USA inspired activities with TOOB Montessori Toys
Today, we're highlighting our awesome USA Super TOOB®, which be used for so many holidays and themes: President’s Day, 4th of July, Flag Day, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Election Day, Inauguration, Constitution Day, American Symbol Studies , Landmarks, Architectural Studies, etc.
Montessori inspired activities with our Toobs
The following activities are largely inspired by ideas from the Montessori approach. They utilize concrete materials, materials with control of errors/self-correction, and a focus on sensorial experiences.
*Three Part Cards*
(Our free printable also contains bonus information cards)
Three part cards have many benefits! Let’s look beyond simply matching the image cards with vocabulary words towards the main goal of mastering information. These cards encourage concentration by making repetition possible. They also have a control of error, which allows the child to self-correct and be in control of their learning, which in turn builds confidence.
Ways to use three part cards (and bonus information cards):
- A Montessori lesson with three part cards would proceed in a sequential order: Naming (This is a flag), Recognition and Association (Show me the flag), and Recall (Point to the flag and say what it is).
- Match appropriate vocabulary to picture card (in the beginning, the child may use the control card that contains both image and word to self-correct).
- Match corresponding figurines from USA Super TOOB® to appropriate control card and then progress to matching figurine to just the vocabulary word.
- Play go fish with the picture, vocabulary word, and information cards.
- Play memory with the picture, vocabulary word, and information cards.
- I Spy (can give description, name, or fact)-Children find the corresponding figurine from the USA Super TOOB®.
- Pair cards and/or USA Super TOOB® figurines with moveable alphabet or other letter tiles to spell the vocabulary word.
*Patriotic Sensory Bin*
Kids of many ages enjoy sensory play. Sensory activities are a great way to promote engagement, creativity, fine motor skills, self-control (keep the filler in designated area), oral language, math (measurement, sorting, counting), and much more.
Dr. Maria Montessori wrote, “Nothing comes to the intellect that is not first in the senses.”
- Shallow tub or bin
- Red, white, and blue rice and chickpeas or other fillers of your choice (stars, water beads, pom poms, paper strips, beads, etc.)
- Safari Ltd. USA Super TOOB®
- USA free printable (We suggest laminating for durability)
- Dye the rice and/or chick peas (How to dye rice/chick peas: put the rice into a gallon ziplock bag and added vinegar and food coloring. We did a ratio of 1 TBSP of White Vinegar to 1 C of rice and added food coloring slowly until reaching desired color. Shake the rice, vinegar, and food coloring around inside of the ziplock bag until all grains are evenly coated. Spread on a protected surface to dry.)
- Pour dyed rice/chick peas into a shallow tub or bin (We chose to pour them in the design of the flag to begin).
- Add in USA Super TOOB® figurines.
- Let kids free play/explore or add small picture or word cards from free printable so that kids can find and match to figurines.
*Find My Category*
Sorting and categorizing objects are important foundational skills for problem solving, critical thinking, math, science, literacy, etc. Sorting and classifying helps kids to critically compare objects to determine how things are alike and different as well as that they can be organized into groups.
- USA Super TOOB®
- Sorting cards from free printable
Have kids sort the figurines from the USA Super TOOB®. You can choose to use the sorting cards from the freebie if desired, or have the kids come up with their own categories (color, size, shape, etc.). Encourage them to explain their thinking about the categories they come up with.
Using and exploring concrete materials creates a multi-sensory experience.
Use figurines from the USA Super TOOB® to make prints in salt dough (these can be cooked and saved) or playdough by pressing the figurine into the dough like a stamp.
Make vistas or diorama scenes containing the landmark or object. You can use playdough, paper, cardboard, fake trees, etc.
Create a booklet by drawing each Landmark and American Symbol on its own separate page of a blank book, labeling each page with the appropriate name.
**This can be modified for younger kids by allowing them to cut and paste pictures from the free printable, or more challenging for older kids by having them include facts about the landmark/symbol.**
There are so many ways to play and learn! Do you have other ideas for incorporating the USA Super TOOB® into your home or classroom?
*Find My State*
**Important Note: Not all items can be matched to a specific state. The Hoover Dam is on the border of Nevada and Arizona. The flag and eagle are found throughout the U.S. The Lincoln Memorial, Capital Building, and White House are all in Washington D.C. located in the District of Columbia (which is not a state). The District of Columbia is surrounded by Maryland on three sides and shares a border with Virginia at the Potomac River.**
- State cards from free printable or map of the U.S.A. or puzzle (can be found on Amazon or major retail stores that sell educational materials)
- Information cards from free printable
- USA Super TOOB®
Read each information card (from the free printable) to determine in which state the landmarks or symbols belong. You can set the state cards up like a sort and place corresponding figurines below. If you are using a large map, have your child place the figurine in the correct state.
About the writer:
Anji Audley is an educator with teaching and tutoring experience in PreK through elementary grades. She is also a mom of two active and creative boys. Anji is a strong advocate for play-based learning. Pulling ideas from Montessori, Reggio Emelia, and Waldorf, she infuses learning with hands-on STEM activities, nature, play, and art to inspire discovery and creativity. Follow her on Instagram.