Monday, August 9, 2010

Making Memories, Montessori (& Malaguzzi) Monday: No Butcher, Just the Baker & the Candlestick Maker!

Peanut Butter Cup Time: Memories in the making and Montessori and Malaguzzi tie-ins

Memories in the Making:
This morning, we had to do some errands and register for fall homeschool co-op classes.
As we were trying to purchase some science items for our upcoming fall homeschool co-op class, Little Bro happened to spot a child's deep dish pizza set for sale.
The set comes complete with a pizza, a spatula, a pizza cutter, a deep dish pizza pie pan, some pretend cheese and red pepper shakers.
He saw this neat set and then, he saw a poster called Pizza Fractions so we ended up buying the pizza set and the chart.
The chart is appropriate as the boys have been working with fractions.
Big Bro is doing more complex fractions work while Little Bro has started to do fraction skittles as a Montessori work. 
We are still in summer camp mode, so the pizza set is perfect in that it is both educational and fun, and brings in both pretend play and real world learning. 
It also meets the boys' need for Delight Directed / Delight Driven Learning

The boys love to help in the kitchen, especially when it comes to baking.
Whether it's brownies or pizza, pretzels or cheese bread, helping to bake is something they both enjoy.
They both love to add the ingredients, stir, and put the food into the baking pans or cookie sheets.
Generally, we try to "keep it real" and actually make  / bake the real food items, but sometimes, using play food sets that are well made and also double as math activities work well for us, too.

As Little Bro was diving into his deep dish fun, Big Bro was eying our brand new,  very cool, hands on chemistry set that we purchased. He would have just loved to have been able to get right to it and do every single experiment and investigation in the kit...but alas, he has to wait, as the kit is going to be used in conjunction with their Wednesday science classes this fall...
At first, Big Bro felt bad, as there was Little Bro having a blast with his new pizza work, and there sat Big Bro, who had to be told, "Sorry, but we have to wait and hold off on doing your chemistry set until class starts."

Then, lo and behold, right in with our mail was something that caught his eye...
The Yankee Candle Catalog!!!
This is one piece of mail that is well used in our home!
We first got on their mailing list as our next door neighbors from when we lived in Virginia just love the Home Sweet Home scented collection. We ordered some nice candles for our dear neighbor friends a while back and ever since, we have been getting a catalog from Yankee Candle every few weeks.
Not sure if any of you get this catalog, but it is a hit with both boys, as every issue of their catalog contains several scratch and sniff candle fragrance pages.

Scratch and Sniff Pages make such a great sensorial exercise, plus it is a good way to reduce / reuse / recycle...and it is delivered free to you every few weeks. 

Today, he just scratched and sniffed the pages, but on other occasions, the boys  have cut up the pages as two projects:

Scented Match-Up Cards and Scented Writing Paper
For Scented Match-Up Cards, the boys clip out the scratch and sniff circles and cut each circle in half.Then, they have to match up the scents. This is self correcting, as when they open their eyes, they can see if the candle photo halves make into a whole circle...
For the Scented Writing Paper, they cut out the scented circles, then, scratch them, and then, layer them between sheets of plain paper...kind of gives you a mixed up scent, but smells good for the most part...
Very fun and free to boot!
Just have to check about allergies if you do either of these with children...
When Big Bro wrapped up sniffing all of the fall fragrances, I told him about how some bloggy friends had made their own gel candles...we looked at the post over at One Hook Wonder and Big Bro was impressed with the gel candles that Bean made...
Now, Big Bro can't wait to make some candles of his own! 

Then, while Big Bro checked out the cool blog post about making gel candles, Little Bro took a turn scratching and sniffing the scented pages. 
So, we had the baker and the candle stick maker, but no butcher today!
Montessori and Malaguzzi tie-ins:
Both the Montessori philosophy and the Reggio Emilia approach propelled illustrate the importance of real world learning, the preparation of the environment, creativity, and the adult role as being more of an observer. 

Please be sure to check out the following:
 Jody at Mommy Moment and her Montessori Monday links...
Thanks to Jody for writing about her family's time here in Florida and for mentioning Sunrise Learning Lab in her post. Jody is a wonderful friend and it was so fun to have her and her family visit us!
Thanks to Nicole and Bean for their inspiring post about making gel candles. 
Big Bro was impressed with the handiwork. We are going to try to make these when the temps cool down this fall so that we can make them on our lanai. The temps are too hot for making them right now, but when we do, we will be sure to again give a shout out to you and your idea.
Thanks to Jen for sharing her awesome family photos of their vacation in Vermont. What a treasure to get to spend quality time with the ones you love in a cabin setting like you did...awesome...makes me wanna go to Vermont for some getaway fun!

Amanda at Not Just Cute has two neat pizza posts:
Her newest post, Book Activity: Pete's A Pizza, highlights William Steig's imaginative book, Pete's A Pizza. She also gives a great recipe for pizza that would be yummy and fun to make with children.
Then, she has another post called Welcome to the Pizza Shop! Prop ideas for Preschool Dramatic Play.
Amanda's posts will really add to what all you can do with the theme of pizza if this is something that you would want to explore as a theme. 
Thanks to Amanda for sharing these posts, as her posts will really add to what you can do if pizza is something that you would want to explore as a theme.

Happy Monday, Everyone!


Jennifer said...


I had no idea Yankee Candle Catalogs could be so much fun! I've never seen one, I've always just shopped in the store. Now to get on their mailing list! And to check out those gel candles. My boys love making soap. We haven't tried candles... YET!

As for Vermont. How about next summer? We'll meet you there! The boys and I are planning on heading up for a month or so. Any friends who want to join us for part of that time are more than welcome. You saw how much fun it was! ;)

Jessie, The Education Of Ours said...

I adore how you always make the learning fun, and how integrated it can be with the Montessori materials. Yay!

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