Win a set of Primary Montessori Teaching Manuals and the Montessori At Home eBook and Printables

Next up for our 11th Anniversary Birthday Bash – 4 Primary Montessori Teaching Manuals and the Montessori At Home! eBook and Printables Bundle.


This is a great prize, especially for those of you are just beginning your homeschool journey, or are starting to incorporate Montessori materials/lessons into your classroom.

Montessori Print Shop Primary Teaching Manuals

The Primary Montessori Teaching Manuals Bundle includes the following theory and lessons for children ages 2½ to 6 years of age:

  • Practical Life Teaching Manual (Theory + 75 lessons)
  • Sensorial Teaching Manual (Theory + 45 lessons
  • Language Teaching Manual (Theory + 30 lessons)
  • Math Teaching Manual (Theory + 52 lessons)

Montessori at Home eBook and Printables

The Montessori At Home! eBook and Materials Bundle includes:

This giveaway is open world-wide. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. There is no purchase necessary.


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Using open-ended Montessori-inspired materials

The great thing about most of our Geography, History, and Science materials is that they are very open-ended and can be used in a variety of ways, for a wide range of ages.

We’re often asked why so many of our materials don’t include step-by-step instructions (many include basic instructions). We don’t include them because we want the materials to be open-ended for both the teacher (Montessori Guide) and the children. We don’t want the presentation of the lessons to be constricted by how we think it should be presented – our version may not be appropriate for your children and their situation.

The presentation of the materials will vary greatly depending on the children, their level of interest, their previous exposure to preparatory materials, and their overall abilities. The materials will not be very effective if you’re locked into a presentation that isn’t suitable for the children you’re working with. As the Montessori Guide, it’s your responsibility to adjust the presentation of the materials for the children in your presence. This is why observation in the Montessori environment is so important!

We want our materials to offer a starting point for the children to learn about the topics that they’re interested in. The materials are meant to be a point of departure – not a point of arrival. They’re meant to offer general/basic information on the topic, provoke thoughts and questions, and inspire the children to study the topic in greater depth. The information we’ve provided in the materials is by no means complete. First of all, that would be impossible – is any research ever complete? Secondly, if we provided all the information then the children wouldn’t have any reason to search for further knowledge and find the answers to their questions. Think of our materials as the ‘springboard’ that launches the children’s desire for greater knowledge.

So now you’re asking – “How do you know how to present the materials to the children??”.

Good question! First off, you need to familiarize yourself with the various parts included in material (examples: 3-Part Cards, Definition Cards, Information Cards, Sorting Cards, Control Chart, etc). You’ll have a chance to do this while … Read Full Article

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.


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!

Preparing to start a new school year

Preparing to start a new school year

The first day of school will vary from State to State, Province to Province, and most definitely Country to Country. But the common factor shared by teachers all over the world is the need to prepare the classroom for the hungry minds that will soon enter it. Visit our website for information and articles that will help get your new school year off to a great start.

Primary Montessori Classroom

You can find many more helpful tutorials on our website on the top navigation bar under the buttons “How To…” and “Theory”.

The Montessori At Home! eBook & Materials Bundle Giveaway

This Giveaway is now CLOSED.

In celebration of the Montessori At Home! eBook & Materials Bundle released by Montessori At Home! & Montessori Print Shop we’re having a Giveaway. One lucky winner will receive this newly released Bundle that contains both the eBook and the Materials package. A value of $24.95. 
This Giveaway starts today (Mon Feb 27) and ends 12:01am EST Sat March 3rd, 2012.

The Montessori At Home! eBook & Materials Bundle GiveawayMontessori at Home eBook and Materials Bundle

Montessori At Home! eBook

Montessori At Home! is a multimedia eBook that guides you through the entire process of doing Montessori early learning activities at home. Complete background and how-to chapters are followed by clear directions for over 250 early learning materials and activities. 

