Take a Good Look - Science

Just a couple of interesting activities to put on your Science Table... (Photos taken at the 2011 Seattle PNMA Montessori Spring Sharing Fair.)

Looking at nature through a magnifying glass!

Classifying "living" and "non-living"


Just for Fun!

This surely must be the child of a Montessori parent...a happy, early reader. :)

Click on photo: 

Watch all the way will make you smile.



Melted Crayon Art

Don't throw out all those used crayons. Recycle! Here's a simple idea you might want to incorporate into this year's Mother's Day craft. (Click on will direct you to the "Tired, Need Sleep" website - a wonderful resource for the Montessori classroom.)



Coconut Puffs!

UMA attended the PNMA Sharing Fair on April 30th at the beautiful Cedar River Montessori School in Renton, WA. There were many fun and creative ideas shared by Montessorians from around the greater Seattle area. Here is one entitled "Cocounut Puffs" by Fances Mead of Sunnyside Montessori in Seattle (Columbia City).  


  • To push the puffs into half-coconut shell through the "eye" of the shell
  • Develop eye/hand coordination
  • Stengthen hands
  • Practice concentration
  • Enjoy the beauty and touch of the coconut shell


  • Half a coconut shell (coconuts at some grocery stores are scored - these are easier)
  • After you have cut it in half, choose the half that has the eye(s); open one eye with a pointed knife, taking care to not make the hole too wide (you can widen it later if need be)
  • Puffs, about a dozen, made from yarn; wrap yarn around 2 fingers several times, tie in the middle, cut joined ends (should be somewhat challenging to work them into eye…they get fuzzier with use)
  • Coconut and Puffs may be arranged on a woven plate or tray 


  1. Take out the Coconut Puff Work and take it to the table
  2. Say, "This is the Coconut Puff Work"
  3. Take the puffs up one by one; twist and poke each into the eye of the coconut
  4. When all the puffs have disappeared, lift the coconut and show all the puffs, stacked in a colorful pile

Essential Movements

    Twisting puffs into eye of coconut



Natural Playgrounds

Continuing our Earth Day theme....Natural Playgrounds Company has the right idea: A lower carbon footprint, safe and more sustainable, plus they have a higher play value (discovery oriented). Check it out the video and be inspired!

Natural Playgrounds Company



UMA Spring Break

A Reminder...UMA is on Spring Break starting Friday, April 15th. We will be back in the office on Monday, May 16th.

Students: If you have an urgent need, please email the UMA office at, and we will get back to you within 1 business day.  

Applicants: We will continue to accept applications during Spring Break. If you have any questions regarding the UMA program or need assistance with your application, please call the UMA office at 206-441-4337.

Happy Spring!


Earth-Friendly Project: Herbs in a Can!

Whole Foods Market is celebrating "Earth Month"...not just Earth Day on April 22nd! Here is just one suggestion they make to introduce to your children: A compact herb garden planted in an aluminum can from your recycling bin. 

For details on how to get started, click on the picture for the direct link.


Gardening, recycling, healthy living...YES!


Save the Date!

2011 Sharing Fair
Cedar River Montessori, 15828 SE Jones RD, Renton, WA 98058
Date: 30 April 2011, Saturday 09:00 AM

PNMA invites all UMA student teachers to attend and to share a Lesson Plan at the 2011 Sharing Fair. All UMA student-interns are welcome to join PNMA for free (no cost - sponsored by UMA).  Check the PNMA website and find out how to participate and submit your Lesson Plan (see guide, below).

¥    Register ONLINE anytime as a Member or Public Individual who will attend the event.
¥    Register BY MAIL as a member who will bring a lesson to share...with This Guide

PLEASE NOTE: These forms are due two weeks prior to the event: April 16.

Join fellow Montessorians in sharing curriculum ideas, attend the mini workshops (geo-cache, wood working, elementary art, music, ropes course)...vendors open during entire event, raffle at 11:30. You definitely don't want to miss this special only comes once a year!


Job Opportunity

(Job Posting: a free service with UMA membership)

Seeking Montessori teacher - The Learning Tree, Seattle

A growing daycare in Seattle is currently seeking an experienced Montessori teacher for primary class. Great potential; Competitive pay DOE; Low teacher VS. children ratio; Please email your resume to



Art - Balloon Painting

A student project out of archives: Submitted by Ann Mannie of Greenville, NC, entitled Balloon Painting

The following is a conversation Trudy (UMA evaluator) and Ann (UMA student) had about the use of balloons:

Ann: My question to you is a safety issue. The project uses partially inflated balloons as a tool for painting. The children loved the bright colors and the squishy, bouncy feeling of the balloons and enjoyed mixing primary colors. I used helium balloons and only partially inflated the balloons so that they were less easy to pop, but I started to get concerned about balloons as a choking hazard with young children (and that they can be inhaled and not easily dislodged) so I have taken up the project for now. What are your thoughts about balloons in the classroom with young children?

Trudy: I am aware of the standard warnings on latex balloons for children under 8 years old. I am very big on safety, however, I believe this balloon Art exercise poses no threat to children. First, no primary-aged child is going to be tempted swallow a balloon with paint on it. Second, the Montessori classroom is all about observation. An adult is always aware of who is working with the balloons and observing. Any child working on this particular Art exercise will have had a proper demonstration, which could include a “safety warning.” Naturally, you would not put this activity out until the class was normalized. If we carried each “safety issue” to the extreme, then certainly we would have to remove all knives, sewing needles, magnets, marbles, small beads, scissors, sharp pencils, glassware, etc. from the Montessori classroom. In this case, the three balloons sitting in paint are just fine!

Ann: Thanks for your reassurance about the balloons in the classroom. My daughters agreed with you, saying that if we have knives and pin punching tools in the classroom, we should be able to handle balloons also! That said, I feel comfortable with the balloons and will use that as my art activity. 

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So, readers...what do you think? We welcome your comments!