Chasing Cheerios

Friday, April 18, 2008

What is your favorite Montessori material?

I'm thinking of buying a few more Montessori items, and I'm wondering what other mamas consider as "must haves." We love the knobbed cylinders, but O is a little young for a lot of the other things I've bought. I want to have sandpaper letters, but I can't decide whether to buy them or make them. I think I can make them fairly easily, but I don't know where to find the board to put them on. I also want the red rods, and I know they would be easy to make but I'm not sure if it would be cost effective to make them since I can buy them for $25. Any input is greatly appreciated!


  1. My favorite Montessori material is the geo-solids. Maybe it's because I'm an artist also but they were the first material I completely fell in love with when I first visited a Montessori classroom. I love how the shapes relate to real life, finding similarities and differences, and the smooth blue paint.
    Another favorite: Metal insets
    These appeal to every child I've ever taught! They grow with your child and can be used many different ways.
    Too bad you couldn't visit a Montessori program in your area and see which Materials O is drawn to.

  2. I agree with you about the red rods. I was planning on making them, but realized it would be more cost efficient to buy them.
    We don't have too many materials yet, but I want them all! It's so hard to decide what to invest in. I do have to say that the sandpaper letters that I have for Tatum were a great choice. She's drawn to them so much more than the cardboard ones I got first, and they're very versatile. If I could go back, I would hold off on buying math materials and buy more sensory.

  3. H really likes some of the practical life activies we've gotten for him. He has "Hammering Tees in a Tray" and 3 different boards with various types of screws and bolts and holes to match them into. The Hammering is definately his favorite.

  4. I want to add something helpful to this conversation but am really struggling with a good suggestion. I bought the metal inset from ebay and they are plastic. I saved a ton and so far no regrets. O is still pretty young so you are, I am assuming, mostly focused on PL and sensorial. Most of these items I made or replaced with similar. I made my snadpaper letters too and am happy with those.

    Hmmm, I guess, the golden beads for later seem to me to be just too much to make. We actually are using base ten blocks instead because a Montessori Teacher in the area is having us test out a curriculum he is trying to develop but if not for that I would want the golden beads. Oh, I know, the puzzles are all so beautiful, we have botany and anatomy ones but the maps would be real nice!

    Hope this helps!

  5. I wanted to add...a laminator!

  6. lets see....we made the red rods and he hasn't touched them, i think he has had them out once. He loves the sound pouches, metal insets, cylinder blocks and now the knobless cylinders.
    I gave up having PL activities on the shelf because he never used them but he will fold napkins, hang out laundry etc. i do have a couple of things on the shelf such as using tweezers etc. When we first got the pink tower is was about 18mths old and he used it a lot then but recently he hasn't touched it. He does like the moveable alphabet - I dropped lucky with that and actually got 2 sets for the price of one and the woman who sold it let it go really cheap. I made the sandpaper letters but he isn't that bothered with them.
    I think the most consistantly used are the sound pouches.

  7. I agree with Jo about the sound pouches (mine are bags). I made mine and Josh loves these! I just found items around the house for each letter, about 5 for each. I bought little bags and put a letter sticker on the outside of each bag! VERY EASY!

  8. Thanks so much for all of the input! You've given me lots to think about. I made sound pouches for O several months ago, but I haven't introduced them to her yet. She's so young, but the main reason is that I'm not totally sure how to introduce them. Does anyone have any suggestions or have a resource I can use. I don't want to do it wrong :) Thanks again, ladies!

  9. HI, This is unrelated to your post, but here is my recipe for pizza dough in the bread maker that you asked about.
    1 1/3 c water
    1/4 c olive oil
    2 1/2 c all purpose flout
    1 c whole wheat flour
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    2 tsp yeast

    For me this makes 2 pizzas, but I like thin crust. You can try altering the proportions of whole wheat to regular flour, but the more whole wheat you use you need to add a bit of water and it will become to tougher to roll, so best to try the original recipe out first.

    Good luck.

  10. Hi there... you had asked about our pattern blocks on a previous post. They are wood and they were given to me by a teacher friend. I picked up the cards at Lakeshore, I'm pretty sure they have the pattern blocks there, too. They're universal, all the blocks should work with any pattern cards you find. I like how versatile they are, you can even use them to make the other shapes (for example, using two trapziods to make the hexagon, etc).

  11. Melissa and Stephanie
    I have downloaded several pattern block sheet online, if you are interested drop me an email

    I bought our pattern blocks at Discount school supplies.