Montessori Sorting Activities

Montessori Sorting Activities

“Sorting is an open ended activity with many variations. It can be as simple as sorting a bowl of coins into smaller bowls of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.” Other possibilities include: pasta shapes, beads, pom-poms, beans, paper clips, and many other common household items. Please remember to supervise children when small objects are being used, as objects can be choking hazards.



The Direct Purpose of Sorting Activities

“Learning to recognize commonalities and differences among objects in our world helps a child create more organized patterns of thought and information retrieval.” The sorting activities that children use in Montessori allow them to “experience the satisfaction of creating order out of chaos; and learn about classifying objects based on common physical properties”. Both visual discrimination and stereognostic perception become developed as the children work towards more challenging sorting activities. 

The Indirect Purpose of Sorting Activities

Sorting activities can prepare children for future math concepts; “sets and groups are easily visualized when sorting”. Science activities can be explored by “grouping objects or living things according to properties such as magnetism, flotation, type of substance, and biological categories”.

Learn More about Sorting

If you use Montessori activities at home with your children, or would like to expand and improve your sorting activities for your students at school, we highly recommend Montessori At Home!

Montessori at HomeThis affordable, and easily accessible eBook will give you more sorting ideas, and help you expand all areas of your classroom or homeschool environment.  It includes helpful Montessori theory, tons of ideas and examples of how to use Montessori style activities with your children. Through the use of this book and a commitment from you, “you can help your child develop a more powerful brain, a confident and positive self image, and advanced reading, writing, and math skills.”
All quotes taken directly from Montessori At Home! with permission from the author.

Win almost 1000 printable Montessori materials!

Win almost 1000 printable Montessori materials

How would you like a chance to win our Montessori Deluxe CD Rom Collection? It’s a 2 Disc Collection that’s packed with 993 printable Montessori materials and 4 Primary Montessori Teaching Manuals.
Wouldn’t that be a fantastic way to start your new school year?It starts 8-26-2011 and ends 9-10-2011
Open World-Wide

To enter you need to click on over to


A Child’s Absorbent Mind

The Absorbent Mind

The “absorbent mind” refers to the mind’s capacity to take in information and sensations from the world that surrounds it.

Young children are a testament to the mind’s awesome ability to absorb. A baby is born without language, and with few skills other than their survival instinct. From birth to three years they use their senses (hands, eyes, ears, and nose) to soak in everything that surrounds them. The child does this naturally, and without thought or choice. Maria Montessori referred to this period as the ‘unconscious creation’.

The information that the child unconsciously absorbs from his surroundings in the early years is used to construct and create himself. Within a few short years… Read the full article


The Likes And Dislikes Of The Children In The Casa dei Bambini

The Likes And Dislikes Of The Children In The Casa dei Bambini

When Maria Montessori opened the first Casa dei Bambini in 1907 (in the slums of Rome), she kept very detailed data on each child who attended. These children were considered “disadvantaged” and she wanted to know if her theories held true to all children regardless of their socioeconomic standing.

She gathered information regarding their nutrition, weight, habits, and her observations of their progress. Her purpose was to understand the whole child – their physical development and their intellectual achievement.

“… when dealing with children, there is a greater need for observing than of probing. (S,14) … a child possesses an active psychic life even when he cannot manifest it, and … must secretly perfect this inner life over a long period of time. (S, 14) … It is the spirit of the child that can determine the course of human progress and lead it perhaps even to a higher form of civilization. (S,9) … a child’s spirit can be so deeply hidden that it is not immediately apparent… it is the child alone that can reveal the plan that is natural to man.” Maria Montessori

Eventually, Maria Montessori drew up a list of the likes and dislikes of the children in the Casa dei Bambini to help guide her in the application of her principles. This was her list:

1. The children like:

  • repetition of the exercise
  • free choice
  • control of error
  • analysis of movements
  • exercise of silence
  • good manners in social contacts
  • order in the environment
  • care for personal cleanliness
  • training of the senses
  • writing separated from reading
  • writing before reading
  • reading without books
  • discipline in free activity

2. The children dislike:

  • rewards and punishments
  • spellers
  • lessons in common
  • programs and examinations
  • toys and sweets
  • a teacher’s desk

Do you see these same ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ in the children you teach today?

