Montessori materials aren’t cheap. Some are difficult to DIY, but many others are quite simple and straightforward. Take the Montessori color tablets for instance. There are so many examples and tutorials of DIY Montessori color tablets out there for your picking, and they all look and more importantly, work just fine. But this particular DIY caught my eye. The difference is that she painted hers, and I didn’t want to have to deal with paint. I’d rather print, so I did a print and stick version.
As chance would have it, I came across really cheap blocks at Dollarama. 42 pieces for $2+tax so I bought two boxes.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Foam brush
- Mod Podge
- Color tablets printable. I want to point out that I tried using paint swatches at first, but they were too thick to adhere closely and seamlessly to the blocks the way I wanted. So I had to use thinner paper and that meant creating a printable. Measure your colors so that they fit your blocks nicely. You’ll notice I chose to leave a little space on both sides to show that’s where they are held.
How many pieces you will need to create Montessori Color Tablet boxes 1, 2 and 3:
First, let’s cover the contents of Color Tablet boxes 1, 2 and 3.
- Color tablet box 1 has 2 each of red, blue, and yellow.
- Color tablet box 2 has 2 each of 11 different colors (red, blue, yellow, green, orange, pink, purple, brown, gray, black and white). Note that the red, blue and yellow are essentially duplicates of Box 1.
- Color tablet box 3 has 7 shades of 9 different colors (red, blue, yellow, green, orange, pink, purple, brown and gray). Note that it’s the same list of colors as Box 2, minus black and white.
You will notice there are duplicates, and if you’re a homeschooler like me, once your child moves on to Box 2, you can essentially “get rid” of Box 1. This means you won’t need as many blocks since Box 1 is a subset of Box 2.
Also, I don’t believe there is a hard and fast rule about the number of shades you need in Box 3. I wanted to do 7, but ended up with only 6 shades because my printer couldn’t print such subtle differences in shades where I could still tell them apart. So 6 shades it is for my DIY, and 6 shades it is for the calculation below.
So basically, you’ll end up needing to create
- An entire Box 3 (6 shades x 9 colors = 54 blocks)
- + plus one extra block of each shade that is a duplicate of the most “median” shade (1 median shade x 9 colors = 9 blocks)
- + plus 2 blocks each for black and white (2 blocks x 2 colors = 4 blocks)
- For a grand total of 67 blocks.
- Print and cut the color swatches.
- Apply Mod Podge on the block where the swatch will go, and carefully wrap the paper around the block, adding more Mod Podge on the paper as needed. The thing I like about Mod Podge is that it will dry off and you don’t have to worry about stickiness or wiping the excess glue off.
- Let the glue dry.
- Admire your work!
Note: A helper can come in handy! Here’s my cute helper (2.5 years old) checking out the foam brush.
Here’s the finished work. You’ll notice there is an extra shade in the middle of each color — I simply pick those out to be used as Montessori Color Tablet Box 2 until we’re ready to move on to Box 3.
Deb over at Living Montessori Now has compiled tons of other great examples of DIY Montessori Color Tablets. Please feel free to go and browse to see which DIY might be suitable for you! In fact, it was on her website that I found DIY Corporate Mom‘s inspiration.