As the holiday season is upon us, there are wonderful opportunities to incorporate Montessori concepts, however you may celebrate during the coming months. We’ve listed some Montessori-inspired activities that your children will love:
Laying the table/ sorting silverware:
As you prepare for any holiday feasts let your child help by sorting the silverware into categories, or laying the table. This practical life skill will help your child to feel involved in the hustle and bustle of the preparations, while enhancing their categorizing skills. You could teach older children the correct placement of cutlery, napkins, and glasses and allow them to set the table for mealtimes, involving them in family life.
Baking with real tools and real ingredients is an excellent Montessori activity for children of all ages. Very young ones will need more support. Young children love to be involved in daily life and know what their parents and carers are up to. Older children might like to take the lead on this by selecting a recipe and following it, support them with reading the recipe out but allow them to do as much of the preparation as possible themselves. The opportunities for learning are numerous as fine motor skills are honed through mixing, rubbing and whisking, and mathematics is solidified as children weigh and measure.
Decorate their own tree or holiday symbol:
Whilst it can be really nice having your children dress a tree or put up decorations with you it can also be a little stressful and frustrating, and many parents report re-doing it privately afterwards! So why not give them their own tree or area to decorate? Whether it’s a full size one that they share or their own individual mini tree, giving your child the opportunity to have full creative control over their tree sparks their creativity and encourages their sense of independence.
Sorting activities help children learn to categorize, which is an important skill for life as well as vital for learning mathematical concepts. A jumble of ornaments and some empty bowls or boxes are all you need to provide your child with a Montessori learning experience at home. Encourage your little one to categorize by color, or shape, or size, or one after the other! Sorting activities can absorb young children’s attention as they focus so intently on their work.
Holidays are rich sensory experiences, and a treasure basket of related sensory items can help babies to explore all the sights, sounds and smells of the holiday season. Gather together a selection of interesting items and allow your baby or toddler to explore them. For safety make sure you supervise closely and watch what is mouthed. Babies’ gums are very sensitive and contain many nerve endings which is why babies are so keen on exploring with their mouths; if it is safe for them to do so then don’t discourage this.
Using real tools:
If you have a a relative who loves to tinker with tools and wood in the garage or another relative who loves tending to a garden then take advantage of this over the holiday season and send your child off with them to join in their activity. If possible, let them use real tools to join in with what is being done.
Let your child be inspired by the holidays and get creative with their own art supplies. Allow them the freedom to explore different media such as pencils, pastels, watercolor, and collaging to express themselves. Whilst hand and foot print crafts are cute, they are generally not the child’s own design or work so try to avoid these and allow your child free choice on what to create. An authentic creative piece from your child can just as easily be given as a gift in a nice frame, and this celebrates the work your child has done for themselves rather than what they have been directed to do.
We hope you enjoy spending time together with your loved ones throughout the holiday season and that some of these activities inspire you, and help to keep your little one growing and learning!
To learn more about our child care center in Eden Prairie and programs, contact us at 952-777-3606. We look forward to meeting you!