Do we really have to go out and buy expensive teaching aids?

I have seen many lovely teaching aids on the market for various subjects and Montessori sensory play but I feel there are so many great natural resources we could use instead. I do have a few resources which I bought in the early days but just walking around the park there are pine cones, acorns, leaves etc that could be turned into great activities. Such as punching holes in leaves for early sewing or decorating pine cones with bird seed to hang in the garden. My children love to make ice decorations with 'treasures' they have found on a scavenger hunt around the park or local area by placing them into a bun tray with water and a piece of string. Freezing them overnight and in the morning hanging them up to see what happens. These kinds of activities are so simple, fun and it doesn't really cost you anything.
Some Home Educators I have conversed with live in countries where it's difficult to buy curriculum or connect to the internet. Their children are still young so I always encourage them to look around and see what's available. There are so many great ideas that could be thought of from simple, everyday things. Pegging out clothes for fine motor skills, matching socks for early Maths, melting chocolate for early Science.
Then there's all the packaging that is thrown away and could easily be used for Montessori play, model making, etc. as well as borrowing books from the library for free!
Here are some of this week's ideas!! ;) Would love to hear what everyone else uses as Educational Resources so please leave a comment or get in touch and don't forget SAVE THOSE LOO ROLLS!!!! ;)

Jazakillah Khairan to those who have commented or messaged me. Just wanted to add that you don't have to buy expensive sets such as wooden fruit etc. Home ed children can use real fruit, real money, real customers etc. Just talking today about this with a friend. ;)

                                                         Nature trays are a lovely idea for little ones to explore

Using twigs to explore right angles and 3d shapes and using dandelion flowers for multiplication

Sticking activity for M to explore nature. She stuck whatever materials she liked onto her cardboard butterfly.

                                                      Ice decorations! you can & apple slice bird feeders. You can freeze
                                                      anything to hang up in your garden!
Montessori peg activity whilst learning the Arabic alphabet
Lovely Art books borrowed from the Library.
Learning the 'oo' sounds at breakfast! Always a chance to learn!
Number bonds with an egg tray, you could use a bun tray or anything else!
Early science - learning how plants soak up water, these cauliflower leaves turned the colour of the colouring they were placed in.
Matching pegs to their pattern
Making tally charts
Matching coloured lolly sticks


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