Fall Crafts to Teach Thanks

Fall is the perfect time to teach children what it means to be thankful. At our Montessori schools, we love to teach through hands-on experiences and believe that crafts are a fun way to do this.

Fall Crafts that Teach Thanks

We put together a small list of some fun crafts you can do at home with your child to learn more about being thankful.

A Thanksgiving Tree – Colored construction paper and some tacks or tape is all you need for this craft. Cut out a tree trunk and individual leaves. Use these to create a tree on a space in your home that everyone walks by several times a day. Each day, decide on something you are thankful for. Have your toddler draw a picture on the leaves. Fill in a leaf and attach it to your tree. Each time you walk by, your family will see all the wonderful things you are thankful for.

A Thankful Book – You can use brown paper bags or create a book with sturdy card stock or paper. You will need 5 pages in addition to the cover. On each page write at the top.

  • At home I am thankful for …….
  • At school I am thankful for ……..
  • Outside I am thankful for ……….
  • In my family I am thankful for ……….
  • Other things I am thankful for ……….

Have your child fill in each page with drawings, writing or pictures cut from magazines.

A Jar of Thanks – This one is a simple craft. You will need a large glass jar, decorations and card stock. Let your child decorate the jar. Cut out small cards using the card stock. Now fill in the small cards with things you are thankful for; you can also have your toddler drawer pictures. When someone is having a bad day, they can go to the jar and remember all the things they are thankful for.

Create a Thankful Wreath – Cut out some leaf shapes in fall colors using colored paper or card stock. Have your child draw things they are thankful for on the leaves. Arrange the leaves in a wreath, securing them with glue or tape. You can have each child in your home make one of these and hang them on their bedroom doors.

These crafts are all great ways to help your child think about things they are thankful for and things they appreciate in life. It is never too early to start such a wonderful lesson.

Here at Montessori Children’s Center, we love to use arts and crafts to learn new things. If you are looking for a school for your child that includes hands on learning experiences, contact our school today to schedule a tour.

How Parents Can Support Their Montessori School

Montessori schools are a warm and friendly environment that will bring you and your child together with teachers, other families, and students into a welcoming community. Being part of this community will bring both of you many rewards. You will be able to make choices and decisions about your child’s education and your child will be allowed to learn and grow in a community that focuses on individuality. Supporting your child’s school, even if you do not have a lot of extra time, will keep you informed and help you bridge how your child learns at school with home.

Be Involved

There is always a need for an extra pair of hands and teachers welcome parents to come in and help with activities. There is also a great need for parents to come in and share with the children any special skills they have that could apply to school-age children. The teachers appreciate the help and the children, especially yours, will love the support and interest you will provide for them. You may consider sharing cultural celebrations with your child’s class or plan and supervise an outing or project. There are numerous ways to provide support that will benefit you, your child and the entire Montessori school community.

In or Out of the Home Support

If you are a working parent, the hours of the school day may not fit into your schedule for helping out during class times. Check with your school and ask about ways you can help from home. Providing in-home projects like editing the school newsletter, or helping with the school website is a fantastic way for you to support the Montessori school. There are also out-of-home positions such as serving on the school’s Board of Directors which would meet after working hours or perhaps helping prepare materials for classes that can be done during various hours. Discuss your schedule with your child’s teacher and find where he or she thinks your skills will benefit your child’s class and school best.

Stay-In-The-Know

One of the best ways to support your child’s school and education is to ‘stay-in-the-know’ about what is happening. Reading the school newsletter is a great way to understand what your child has been doing and know what is coming up. Make sure you keep up with communications from your child’s teacher with emails and by attending conferences. Asking your child to talk about his or her day is a wonderful look at how beneficial a Montessori education is and a great way to ‘stay-in-the-know’.

When you enroll your child in a Montessori school you will both be entering a great community. Many schools have parent education meetings where they learn and discuss general parenting issues. Contact Montessori Children’s Center in the Bay Area today to schedule a tour. Find out how you as the parent can support your child on their incredible, educational journey.

Prepping Your Home for a Montessori Student

If you have your child in a Montessori school or are considering placing them in a Montessori school, it is a good idea to have your home environment match up with their school environment. This can allow for the transition from home to school to be a whole lot easier and can give your child a continuous learning journey.

One of the most important phrases we have in our Montessori education is “Help me to do it by myself.” This is a concept that is great to keep in mind when you are setting up your house to mirror a Montessori preschool.

How to Prep Your Home Montessori Style

Bedroom/Playroom

  • Have low shelves with different activities available in baskets. This allows your child to explore what they want when they want.
  • A toddler-size table and chair can give your child a space to sit and read or do an activity.
  • Provide soft spaces where your child can lay down and read or rest.
  • Have low shelving and drawers with clothing options.
  • Provide tools and utensils that are sized appropriately for your child.

Kitchen

  • Provide 1 or 2 lower shelves in your kitchen pantry. Have a special plate, cup, and set of utensils that are child-friendly.
  • Put healthy snacks on the lower shelves so that your child can become capable in getting their own snacks.
  • A cloth and some water or child safe cleaning spray can be added as your child learns to clean up after themselves.

Bathroom

  • Make the bathroom as comfortable as possible.
  • Provide a step stool so your child can climb up onto the toilet.
  • Have a basket of books that either you can read to them while learning to go potty or that they can read to themselves.
  • Make toilet paper accessible.

