During his first term back to school, Z has been studying prehistoric societies, including Cave men, and the Caves and Caverns toolbox from Montessori by Mom is a great way to extend this topic at home. I used the toolbox with all three of my boys (4-7) and we had fun learning about caves and caverns together with the hands on learning ideas that were included.
The Montessori by Mom Caves & Caverns tool box includes an illustrated book (made specifically for Montessori by Mom), a comprehensive crystal growing kit with 5 ways to grow the crystals, a cave themed felt play scene, supplies for bear themed maths activities and supplies for a cave drawing art project.
The book, Tim’s Cave Adventures, gives thorough information on the different kinds of caves and how they are formed, on the different formations that you can find within those caves, and on the creatures that live in them. Although it covers so much, it doesn’t over complicate the topic.
In the toolbox, you also get an instruction book, and access to online videos and resources to help you use each of the materials to the full. For this set, you can watch videos to find further instructions on how to grow each of the different types of crystals, and on various ways to use the maths activity to adapt this to your child’s age and level. The videos are a great idea to make sure you make the best of your pack.
Each of the methods of growing the crystal is based on the different properties of caves, which is explained in more detail in the video. In the tool box you get the supplies for growing crystals with magnesium sulfate, sodium borate, aluminium sulfate, sodium chloride, and dolomite. These vary between being done overnight, and taking a couple of weeks for the dolomite – so taking each method one by one, you can extend this topic over the whole month and cover crystal growing pretty comprehensively!
My boys loved this simple activity that allowed them to get creative with the cave topic. We drew our own cave pictures on brown paper with oil pastels (all supplies in the tool box) and scrumpled them up afterwards to get a rough “cave wall” effect.
Drawing these cave art pictures together gave us a chance to chat about everything we had learnt about caves and caverns, and Z shared with us some of the information he had learned about cave men in school too.
For more inspiration on what type of things to include in your cave art, you can access the resources on the Montessori by Mom website and see some examples.
Cave Felt Scene
The cave felt scene is another creative and playful way to extend the topic. It comes with different cave formations, a bear and some bats. These are easy to move around and fun to use for storytelling. You can make up your own, or tie it in with the Tim’s Cave Adventure book or any cave stories you’ve read and enjoyed with your child.
The maths activities in the tool box are pretty open ended, so can be used for the most basic counting, or can be extended to work on more advanced topics like simple algebra. It comes with small bear counters which makes all the maths work hands on and also gives fine motor practice as little ones pick up and work with the small pieces.
With the maths activity, the tools can be used over and over outside of the cave topic – and the little bears are very cute!
We really enjoyed learning about caves and caverns with the help of the toolbox from Montessori by Mom. They cover all kinds of topics with the toolboxes, and you can subscribe via their site to receive a tool box monthly to help you plan fun and educational activities with your kids each month.
We received our caves and caverns toolbox in order to review.