Montessori at Home! eBook and printable materials

Every section is supported and expanded by the liberal use of direct links to web sites and videos you and your child can visit to learn more. Montessori At Home! is a complete, practical guide to home early learning, written just for parents.

Montessori At Home! Materials (by Montessori Print Shop)

21 printable Montessori materials to compliment your Montessori At Home! eBook

Montessori at Home! printable Materials by Montessori Print Shop

Montessori at Home! Materials Bundle includes:
Phases of the Moon, Animals of the Continents, Continent 3-Part Cards, Land, & Water Form Photo Book, World Control Maps, Masters & Labels, Moveable Alphabet (includes instructions), Sentence Cards – Step 1 Set 1, Word and Picture Cards – Step 1 (real pictures), 1 to 100 Math Series, Geometric Matching Cards, Geometric Solids (3-Part Cards) – Blue, Skeleton Nomenclature Cards, Tree Nomenclature Cards, Phonics Sound and Picture Sorting, Association of Objects, What Does Not Belong?, The 5 Senses, Plant or Animal?, Animals and Their Names, Color Grading Cards, and Metal Insets – Shape Outlines.

The Rules of the Giveaway

This Giveaway is open to anyone 18 and older worldwide. The Giveaway gifts are in pdf file format and will be downloaded from our eStore. In order for our system to process the download links we require the following from the winner: name, address, telephone #, and email address. All information is kept confidential.

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Skip Counting with the Montessori Bead Chains

Skip Counting with the Montessori Bead Chains

The Montessori Bead Chains are simply beautiful. They are the crown jewel of many Montessori classrooms – especially if they are lucky enough to have the glass beads! Young children can hardly resist running their fingers along the beads and anxiously await their readiness to handle and count each chain.

Montessori Bead Cabinet labeled Materials:
Bead Cabinet: A cabinet with a shelf for the squares and the square chain of each number in the short bead stair; a shelf for the cube of each number. Ten sets of hooks for the cube chain of each number. Boxes with labels. A long felt mat for the cube chains.

We’ve received many emails on how to present the bead chains, and how to use the FREE Bead Chain Paper we’ve uploaded to our Free Montessori Downloads page. You can of course find full detailed presentations of all the primary math materials in our Primary Montessori Math Teaching Manual, however we’d like to share with everyone the process of counting the square chains and some of the extension lessons that children enjoy.

How to count the 5 Square Chain

Presentation #1:
• ask the child to lay out a mat
• have the child place the 5 square chain, one 5 square, and the 5 square chain tickets/labels on a tray and take it to their work mat
• remove the square chain from the tray, fold into a square and compare a square of 5 to the square folded (place the square directly on top of the folded 5 square chain)

Montessori 5 Square Chain Folded

• place the square of 5 at the top of the folded square, draw the chain out
• ask the child to do the same

Montessori 5 Square Chain Drawing Out

•  place the square of 5 at the right end of the chain
•  lay the 5 square tickets/labels across the bottom of the mat – not in numerical order, but facing the correct way (the Square Chain Tickets/Labels can be downloaded for free here)
•  start counting the chain: using your finger point to each bead and count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
•  locate the ‘5’ ticket/label for the bead bar and place directly under the 5th bead
•  continue counting the chain: point to the ‘5’ ticket and say ‘5’, then continue to the next bar, counting 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – locate the 10 ticket/label and place it below the 10th bead
• have the child continue to count the rest of the 5 square chain and label it with the number tickets
Montessori 5 Square Chain Count Label
• when the chain is complete, show the child how to point to each ticket and count up and down the entire chain: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 – 25, 20, 15, 10, 5
• ask the child to count up and down the tickets
• show the child how to write out the 5 Square Chain on chain paper (paper can be downloaded for free here and includes both a control set and a blank set)

Montessori 5 Square Chain Paper

Exercise #1:
•  same as in Presentation #1 with all of the other square chains

Exercise #2:
•  when all the square chains have been counted and notated on paper, show the child how to make a Bead Chain Chart

Montessori Bead Chain Chart by Montessori Print Shop

Exercise #3:
•  child can also draw, count/label and/or color the chains (Square Chain Worksheets)


New to Montessori – Where Do You Start??

