Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

18 January, 2020
by Lyn



The children have been using their imaginations to invent and play games with each other. Despite being mid January, the trucks and bikes have remained active. There have been games of chase and capture, games with instructions and rules to determine who will be the next to go, shoveling scoops of snow, sled rides, and truck driving. We were so excited for the big snowfall which turned the world into a snow covered wonderland. Some carrots from the fridge made great snowman noses, eyes, and ears.

pushing a load of snow for the mountainsled trainwinter bikingcollecting snowsled forttruck chatplowingunder the snowy treecarrot noseshaking snow off the treemaking a snowmanThe Elsa's in the land of ice and snowmaking a snowmouseHairy snowman

Monday students used marbles to make their artwork by plonking them in jars of paint, then rolling them around on their papers to make colorful line designs and patterns.

purple blobs and linesshades of bluemaking marble art

The solar system was introduced, specifically the 8 (+dwarf Pluto = 9) planets. We will do a planet a week, working our way from the planets closest to the sun to the planet furthest away. We learned that all the planets in our solar system orbit our star, the sun, and that most of the planets have at least one moon that orbits that planet. This week we were introduced to the planet Mercury. We learned that it moves very quickly around the sun, but rotates very, very, very slowly, so one day to night period lasts 59 days. We learned that there is no atmosphere on Mercury, so asteroids strike the planet, leaving huge craters, just like the moon, but unlike Earth whose atmosphere burns most of them up before they can hit the surface. We also learned that daytime on Mercury is super hot, upwards of 400 degrees, but night is super cold, down to negative 280 degrees.

I like to Oat, Oat, Oat, Oples & BononosTen in the bed and the little one said, "Roll over, roll over"short bead chainswriting workhow many?clayLego girlsLlama lineupthat is a small planet!checking out John's bonesstudying the skeletonwriting timematching spacelooking through the lensstudying the brain, the eyeball, and the flowermatching numbersfish in the pond additionWriting about horses and flowersspace memoryA spider and a horse.geometric solidsdrummers drummingpatternsmatching animalsstacking cylinderssorting and countingwriting stories

Susan shared the Greek Myth about the gods Gaea (Earth), Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Neptune. She told how Saturn, a son of Gaea and Uranus, would eat his children, so when Jupiter was born, his mother hid in a cave with him, and when he grew up he overthrew his father. Jupiter had several children, including Mercury. Mercury was very clever and quick. One day he tricked his brother, Apollo, by tying branches to the feet of 50 cows and walking them away backwards to it looked like they had been eaten by a giant monster. When Apollo deduced what had happened, Mercury gave him a lire that he had made, the first musical instrument. Because of his speed and cleverness, Mercury became the messenger of the gods.

Susan sharing the Greek Myths about the gods Gaia, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Neptune, & PlutoPluto

The children made models of the planet mercury by tracing a template and cutting out a circle, then plopping a mixture of toilet paper, grated soap, water, glue, and black paint on it. They used marbles to create craters in the surface, then set them to dry. Each week we will make a new planet, which we will save to display for our last day art show.

making Mercurypicking asteroids to make craterstracing and molding Mercurymushing mercury

The children made their Mercury mixture and a large batch of clean mud by grating bars of ivory soap, then combining it with torn pieces of toilet paper and water, then mushing and smooshing it up into a fun, soft, moldable mixture. They were all very careful while grating to keep their fingers safe. It was great fun to play with when all mixed together!

all the ingredients for clean mudgrating soapgrating soap and shredding toilet paperdumping in soapadding toilet papersmooshing the toilet paper, soap, and water to make clean mudflattened outsquish squashsmoosh, smush

The health Center was once again very busy. There were plenty of doctors and nurses caring for the few patients who stopped in for exams. Tammy made some silhouettes of animals so the children could compare their height with a jack rabbit, a penguin, and a coyote.

listening to her heartbusy health care workerschecking reflexesWhat are your symptoms?putting on gloveslots of medical experts and one patientAre you as tall as an emperor penguin?let's take your pulse and blood oxygen leveltime to take your temperature

Rachel returned to finish up the plant pressing with those who missed it last week, and to cover them all with contact paper to preserve them. Next week the children will share their collected plants with the group.

gluing down her plantvery gently brushing on glue

During sign language with Rose, after making all the signs for Rose that we have learned, she taught us some winter signs. We reviewed winter and learned snow pants (make the snow for snow by wiggling fingers coming down, then pants, which looks like pulling up pants), hat (patting your year)h, jacket, mittens, gloves, boots, and scarf. These will be quite handy when getting ready to go outside!


