I bet you didn’t know they were giving out free Montessori tools at your local hardware store! I’ll tell you how, but first I must start with the disclaimer that I am not a Montessori teacher. I studied child development, and so, I examined a range of developmental theory and teaching philosophy. I find that as I teach, I don’t strictly espouse any one pedagogy but pick from the variety I studied and implement them as they fit the child and circumstance. That being said, I would like to share with you a little discovery I made recently.
One element of the Montessori method is an emphasis on sensory development. For this purpose, several beautiful, and often expensive, tools have been developed for children to use and explore. One such tool is the series of color boxes.
The first set contains two tiles of each of the primary colors. The children become more familiar with the colors and their names and also build visual perception, as they match and name the colors.
This set contains more colors and each in several shades, promoting visual perception once again as the children sort the color families and arrange them in graduating intensity.
Now here’s something that caught my eye on a trip to Home Depot:
Paint samples! They have the same graduating shades of color! So save yourself some money, and snag a few of these on your next trip to the Depot for light bulbs or duct tape. You can simply cut the samples into individual strips and use them as you would the Montessori color tiles! (Remember to grab two of each strip for color matching.) Who would have thought Dr. Montessori and Home Depot would have so much in common?