The idea of language cards is that the child starts to see that a 3D object can be represented by a 2D image. The have an object and match it to the card that’s the same. You can make it more difficult by making similar cards when it’s say a picture of a convertible but a different colour or make than the picture.
Making language cards can be time consuming. They certainly aren’t something you have to do with your child at all. They will still enjoy finding objects around the home and running to a book and pointing to a picture in it.
But for those of you wanting to perhaps put together some vocabulary baskets, here are some free printable Montessori language cards for you to use at home.
TIP: I also love one parent’s idea from my classes who used a polaroid camera to take pictures for their child to match to. That’s another quick option (although not the cheapest). Thanks for the photos @marissa.curated.
How to use the cards
- Create a vocabulary basket with some objects around one of the themes: musical instruments, aircraft, birds, insects, office objects
- Download the cards:
MONTESSORI LANGUAGE CARDS – MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
saxophone, violin, trumpet, french horn, clarinet, guitar, trombone, flute
MONTESSORI LANGUAGE CARDS – AIRCRAFT
small aircraft, private jet, parachutist, glider, helicopter, biplane, jumbo jet, hot air balloon, stunt plane, Concorde, blimp, space shuttle
MONTESSORI LANGUAGE CARDS – BIRDS
Macaw, Cockatoo, Quetzal, Humming Bird Parakeet, Greet Parrot, White Ibis,Snowy Owl, Red Ibis, Flamingo, Macaw, Toucan, Parakeet
MONTESSORI LANGUAGE CARDS – INSECTS
fly, ant, grasshopper, butterfly, praying mantis, dragonfly, ladybird/ladybug
MONTESSORI LANGUAGE CARDS – OFFICE OBJECTS
calculator, stapler, ruler, sticky tape holder, holepunch
- Print them out. For precision, you can resize to match the objects
- Play this game using the three period lesson
NOTE: The musical instruments, aircraft and birds are all by Toobs*. The insects are by Wild Republic*. And the office objects I found locally. But you can use something you find locally and use them as “similar” cards, not “matching” cards.
In my classroom
I refreshed the language shelves in my classroom over the new year break. We were lucky to start the school year with some lovely winter sun too – a rare sight.
1. Suitcase with seasonal clothing
2. Insects with matching cards
3. Birds with matching cards
4. Stationery with matching cards
5. Vehicles with similar cards
6. Tools with similar cards
7. Usborne art cards
8. Classroom objects as cards (fun for matching at a distance with these things found around the classroom)
I make some small rotations to these vocabulary baskets every few weeks to keep up with these children learning so quickly! I have luckily collected many different categories over the years.
Want more Montessori language tips?
- Read my blog post here with my five top language tips
- Learn more about the 3-period lesson to teach language
Still want more? My book, The Montessori Toddler*, has more detail on language with toddlers including conversations, books, and more about these vocabulary baskets.
And enjoy the free cards. Hope you find them useful. Be sure to tag me on Insta (@themontessorinotebook) if you use the Montessori printables – I’d love to see them.
*This link will take you to my Amazon page at no cost to you