I’m celebrating the arrival of a new school year by offering a handful of giveaways for items you can use in your homeschool, Montessori classroom, or most anywhere you like to spend time with the young children in your world. Last week, I shared a bit about the Bissell Natural Sweep: a carpet sweeper that can be tailored for use by children and adults alike, and is a wonderful addition to a Montessori Practical Life area or home.
Today, I’d like to talk with you a bit about Montessori Print Shop, a fantastic company that provides printable Montessori materials designed by an AMI Certified Montessori teacher who has 20 years of experience. As a Montessori teacher and parent myself, I find that I’m always making something to support my children as they dig deeper into the things they’re most interested in. I’m no graphic designer, however, and most of the materials I make myself are not only far from perfect (which is totally okay!), but also take a very long time. Finding the right images for something I want to create, finding a way to make things uniform or to scale, and otherwise figuring out the details of a set of cards or a cutting activity can be really frustrating.
One thing you may know about me if you’ve been reading this blog awhile is that I can be a bit of a snob and a purist when it comes to my Montessori materials. I know this is silly (and I’m working on it), and I certainly don’t judge what other teachers and moms make, but I’m quite a harsh critic when it comes to my own work (just to be clear – this is me, not Montessori!). It’s hard for me to settle for something that’s crooked or has some other glaring defect. In fact, I just don’t, and I end up not ever finishing a lot of things or spending a silly amount of time tweaking details. My trainer (who I think may have changed her tune now, actually), had a strong preference toward teacher-made materials, and encouraged us to make all of our language materials, our three part cards, our extension materials – everything – by hand. I have been unable to reconcile the two voices on my shoulders saying simultaneously that everything must be beautiful and precise, and that everything must be made by me. Sigh.
Montessori Print Shop, however, offers the perfect balance for me. I’m able to find so much of what I want for our classroom there and download and print it immediately. I can then cut, laminate, and even add my own twist as I get a new activity ready for our shelves. Remember our cute cutting strips from last spring? I downloaded and printed those and prepped that activity over coffee, then presented the work in the classroom later that same morning. Since everything is digital, it is all precise, which is so very important to me. It’s also crisp, clean, and beautiful. It took me a long time to let go of the desire to make everything myself from start to finish, and I feel silly for waiting so long to give Montessori Print Shop’s materials a try. Don’t make the same mistake I did! :) They have saved me so much time, and the materials are just gorgeous. I’m hooked.
Recently, Montessori Print Shop sent me a download of their Sensorial Extensions Bundle for review, and I have loved the materials included there as much as everything else I’ve ever downloaded from them. Knobless cylinder pattern cards have always been a hit in my classrooms, and I’ve had masters of various cards in my albums for years, as they were shared with me by other teachers when I was starting out. I opted some time ago to purchase and print Montessori Print Shop’s cards, however, and I love having a digitally stored file that prints perfectly every time. Cards are
easily bent or damaged, and I love being able to relax and know that I can make new ones with minimal trouble. Annabelle has been very interested in doing Sensorial extensions lately, so I printed and cut out the Pink Tower Cards for her. This was an extension I had never tried before, and I’m so glad we gave it a try. Annabelle was so focused, and so obviously pleased with her work. She loved them. For a bit more of a challenge, I’ll be offering her the outline only version of the cards soon, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what she creates with the other items in this bundle as we add them to our shelves.
Oh, I was also hesitant about to pay for downloads in the past because I’m not the best about keeping track of digital files. This is so easy, though! When you order, Montessori Print Shop sends you an email with a link to download your products, and the link doesn’t expire. So, if you can’t remember where you saved a file and you want to print again, you can just go back to your email and dig up the link. This also makes it easy to access a file from multiple computers if, say, you have trouble printing at home and need to try again elsewhere. They really make it easy.
Not only does Montessori Print Shop offer a number of wonderful extension cards to accompany the traditional Montessori materials, but they also have a wide variety of printables that stand alone and can be used in any classroom or home. I love these teaching cards and booklets for various celebrations and this set of Peace Makers cards, too. Both of these, and so much more from Montessori Print Shop’s offerings would be enriching for any young child, and there’s so much in every subject area. The Sensorial Extensions Bundle we tried out sells for $26.61, and downloads of single materials cost anywhere from less than a dollar to $3 or $4. There are even quite a number of downloads available for free, so you can give some of those a try to get a sense of the quality Montessori Print Shop offers before you buy.
Montessori Print Shop is offering a $30 gift certificate to one lucky Vibrant Wanderings reader. Since all of their offerings are digital downloads, you can win no matter where in the world you live. Just enter using the rafflecopter widget below and come back over the next two weeks to earn more entries. Good luck!
Disclosure: I received a free Sensorial Extensions Bundle for the purpose of this
review. No other compensation was provided, and all opinions are my own. I do
my best to write only about products I believe my readers will benefit from and/or
be interested in, and I never recommend something I haven’t tried myself. My
preference is always to support small and/or local businesses where possible.
See my full disclosure at the bottom of my about page.