HOTM Blog Hop- Montessori: Cultural Activities

Welcome to day 7 of 10 Days of Homeschooling Montessori!
To see the rest of the series:

Montessori cultural activities can encompass a wide array of works: art, music, geography, science, etc.  It is a way to connect the children with not only the culture and social environment that they are familiar with, but also to connect them with other cultures and societies.  Here is a great post on cultural activities that includes links and videos.
In our homeschool, much of our geography, art, music and science is done together with the older children.  We read a lot of living books about different subjects, do science experiments and art activities, and interact with each other as we experience the world.  I do include some cultural activities into the preschool Montessori works, but they are probably about 10-15% of the total amount of works I use.
Here are some ideas for the different areas of cultural activities:
Science:

Botany puzzle
  • Assembling a flashlight.  Have all of the parts out and available, and let the child explore the right way to put it together so that the light comes on.  
  • Circuit activity. There are different kits you can buy with simple circuits to make.
balance with weights and small items to explore
  • Balance and weights of different kinds.
  • Botany or Zoology puzzles
  • Sorting plant and/or animal figures or pictures into categories
    • living and non-living
    • land and water animals
    • deciduous and coniferous trees
    • vertebrates and invertebrates
  • A nature table or tray to display things the child has collected.
  • Sorting and identifying shells or stones (with an identification book)
  • scrubbing pennies- toothbrush, water and white vinegar, dirty old pennies
Penny scrubbing


Geography:  There are two branches of geography explored in Montessori: physical and political
  • Puzzle maps with map templates for self correction.  We actually have all of these- a gift from the grandparents- but they are pricey to have them all.  The kids love them though, so you might consider one per year as you study different continents.
Geography cabinet with control maps
  • land and water models- I love these, though we don’t have them.  You could make them with salt dough and some foil trays.  Here are cards to print and laminate.
  • sandpaper globe
  • climate, continent, country books and cards (you can find many of these at Montessori Services.  Just click on their Geography and Culture section on the left sidebar.  There are many, many things to choose from.)
  • children and cultures from around the world (we like the books Children Just Like Me, and Hungry Planet)
  • world flags- this is a fun activity to be used with a book of world flags like this one.


Art:
  • color mixing with colored water in dropper bottles
  • any craft or open-ended art material
    • do-a-dot markers
    • colored pencils
    • markers
    • stamp and ink pad
    • bendaroos or wikki stix (can also be used for language activities to make letters)
    • paints
  • cutting and pasting into a collage
  • Playdoh or modeling clay
  • leaf rubbing


Music:  
  • My husband and I are classically-trained musicians by trade, so there is always music in our home and school.  We have a CD player in the schoolroom and I choose a different CD to feature each week.  Some composers I would suggest for school time are Palestrina, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Handel, or Haydn.  Of course, there are many others, but this is a good place to start. 
  • I don’t often have music works out, since they can be distracting, but during circle time we sing songs, including simple rounds, and sometimes bring out percussion instruments to accompany ourselves.  Musician’s Friend is a wonderful place to get reasonably-priced children’s percussion instruments.  It is a huge site, so take some time to explore it.  Some fun ones to create activities with are resonator bells, diatonic bell set, and boomwhackers.


Tomorrow I will post a whole bunch of links to resources, books and organizational supplies that have helped me in creating a Montessori environment, as well as pictures of my organizational system.  And on Thursday I have a guest poster who will share with you about the next plane of development- the 6-9 year old child.





Thanks for visiting today!  Make sure to check out the homeschool posts of the other ladies in the Blog Hop:
Remember to come back on Friday for a giveaway of a Montessori Mystery Bag!