Montessori At Home!

Montessori At Home!

We’re so excited to welcome Montessori At Home! in our line-up of online Montessori partners. Montessori At Home! is a thorough, affordable, and accessible book for parents wanting to learn how to make and use Montessori early learning activities at home.

Montessori at Home

Convenience of digital eBook format

This book is available in digital eBook format (pdf file). It’s a convenience that you’ll love! You’ll receive your eBook by email and you can either read it on your computer, or print it out and take it with you to read on the go. This adopts the same principle of convenience that our printable Montessori materials adhere to  – Click, Print, Teach. It’s that easy!


Instruction on how to make and use Montessori activities

The Montessori At Home! book gives you complete instructions on making and using over 200 Montessori early learning activities, adapted for use at home with 3-7 yr. olds.

Most of the activities are made using items you already have at home or which can be easily
& inexpensively obtained anywhere. Recommendations are also given on affordable Montessori materials for the home, as well as for over 100 websites offering resources and materials- many of them free!

What do you get from Montessori At Home

All the information you need to give your child the benefits of a Montessori preschool right at home, is included in this book! To find out more about Montessori At Home! and what’s coming up in the near future read our brief interview with author John Bowman.

About John Bowman
John Bowman’s most rewarding work was being a Montessori preschool Teacher and Director. He opened three new Montessori preschool programs; and was the first Director of the Garfield Montessori School in Denver, Colorado. His goals now are to encourage parents to do early learning activities with their children and to show them how.

Extension lessons for the Moveable Alphabet

Extension lessons for the Moveable Alphabet

One of the tutorials included in the “How To…” section on our website is how to make a moveable alphabet. The Moveable Alphabet is a wonderful language material that gives a child the ability to express what is in his mind, without the need for skillful manipulation of a pencil.

printable Montessori Moveable Alphabet by Montessori Print Shop

The ability to manipulate the letters and create the words a child is thinking of, removes a lot of the frustration that children experience if they have difficulty putting a pencil to paper. Review the tutorial, and make yourself a printable Moveable Alphabet – your child will love it!

Printable Picture Cards

Also available in our Moveable Alphabet section: printable Moveable Alphabet picture cards. These picture cards are an extension lesson that can be used as visual prompts to help children work independently with the Moveable Alphabet. The picture cards are grouped by skill level, so that the children work successfully within their current skill level. These picture cards can be used to create words with either our printable Moveable Alphabet, or the large wooden Moveable Alphabet.

Printable Moveable Alphabet

Our picture cards come in two sizes, with or without color-coding. The color-coded set follows our Pink Blue Green Language Series and the set without color-coding follows our Step 1, 2, 3 Language Series (you can read more about this language system in our Language FAQ’s).

Sound Cards for the Printable Moveable Alphabet

Sound cards are another extension for the moveable alphabet. They allow the child additional time to explore sounds and complete words that are missing either the initial sounds, vowel sounds, or ending sounds. We have sound cards for the large wooden Moveable Alphabet and also for our Printable Moveable Alphabet – since we know there are so many of you who have made your own set.

Available in 3 color combinations (red/blue, pink/blue, blue/red) and for initial, vowel or final sounds in our Moveable Alphabet section:

Moveable Alphabet Sound Cards

Starting a new Montessori school year

Starting a new Montessori school year

Summer is Ending!
It’s only a few more weeks until summer dwindles down here in Ontario/Canada. The weather has been very hot and dry (except for yesterday morning when it rained cats and dogs), and the teachers are starting to think about the beginning of the school year. We hope you’ve found the time to rejuvenate yourselves and enjoy ample time with family and friends!

Preparing New Materials
By now, I’m sure you’re all tired of printing, laminating, and cutting!  We have some tutorials on our site that will help you make Land & Water Forms, a Moveable AlphabetPrepare 3-Part Cards, make pouches for Language cards, store your Pink Blue Green Language Series, and more. Are you excited to see how the children respond to all the new printable Montessori materials you’ve prepared?