We continue to read and discuss making mistakes, taking on challenges, and being brave. We read Jabari Jumps about a boy who decides to jump from the diving board for the first time after completing swim lessons and passing the swim test. He is quite nervous, but with some gentle support and strategies from his dad, he takes some breaths, tells himself that he is ready, climbs up, and jumps off, being brave despite his nervousness with this scary new endeavor. We also read the true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah who was born with only one leg. He hopped to school, hopped to collect water, learned to play soccer and ride a bike, and travelled far away to a city where he worked to support his family at 13 years old. We tried hopping around on one leg and found it to be quite challenging. It is a truly inspiring story of perseverance, hard work, and determination.

seeing what it would be like to have only one legone legged soccerIMG_4443 - Copy - Copy

We introduced yoga and had fun moving our bodies into different poses, including downward dog, swan, mountain, tree, cobra, and child’s pose. Every student then rested on their backs and a flat stone was placed on each belly. They moved the stone up and down while breathing deeply in to raise their bellies, then out to lower it down.

the swanchild's poseyoga breathsbreathing stones

We celebrated a fourth birthday with tasty cupcakes. The birthday boy shared that he was born in the winter and he is four years old. He smiled his way through the seasons as he orbited the candle sun then we all sang Happy Birthday before enjoying tasty cupcakes together. Happy Birthday birthday boy!

4 years old!Winter Birthday

During music we continued imitating rhythms, but with the purpose of communicating. Susan explained to us how satellites in space send messages back to earth through radio waves. She tapped out short rhythm patterns on a drum from across the classroom, and students took turns trying to tap them back. It was quite challenging to hear and repeat the rhythms!

IMG_4460 (2) - Copycopy the clapping patternlistening and repeatbeating out the rhythm in response

For Friday science we explored the sense of touch. We watched some short videos about how the skin works and what your sense of touch is. We then got down to experimenting! We touched a variety of items and categorized them by texture (rough and smooth) and hardness (hard and soft).

How does it feel?soft or hard?

10 January, 2020
by Lyn

I Spy With My Little Eye

dumping shovelfuls of snow on his head

2020 started with some wonderfully snowy days. We did lots of shoveling! We shoveled pathways, shoveled scoops of snow to dump on our heads, shoveled snow into trucks, shoveled snow into buckets, shoveled snow off the tunnel and toys, and shoveled snow into a giant hill for sledding.

making a planwinter plantingshoveling snowscoopI'm gonna get you!building a sledding hillsnowball attackshoveling up snow for the mountainpushing a load of snow for the mountain

Cold temperatures kept us in on Thursday, so we did some indoor activities. We set up a small obstacle course, which challenged our balance, coordination, strength, and control. Some children put on puppet shows, others built with magnatiles, and some constructed with bristle blocks.

puppet timeSteppingmagnatile constructionnavigating the obstacle coursebristle blocks

Monday students were introduced to blow painting. They dropped little drips of liquid watercolor onto their papers, then used a straw to blow the paint all around in different shapes and patterns. Some children made small detailed paintings, and some continued to try lots of different colors and blowing strategies until their papers were covered. They helped introduce blow painting to the rest of the class on Tuesday, and everyone who wanted had an opportunity to create their own works of art.

paint spot patternsred and orange, green and yellowpouring paintblowing paint patternsyellow, orange, purple, reddrip dropa straw for everyone

We began to introduce seeing mistakes as opportunities to learn, and struggles as opportunities to grow. We discussed taking on challenges and persevering even when things are hard. Some of the students shared some really helpful advice about trying again and again, even if you can’t do it the first, second, or third time. We read some stories about mistakes and challenges, including The Day Roy Rigels Ran the Wrong Way and Cowardly Clyde.

alphabet BINGOpattern blocksblock tower team workshowing their push-up skillsfinishing the binomial cubeNorth America puzzle mapmorning floor workpin punchingtriangle metal inset tracing and pin punchingwooden word cardsstanding on the stool to place the top floorpatterns & space memorybalancing animalshorse puzzle

During sign language we reviewed all the signs we learned last year, then learned numbers 6-10. Because the numbers are made with one hand, rather than counting fingers with two, we were really working our fine motor (finger) skills trying to touch the correct fingers together!

sharestop, sit, stand6

As our study of the universe progresses to the planets, we decided to make our dramatic play area into a physician’s office where astronauts would be examined and checked to make sure they are healthy enough to go into space, as astronauts must be very healthy! The children helped brainstorm what should be included in our health center, who would work there and who would visit, and they helped to set things up for play. The various medical instruments and roles were introduced and discussed before beginning play. Once things were underway, there were a lot of busy nurses and doctors, and some patients receiving some thorough medical exams.

