The Cultural materials of any Montessori Plane of Development are by far my favourite and I would also humbly say, the most important. They are what we as the trained Guides use to open up the vast wonder of this world to the child.
The Tree of Life Bundle from Waseca Biomes is one of those materials that you find yourself staring at over and over and so when I had the opportunity to meet Alli and the Waseca Biomes staff in person I felt I couldn’t hold out any longer. I called ahead of time and purchased the bundle and they graciously brought it with them for me to pick up.
It’s even more stunning in person.
The entire wooden puzzle sits on a gorgeously designed thick vinyl mat. This is the control of error. The mat is perfect. It lays flat, has a good weight without being heavy and most importantly it can be wiped. A must when it will be used by classroom after classroom of children.
The child then builds the wooden puzzle over the mat. Each wooden piece is a perfect fit which is important for young children trying to maneuver the pieces into place.
The Guide of Presentation (pictured above) lists each step in the sequential presentations given to a child. The first asks the child to sort the leaves into two groups: plants and animals. This alone is tricky as some plants and animals have similar features. The conversations are virtually limitless with this work.
The art (as with all Waseca Biomes materials) is what gets me every time. Realistic, simple and absolutely stunning. Quentin loved that an Emperor Penguin was included in the bird branch and a lengthy discussion followed by some research topics evolved from his observation that the bird branch comes from the reptile branch.
We have loved using this book for years and it is the perfect companion piece to the work.
He finally sits back to admire his work.
The mat along with the information cards that come with the set will spark many more conversations in the future.
We are forever grateful for the kindness Alli has shown us over all our years of purchases. As Quentin continues through the Montessori Second Plane of Development this material will evolve into so many more discussions.