I thought I would share another DIY that I have had on my shelves for quite some time, just haven't had the chance to take pictures and share it with you. I have been so busy lately, and almost felt a little guilty for not paying more attention to my blog, but first comes family, then comes blog. :)
Introducing: DIY Sound Bottles
I made these quite a while ago, and had done some research before making my own. I read a post long before making these from Mari-Ann at Counting Coconuts where she spoke of buying Montessori sound bottles, only to realize later that she really could have made them far less expensive, and it would have been easy. That was my first introduction to them, reading that article, so I decided then and there that I would NOT purchase them, but find the best way to make them for little money. I looked through many great ideas for making them from the sensorial link at What Did We Do All Day's ultimate DIY materials list and from Deb Chitwood's DIY round-up post , both of which have many wonderful ideas and links to making DIY materials for many different areas of Montessori.
In the end, my inspiration came from tweaking some of the ideas, and thinking about what my children love. Yogurt. Yehap - that was deep, I know.
They love the Danimals smoothie drinks, but we don't get them very often (they can clear out the package in no time, and still ask for more!) I bought a 12 pack of Danimals smoothie drinks, and told the kids to drink up! Then I found 8 out of 12 bottles that were left in the best condition, and set to work. I already had some very pretty red and blue satin material, so matching the colors of the traditional sound boxes, like these from Montessori Outlet , was easy enough. I cut (I believe) a 4x4 square for each one of these, so that meant 4 red and 4 blue. Then I filled them with four different fillers - I believe I used black beans (dry), green split peas, macaroni pasta (dry), and rice. For the inside of the bottle I cut approximately a 3x3 piece of card stock, red for the red-topped bottles, blue for the blue, and rolled it into a tube shape, think enough to slide in the bottle and then used my fingers to work it back out wide enough to form the inside of the bottle. I didn't know just how see through the yogurt bottles would be - turns out they AREN'T at all - and I didn't want them to be cheating by seeing any of the filler. Then I poured in approximately 2 tbsp or so of each filler. I tried to take my time doing this, making sure that each bottle was as close to the same weight, so that they wouldn't be using the weights to differentiate - that's a great exercise, and one I would be interested in doing much the same way, but it's not what I was going for here.
Afterwards, I took the bottles and the material for the topped, and had to figure out how to keep the material on. I was afraid if I used hot glue, it would drip into the bottle and have a bad effect on the material inside. So I got a wonderful idea to use my daughter's tiny hair bands. You can find these at the health and beauty department at Walmart, or in the kids section where the accessories are. This way, they would hold tight enough to not come off, and if I want to switch out the fillers later, I don't have to rip the material off and do it all again. That being said, I haven't needed to yet, but I like knowing that I have the option. I am sure the kiddos will enjoy it if I do.
I wasn't sure how I wanted to mark the bottoms of them. I tried using colored dot stickers, similar to the ones you might use at a garage sale, and they worked great until Buddy Boy got this work out one day, unattended, and decided to pull them off. Which left me sitting there for a few minutes, tryiing to make sure I found the matching ones exactly correct, so I could re-mark them a different way to use as a control for the work. I ended up just using a black Sharpie marker to place matching dots on the bottles that match each other. Why I didn't do that first, I'll never know.... I tend to make things much harder than they have to be most of the time!!!
So now you have my idea for great DIY sound bottles. Miss Priss still picks these up occasionally, although she would actually be heading in to the lower elementary classroom were she in a Montessori school, and would not be using this work. These are wonderful for Bug, and I think given just a few months of development, Buddy Boy will enjoy them as well. I hope this is a help to someone!!!