Water Bucket

Wooden Rings

A true picture of pure, raw concentration. Such a beautiful thing to witness this little one stacking wooden rings. There are so many hidden lessons in this small work!

10 Montessori DIY Holiday Activities to do with your Children

This has to be my favorite time of year. Everyone seems to be in the holiday spirit. Our crafty and clever teachers have incorporated a variety of holiday-themed crafts and projects into the childrens’ daily routine. Several of these crafts are extremely easy to incorporate into your home environment. If you’re anything like me, you’re already planning activities and works for your child to do over the winter break. Several Montessori works are surprisingly very affordable, and very easy to recreate at home.

(helpful links have been included so that you can purchase supplies for yourself!)

  1. Threading with Jingle Bells – Fine Motor Activity

What you’ll need: bamboo skewer, styrofoam, large jingle bells

Simply press the pointy end of the skewer into the styrofoam and you’re ready to go! My three year old loved doing this step.

On the back of each jingle bell, there is a slot for threading, usually ribbon or string, but the skewer fits just perfectly. Simply slide the jingle bells on the skewer and listen to the bells jingle as they slide down.

2. DIY Foam Geoboard Trees

DIY Foam Geoboard Tree for Seasonal Fine Motor Fun
DIY Foam Geoboard Tree for Seasonal Fine Motor Fun

What you’ll need: green/white foam cones, golf tees, rubber bands

This is a great work for hand-eye coordination, and requires lots of concentration as your child ties each rubber band onto the golf tees. Continue reading

Broom Experiment

“The Prepared Environment intrinsically fosters creativity, the foundation for all human progress. Montessori cautions that the power of imagination will develop from whatever the child finds in the environment. It is creative people who will continue to advance civilization. For this reason educators must take care that the precious commodity of creativity is maximized rather than wasted; art, music, literature, poetry, invention, medicine and science are the products of creativity.” ~ Maria Montessori

Miles Miles_broom

Preparing Montessori Children for the 21st Century

(True story from one of our toddler community members, now enrolled in our Primary Program)

Hi there, I’m a little over two years old. I am a student in the Strawberry Community. One evening, while waiting for mom, I decided to assist my teacher with cleaning. After sweeping for a short time, to my surprise, for reasons I’m not sure, I had an urge to try something different.

  • Critical Thinking – Can the broom stand alone, free from my hands?
  • Adaptability – I move and reposition the broom to various locations in the room, does this help?
  • Analyzing & Assessing – Is it possible? Over and over again, I tilt, lift and shift while slowly pulling my arm away
  • Initiative- I trust myself – I have the confidence to try something new, I am in a community that respects and empowers
  • Curiosity & Imagination – I am inquisitive, I want to know, is it possible?

The broom was his “work”. He is in an environment that fosters creativity and independence; he is left alone to analyze and assess as he formulates a plan. He was able to work uninterrupted; concentrating on the task at hand. He remained focused well over 20 minutes showing no signs of frustration or fatigue, he was engaged in “purposeful work”. He was intrinsically motivated, the absence of clapping and cheering allowed him to remain focused. Despite the fact that the broom continued to fall, perseverance triumphed.

This work was assisting in the development of his coordinated movement, eye-and-hand coordination and concentration, he was forming his own ideas relevant to human life, the ability to think and reason coherently and logically.

-Written by Ms. Tami, Owner/Head of School, Healthy Beginnings Montessori House

National Safety Month: 5 Summer Safety Tips

June is now known as “National Safety Month“. What better time to practice and recognize different ways to keep safe than during the summer? With the frequent outdoor visits, high temps, easy access to swimming pools/water, it’s very important to know how to be safe at all times, and what to do in an emergency situation. Here are some very helpful parent tips to keep your family safe this summer:

1)  Never leave your child alone in a hot car, even if just for a few minutes

best-child-car-seat-1It can happen to the best of parents. We get busy and forget our sleeping little ones are just behind us, nestled comfortably in their car seat. The thought is enough to keep you up at night. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, the temperature inside an average car or truck can increase 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. A child’s body can heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s, causing heatstroke, brain damage and even death. It can happen to anyone, anywhere. That’s why it’s so important to never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. There are so many tips to help you not forget your child in the car. You can place all of your belongings (purse, briefcase, phone) beside your child’s seat so that you’re forced to check the back seat. A stuffed animal placed in their car seat when they’re not in it can be removed and placed on your lap while driving with baby-in-tow. A large object like that can serve as a reminder that there’s someone in the backseat.
https://www.kidcentraltn.com/article/look-before-you-lock-don-t-leave-kids-alone-in-hot-cars-1
http://www.safekids.org/tip/car-seat-tips

2)  Wear sunscreen every time you go outside, and apply multiple times!
Boy_Applying_Sunscreen_H

You don’t need to hide from the sun completely or wrap up like a mummy to protect yourself. But you should take these two steps:

  1. Always wear sunscreen.
  2. Take frequent breaks from the sun by going indoors or moving into the shade.

These steps are especially important between 10:00 in the morning and 4:00 in the afternoon, when the sun’s rays are strongest. Use a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher. Put on sunscreen 15 to 20 minutes before going out in the sun. The letters SPF stand for sun protection factor, and the number rating tells you how much longer you can stay in the sun without getting sunburned. But this isn’t always true, so reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours, just to be safe. Do this more often if you’ve been swimming or sweating a lot — even if the sunscreen is waterproof. And remember that you can get sunburned more quickly when you’re swimming or boating because the reflection from the water intensifies the sun’s rays.
http://kidshealth.org/kid/watch/out/summer_safety.html?tracking=83954_H

3)  Keep your car locked and your keys out of reach from your children

plastic-car-keys-440Children copy what they see. Perfect example, my two year old son will take my keys and go around the house trying to unlock all of the door knobs, even if they don’t have a key hole. This can actually be quite dangerous if the child has access to your car on a hot day. If unsupervised, they can unlock the car very easily and hop inside. However, they may not be able to get out as easily. Be sure to always lock your car, even if it’s parked in your garage, and place your keys in an area away from your child’s reach.

4)  Keeping Fit & Having Fun
Kids Summer

Incorporate a water sprinkler, pool or child-safe water table during outdoor playtime. A water sprinkler creates a fun source of exercise for your little ones, allowing them to stretch their limbs and run around, while staying cool at the same time. Using a water table also allows the child to explore different water toys, learning to discriminate against what does and does not float, or transfering water; a great work in concentration and hand-eye coordination.

5) Swimming Lessons

Swimming Lessons

Swimming lessons are extremely essential in teaching your child how to swim properly, or to prevent drowning. The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend beginning formal swimming lessons until kids are at least 4 years old because that is the age that children are thought to be ‘developmentally ready’ for swim lessons. However, it certainly would not hurt to introduce your child to the water at whatever age you are most comfortable with! Personally, the earlier they dip their toes in the water, the better as this will help them become better acclimated to the guidelines of a swimming pool at an earlier age. Make sure they are wearing age-appropriate safety equipment. Proper adult supervision should be present at all times, of course.
http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/weeklyquestion/a/swim_lessons.htm

Most importantly, remember to hydrate, wear sunscreen and maintain appropriate clothing coverage while spending time outdoors this summer. Remember to have fun and stay safe!