Monday, May 14, 2012

Improvising Montessori

I love Montessori materials, however their beauty is far beyond what I can realistically afford to spend. I do what I can with Nikki, but a lot of the more specialised activities are hard (or very time consuming) to improvise.

When I was showing Nikki the new scales I bought, we were trying to make them balance with just the weights. This was impossible, since the individual weights we have are all half of the previous one, so the best we can do is 1lb and 15.5 oz. I remembered that we had a set of weights that I bought last year, and dug them out - only to find that they are metric. We managed to estimate the number of grams per ounce (Nikki wasn't patient enough for precision) when a thought struck me. The lovely set of metric weights in their presentation box had a resemblance to the Montessori knobbed cylinders. Similarly, the imperial weights could be likened to the knobless cylinders.

They are not perfect, but since the set of knobbed cylinders I've been coveting are around £100 for the four blocks, I'm happy enough! I'd still like to buy them (eventually, when I win the lottery!) but I am glad that I can introduce the concept now!

Nikki especially loved that the knobbed weights have tweezers in the box! Once he realised, he wanted to use tweeze everything!

The ease with which Nikki matches these weights back into the box makes me think that splashing out on the pretty set might not be worth it. However, he has a lot of trouble putting things into size order (in a row or stacking), so perhaps they would be worth it? Or should I go for the much more affordable knobless cylinders? Or should I simply use what I have? My heart wants them, but my purse is glaring at me for even thinking it!

Linking up to Montessori Mondays


  1. what a fantastic idea. great thinking. and i know what you mean about the cost. :-(

  2. Great ideas for using the weight set you have! Thanks so much for linking up with Montessori Monday. You might also find some of the links in this post helpful: I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page.