What’s On Our Shelves: Valentine’s Edition

What's On Our Shelves: Valentine's Day Unit Study on Study-at-Home Mama #montessori

Valentine’s ended up being the perfect opportunity to completely clear our shelves in anticipation of some big changes that we have in the works. I had been delaying the inevitable, but being able to replace her treasured materials with some fun Valentine’s-themed activities ended up being completely acceptable with Ella!

Of course, she went for the tray in the bottom left hand corner first (ahem, not the Montessori order) because it contained early morning chocolate and candy. The candy was placed in a cute candy dispenser that requires some great fine motor work to dispense (pincer grasp and turning) which is my “pre-writing skills” excuse for providing candy on a work tray!

The other trays (in order this time) contain:

A cardboard doiley with perfectly placed holes for lacing! (With a red shoelace but a ribbon with a taped edge could easily be substituted. This box and the shoelace are part of our Melissa and Doug lacing kit.*)

Flower arranging, with two small pink (glass) vases and some baby’s breathe. There are also scissors* hidden underneath the bouquet for Ella to practice flower trimming. Some Montessorians might take issue with the fact that the work does not fit on the tray perfectly, but as Ella actually helped me pick out the flowers, it was important for me that she be allowed to do all of the prep work, since she had seen the original state (seen here) when she picked them out. For older children, you could do a conjunction game twist.
This shelf contains two activities that work together — the second tray utilizes materials created by the work of the first tray. The first tray contains several leftover paint chips and a heart punch-out*, along with a small bowl to keep the small heart punches/confetti. After that work is done, Ella can use the glue stick on the second tray to attach the heart confetti to the small canvas.*
I’m now realizing how silly it might have been to essentially have made a candy shelf… after attacking the chocolate heart lolly on the first tray, Ella set to work on this memory game. I used three small heart containers,* lids and bottoms separated, to make a memory game with large conversation hearts in matching colour pairs. Ella didn’t need me to explain that once she found a matching colour pair she could eat the candies!
I took the pink, purple, and red colour tablets from our Colour Box 3 and placed them in a smaller box for a special adaption. When taking this picture, a small hand snuck in and removed the lightest red tablet… photo sabotage. The tablets should be placed in order from lightest to darkest.
fredThis cute set of Matryoshkas are actually measuring cups!* I separated them for display but they will be used for ordering and opening and closing. Later in the week we’re going to add some chocolate scented-rice into the this activity and notice how the capacity of each measuring cup is different. (Note: this is a difficult concept for most under-4s to grasp.)

I only had enough hearts to fill one box of our spindle box set, but I thought this heart version was fun enough to include.


This is my Valentine’s day twist on sound cylinders. I used six  heart-shaped containers and filled up two each with: mulch (could use cotton buds if you had them), rice, and beans. The sound cylinders should be matched on sound and placed in order from “softest” to “loudest.”


This is our flower-painting invitation, which is more Reggio. I cut off a tiny sprig of Ella’s bouquet for her to dip in the pink glitter paint and decorate the small white squares. This is another tray whose work provides the materials necessary for another tray.

This is a wonderful three-part teapot* that we found at a charity shop. The top half is a teapot and the bottom is a teacup. I filled the teapot with pink tea (Forever Nuts from David’s Tea) and Ella quickly added this to her breakfast chocolate.

This is our playdough invitation for Valentine’s day. In the section plate there is red glitter, red gems, and red (artificial) roses. In the red heart box I placed our rose-scented playdough.

This is the activity that builds on the flower painting activity pictured above. I placed the album* here for Ella to use for reference, all of the pictures in the album are of people that she loves and their names are labeled on each picture with small white circle stickers. Ella will look through the album for someone that she wants to address a “valentine” to, write as much of their name as she chooses with the black marker (possibly just a first initial) and then attach a 1cent stamp onto each card before “mailing it” in the cute little postbox.* After this activity is complete, I have a small “receiving” mailbox that I will fill with little valentine treats for her.

Opposite to the shelves is our block corner, which I also had to revamp, so I replaced what I removed with this small “bouquet” of tinfoil heart sprays and a “Love” sign, and there is a plastic sheet on the block mirror full of gel hearts that she can arrange on the mirror or possibly the window.


What will you be doing for Valentine’s?

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