Saturday, August 15, 2009

Smells and Sounds

I'm almost done with all the activities I wanted to prepare for our preschool. I am pretty excited about sharing these with First Son and First Daughter. I made the sound and scent bottles from Teaching Montessori in the Home: Pre-School Years. They were very easy (certainly under half an hour in time), but required I actually purchase something I couldn't find easily in my local stores: the spice bottles. I wanted plastic so I wouldn't have to worry about cleaning up glass if they were dropped. I also wanted them all exactly the same size. I often save our bottles to use around the house, but it would have taken a long time to get 24 bottles exactly the same. Plus, with the scents, I wanted new bottles that would not have any residual scents.

When they arrived, I cut 24 strips of construction paper to wrap around (to hide the contents). I used purple and the lighter blue, because those are the colors we have never used so we had a lot of them.

I just wrapped the construction paper around the bottom and taped the edge.

For the exercises, First Daughter will match the sound from one bottle with the matching sound, or the same for scents. So we have 12 bottles for each exercise, with two bottles holding the same scent or sound. The book suggests different colored lids, but I found it was cheaper to order all white lids and just used some extra stickers I had to indicate the groups.

I pulled things from the kitchen to fill our bottles.

brown rice

It turns out the cornmeal and salt sound very similar, so I'll switch one of them out if we have too much trouble with it. Of course (and you may have noticed this), my nice bottles have a bit of space at the bottom uncovered by the construction paper (because of the shape of the bottles) so there's always the color to use as a guide.

caraway seed
cardamom seed
ground cloves
whole black peppercorn

If we have time, we're going to pull these out on the first day of homeschooling. So far, I've kept them a surprise and I hope the kids enjoy them.


  1. That is amazing. You are making me want to look into Montessori. I think my four-year-old would love stuff like this!

  2. I know! The Montessori stuff all looks fun and inviting to me, and you can make it as low-key as you want, so they seem very adaptable. I think I really like Montessori for preschool and the younger elementary grades, but then it seems better to move to something more formally classical or Charlotte Mason.

    The activities I picked have all also been pretty inexpensive and there are a bunch in the book that we can do without any real prep at all (just pull out some stuff from the kitchen).


Comments make me happy; thanks for speaking up!