WIN a set of World Maps and Pin Map Flags

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the various ways to introduce children to geography by way of the traditional wooden puzzle maps and how ‘pin’ maps make an excellent substitute to the beautiful (but expensive and large) wooden maps.

We’ve shown you a typical progression through the geography materials and the extension lessons here. We’ve shown you in this tutorial how to prepare the geography pin maps and flags – and we’ve shared with you a fantastic alternative to ‘Pin’ Flags.

To top all that, we’ve given you a FREE Map of the World and Pin Map Flags that are available on our Free Montessori Downloads page.

Free Continent Pin Map & Flags by Montessori Print Shop

But how would you like to WIN our World Maps Bundle

Printable Geography Maps by Montessori Print ShopEach of the 9 sets of Maps includes:

  • 1 black and white blank map
  • 1 color map
  • 1 black and white labeled map
  • 1 colored and labeled map
  • 2 sets of map labels (1 set has color-coded borders, 1 set with no borders)

*Maps print on to 8½ x 11″ paper. * Map labels are for large wooden puzzle map or floor map (not sized for these paper copies)

Sample – Maps of North America

Pin Maps of North America by Montessori Print Shop
and also WIN our Pin Map Flags Bundle:

Printable Geography Pin Map Flags by Montessori Print Shop

It includes all the flags for the maps listed above.
You can choose from the Color-Coded set or the plain set.

Two lucky winners will received both the World Maps Bundle and the Pin Map Flags Bundle. These are digital files in PDF format. You download the file and print the maps and pin flags yourself.

Entry is very easy using the Rafflecopter widget below. Some entries can be done each day to gain additional entries. Open worldwide to anyone over the age of 18 years.

Starts: 12:01am on Tuesday Oct 30 2012
Ends: 12:01am Tuesday Nov 6 2012


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can you laminate with an iron?

Can you laminate with an iron?

We recently received an email from a customer who wanted to pass along a tip about lamination she recently discovered: Laminate (anything) with an Iron!

There are a few reasons why someone wouldn’t want to purchase a laminator:

  1. They don’t want another piece of equipment to store.
  2. It’s not in their budget.
  3. They wouldn’t laminate enough to warrant buying one.

We’ve always used a laminator here. It was bought at Staples many years ago on sale for just over $100. It’s been heavily used and still works like new.

hot laminatorBut I thought it would be interesting to try the iron out and see how it went. So we gathered the required supplies:

laminating Supplies required for preparation of printables

  • iron (heat to the ‘cotton’ setting)
  • cotton sheet/pillow cases
  • printed materials
  • laminate pouches and paper carrier

It’s probably best to use your ironing board. I used a granite countertop with layers of cotton to absorb some of the heat as an ironing board wasn’t readily available. 

I set down the cotton sheet (folded several times) and prepared the first page (slide the printed page into a laminate pouch). You can slide the whole page in and cut the cards after lamination….

laminating a full page printable Montessori materialOr you can cut the cards first (this will allow for a laminate edge to remain around each card):

trim montessori cards before laminatingSlide the laminate pouch into the heavy cardstock carrier (there is usually one included in each pack of laminate pouches).

cover laminating pouch with heavy paperCover the carrier with a pillow case or other cotton fabric and begin to iron it. Make sure you don’t have the ‘steam’ setting on or it will ruin the laminate.

cover laminate page with pillowcase

The time you keep the iron on will vary depending on your iron and how hot it gets. You’ll have to experiment with the time and your technique.

What was the result of my first attempt? Not so great.

wrinkled laminated page with ironI obviously ironed it for too long and it caused it to wrinkle.

So I tried it again and the result was better. But, I clearly need to work on the technique a little. And, perhaps it would have been easier with a thinner laminate pouch (I used a 5 mil instead of a 3 mil).

page laminated with an ironMy thoughts: It is possible to laminate with an iron. But it does take a little time to find the correct heat setting and ironing technique in order to get the right seal and not have a warped sheet.

Honestly, if you can afford a laminator I would recommend getting one. It’s quick, the heat setting is already configured, and the sheets stay flat. You can see how we prepare 3-Part Cards here.

But yes, you can laminate with an iron.


WIN a Fantastic Montessori eBook & Printables Bundle

John Bowman (author of Montessori at Home!) has been a busy man lately, working on the Third Edition of Montessori at Home! (it’s looking seriously awesome so far) and setting up lots of Giveaways for you. So here I am again, letting you know you have yet another chance to win the Montessori At Home! eBook and Montessori Print Shop Materials Bundle.

Montessori at Home eBook and Materials Bundle

  • over 250 early learning materials and activities
  • 21 printable Montessori materials
How can you win this fantastic bundle of Montessori goodness?

Visit Crafty Gemini and enter today. Super simple entry. Easy peasy!
Giveaway will close on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 at 11:59PM

Fantastic Alternative to Geography “Pin” Map Flags

Fantastic Alternative to Geography “Pin” Map Flags

If you’ve been following our blog for a while now (or reading through the “Learn How To…” section of our website,) you’re probably familiar with our method of preparing printable Geography Pin Maps and Flags.

Montessori Geography Pin MapsImage Credit

Our Geography Pin Maps and Flags have been featured on several blogs (such as on here, here, here, here, and here) – take a peek at each one as everyone has slightly different ideas on how to prepare them and what materials to use. All of the maps and flags are available in the Geography section of our store. To save you money we offer them in Bundles at 20% Off – BUT we’ve listed them on Sale just for you until 10/29/2012.

Printable Geography Pin Map Flags by Montessori Print Shop

One of our customers has brought to our attention a great new way to make safer, longer-lasting flags for the regular wooden puzzle maps. They are also functional with our printed maps as they have a ‘stand’ and don’t need to be pinned through the paper. The blogGrowing a Godly Girl” has come up with this brilliant idea!

