simple last minute egg decorating

simple last minute egg decorating | montessori works

Do you know when your dreams just don’t line up with reality? That’s what happened in our house this week. My dream was to make beautiful, vibrant, and natural Easter egg dyes. Imogen and I were going to chop and boil vegetables, soak the eggs, and still have time to experiment with mixing the natural dyes. I was planning on rivaling Martha Stewart.

Well, then it was Thursday, and I mentally planned out the rest of our days and realized, there was NO way that little dream of mine was going to work. Honestly, if I even planned dying any eggs, that I better get them in the water right this second.

I adopted this idea from melting crayons on hot rocks (I think I first saw it at Artful Parent). And, since nothing is new on the internet, a quick Google search shows that I am not the first person to think of using this technique with hot eggs.

Well, back to the beginning theme of this post, the real life version of melted crayon eggs was not a winner, nope not at all.

To go a little deeper — it work great on about the first 4 eggs. We kept the eggs in the pot of hot water, and only removed them and dried them right before we decorated them with the crayons. But, they still cooled too quickly. By my third egg it was easy to see that the crayon wax was not melting well, rather we were drawing on the eggs. And since we had a dozen more eggs waiting for some love, we needed to regroup quickly.

simple last minute egg decorating

< multimedia egg, crayon and watercolor on white eggshell. Spring 2014 >

Liquid water colors to the rescue! So, we just painted the eggs, which turned out to be the perfect solution. Plenty of creativity, plenty of washable mess, plenty of fun, and plenty of fuchsia.

simple last minute egg decorating

Making “secret” eggs was the highlight of the afternoon. We wrote messages and drew designs with a white crayon and gave them to each other to paint and discover the secret.

simple last minute egg decorating

Grab some eggs and some water colors, because you still have time for beautiful eggs!

animals of europe giveaway!

Schleich animals of Europe giveaway | montessori works

Do you know what happened the other day? I realized I have blogged at montessori works for a year! Now that deserves a celebration. I think I will have some cake and a glass of wine, but I also have something for you (if cake and wine are not your thing).

I have put together a collection of five Schleich animals, a red deer, badger, white stork, red fox, and Scottish highland cow. All materials are brand new. To go with the objects I created four different pictures of each animal, and one information card for each animal (24 cards total). The pictures and information cards are mounted on red cardstock and are laminated and read for use in your class or home!

Schleich animals of Europe giveaway | montessori works

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We want to come live at your house!

Schleich animals of Europe giveaway | montessori works


our monthly bread–sun bread

We eat a lot in this house, really, a lot. And I cook most of what we eat. Most days I enjoy cooking dinner, making lunches, loading the dishwasher – but like us all, some days I look at my family and think “Didn’t I just feed you yesterday? You mean I have to do this again?”

In an effort to slow down, to be mindful of the creating and the joys of feeding those you love, I decided to add a new rhythm (I like how rhythm sounds rather and routine) to our days. Imogen and I are going to make a new bread once a month and I will share the recipes and the outcome here with you.


^^ Listing all the breads she wants to make. She is pretty sure we need to make bread for January and February, since I did say we would make bread every month. ^^  Continue reading

montessori bread work {part 2}

My very first blog post, almost a year ago, was about making bread in the classroom. I was so nervous hitting the publish button, I thought “who’s going to care about making bread in a Montessori classroom?” You know what, there were plenty of people who cared, and I discovered that I enjoyed sharing my ideas and love of Montessori, and hitting that publish button!

montessori bread work {part 2} | montessori works

In the late fall our school always uses the For Small Hands (from Montessori Services) as a fundraiser for materials. It is always a great resource for parents to pick up a few stocking stuffers and support the school at the same time.

I pined for this grain mill for years. It is a beautiful, sturdy, real piece of machinery.  It is practical and purposeful. It is deeply satisfying work. I knew it would be the perfect addition to our already established bread making and butter spreading works. It was the one item that I requested we purchased with the money we earned from the fundraiser, and I am so glad that we did. Continue reading

a terrarium to make with your children

Monday was a snow day, an actual snow day and not an ice day, or a “freak out because it might snow” day. Honestly, I’m feeling a little done with all the snow, I’m ready for the green of spring, the daffodils, the sun.

I think that terrariums are one of the coolest things ever. I love that they are essentially their own little ecosystem, you can do tropical plants, succulents, cacti, any grouping of plants that has similar requirements. They add not just beauty, but also the perfect self-contained environment for your child to watch and study. You and your child can build and plant the terrarium, and then observe and document the changes and the growth that you see over the course of the plant’s life.

A terrarium to make with your children -- Bring spring a little early | montessori works

Imogen and I planned on making the terrarium about a week ago when we came upon an inexpensive shamrock (oxalis) plant at the grocery store. Riding on the St. Patrick’s Day theme, I repurposed a crystal pendant to hang in the terrarium – hopeful when we have sun, it will cast beautiful rainbows in and around the terrarium. And, since Imogen was sure a terrarium was not complete without a flower, we added a pansy. Continue reading

four montessori color mixing lessons

Color mixing works are always a hit in the classroom. We progress through all these variations during the year, because while it seems like a simple concept, it truly is something that takes children years to fully internalize color mixing. And, while I didn’t plan this, with St. Patrick’s Day coming up, what better time to have a little rainbow fun!

four montessori color mixing lessons | montessori works

We use four main lessons for color mixing, one group lesson and three individual works. The group lesson is the introduction, and usually the best place to start. The following is roughly the order we progress through during the year (of course this year we mixed it up, so it doesn’t really matter.)

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why i don’t do examples

I don’t make examples. Not for artwork, not for crafts. The only time I must produce something like a drawing is when I give a metal inset lesson, and then I carefully fold my work into fourths and put it in my pocket. The same extends to home, I try not to draw for Imogen.

Why am I anti-example? Because to me, the work, whether it is a metal inset, a watercolor, or a Mother’s Day Craft, is process oriented, not product. And that’s where I want the child’s focus. Did they enjoy making it? Do they think it’s beautiful? Did they choose the colors they wanted? It they are constantly following my example how are they going to learn to be happy with their own work?

This is much easier at school than at home. Our art shelf is only open-ended materials. Scissors, glue, tape, paper for cutting, pencils, clay, and a collage tray. We rotate through watercolor paints and other materials during the year. When we do have a new work, like watercolors, and I need to give a lesson, I use the same piece of watercolor paper and simply make lines. Focusing the child on the process of getting the water, cleaning the brush, etc., and not on what I am painting. When I have finished my lesson I say, “I made lines, you can make whatever you wish.”

why i don't do examples | montessori works

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