Earth Day Celebration - Tip #4

Check out the Environmental Protection Agency current website. It is packed with GREAT ideas for Earth Day activities - and all year long! Also you can download an "Endangered Species Coloring Book" on their website. The illustrations are beautiful. Click on the picture to access the direct link.

Don't miss this:
You can order a free bound copy of the "Endangered Species Coloring Book" by contacting: National Service Center for Environmental Publications


Phone Number: (800)490-9198 
Fax Number: (301)604-3408 

Title: Endangered Species: Save Our Species (Coloring Book)
EPA Order Number: EPA-735K08001


Earth Day Celebration - Tip #3

Implement a Reduce, Reuse, Recycle theme...ongoing, year round. Here are two worksheets which your child(ren) can trace the dotted letters with a marker or colored pencil. Click the right sidebar under "Free Downloads" for a full-sized version of this for your classroom or home.  


Earth Day Celebration - Tip #2

Here's a "We Love the Earth" Bulletin Board Idea:

From A Cupcake for the Teacher.


Earth Day Celebration - Tip #1

Vegetable Gardens at Whole Earth Montessori in Bothell, WAEarth Day became an official "world celebration" back in 1970 in response to serious concerns about environmental degradation. As a result, primary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities globally schedule acitivites to promote environmental awareness. 

Teachers: What will you be doing with your class to promote environmental responsibility... now, on Earth Day, and in the future?

Parents: What evironmental activities will you be incorporating into your every day lives with your children?

TIP #1:

Here are some creative "Going Green" activities for school or family celebrations, suggested by apples4theteacher:

  1. Make your decorations. Use construction paper to make shapes, confetti and streamers. Store the decorations for future uses.
  2. Shred regular paper to make stuffing for gift baskets and bags. Instead of filling an Easter basket with plastic grass, use green construction paper. In Christmas gifts, instead of tissue paper, use shredded paper and recycle it.
  3. Buy from countries that sell eco-friendly products. There are many countries that participate in fair trade. They create ornaments and gifts created from natural products. The price is cheaper and you would be helping a craftsman in need as well as the Earth.
  4. Decorate gift boxes instead of using wrapping paper. Kids can use crayons and markers to beautify their gifts. The wrapping paper just gets thrown away anyway. If you don’t have any drawing skills, wrap presents in colored butcher’s paper. It can be recycled when you are finished with it.
  5. Give a gift that keeps on giving. Some folks opt to make a donation in the name of another to a favored charity. If you know the favorite charity of the person receiving the gift, choose that one. Another gift idea is to have a star named after someone.
  6. Rent tables, chairs and meal utensils for big parties. You might not have enough silverware or plates for fifty people, but renting them is a better choice than going with disposable ware. You decrease your waste and everyone still has a good time.
  7. Give people reusable containers for leftovers. These containers are cheap to buy and each guest can continue to use them in their own home. It’s better than using two disposable plates.
  8. Go potluck. Each person brings a dish and they also take their dish back home. You have less to clean up and wash after the celebration.
  9. Give eco-friendly party favors. Instead of birthday hats, give kids a wooden toy they can play with over and over. If you do the party hat thing, use real hats instead of paper ones. You can even make it a fun part of the party and let them bring their own crazy hat. Kids and adults alike will have fun with all the different headwear people can come up with.

Easter - A different Twist

Let's face it, Easter is a time when emphasis is placed on the Easter bunny, plastic eggs and baskets, lots of sweet treats, fluffy toy lambs, wind-up bunnies and battery-operated peeping chicks. We would like to offer just a few simple ideas for your next year's celebration, based on some Montessori ideas we (the Shepard's) incorporated into our own family traditions this Easter.

The dilemma and solution:

  • It's Easter...what does it really mean? Make a miniature "resurrection garden" which the children can touch and retell the story, visually and tactiley. Just set it out and let the story unfold through the eyes of the child.


  • All those plastics! What are we teaching our children about the environment? Resuse (or make) a cloth bag in lieu of an "Easter basket" and hide real eggs (colored naturally).


  • How do we create an atmosphere of sharing and cooperation, and not competition? Provide one bag to two or more children (mixed ages). Assign a certain number of eggs to find (12). When all done, count them all out together as a family, and then discover the fun (hands-on) "surprises" at the bottom of the bag. 

Making bubbles:


Testing out the "Woopee Cushion":


Even baby enjoyed the outdoor festivities!

  • And how do you avoid those sugary treats? Easy...don't serve them! We chose to provide veggie snacks, curried ginger-carrot soup as the main brunch entree, home-baked rolls, green salad, and fresh fruit for dessert. All organic and all "kid" approved...everything was gobbled up! (Follow Trudy Coumou Shepard on PINTEREST and get some great ideas for creative and healthy food ideas)

Whatever your faith tradition, may you have many happy, healthy, cherished times with family!

~ A Happy Passover to our Jewish friends ~


PNMA Spring Sharing Fair - Seattle

It's that time again! April 28th - the PNMA Spring Sharing Fair!

Here is a GREAT opportunity for ALL Montessori teachers to share lessons, generate ideas, and contribute to the diverse and broad spectrum of Montessori curriculum development by today's guides and students.


  • New Montessori Teachers: PNMA values the passion and talents of new teachers and wishes to encourage the path to a professional career by offering a year of FREE MEMBERSHIP to PNMA and an invitation to PARTICIPATE in the Fair. Yes, do it!
  • UMA Students: To establish a FREE MEMBERSHIP sponsored by The UNITED MONTESSORI ASSOCIATION, the membership application must include the name of the UMA Center.  PNMA membership requires approval, so they will contact UMA for confirmation of your student status.

Our thanks to the Pacific Northwest Montessori Association and all that they continue to offer the Montessori community at large!

The details of this special SHARING FAIR event are available on the PNMA website page.  Be sure to check their sidebar for additional links:


Language - Beginning Sounds

Here is a new Lanaguage worksheet to download. Click the sidebar under "Free Downloads" for a full-sized version of this for your classroom or home. 


Art and Nature

This article excerpt and land-art picture (taken from The Artful Parent blog) is one of many creative ideas that utilize the beauty in our natural environment. (Be sure to also check out some amazing and fun beach sculptures on the Artful Parent weblink!):

"Richard Shilling on Land Art for Kids...

What’s a simple land art project we could all do with our children today in our backyard or neighborhood park?

  • Explore wherever you are and collect one leaf from each different plant you can find (beware of poison ivy!)
  • Examine each leaf and see the different colours, thicknesses, vein structures and so on
  • Lay your leaves out on the ground or thread them onto sticks to display them"

Shamrock Sensorial Activity

Virginia Hood, UMA student, on staff at Christian Montessori Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada

Shares her hand-made Shamrock Activity. Perfect for a St. Patrick's Day theme!

(5 shamrocks, large to small) 

Thanks, Ginny!


Trace the Shamrock

Here's a pre-language tracing exercise, just in time for St. Patrick's day.

Click the sidebar under "Free Downloads" for a full-sized version of this for your classroom or home.

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