Summer Shelf Work

This summer, we are sticking to the basics.  Sensorial, Practical Life, and a little basic math materials for the 3 year olds.  Other than this little shelf, we are outside or at the beach!!!
We are working on writing numerals with the sand tray.  This activity is great for all ages, and it's very relaxing to my girls.  
I moved some practical life very close to the table on a little stool we aren't using, so that my little 3 year olds can have better success carrying the trays.  I'm sticking to just two a week (even though rock painting is really Language...)
Flower arranging!

The easel and mats
Recent backyard finds, empty chrysalis and robin egg!  They are keeping really well in these little paint containers.  We take them out to touch :)


hikingmama said…
Looks like a nice variety of works for summer. I like how your sand tray has a place to put the sandpaper letter/number. Do you have a separate shelf of activities for Bean? Do your girls always have access to their work area? My son (new 4 year old) is a self-motivated learner but not as interested in working in his studio. Also do you have any suggestions on increasing his concentration and ability to complete the work cycle. Thank you!
They have access to it 24 hours a day. New lessons/work is done with me first.

I don't have a separate place for Bean, but some of her things aren't on this shelf. She keeps her movable alphabet in a higher spot, so her 3 year old twin sisters don't unsort them! She does a lot of work with art, science, and math in her room or outdoors. Plus, she's going to be in a full day K next year- giving her the summer 'off', but keeping all the classics out.

By work cycle, do you mean the process of choosing work, completing it, returning it? Or is it completing a work cycle of 3 hours?
Hi Jessie,
Do you have any ideas how to work with J-jo (23 months) on increasing his concentration. Maybe I have too much out on the shelves and should just take a weekend to remove things (I like how you have just a few things) but he seems to just flit from thing to thing. He'll get excited, get something out, then just as quickly see something else and forget the first thing. Bear never did that, so I am at a loss for what to do. You can also answer me in an email if you prefer. thegirlwhopaintedtrees at gmail dot com.

Last year, I'd put out something similar- like animals all around the room- and the twins would collect them and use them. Sometimes near age two they are hunters and gatherers :) Whatever you want him to work on (let Bear in on the reason why you are putting work around the room like this, she'll probably help!) and scatter it around the shelves. See if he travels and gets it all on a mat. Recently, I spelled their names with a movable alphabet all over their bedroom. They loved the hunt, and Bean had some peace and quiet to work ;)

If he doesn't love that, try making materials stationary, working right on a table or right on a mat. Littles have trouble traveling sometimes. I did a lot last year for the twins where they were just working right off the table- no need to travel.

Really though, he's little and his concentration has to develop on his own. Water usually works for tots, try adding more water!!!
hikingmama said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hikingmama, here's a link to an article I wrote about concentration,
hikingmama said…

Thank you for the link. Out of the five listed reducing clutter is the one we struggle most with. I also notice what I am doing while he is working in his studio effects his focus. It is hard with only one child. Today he spent a long time emptying a shelf, dusting it and then returning the work. He prefers work that he can explore and figure out for himself vs. work that is designed to be done as demonstrated. How do I am get him to focus on completing the task as demonstrated without interrupting him? Thank you!
Hi Jessie, I love your blog. The sand paper letter set up is wonderful. Would you mind sharing where you purchased and/or how you made these items. I'd like to include them for my almost 3 year old this summer. Thanks! ~ Marnie
Thanks for the ideas for shelf work! I am always looking for creative ways to bring Montessori into our home. Love from

Popular posts from this blog

Money Exchange Game

Montessori Number Roll with Free Printable