3-part cards, also known as classified pictures or nomenclature, are a staple in the Montessori classroom.
For a new teacher or an eager parent, finding or making these cards can be time-consuming and overwhelming.
If you want to make them yourself, you may want to read my blog post about how to make them here.
I have curated a list of websites and blogs that offer FREE printable Montessori documents.
But first, are the 3-part cards necessary?
They can be used for:
The main purpose is to enrich the child’s vocabulary. It’s key to understand how the world functions. It shows how animals and plants are related or not related to each other, it shows what is the same and what is different. It enables the child to make sense of their environment.
Obviously, it is more abstract material than a real-life experience or hands-on material.
For example, an experience at the farm would be more concrete than classifying farm animals with 3-part cards.
However, you can explore any subject that your child is interested in with classified cards and extend your child’s knowledge that way.
This material is an aid for the classification of the environment.
For children from 3 to 6, as they are in a period where they want to classify and order, these materials will respond to their needs to organize their impressions of the world.
I don’t believe you need to print cards for every subject that exists. As always, follow your child’s lead.
There are also all the “classic” Montessori cultural activities such as classifying by continents, the difference between living and non-living things, what lives on Earth, in the Sky or in the Water, the parts of animals cards and the life cycle of animals or plants.
This is a non-exhausting list but a good starting point.
Sometimes I also print pictures because it’s easier than finding a book with real pictures.
In language, you could also print the pink series to start with.
My main advice is not to get obsessed with printable documents and not to attempt to print them all.
Observe your child and print as you go. Some children will love 3-part cards. Others will not be interested until they are way older.
Here are my favourite websites and blogs to find printable Montessori documents: