Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Unpacking New Montessori Elementary Materials

I have been busy packing and unpacking today.  BIG boxes of primary materials we no longer needed left for their new homes.  Two big boxes of materials we need for next year arrived from iFit and needed to be inspected.  

Now that we are buying specifically elementary materials we have fewer supplier choices.  We chose iFit again this time because I usually receive undamaged materials and good customer service there.  It was also one of the only places that had everything I needed.  

iFit puts a couple dozen items "on sale" every month and they do change.  If you are looking for a particular group of things it is a good idea to watch for the right sale.  I got very lucky because almost everything I needed was on sale in April.  I ordered a little bit ahead of what I absolutely need for just next year to take advantage of the free shipping.

As you can see in the photo the big ticket item this time was the cubing and cube root material.  Here is a list of what else was in our box for those of you who are curious:

  • large bead frame (the one thing I needed right away)
  • flat bead frame
  • elementary geometric solids
  • cubing and cube root material
  • long division
  • decimal fraction board
  • decimal fraction exercise
  • division racks and tubes
  • large square root board
  • yellow triangles for area
  • sentence analysis (all boxes)
I buy rather than make most of my materials these days because it seems I have to make something everyday as it is just to keep up with cards and booklets.  However, having seen these materials in person for the first time there are certainly some items that would be easy to make yourself if you are on a tight budget.  In fact, the yellow triangles for area might be better homemade.

Here is a list of what would have been easy to DIY along with a link to Suzanne's page at Livable Learning where you can find the files FREE to do just that:

Happy materials making!


  1. Getting a new shipment of materials is sooo fun! Just seeing someone else's shipment is exciting for that matter. Have fun with your new materials!

  2. how do you use this one ?

    1. I think if you get to the point where you need the cubing/cube root materials you should definitely own some Montessori albums too!

      The Cultivating Dharma albums are free.

  3. A really late reply here. I just used my Kid Advance materials on racks and tubes yesterday. Other than the general problems w/ beads not fitting into tubes (they're sending me replacements), the holes on the boards are too shallow and doesn't allow the nice "sucking up" of beads as I got used to doing in class. Beads move around too easily. I'm now considering other brands. Wondering how you guys like your Rack and Tubes.

    1. I JUSTFinished doing an equation with my odest two minutes ago. We nave no problems with our racks and tubes. Our beads do not move around. We do knock down the skittles with our sleeve sometimes when we exchange. The deeper the holes are. For the dads, the harder I imagine it is clear the board.

  4. because the beads are smooth nylon beads, they move around way too much. My miniature sets from Alison's Montessori were just perfect. I guess I will just have to try some other brands. Hate those shipping policies!

    1. I got to use a friend's set from Montessori Outlet last month. TOTALLY different from mine. Hers had the deep holes and we were able to use the tubes as a shovel and fill a whole tube of the board in seconds. I shouldn't have tried it. Now I know what I'm missing. Grrr.