I am a huge fan of the Montessori approach and I try to employ it in our homeschool as often as possible. Now that my favorite season, Fall is here, I’ve been busy assembling Fall Learning Trays for my 4-year-old.
Have you heard of Montessori Learning Trays? In a Montessori classroom or in a Montessori home set up, there are shelves that contain learning trays. These trays are presented in a very inviting way that draws the attention of the children.
What is the purpose of the Montessori Learning Trays?
Maria Montessori believed in having a prepared environment for the child. “To assist a child we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to develop freely.” The trays can present sensorial, practical or content related activities in an organized way.
“To assist a child we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to develop freely.” Maria Montessori
- Presents work in an orderly, neat fashion
- Work is inviting
- Only what’s needed is provided
- Less chance of frustration
- Encourages concentration
- Provides opportunities for exploration
- Encourages independence and self-mastery
- Child-led (Even though the materials are prepared by an adult, the child chooses the work that he/she is interested in.
- Work can be repeated several times
- Parent can gauge the interests of the child
- Clean up and neatness is promoted by the use of a tray
Here are 14 Montessori inspired Fall Learning Trays for Preschool
(Note: These are for the whole month)
1) Pumpkin Life Cycle
Free Printables are from The Helpful Garden. This website is one of my favorites for Montessori related free printables.
2) Flower arranging with mums
3) Leaf punchouts
I picked up a leaf punch and a leaf scrapbook paper from the craft store. AJ was very excited to use the punch. This activity is great for motor skills. An extra bowl is placed in the tray to collect the leaf punchouts.
4) Fall Tree Pasting
Using the leaf punchouts, AJ will decorate the Fall tree. The tree is a coloring page from super coloring.
5) Estimation with mums
Guess the number of petals in the mums.
Favorite Book: Great Estimation
6) Parts of an apple Learning Tray
Free printable: The Helpful Garden
Two books that we absolutely love: The Secrets of the Apple Tree
7) Types of Trees: Deciduous/Coniferous Tree Chart
8) Counting with Fall tree seeds or nuts
On our nature walk, AJ found many tanoak nuts and leaves. We used those as counters to work on one on one correspondence.
9) Leaf Rubbings
Rubbings of various leaves collected during our nature walk.
10) Leaf Man Art
Make art with leaves inspired by the book, Leaf Man.
11) Wood Tree Puzzle
12) Pumpkin Addition using the addition mat and pumpkins
13) Pumpkin stickers
Who doesn’t love stickers? In this tray, I presented a bowl with pumpkin foam stickers, an empty bowl for the peels, and cardstock for AJ to decorate. I might replace the cardstock with a mini canvas when this tray goes on the shelf.
14) Fall Leaf Graph
This learning tray consists of various fall leaf foam stickers. This will be used to introduce AJ to graphing.
What kind of Fall activities are you doing with your children? Please comment below 🙂