We receive emails each and every week with questions from people who are new to Montessori. Quite often the emails sound something like this…

“I was doing research about Montessori for my 2yr. old and discovered your website.  I’m excited to explore more about Montessori and would appreciate any advice or tips on where I should focus on to begin with.”

It can be overwhelming with so much information available on the internet. Here are some ideas that will help focus your attention on what’s important, and get you started on your Montessori journey.

1. Browse through our website (use the links at the top of the navigation bar on our site) to see if the ideas of Montessori blend with your ideas on parenting and how you envision your relationship with your child.

Learn how to implement Montessori2. Visit your local library and take some time to read through (or skim through) some of the books on our Book List. These books will give you some background and theory on the Montessori method and help you decide if you’re on the right track.

3. Read through a few articles:  A Montessori Home, Is It Possible To Use Montessori At Home?, and How To Start Montessori At Home.

4. If you feel encouraged and inspired, and ready to start incorporating Montessori in to your home and life with your child, then I highly recommend Montessori at Home! by John Bowman. It’s an inexpensive eBook ($8.95) with an instant download that gives you hundreds of ideas for Montessori activities at home with your child.

Montessori at Home eBook5. Download our Free Montessori Materials. They’re free and instantly available, need I say more?

Free Printable Montessori Materials by Montessori Print Shop
6. Read through previous posts on our Blog: and visit our list of Montessori (and Montessori-inspired) Blogs that will also give you great ideas.

7. Once you’ve started with the above suggestions you’ll have a much better idea if you and your child are comfortable and enjoying the Montessori experience. Your child is young and really needs all the Practical Life and Sensorial experiences possible. This is a time of exploration for you both – so enjoy your time together! If you then decide you’d like to take a more thorough approach and use Montessori for all areas of learning, then our Primary Montessori Teaching Manuals for Practical life, Sensorial, Language, and Math will be very helpful. They offer specific Montessori theory on the materials and will guide you step-by-step through the lessons that are taught in each those areas in a traditional Montessori school.

Take things step by step. Don’t feel that you have to rush out and purchase a huge lot of  ‘real’ Montessori manipulatives. Keep things real, simple, and hands-on. Most importantly … follow the child.

How To Use The Montessori Multiplication Bead Board

How To Use The Montessori Multiplication Bead Board

Have you been wondering how to use the Montessori Multiplication Bead Board? A few days ago we posted about a great economical alternative to the traditional wooden Montessori Multiplication Bead Board. The traditional board looks like this:

Montessori Multiplication Bead Board

But for a fraction of the cost you can give your child the same hands on, concrete, mathematical experience with this homemade solution:

StarrySkyRanchMultiBoardIt’s a bath mat, with suction cups on the bottom, turned upside down! It’s cut so that it has 100 suction cups on it (10 suction cups across, and 10 suction cups down).  A fine tip sharpie is used to write the numbers 1-10 across the top. Make sure when you choose your bath math that the suction cups aren’t too large, and most importantly are in straight lines and not diagonal. If they are diagonal, you’ll have to rotate the bath mat to make them straight – the bath mat must then be large enough for you to cut it 10 suction cups by 10 suction cups.

Multiplication Bath Mat BoardAdd some pony beads (or dried beans), a few slips of paper, perhaps a coin for the red counter, and you have the Montessori Multiplication Bead Board!

After publishing the post we received so many emails with questions on how to use the Multiplication Bead Board. So, here are the full instructions from our Primary Math Teaching Manual. The instructions are written for the use of the traditional wooden Multiplication Bead Board – so you’ll have to adjust the instructions accordingly to suit your new homemade (bath mat) Multiplication Bead Board.

