Whether you’re leading your own child or a classroom of children in Montessori education, the right tools make all the difference. They allow your students to interact with tangible objects, watch and learn about science in action, and take an independent approach to their learning. Finding effective Montessori science materials can be difficult, though. Educational stores for kids primarily offer products that cater to traditional classroom instruction.
So, where can you find the best Montessori science materials and how do you know which products are the most appropriate for your child or class? Allow our experts to guide you through everything you need to know.
What Is Unique About Montessori Science Materials?
As you shop for materials, it’s important to look for those that are designed with Montessori education in mind. What exactly does this mean and how do you know if a product is well-suited for Montessori instruction?
Montessori science materials generally align with the principles of Montessori education. Most importantly, they allow children to engage in self-led instruction rather than requiring a teacher to lead the lesson. Montessori materials should also largely focus on experiential learning, allowing students to learn through an interactive experience like an activity, project, or experiment.
Keep in mind that Montessori-suited materials can also be used if you aren’t fully following Montessori education. Experiential learning is a helpful supplement in traditional classroom education, so Montessori science materials can be used for any child.
What to Look For in Montessori Science Materials
As you shop for Montessori science materials, there are several top qualities and criteria to consider. The first and most fundamental is whether the product is designed with Montessori instruction in mind. The easiest way to find these products is to choose a Montessori-specific education shop, which you’ll primarily find online, or a Montessori-based subscription service.
The second factor to consider is the product’s advancement level and how it aligns with your child’s development. Most Montessori-based shops label their products as primary, lower elementary, upper elementary, and so on, so it’s easy to choose materials that are appropriate for your child or students.
Third, ideally, look for materials that work together to provide a comprehensive learning experience. This often means combining written materials with activities or experiments and other products to give children a well-rounded grasp of the concept.
Where to Find Montessori Science Materials
Now that you have an idea of what you’re looking for, the next question is where exactly to look. Fortunately, there are numerous resources today for parents and teachers who provide a Montessori education. Check out these top options for Montessori science materials that align with your student’s interests.
Montessori Laboratory is a wholly unique type of resource for Montessori instruction and Montessori science materials. In fact, it’s unique in a few different ways.
For one, Montessori Laboratory solely specializes in science materials. As experts in Montessori science instruction, the Montessori Laboratory crew offers advanced knowledge and strategically developed, informative lessons.
Second, the way Montessori Laboratory works is particularly unique. You simply subscribe to the site to get access to all the resources it has to offer. Whether you purchase a home subscription or a classroom subscription, your child or students get the benefit of a comprehensive science resource that includes videos, experiment instructions, nomenclature, printables, research projects, and other activities.
Montessori Laboratory also offers full lessons rather than individual products. The lessons are designed with features and resources that work together to give children a big-picture, hands-on experience with science, giving them the benefit of a well-planned self-guided education.
Each lesson includes videos that children can watch independently or that you as their guide can watch to help you lead the lesson yourself. Either way, the videos are designed to spark children’s interest, drive them to ask questions, and guide them into hands-on learning.
Because Montessori Laboratory encourages interactive, experiential learning, it also offers the add-on option of a comprehensive Montessori science kit. The science kit includes nearly 50 different items that are used in various experiments across different lessons. Having a full set of materials to choose from allows children to engage in the process of planning an experiment, gathering materials, and setting the experiment up, which is an important lesson in project planning and executive functioning. The kit includes chemical and material components, beakers, tools, test tubes, safety goggles, and more.
With one subscription to Montessori Laboratory, you get access to an ever-growing collection of lessons and activities. With subscriptions starting at just $12 per month, this site is a particularly affordable resource for both beginners and experts in Montessori instruction.
This resource currently offers over 100 experiments and activities that cover a wide range of science topics. While the lessons are listed in a natural order you can use to guide your curriculum, you’re also welcome to use whichever lessons you choose in any order you choose in order to stay true to the Montessori principle of following the child.
Big Picture Science
Like Montessori Laboratory, Big Picture Science is a great place to find Montessori science materials because it is focused specifically on Montessori science. Created by Dr. Priscilla Spears, the offerings include both learning materials for children and guides for teachers, and cover a variety of science topics. As the website says, you’ll find “LOTS of botany, along with Tree of Life charts (phylogenetic trees), history of life, and chemistry.”
In addition to paid resources, there are a number of free ones under the “downloads” section. One of the amazing free resources that Dr. Spears created is a series of guides with suggestions for updating and restructuring the Montessori biology lessons. These suggestions are based on our ever evolving understanding of the diversity of life on Earth, including new scientific information that has come out over the years since the lessons were originally created.
Montessori for Everyone
Montessori for Everyone is a site that’s all about making Montessori instruction easier and more accessible through ready-made products. The site offers products across numerous subjects, including language arts, math, music, health and safety, and of course, science.
Montessori for Everyone specifically offers printables files for purchase. This is convenient and works particularly well with the Montessori model because you don’t need to plan ahead. You can let your child decide what they want to learn about in the moment, then purchase and print out your products in minutes so your child can get started right away.
The printables on Montessori for Everyone span a wide variety of formats and material types. You can download charts and graphs that demonstrate certain concepts, terminology cards and fact cards, research guides, and more.
All of their items are available to buy a la carte so you can pick and choose the materials you want, or you can also purchase packages organized by topic.
Montessori 123 is another site that offers premium printables for Montessori instruction.
Most of the printables Montessori 123 offers are nomenclature-focused products, like flashcards that teach kids certain terminology. It also offers printables like maps and anatomical images with labels students can place in the appropriate locations to learn about different scientific concepts.
Montessori 123 offers products for children in primary, lower elementary, and upper elementary levels, as well as toddlers. You can browse its products based on a subject or a developmental stage so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. Each product is available for individual purchase or you can buy larger packs of materials too.
While printables are wonderful and very much have an important place in a Montessori elementary environment, it is especially important when learning about science to also have materials that encourage hands-on experimentation and exploration.
Montessori Services offers a diverse collection of Montessori science materials and other Montessori educational resources. This site offers many different types of products, and their science selection includes kits, individual materials, and books.
All of the science kits available from Montessori services are designed to cover your needs for a specific experiment, and most of them are topics commonly introduced in primary or very early elementary. However, if you have older children or students, they do also have materials like eye droppers, beakers, and iron filings that can be purchased individually and used along with the elementary science lessons that are traditionally taught in Montessori. Many of their books also cover elementary science topics, including a whole series they have on simple machines, and a book on kitchen sink science!
Finding the Right Tools for a Montessori Education
Whether you’re teaching Montessori science to your own child or to students in a classroom, having the right tools and resources makes all the difference. Check out any of the sites above to find the Montessori science materials you need for your next lesson.