Montessori holiday buttoning activity – Turkey-Lurkey

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Laura over at My Montessori Journey posted the cutest felt turkey last year that she made into a practical life buttoning activity for her class.  Well, I saw it last year and marked it, but then it got lost in my legions of crafting bookmarks.  Well, thankfully she recently re-posted it and J’s teacher saw it and forwarded it to me!  I worked on it last night while watching HP Order of the Phoenix (have to brush up before the DVD release of Half-Blood Prince next month – already on pre-order, yes, I’m one of those people), and then finished it up this morning before taking J to school.  We were a few minutes late, but I think his teacher forgave us when she saw the turkey!  And we were thankfully there in time for J to respond with a chipper “Bonjour!” when she called his name at circle, although he was still at his cubby putting on his inside shoes.

It’s made of wool and wool-blend felt that I had in my stash.  I hand-sewed on the facial features with a basic running stitch and just used whatever buttons I had on hand that were approximately the same size (so the kids could put the feathers on in any order).  I made it with two layers of felt for the turkey body, and the feathers.  So I sewed those together with my machine.  It would have been nice to hand sew those, but that would have taken considerably longer and this is just as durable and nice.  Especially considering it’s an activity that will only be out on the shelf for a few weeks a year.  The feet are just one piece of felt, and I made sure to go over them twice with my sewing machine just to make sure they wouldn’t get loose.  Hmm….I probably should have used brown thread in my machine.  Oh well!

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It turned out great and I really can’t emphasize enough the difference it makes when you use wool and wool-blend felts.  It’s so much nicer than using acrylic felt.  It just has a better textural quality, both in terms of working with the materials, and using them.  100% wool felt is pretty expensive, but the wool felt blends that you can buy at places like Prairie Point Junction and Felt-o-Rama are also quite nice.  The green and red feathers are actually scraps from my advent calendar from last year.  I keep every minute bit of wool felt scraps, LOL!  The black eyes are some tiny scraps of recycled wool sweater (felted in my washing machine).

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Coffee bean Montessori apron

Montessori coffee bean apron

Montessori coffee bean apron

This apron was made for a coffee bean practical life activity.  The kids love to grind coffee beans.  There is a 6.5yo girl in my son’s class and she came up to me the other day and exclaimed emphatically, “Tina!  This is my favorite apron that you have made!”  So cute.  I’m actually perfecting my technique and I think this is the best looking apron that I’ve made yet!  Only took me 5 aprons to figure out that dang double-fold bias tape.

I asked J to do the coffee bean grinding work this morning when I dropped him off so I could take a picture of the set-up.  Doesn’t it look fun?  They save the coffee grounds in the glass jar, and use them for the Mother’s Day Tea.

Coffee bean grinding work at Montessori

Coffee bean grinding work at Montessori

J doing the coffee bean grinding work

J doing the coffee bean grinding work

It is wonderful to watch them do their work with such deliberation and care.  He put the apron on, went over to wash his hands, made sure to take just “one scoop” of beans.  Turned the grinder, opened the drawer, dumped the beans into the glass jar, screwed back on the lid, wiped the grinder bowl with a small sponge, and then folded the apron up and put it back on the towel rack.  He was even careful to make sure the grinder was lined up properly on the tray for the next person.  So cute!