I have been a busy beaver-busy at planning for school in August (and my house shows it!). At this time I am rewarding myself with a few minutes at the computer for each household task I complete.
As I mentioned previously, I finally bought and read, "Montessori in the Classroom". If you haven't read it, it is a wonderful source for anyone teaching multiple children in a Montessori way. After reading it I really pondered with the idea of using insets for design with my "firsties".
I wondered if their developmental level would make them useless after a few months, but many people on the Montessori email rings convinced me that they would continue to be used so I took off on a quest to find an inexpensive set. Not as easy as it sounds. Yes, some sights have an inexpensive set or a plastic set but by the time you factor in their shipping costs-they are not that cheap! So I am sharing with you the fruits of my labor...
I discovered that Didax Learning Materials makes a set called, "Montessori shapes". I searched the internet w/0 finding a great price so I went to Amazon.com
One company, Wizard of Math, offers them for $21.96 and factor in the 8.99 shipping=$30.99
Now, I have my insets but I need the tracing tray. Amazon doesn't have them. I checked Adena, Caliber Montessoir, and Ifit. They have them for around $12 but when you factor in their shipping cost, it's not such a great deal. I ended up buying from KidAdvance (I have no previous experience with them, so I'm crossing my fingers!). Their's is $13.99 and shipping for the one item is $8. I went ahead and ordered a few more small items I needed such as replacement smallest cube for pink tower, a clearance priced map of North America, and a few puzzles on clearance. With these additional my shipping only went up to $14 which is not bad for Montessori ordering. (Housework break)
I'm back and will now share another cool find of mine...
I am wanting to build up my phonetic material for the upcoming year. I have toyed for 2 years now with the idea of using the phonetic objects. I know I can use pictures, but those little things are so darn cute! After rereading Paula Polk Lillard this morning, I came across another rationale for them-the small motor skills it builds by the children having to use the pincher grasp (what they need for good penmanship) to pick them up. So that sold me. I had intended to hit Dollar General and Hobby Lobby in my quest for cheap little objects. Then I had the idea to check Amazon.com since I already had an order pending and maybe I could save a little on shipping. While browsing there I came across the goldmine in the sponsered links at the bottom of the page. I found a site, called, Miniature Marketplace and went in search. They have a section called special deals. Here is a copy of what I ordered and the cost for my pink phonetic objects:
IM66250 - WASH TUB1.78
IM65003IM65003 - BEACH TOYS2.10
IM65044IM65044 - FRYING PAN0.85
IM65039 - VANITY SET 1.70
IM65045IM65045 - CLOCK1.05
IM65060IM65060 - COPPER POTS1.45
IM65024IM65024 - BEAGLE1.25
IM65221sIM65221- BROWN CRAFT BAG0.71
B1SANTA HAT - B10.25
SPECKLED BIRD'S EGGS - w250.25
w162 WHITE CUPS - 0.30
KD31BOOK W/ PRINTED COVER - 0.27
DM30OLD-FASHIONED GROCERY CAN - 0.25
DM31OLD-FASHIONED GROCERY BOX - 0.25
PRESENT, ASSORTED - 1.80
G4758LARGE HAY BALE - 0.7510.75
IM65446IM65446 - CAT, GREY TABBY 1.57
RYK4155RYK4155 - MOPS, 2 PCS 1.26
RYN5505RYN5505 - LARGE MUG0.63
Shipping was a mere $5.85 so all these items for a total of $24-most of the sets include more than one item so I also have replacements.