Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Montessori: Small Objects

There are a few Montessori presentations for which random small objects are great for. Typically, these are in the language area --- and depending on the "style" you follow, you may need more or you may need less. The Keys of the World (AMI-style) require fewer.

In our home we didn't buy any - except one batch of tiny flower pots with flowers, on Ebay. Why? I don't know, but they sure are cute!

We could have totally done without them.

The thing is - each object has far more than just one name. And you can describe it.
So a "pig", depending on the details shown you could use: pig, sow, boar, swine, pink, large (other sizes), piglet, animal, mammal --- and even look at their parts that can be seen: snout, eyes, hooves. etc. Or what they provide: pork, bacon, ribs.

Cows are also bovine.
Horses are equine.

If you want to buy some objects - go for it! Just don't dismiss the idea that you have 100% of what you need in your home already. What you don't have in small objects doesn't have to done with small objects - "I hear the sound in "mmmm" in something in this room - who could it be? OH! It is Emma!!!"

Posted this on Facebook:
Some assurance that you don't "need" to buy small objects (if you "want" to - have fun! but those feeling the pinch? ***Look around your house***)

This stuff was gathered one day, several years ago. We sometimes pull additional things (like jumpdrive, necklace, lego pieces (Legos are great for miniatures!), other toy pieces, etc. It is AMAZING what we have in our homes, when we actually look. Got a junk drawer? A random art pieces junk drawer? Sewing? Hardware? Legos or other play sets? Oh! We did a tealight candle in this set for a while - then we decided to use it wink emoticon

Another Story: 

I met a homeschool mom about 2 years ago, who insisted up and down "we just don't have small objects - which ones should I buy? and we are on a TIGHT budget."
I told her

  1. You have more than you think you do. 
  2. You don't NEED all those cutesy objects other people have. Use the large objects around you if needed; use words in the child's mind. Use the kitchen cupboard contents, or the trees/objects in the backyard. Sounds are all around you. 
  3. She was still in a quandary (amazing how we moms like to work ourselves up into these). I was coming to visit anyway and I asked for permission to find small objects all over her house, requesting permission (or boundaries) of where I could look. 
I filled a 3-gallon bucket. All sounds were represented. 

She had insisted she had NOTHING! 

Here is a basic run-down of our "tiny objects" in our Montessori homeschool and co-op:

Toob animals (I don't even know what all we have here!)
Lego pieces (amazing what can be pulled from Lego sets)
Tealight candle
More hardware pieces
#6 from our fridge magnets (to have an "x" when animals are not present)

Barbie hairbrush
flower from my bouquet from my mom/stepdad's wedding
set of three tinier keys - on a key ring
plastic keys from a Wendy's kids meal game (like pick up sticks)
plastic rosary
plastic ball
big green button from an old coat
plastic pacifiers from a baby shower
tiny flower pots with flowers - different colors
white gift bow
red gift bow/rose
hexagonal box with two lids
wood cross
bunny in egg
paint board
rubber band
tongue depressor (popsicle stick, craft stick)
green paint
empty jar of paint (clear, jar, cap, lid, glass, metal, white, empty)
various rocks/stones
rug from a doll-house
tacklebox divider
wood star
egg-shaped stone - looks like the universe
pen cap
glass stone/marker
brown jars with white lids
small cloths
wood ring
red die
bunch of flowers
chopstick rest
sticky notes
brass bell
red netting
tiny wood cube
Christmas wreath pin
thread spool
gold dish
white cup hook
two sizes of paperclips
extr caps/lids/covers
4-leaf clover
suction cup hanger
silver bell
gold ribbon bow
plastic ring
gold cap for lightbulb
milk cap
red paint
silver ring
table-leg foot prop (we used these for polishing dishes years ago)

NOW **THINK** - for each of those objects are words for all of the following:
colors, sizes, textures, composition, style, other appearance, weight, multiple names....

Tell me you can't do all the sound games and the Mystery Bag with this set?



  1. Oh, you know me, when I have a vision in my head, it needs to be just that. I have my Primary thinking cap on right now, as I am putting together some folders, and sound games. Now that I think about it, I should just cull through my son's legos, and better yet, my daughter's legos...those sets have a bunch of tiny every-day things. Usually, if you have them, the bottom of the toy chest/bucket/case, what have you, is the best place to find those tiny sound object items! I think I'll go on a scavenger hunt.

  2. Great, now you ruined it for me to have nice pretty little cabinet with all sorts of novelty miniatures! I guess I can take random tiny items off my "to buy" list. :)