I thought I'd post a few pictures of the even-easier-to-make sensorial exercises for our Montessori preschool next year. It's been nice having something to keep me occupied while I wait for baby to finish growing.
First, we have a fabric "basket." In the past few months, I've started saving bits of fabric for our craft area. I had thought we would use them for something fun like clothes on paper bag puppets or collages, but so far the kids haven't been interested in using fabric much. I went through the box and cut "squares" from some of the materials I thought would feel interesting. I think this exercise will be most useful if I put the squares in something like a bag that will hide its color so First Daughter will be forced to really feel it. For now, though, I'm storing them all in that little holiday box I picked up for about a penny last holiday season.
One of the things that's really fun about using bits of fabric like this is remembering where the material came from. The white in the back is extra material from my wedding dress. The blue in front of it is from the material used to make the bridesmaid dresses. The blue striped material and the pink next to it were both from favorite outfits the girls wore when they were babies. I saved big chunks of them after I couldn't get them stain-free.
Here are pictures of the mystery bags my mom made for us last summer. We picked up the material from the scrap bin at the local hobby shop. She very nicely made the ties for me, but sewing a little bag is so simple even I could have done it. (I'm very thankful she did, though.) I can use these with the fabric squares above, but also with just about anything from around the house. We'll put some items in there and see if the kids can guess what they are feeling. Seriously, how is that not fun? I can't believe I forgot about these last year.
Finally, here are the very simple color circles I made for Second Daughter. I used a sour cream lid to trace identical circles on a few pieces of construction paper and then cut two or three together. (I always save our plastic containers because they're so great for glue and paint when we're having craft time.) I put some address labels on and wrote the color names. I punched holes in them and put them on a ring, because we had one. She can't play with this by herself because it can't handle her kind of playing, but she needs someone to talk to her about the colors anyway. Luckily, that "someone" could be First Son while I work with First Daughter on something else. Or wash the dishes. Or help First Daughter wash the dishes.