As you can see, the Montessori student style is very much about independence in both learning and everyday living. Turning your home into a space where your child can practice this independence can help them put all the things they are learning at school into practice.

If you would like to know more about the Montessori style of learning or you are looking for a great school that promotes independence and discovery, come visit us at Montessori Children’s Center and take a tour today. We want to see your child grow and learn in every area of their life.

Fun Summer Math Projects for Toddlers

Before your toddler starts kindergarten, it is a good idea that they have some basic math skills. The summer before school begins, there are a few fun math projects that you can do with your toddler to help them learn these basic skills.

Counting With Egg Cartons

This is a great game to teach children to count, and you likely have all of the necessary items right in your home.

You Will Need:

  • An empty egg carton
  • A bag of M&M’s

Number the spaces in the egg carton from 1-12. Have your child place the number of M&M’s in each numbered hole. If they get all of the answers right, they can eat the M&M’s as a reward.

Number Recognition Game

This game will teach your child to recognize numbers 1-9. It is also fun.

You Will Need:

  • Bag of balloons
  • Laundry basket

Blow up 9 of the balloons. Number each balloon and place them on the ground. Give your child a number and have them find the balloon that coincides with that number. Have them place the balloon in the laundry basket. This time, give the child a number again and have them find it in the laundry basket. When your child finds the balloon, they can pop it.

Counting in Nature

This game will give your child a chance to get some fresh air while they are building their math skills.

You Will Need:

  • A notebook
  • A pen

Before your nature hike, make a list of things in nature for your child to find. The list should include one item, then two of another item, three of another item, and so on. The game ends when your child has found all of everything on the list.

Grocery Shopping Fun

You can make your weekly grocery shopping trip, and turn it into a learning game.

You Will Need:

  • A supermarket trip

While you are shopping, but your child in charge of putting items in the cart. For example, you can tell your child to get 5 cans of vegetables. They would need to count out the 5 cans and put them in the cart. You can even add some subtraction to the game, and tell your child to get 7 potatoes, and then take 3 away.

Funny Money

This game will not only teach your child to count, it will also introduce them to money and budgeting.

You Will Need:

  • A package of play money
  • Post-It notes
  • A sharpie marker

Write money amounts between $1 and $9 on several Post-It notes and stick it on various items around the home. Have your child choose the items that they want to buy, and pay you for each item with their fake money.

The Day Star Montessori Children’s Learning Center applies the educational philosophy and methods of Maria Montessori, M.D., a renowned Italian physician and child educator. For our Montessori children math is more than rote memorization. Our children learn the base 10 system with cube material that is properly scaled. For more information on math for toddlers, contact us today.

 

Summer Science Activities at Home for Kids

Just because school lets out for the summer, it does not mean that your child should stop learning or even that they want to stop learning.

Since Science is such an important subject, it is important that you keep your child interested while school is out. There are a few summer experiments that you can do with your children to peak their curiosity about Science, while teaching them something at the same time.

Build a Fizz Inflator

When baking soda and vinegar combine, ab acud based reaction is created. When the two chemicals come into contact with one another, they create carbon dioxide. This is a great way to teach that to your children.

You Will Need:

  • An empty soda bottle
  • A small balloon
  • A funnel
  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • Baking soda

Instructions:

  1. Pour the vinegar into a bottle
  2. Stretch out the balloon and fill it half way with baking soda, using a funnel.
  3. Put the neck of the balloon over the bottle, and try to avoid letting any baking soda into the bottle.
  4. Raise the balloon and allow the baking soda to pour from the balloon to the bottle. It will mix with the vinegar and then start fizzing.

Make a Paperclip Float

This experiment will teach your child about surface tension. This means that there is a ‘skin’ on the surface where the molecules hold together tightly. If the experiment is done properly, the paperclip will float.

You Will Need:

  • Clean, dry paperclips
  • A pencil with an eraser
  • Tissue paper
  • A bowl of water

Instructions:

  1. Fill a bowl with water, and put the paperclip in. Watch it fall to the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Tear a piece of tissue paper the size of a dollar bill.
  3. Drop the tissue paper onto the surface of the water gently.
  4. Place the paperclip on the tissue without touching the water or the tissue with your fingers.
  5. Using the eraser on the pencil, poke the tissue but don’t touch the paperclip. Push on the tissue until it sinks. The paperclip should continue to float on top of the water.

Blow Up a Balloon With Pop Rocks

This is a great experiment to teach kids about pressurized dioxide gas and how it can put air in a balloon.

You Will Need:

  • A 1-liter bottle of soda
  • 1 balloon
  • 1 packet of Pop Rocks

Instructions:

  1. Stretch out the balloon so that you can fit it over the top of the soda bottle quickly and easily.
  2. Slowly pour the packet of Pop Rocks into the soda bottle.
  3. Quickly, fit the balloon over the top of the bottle before the gas can escape.
  4. Watch the balloon inflate after the two ingredients combine.
  5. Explain to your child that Pop Rocks containe a small amount of pressurized carbon dioxide, which caused the balloon to inflate.

If you are interested in learning more about our authentic Montessori Preschool program, contact us to schedule a tour.