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I am a home schooling mom to three amazing kiddos.  We primarily use the Montessori pedagogy to guide our journey.  We also enjoy aspects of classical education and are part of Classical Conversations community. 

I write a Montessori column for Practical Homeschooling Magazine.

I am still a geek at heart and at times miss my former career as an Information Architect/SharePoint Specialist.  I don't have much free time but if I do, it is spent on comic books and video games.
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Favorite Montessori-ish Resources

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If you've been around my blog for any length of time, you know the traditional Montessori materials captivate me.  During our journey, I have come across a number of things that have added to our Montessori experience.  However, some of our favorites are items that may not be found on a traditional Montessori scope and sequence.  I'm excited to share them with you in no particular order, outside of saving my favorite for last.

Pro Tip:  I've found that our family is far more likely to purchase these kinds of items for birthdays and holidays than traditional materials.  In fact, nearly everything on the list was a gift at one point.




Mystery Box & Guessing Game from Lakeshore Learning
While this box seems unassuming, it has held all of my children's attention for several years.  The box has openings on either side, allowing one person to insert an object while another reaches inside and tries to identify the object by touch alone.  While you could put anything in the box, I do like the additional miniature set with matching cards.  We have come up with numerous ways to use it.



4D Deluxe Human Anatomy Model by Fame Master
I agonized over finding a good anatomy model.  It seems like they were either far too small or too large.  At 15 inches, this one is perfect for a homeschool classroom.  The details blew me away.  It goes beyond the basic organs with 54 parts.  You can open various organs and see inside, such as the bile ducts in the liver or the lining of the stomach.  I'm extremely happy with this purchase as I know this will be something my children use for years.  My daughter was so inspired by it that she began to create a paper model of each individual part.




Liquid Measuring Set by Learning Resources
This set has been a blast for playing with liquid measuring.  It covers about any size you can imagine.  Not only is it fun, but the pieces are designed to nest well so it doesn't take up nearly as much room as it looks from the picture.  All of my children enjoy it.



Can Do! Science Kits by Lakeshore Learning
These kits are so much fun!  They are great for preschool and Kindergarten aged children.  There are small experiment cards that are designed by pre-readers.  The can contains everything needed to run through 5-6 experiments.  They have always kept my littles engaged.  They are easy to store, too.


Deluxe Doorbell House by Melissa and Doug
We've had this for five years so far, and my younger two are still interested in it.  This house has four doors, each containing a person.  The doors are locked but can be opened with the keys attached to the handle.  I love the setup because it ensures we aren't constantly losing keys.



T-Rexcavator Game by Uncle Milton
This game is similar to Operation, except with a dinosaur.  I often had trouble getting interest with tweezing for my boys.  This immediately grabbed their interest.  It comes with a set of cards that tells you which bones to draw.  Sometimes they use them, sometimes they prefer an open choice.  Like Operation, you can put batteries in it, and it will make noise if you touch the side.  I have intentionally left the batteries out and kept the focus on retrieving the bones.



Alphabet Zoo by Lakeshore Learning
This set is fantastic for introducing alphabet sounds.  It includes 26 animals, one for each letter of the alphabet.  While I thought it was relatively unremarkable, one of my children is obsessed with it.  One of my favorite parts is the setup of the box.  The playmat unfolds from the box and stays attached.  When not in use, it folds back for easy storage.




Tumble Down Counting Pegs by TAG Toys
I decided to try this instead of the toddle imbucare peg box.  It was a hit.  It comes with different sets of plates for the pegs.  The fun part is that once all of the pegs have been added, you can pull the knob on the side, and the pegs slide out the bottom.  We initially got this when my youngest was two, and he instantly took to it.  He will be five soon, and he still uses it from time to time.



Vintage Wooden Fruit Bowl from Ebay
While wood polishing is a traditional Montessori activity from the primary years, I added a fun twist by finding a vintage wooden fruit bowl on Ebay.  It has added a great deal of interest, and my children often want to use the fruit for other purposes, too.  I was surprised at how many affordable wooden options were available.



And now we're down to my favorite!  Piper
Piper is a computer that children build themselves.  It plays a custom version of Minecraft that teaches children electronics.  For example, the switches that are used to control your player must be physically built on the breadboard.  The wooden case was a little too challenging for her to build solo, but it was a fun project to do together.  And the result is gorgeous.  The photo doesn't do the quality justice.  She has spent hours on it already.  The development team is constantly releasing updates and expanding the game play.  What's even more amazing is that it all folds up into a little box for portability.  I can't recommend this enough.




I hope you enjoyed ten of my favorite Montessori-ish finds.

Bess
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This post is part of the 12 Months of Montessori series.  I am honored to take part in it.  If you'd like to see other Favorite Things, please visit the links below.


Great Montessori Materials That Are Easy On Your Budget | Natural Beach Living

Free Montessori Curriculum List & Resources {Printable} | The Natural Homeschool

Favorite Montessori Phonics Materials for Preschoolers | Living Montessori Now

Favorite Montessori Zoology Puzzles | Mama’s Happy Hive

Handmade Montessori Material Finds | The Kavanaugh Report

Highly Recommended Montessori Materials | The Pinay Homeschooler

Favorite Montessori-ish Resources | Grace and Green Pastures

Our Favorite Montessori Materials through the Ages | Christian Montessori Network


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