Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Autumn Sensory Activities for the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori sensory activities fall

Autumn is a wonderful time of year! Celebrate this season full of changing colors, delicious smells, and cozy atmosphere in your Montessori classroom with these fun sensory activities inspired by the fall.

Sensory Activities for the Montessori Classroom: The Sights, Smells, and Feeling of Fall!


Pumpkin Pie Spice Clay 

The smell of pumpkins and spices is one of the most recognizable scents of autumn! Create an easy air drying clay with a lovely fragrance for squishing and sculpting. This fantastic recipe comes from BlogMeMom:

NAMC montessori sensory activities fall pumpkin spice clay blogmemom

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1-1.5 cups of water
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice – add until you are satisfied with the scent.

  • Mix cornstarch, baking soda, and water in a saucepan.
  • Cook on medium heat until the mixture bubbles.
  • Stir continuously and keep the mixture from sticking to the side of the pan.
  • Remove from heat.
  • When it cools, knead the mixture thoroughly.

The clay can be cut with cookie cutters to make ornaments, sculpted into animals or figures, or it can even be used to create counters for classroom activities. The wonderful smell of the clay will warm classrooms and homes through the fall.

Fall Leaf Window Mosaics

The yellows, reds, and oranges of fall are some of the brightest colors to be seen all year round. Heading outside to enjoy the sights of the leaves changing on the trees and collecting leaves for crafts is a wonderful activity on its own! This beautiful and colorful piece of autumn art is easy to create and is inspired by a piece created by Maureclaire:

NAMC montessori sensory activities fall window mosaic maureclaire

Students can help cut contact paper or wax paper into a shape they like and arrange their fall treasures in a pattern. When they are happy with the design, place another piece of contact paper or wax paper over top and seal the bright colors inside to be preserved. (Wax paper needs to be gently ironed through a hand towel to seal.) Lace the edges with ribbon or yarn into a frame, onto a piece of cardboard, or create an amazing classroom window "quilt" by joining all of the mosaics together!

No Sew Fleece Pillows

When the wind is blowing outside, it is fun to snuggle up inside where it is warm —especially with something that feels soft and cuddly! Small fleece pillows make the perfect reading companion or they can be given away by students as gifts. Here is a super simple craft from Spoonful that will have little fingers working with fuzzy fleece:

NAMC montessori sensory activities fall fleece pillow spoonful

Fold a piece of fleece fabric in half and cut out a shape through both layers to form two matching pieces. To make the fringe, cut your shape larger than you want the finished pillow to be: add an extra six inches all the way around to create a three inch fringe when tied. Invite the students to double knot each pair of fringes until the shape is almost complete and then ask them to stuff the pillow with fabric scraps or cotton fill. These pillows feel amazing and making them is great practice for fine motor control.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, October 15, 2013.

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