enter patient informationchecking temperaturetime for your shotlooks like you need a knee bracethis will help you feel betterexamining the patient's x-raysgetting a check uplistening to her heartbusy health care workers

On Thursday Rachel Cliche returned to work with the students in preserving the plants they collected and pressed in the fall. Each student very carefully glued their plant to a special piece of paper, then found it in a plant identification guide, wrote the information on their paper, and set them to dry.

dried plantsgluing plantsmaking them fit on the pagefragile leaves of a wild cucumberidentifying her plant

We introduced a few new songs about elephants this week, which the children had a lot of fun with. They pretended to be elephants playing on a spiders web, holding the tails of the elephants in front of them with their trunks. We also sang “Willoughby Wallaby Woo, An Elephant Sat on You,” changing woo to w words rhyming with names, who the elephant would then sit on. They thought it all quite funny!

trunks holding tailselephant trainelephants out to playan elephant sat on you!Willaby Wallaby WooElephants in a line

We have been doing some rhythm work. We started by reading some rhymic books, including Tanka, Tanka, Skunk and Crocodile Beat. We clapped people’s names and clapped along with Tanka, Tanka, Skunk. Susan did some clapping rhythms with us, which we would imitate, then we used claves (rhythm sticks) to clack out patterns. She read Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom and we followed the pattern every time it said “Chicka, chicka, Boom, boom, will there be enough room?” We will continue practice with rhythm making, imitating and creating increasingly challenging rhythms.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom rhythm readingclacking clavesChicka, chicka, boom, boom

Friday students have moved on to a study of the human body as we begin to learn about being healthy in conjunction with our dramatic play medical office. We began by introducing the senses, and the first sense we explored was sight. The children talked about things that they can learn about by looking at them, and we read some stories about the senses, sight, and how eyes work. We examined a model of an eyeball and found some of the parts, including the cornea, lens, pupil, iris, retina, muscles, and optic nerve. We then played “I spy,” taking turns giving clues about different things we could see in the classroom.

all the parts of an eye

20 December, 2019
by Lyn

Little Stars


Snow has returned! The flakes that fell were quickly collected and turned into soup, magic dust, piles, and all sorts of other imaginative things. Snowplows came out to clear “roads” all around the yard. Angels flapped their wings to leave angel prints. Artists created art with sticks and wrote words in the snow.

loading up the truckslipping and slidingstick artplowingshovelingwinter motor sportssnow soupice road truckers

Monday students read about ice and snow and did some ice and snow art. First they colored then folded large sheets of easel paper and cut them into giant snowflakes. Cutting through all the layers was a bit more challenging than anticipated, so some students drew the lines, and Lyn cut where the lines were drawn. Outside they collected various nature items to create icy sun catchers. They each filled an aluminum pie plate with apples, leaves, maple seeds, sticks, etc., then added water and a string for hanging. Unfortunately, they were covered by snow, then plowed over, then covered by snow again! We may try again after break.

rainbow colors on the snowflake paperpink, purple, & yellowrainbow snowcutting patterns in our snowflakescoloring the snowflake paperfancy snowopening snowflakescollecting items for our icy suncatcherscollecting apples for the suncatchersicy suncatchersHere we come on our poniesmatching upper and lowercase lettersalphabetizing the lettersLlama line uptransfer workanimals in trees

Art activities continued through the week. The children created Christmas trees with Tammy and Susan, carefully tracing and cutting out trees, then punching out colorful circles and adding them as ornaments. We set out glitter pens, pastels, and black paper to create winter night time scenes. The glitter pens were quite exciting.

Christmas treespunching ornaments for his treeglitter pen coloringglitter pens and pastels on black

We finally took to the stage to rehearse our performance, which the children have been working so hard to master. There was a lot of moving around, lots of lines and lyrics to remember, and adjusting to the new environment in front of rows of seats where the audience would sit. It has been a fairly entertaining experience for all!

all lined up to rehearsefour seasons every yearrehearsing

During sign language Rose said the sign, and we signed it, so our knowledge was really tested! She then taught us how to sign the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5. They were all the way we typically show them except for 3, which is made by holding up the thumb and first two fingers, because 6 is signed by putting the thumb and pinky together and holding up the three middle fingers.

signing sorrysigning sit

Student photographers were recruited to photograph students at work. It was more exciting to just take pictures of friends. Here are some samples of the work they produced.