New Articles
Be sure to check out all of the new articles on our website. We’ve been adding new content, and transferring some from our blog to our website so that you can locate it with greater ease: Normalization, observation, student-teacher ratio, and the Silence Game are a few.  We’ve had several requests to use information/articles for parent education nights, or for linking to a school website or blog. We’re very happy to share our information/articles with others – that’s why we’ve added it to our site. If you are going to use our information/articles in any format please be kind enough to include our name/website (Montessori Print Shop – on printed materials, and a link to the information/article if it’s being used on your website or blog.

One of the great things about the online Montessori community is the ability to share ideas. We’re currently conducting a poll on Facebook and would love it if you would come and share your thoughts with us. The question is…What transitional materials do you have out for NEW children attending Montessori for the first time? The most challenging time in the Montessori classroom is definitely the first few weeks when you’re trying to settle new children in and get the basic presentations done. Most schools use some transitional materials (puzzles, blocks, wooden beading) to help the children – what do you use? Please visit the poll to leave your comments.


Normalization in the Montessori Environment

Normalization in the Montessori Classroom

Normalization in the Montessori classroom refers to the focus, concentration, and independence of the children, by their own choice.  It means they have acquired the internal freedom to initiate work, be independent, and adhere (by choice) to the rules of the environment.

A well prepared Montessori environment facilitates the process of normalization byRead More


Winner of the Nomenclature Giveaway and other things.

1. We have a winner for our Nomenclature CD Rom Giveaway

First off, thank you to everyone for entering, and especially for sharing the news of the Giveaway. We love how generous you all are in spreading the news about Montessori, about Montessori Print Shop, and our Giveaways.

Secondly, just to make things clear to everyone – the winners were selected by using We did not choose the winners ourselves as we did not ask for any specific type of comment for entry. It was not a competition to see who could come up with the wittiest, or saddest comment – it was set up to allow everyone equal opportunity to win. Obviously, the more entries you gained the great opportunity you had to win.

The winner of the Nomenclature CD Rom – #473 – Jade (entry: 7/30/2011 7:13:45pm)
Comment: Hope to win this for my children. Thanks.
For 558 entries it seems kind of a let down for everyone else who didn’t win, doesn’t it? We can’t have that! You all worked so hard to spread the word about the Giveaway – so we’ve drawn 2 more numbers to win a Nomenclature Bundle. Have you all seen the new Bundles we’re offering? 

The following 2 people can select 1 Nomenclature Bundle each (either Cards or Books from Botany, Zoology, or Other). The bundles are downloaded from our online system, so full shipping information is required in order to process your prize and send you the download link. If you don’t wish to send us your full shipping information then unfortunately we will have to select another winner. As with all our customer information, your information will remain completely private.

Winner of 1 Nomenclature Bundle – #76 – Emili (entry: 7/25/2011  9:24:27am)
Comment: Posted about it on a blog post!

Winner of 1 Nomenclature Bundle – #34 – Eleana (entry: 7/25/2011  7:13:04am)
Comment: I love this blog page. I’m hoping to open my own Montessori soon and would
love to win these!


We will contact all 3 winners by email shortly. 

2. We’ve been adding a lot of new content to our main website. Please be sure to take a look! There may be something new that you can learn from or use to benefit your children. Or perhaps there is something we don’t have that you’d like to see? We apologize if you’re having difficultly locating things….we’ve moved some things around. If you find links that aren’t working, please let us know.

3. We’re starting a new format for our Free Montessori Downloads. Starting this month (today actually!), we’ll be releasing 1 new Free Montessori material each and every month. These new materials will always be available for free on the Free Montessori Downloads page. Please do not share the files. Instead, direct others to our Free Montessori Downloads page. Thank you.

The new FREE material being released this month is: Flamingo Nomenclature Cards.Flamingo Nomenclature Cards by Montessori Print Shop

The Flamingo Nomenclature Book is available in our store.Flamingo Nomenclature Book by Montessori Print Shop4. August Sales are posted! If you’re considering expanding your selection of Classified Cards then you definitely want to take a look at the Classified Cards Bundle – it’s 50% Off.