•    Perforated board with 100 holes in rows of ten. On the left side of the board there is a little window with a slot for the insertion of a number card. Set of number cards 1 to 10, a counter, 100 red beads. Multiplication table forms, pencil and paper. Multiplication Control Charts 1 & 2.

Presentation #1:
• with the child take the materials to the table
• ask the child to choose a page from the Multiplication Booklet (i.e. #6)
• tell the child that the numbers across the top are for the multiplier; the slot in the left side of the board is for the multiplicand (the first # of the question)
• remove the red circle from the container and place it in to the circle at the top left of the board
• ask the child what the first question is, “6×1”, “What is the multiplicand?” child replies “6”
• take from the small container the #6 and slide it in the slot on the left side of the board
• ask the child “What is the multiplier?” – the child replies “1”
• take the red circle from the top left corner and place it above the #1 at the top of the board
• taking the beads from the small container place 6 red beads in to the column below the number 1 (counting as you place them: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
• ask the child “How many beads are there?” child replies “6”, have him write the answer in the booklet
• ask the child “What is the next question?” child replies “6×2”, move the red circle over the number two at the top of the board
point to the last bead you placed on the board and say “6” (a reminder of where you finished off from the 6×1)
• place a bead in the first hole below number 2, say “7”, place the next bead and say “8”, place the next bead and say “9”, place the next bead and say “10”, place the next bead and say “11”, place the next bead and say “12”
• ask the child “How many beads are there?” – child replies “12”
• have the child  write the answer in the booklet
• ask the child “What is the next question?” child replies “6×3”
• move the red circle over the number 3 at the top of the board
point to the last bead you placed on the board and say “12”
• place a bead in the first hole below #3 and say “13”, place another bead and say “14”, place a bead and say “15” – continue placing each bead and saying each number until you reach 18
• ask  the child “How many beads are there?” child replies “18”, have the child write the answer 18 in to the booklet

Presentation #1 in progress
Montessori Multiplication Bead Board Presentation

• allow the child to continue on until the page is complete
• have the child choose another multiple table – take the ticket for the multiplicand and slide it in to the slot, place the red circle in to the hole in the top left corner of the board
• show the child the first two questions and then allow him to continue on his own
• show the child Control Chart #1, tell him that he can use it to check his work

Exercise #1:
• same as in Presentation #1

• control chart #1 lists all multiplication tables from 1-10
• control chart #2 lists all multiplication tables from 1-10, but removes all duplications (i.e. shows 5×7=35, but does not show 7×5=35)

• memorization of multiplication tables

Control of Error:
• control chart #1

• 5 – 6 years

The Multiplication Charts that accompany this work can be found here (they are printable) and come with full presentation instructions.
Montessori Multiplication Work Charts
It’s recommended to use the Sequential Math Booklets first (regular, large).
Math Booklets Sequential OrderOnce the child has discovered the number patterns for each operation you can switch to the Random Math Booklets (regular, large) for a greater challenge.
Math Booklets Random OrderWe hope that helps you to get started on your own homemade Multiplication Bead Board. This bathmat substitution is a fantastic solution to an expensive math material. It’s a wonderful way for your children to get the sensorial impression of multiplication. Multiplication is simply taking the same number two or more times and adding them together.

Why are there so many color combinations for the printed Moveable Alphabet?

Why are there so many color combinations for the printed Moveable Alphabet?

Question: “I have been considering getting your movable alphabet along with some pink
series cards for my 3-1/2 year old. Why is the alphabet in so many colors?”

Answer: Our Printed Moveable Alphabet comes with a variation of colors that you can
choose the colors that best match your Montessori language materials. The consonants are in one color, the vowels in another. This helps the child to identify the vowel sounds with greater ease.

Printed Moveable AlphabetPrintable Montessori Moveable Alphabet

The color combinations we offer in our Printed Moveable Alphabet + Lessons are:

  • vowels: red or blue
  • consonants: black, pink, red

Moveable Alphabet Color Options
Prior to the presentation of the Moveable Alphabet, children are taught 
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