funny facesmile for the cameraclose upIMG_3991fancy pony tailpeace

The night of the performance finally arrived with much excitement. The children were anxious to sing and recite poetry for their families then have a party with their friends and families all together. All their hard work produced
a stellar performance!

preparing to performready to gothe sunthe planets revolve around the sunSomething told the wild geeseTwinkle Twinkle on bells

Pajama Day is one of the most anticipated days of the year. Comfy PJs made for a cozy day while enjoying hot chocolate, popcorn, extra snacks from the night before, pop beads, art activities, playing the glockenspiel, tumbling and running on the mats, and songs and stories under the fort.

singing Carolslistening to Christmas stories in the fortpop beadsglockenspiel with Susangymnastics on the matsIMG_4035 (2)playing a tuneaccessorizedwatching popcorn and setting off the smoke alarmwatching the kernels pophere comes the popcorn!popcorn, hot chocolate, and tasty snacksenjoying the snackstasty popcornsnack timeexpending energy

Friday students enjoyed their final day before break with lots of tumbling, games, musical instruments, and setting up block spy cameras after finishing up science and snack. For science we read “How Long is a Stick?” then did some length comparisons of our own. First the children lined themselves up from shortest to tallest. We took a picture so they could study it and decide whether anyone needed to change places, but they were spot on! We then did some hide and seek. The red rods were hidden all around the classroom and the children searched them out. When all 10 were found, they ordered them from longest to shortest. The blue cylinders were then hidden in the classroom, and the children used their sharp eyes to search them out. They then took turns placing the cylinders where they would go in the line by height.

shortest to tallestthis one is taller than these and shorter than thoseordering by heightinstrumentstumblingfinding llamasbears in the den

13 December, 2019
by Lyn

The Land of Ice and Snow

down low

Two days of rain kept us in for some ribbon dancing and indoor activities. It made our already icy yard even more slick and tricky to traverse. We collected chunks of ice, rode bikes over the slippery surface, chopped down the snowballs, sailed in our boat sleds in search of treasure, and hauled loads of ice and snow in the dump trucks.

crushing icenavigating the icy tundrabreaking down the snowballs into snowthe ice bikebig ice chunksscooping snowcrouching on icerunning on ice!?shoveling what little snow remainstreasure hunting

Monday students read some stories about winter at night then used oil pastels to create winter night time scenes on black paper.

winter flowerspastels on blackblue ribbonbig swirlstip toestwist and twirl

The art table was coated in feathers all week as the children created their goose headbands for the winter performance. They glued real feathers and paper feathers on the goose wings, then stood still while their heads were measured for the bands.

adding feathersgoose wingswild geesegoose wings

The children have continued to work hard rehearsing for the performance. Each day the large group times have been dedicated to practices, and small groups have been taking time from each morning work time to memorize their lines and movements.

During sign language with Rose we learned the signs for stand, sit, jump, stop, and wait.


We read about the arrival of winter and the shortest day of the year. We talked about holidays that are celebrated all over the world around the winter solstice, and how lights are featured during these celebrations when the nights are long and days are short.

We read the story How the Grinch Stole Christmas and talked about kindness and giving. We discussed what the Grinch discovered about Christmas – that it is about spending time with the people you care about, and that it comes even without presents (though there isn’t really a Grinch who will sneak in and take them). We recalled the stone soup stories and how it felt good to the villagers when they shared and spent time together. We showed the children the blue box on the cubbies where food items can be donated to others who may be in need and let them know that they could bring in an item or two if they would like.

booksa girl in wintergroup paintingsuper tall towernumber peg boardspicture booksIf you have 5 and there are 10 all together, how many are under the hand?growing a treelocating llamashammeringUS puzzle mapGo Fishpin punchingmoon sandhammering colored shapeshelping Susan put out tape lines for the performance practiceinstrumentsGo Fish girlspainting and moon sandsweeping upfinding the llamamorning workseated paintingordering numbersfabric feel matchingcolor cube patternshammeringleaf puzzleLlama Line Updrawing breaklacing buttonsnumber scrollsconstructive trianglesnumber practice

Friday students continued measuring, but moved from measuring weight with a scale, to measuring length with units. We read a silly story called How Long is a Foot? about a king who wanted to have a bed made for the Queen’s birthday, so he measured how long it should be with his feet, but the apprentice who made the bed had much smaller feet, so the bed was too small! We used unifix cubes to measure various items in the room. After finding and measuring objects, the children decided to measure the room by creating a giant unifix rattlesnake.

Let's measure!the rectangular prism is 5 unifix cubes longhow many unifix cubes long?room measuring with unifix cubes