Spring Animal Study Materials

The warmer weather has finally found us here in the Pacific Northwest and we have been loving some new Montessori compatible wooden materials that have been added to our nature shelves!

This new 5 part tray and Life Cycle of a Frog inserts have been on constant rotation! We love the large clear illustrations and how easily the inserts fit into the tray. You can see more of our use of it here on Instagram and we plan to add some figurines next week to it as well!

It’s a great addition to our 3-6 zoology shelves and we are lucky enough to be able to go out and see this life cycle happening right in our own community! So many of the local wet areas have tadpoles right now.

For the older child we love this sorting game as part of our nature study! The inserts fit into the same tray as the frog cycle which is fantastic for me as a teacher because I can just swap out the inserts and keep using the tray. So much easier for storage.

Quentin loves not only sorting but identifying the animal on each of the tiles. He ended up wanting to play a memory game by turning each of the tiles over and then having us say the kingdom we were looking for and try to remember where a tile of that kingdom was located.

When we were done everything packs away nicely into the bag it comes with and can be placed back on the shelves for another day. We are outside more and more this month and are going to see what other life cycles we notice.

Sunday Book Club: Play the Forest School Way

“Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and, when the grass of the meadows is damp with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning as it wakes every living creature that divides its day between waking and sleeping.” – Maria Montessori


This book intrigued me the second I saw it. Many in the Montessori world but too strong of an importance on the indoor environment, and not nearly enough of an importance on the outdoor one.

The Introduction of the book speaks so exellently to this that I thought I would simply quote it instead of trying to add to it. 

“Nature offers us a sanctuary, a place where we can find peace and wonder. It is not limited by time nor confined by walls, and even today we can not control it completely. It is much larger and older than we are, and its rhythms resonate deep within us. Nature is where we are from and where we belong, and our survival is intricately linked to its existence. For children it is the greatest playground of all, with all its diverse structures, smells, textures, it’s creatures of all shapes and sizes, its abundant plants, some edible, others toxic. Nature offers a myraid of opportunities for risk taking, for a wealth of learning and entertainment, and for freedom, seperate from the adult world.” 

Pretty amazing stuff.

There are four sections: Nature Explorers, Forest Arts, Survival Skills and Wildlife Team games. Each of the activities clearly lays out what is needed and what the minimum age suggestion is. 


The cover recommends this book for ages 3-11 and I would have to agree, although I could easily see doing  this with teens such as expanding on the “Building Shelters” and “Sleeping Bear” activities. 

Such an amazing book for schools and homes looking to expand on their Nature Studies and to just get out and explore the natural world around us. 

Sunday Book Club: Awesome nature resource books for school

The weather has changed. There is a crispness in the air suddenly. Talks of school (whether at home or away) have been circulating in our friend circles. With that, the conversation ultimately turns to books. Old ones we pull out of storage and dust off, and new ones that we have passed in book store windows or online that have sparked our interest. 

I am always looking for nature resource books. These books are my greatest love both in my 3-6 classroom and at home. They often have the best quality illustrations, can be used by even the youngest child, and the good ones will keep a child turning the pages for hours. 



Amazing Animal Journeys by Jason Cockroft
Such a beautiful resource of animals that migrate around the world. 


Quentin thought it was hilarious that this book almost matched the Montessori colours for the globe. The beautiful illustrations and simple but interesting text are what drew me in. An excellent book to add to an animal life cycle study or biome study. 


Natural World by Amanda Wood
This book should be on every shelf, in every school, everywhere. It has been celebrated in good book circles around the world and I was lucky enough to find it at our tiny library. This will be one that we purchase for Quentin’s Montessori home space. 


It’s attention to detail is superb. It carefully uses coloured tabs to classify subjects into 3 areas. The introduction page speaks for itself. 


We have been using it with our August nature study of a pond, but it will have far more applications in the months and even years to come. This book will last us long after Quentin has left the 3-6 classroom. It is suitable for a child 3-12 years. 


Quentin loves that it has included penguins.

Are you looking for good quality resource books to fill your learning space? Ones with beautiful illustrations or photos mixed with the right amount of information will keep them coming back for years to com.