PuzzleMapFlags_2The author of the blog shares her step by step tutorial on making these flags here. How fantastic is that!!

PuzzleMapFlagsIf you have your own version of how to prepare our printable Geography Maps and Flags please feel free to link up to your blog post showing how you’ve done it in our comments section below.


“Don’t Touch!” How un-Montessori.

“Don’t Touch!” How un-Montessori.

“The first stretching of the child’s tiny hand should fill the observer with wonder and reverence. Instead the adult thinks only of protecting insignificant objects, constantly repeating, “Don’t touch!”  Aline D. Wolf

How often we forget that the hand is the primary teacher of the child. Maria Montessori believed that the “hand is in direct connection with man’s soul, and not only with the individual’s soul, but also with the different ways of life that men have adopted on the earth in different places and at different times”. (Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind)

“The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.”
“The human hand allows the mind to reveal itself.”


One of the theories of Montessori education is that we should never give to the brain more than we give to the hand. A child’s intelligence will develop to a certain level without the help of his hands. But if a child’s intelligence and hands are developed together they will experience greater satisfaction in their daily life and exhibit a stronger character.

Montessori Treasure BasketImage Credit

Sometimes we’re more concerned with the protection of our prized material possessions, or keeping our children clean, than we are nurturing the spirits of our young ones. The easiest way around this is to create areas in your home that are meant for your children to touch and explore. You’ll be able to stop saying “Don’t touch!” and instead, enjoy watching their mind and hands make the connections that are so important.

Consider putting together some simple “Treasure Baskets”. Great for babies and toddlers, but you must use age appropriate (and safe) items. Learn more about making a treasure basket at Living Montessori Now!



Owner’s Manual for a Child

Owner’s Manual for a Child

A beautiful blog post (by Donna Bryant Goertz) that is packed with excellent Montessori theory and parental advice (written as though it’s from a young child). Take the time to read through the entire article it’s well worth the read.

Dear Parent,

I want to be like you.  I want to be just like you, but I want to become like you in my own way, in my own time, and by my own efforts.  I want to watch you and imitate you.  I do not want to listen to you except for a few words at a time, unless you don’t know I’m listening.  I want to struggle, to make a grand effort with something very difficult, something I cannot master immediately.  I want you to clear the way for my efforts, to give me the materials and supplies that will allow success to follow initial difficulty.  I want you to observe me and see if I need a better tool, an instrument more my size, a taller, safer stepladder, a lower table, a container I can open by myself, a lower shelf, or a clearer demonstration of the process.  I don’t want you to do it for me or rush me or feel sorry for me or praise me.  Just be quiet and show me how to do it slowly, very slowly.

I will demand to do an entire project by myself all at once just because I see you doing it, but that’s not what will work for me.  Be firm and draw the line for me here.  I need for you to give me…
Read full Article

{Giveaway} Montessori At Home! eBook and Printable Montessori Materials

It’s your lucky day friends! You have another chance to win the Montessori At Home! eBook and Montessori Print Shop Materials Bundle.

Montessori at Home eBook and Materials Bundle

  • over 250 early learning materials and activities
  • 21 printable Montessori materials
How can you win this fantastic bundle of Montessori goodness?

Visit Tutus and Tea Parties and you’ll find you have several options to earn extra entries using the Rafflecopter widget. You have 7 days left to enter – but don’t delay!

The Montessori Classroom: “The Three Year Cycle”

The Montessori Classroom: “The Three Year Cycle”

Here is a lovely short video (5 minutes) on The Montessori Classroom: “The Three Year Cycle” which may help some of you get a better understanding of how the materials and the Montessori environment works. Interestingly, the video was made by a Montessori graduate.

Montessori: The 3 Year CycleSo take a few minutes today and watch the video!

Short Poetry for Children

Short Poetry for Children

An important material to have in your classroom or homeschool environment is short poetry for children.

Poetry can delight, excite, and inspire children to write creatively.The great beauty of poetry lies in its ability to become a shared experience between the reader and writer. Through the power of poetry, readers are able to make connections to the poems they read. By bringing their own background experience to the poem, young readers find more meaning in them and are able to appreciate them more.

Start children off with short poems for listening, reading, and copy work. To make this process easier we’ve put together 10 cards of short poetry and they are available for FREE! (scroll to the bottom of the Free Downloads page)

The following short poems are included:

  1. Color
  2. A House Is a House For Me
  3. Little Kitten
  4. Bubble
  5. The Little Seed
  6. Ladybird
  7. Autumn Leaves
  8. The Whale
  9. Grandfather’s Fish
  10. The Moon

Printable Short Poetry Cards by Montessori Print Shop

Download this Freebie on our Free Montessori Downloads page


Executive Function: Skills for Life and Learning

Executive Function: Skills for Life and Learning

“Being able to focus, hold, and work with information in mind, filter distractions, and switch gears is like having an air traffic control system at a busy airport to manage the arrivals and departures of dozens of planes on multiple runways. In the brain, this air traffic control mechanism is called executive functioning, a group of skills that helps us to focus on multiple streams of information at the same time, and revise plans as necessary.

This edition of the InBrief series explains how these lifelong skills develop, what can disrupt their development, and how supporting them pays off in school and life. Acquiring the early building blocks of these skills is one of the most important and challenging tasks of the early childhood years, and having the right support and experiences through middle childhood, adolescence, and into early adult life is essential for the successful development of these capacities.” Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University

It’s very interesting how the video includes so many examples of  Montessori environments. It’s only now being discovered that Montessori supports the developmental needs of children? It has been over 100 years since Maria Montessori shared her observations on childhood development – the world is finally taking notice. Better late than never!