have him put them in order 1-10 then I have him place the correct number of gems with each card , making sure to place them in groups of two so that we can go back and visually see which ones do not have a partner/friend and cover even and odd. Then I have him place the color beads below with the correct number of bead on each strain. Then I go back and point to each number while asking can you tell me is this number even or odd. I do that agin but in random order. Then we end the lesson by counting the evens 2,4,6,8,10 and counting the odds 1,3,5,7,9.

Montessori colored beads. The real ones come on metal wire. I made mine that way but my son didn't like the texture of the metal. So I went back and made these with pipe cleaners and he likes them much better. His issues with textures is why we do not use the sandpaper letters or draw in sand.

I still have a good many more DIY educational items I am working on making for next school year along with themed boxes for topics like ocean animals, insects, space, ect..I will post those when I get them completed. I think I have about $15-$20 dollars in making all of the above. If I had bought the real ones it would have cost me hundreds.Our homeschool is a little bit of this and a little bit of that but we mainly used Montessori for math and Waldorf for History and Science with some added in resources. Since we will be moving to pretty much year round learning I am hoping to have everything pulled together and ready to go by June.


  1. I like your way of presentation, Great ways to prepare preschool equipments with in less amount.

  2. Good activities. Perfect equipment for a PreSchool.
    Thank You