Thursday, September 22, 2016

Outdoor Fall Activities for Under 5

Outdoor Fall Activities for Under 5

Fall is the perfect time of year to get outdoors with your preschoolers. There are things to explore and discover everywhere and the time spent outdoors can be refreshing for both you and your child. If you love getting outdoors but you are looking for some activities you can all enjoy doing together here are some great ideas you might want to use.

5 Outdoor Fall Activities for Your Preschooler
  • Take a color walk - It's a great time of year to take a color walk, especially if your color is orange, red or yellow. The aim of the color walk is to pick a color then head outside to track down all the things you can find that are a particular color. Take a camera or your phone and snap pictures of what your child finds then make up a color book to look back on later.
  • Scavenger Hunt - Similar to the color walk, send your kids on an adventure. Print out a list of things to look for on your walk then aim to cross everything off the list. You can do this in your neighborhood or get out for a family hike.
  • Leafs, Leafs and more Leafs - Little ones love to play in the leaves if you are lucky enough to have trees that are losing their leaves right in your front yard then you won't have to go far to enjoy this activity. Rake the leaves into a pile then let your kids jump, role and explore the leaves. You can also bring paper and crayons outside and do some leave rubbings.
  • Visit a Pumpkin Patch or Apple Orchard - It is the best time of year to schedule a little family field trip. Hit up a pumpkin patch or apple orchard, let the kids explore and pick out their own prize fruits and vegetables. Choose a fun place that has other adventures like a petting zoo or pony rides. These are the things your kids will remember for a long time to come.
  • Sensory Time - Sensory bins are a great way for your child to feel and explore the world without leaving the front or back yard. Dried corn and beans is a great place to start when filling up a sensory bin. You can then add all the things you found on your scavenger hunt. Let your child sit and explore and play with all the individual pieces in the sensory bin.

If you are looking for a school that you and your preschooler can both love, a Montessori school is a great choice. Our program provides the space for your child to grow at their own pace by exploring the world around them in a safe space. Contact Day Star Montessori today to learn about our programs!
The Importance of Teaching Seasons

The Importance of Teaching Seasons

Teaching your child how to understand the passage of time is made easier when they are able to understand about the seasons. There are ways to understand the seasons even if you do not live in an area with distinct changes. One method used by Montessori classrooms is the use of a Nature Table. This is a unique way for students to see the changes and when they happen.

Why Learning About Seasons is Important

Seasons help your child understand how time passes and about change. Seasons reflect changes from the clothes we wear to the foods we eat. Other changes your child will become aware of are; the amount of sunlight each day and the different plants that begin to grow. There are often temperature changes, depending on your environment, and a change in people's activities. Seasons are a great way for your child to visually see and understand change better.

How Seasons Help Your Child Learn

From the time your child is one and through kindergarten age, they will use their environment to learn a tremendous amount of information. Founder of the Montessori schools, Marie Montessori, called this 'the absorbent mind' age group. Preschool and kindergarten levels are great years to provide your child with a hands-on learning experience. Through practical life activities and sensorial exploring, your child will learn:

• Math

• Language

• Art

• And more all through how our seasons change

Applying the Seasons to Learning

Some great ways to learn about change and how the seasons affect these changes:

• One is to have a bare tree painted in the room and encourage children to bring in items from home that will reflect what the particular season will make the tree look like. As the season's change, the tree will change and the children will visually see the changes occurring.

• Layered puzzles are another great visual to show change when each layer shows how the season changes the items shown in the puzzle.

Learning about seasons will teach about changes and it will also allow the introduction of time into your child's education. Knowing how the earth rotates to change our seasons will show when your child's birthday will occur, and opens up the introduction of the clock. This is another great lesson for your child to explore how time passes.

Montessori Allows Your Child to Learn

At the Montessori school, your child is not just educated, they are allowed to learn. Allowed to learn through non-traditional classroom experiences that will connect your child to the world you live in. Your child will want to learn and will be allowed to move at his or her own pace so information can be absorbed and retained. This method of education makes learning interesting and fun and will prepare your child for a great future.

Call Montessori School in Pleasanton today and schedule a tour to see what they can offer your child. Find out for yourself how Montessori can pave your child's future to encourage learning.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Expand Your Child's Potential with Active Outdoor Time

Expand Your Child's Potential with Active Outdoor Time

Numerous people consider technology as the best way to expand a child’s learning potential. Computers, video games, and other electronics can play a vital role in learning and the educational process. Using technology has a major drawback; most of the electronic devices require the children to be indoors. Many overlook the value of outdoor play on a child’s development.

Benefits of Outdoor Time

Spending an excessive amount time in front of computer screen or television may be unhealthy to a child’s development. Children benefit from outdoor time in a variety of ways. As parents, you may not recognize the valuable effect of outdoor time on your child’s learning potential.

Physical Exercise

Outdoor time gives children a chance to master a variety of fine and large motor skills. Being indoors does not promote the value of physical activity on a child’s health. At a playground, children love to run, jump, leap, climb and explore the various types of equipment. Achieving exercise during play can help decrease child obesity and other health related issues. At the same time, the simple process of going for a walk can inspire natural curiosity about the natural world.


Spending as little as a 15-minute timeframe in the outdoors can turn into an educational experience. Children love to learn about the world around them. For example, pointing out a plant or flower can inspire gardening, horticultural, ecology, and environmental activities. The curious learning will be able to continue building on the one simple outdoor activity.

Communication Skills

Children will increase communication skills. As children explore an outdoor area, they communicate with adults and other children in the group. Sharing outdoor time with peers is a great way to expand communication skills by inventing imaginary play, developing leadership roles or simply talking about the environment. Along with communicating with others, the experience can increase vocabulary by learning the correct names of items found outdoors.

Social Development

Being outdoors encourages children to interact with each other. When indoors children often remain in specific areas of interest, the result may include many children not interacting with peers. Being outdoors, the restrictive space is not an issue. Children are given a chance to run, play and join activities with others. Increasing valuable social interaction helps children develop leadership skills, learn social rules and engage activities.

Inspires Creativity

Outdoor time inspires creativity. A child can imagine all sorts of worlds, scenarios, and made-up games by being outdoors. The natural environment becomes a place to stimulate young imaginations. The process can help inspire later activities and educational pursuits.

Learning and participating in an outdoor environment is beneficial to your child’s social, cognitive, and physical development. As a parent or guardian, if you would like more information on how outdoor time can increase your child’s potential, please contact the Bay Area Montessori Schools. The instructors and caring staff members will be more than happy to answer all your questions. 
Letting Your Child Use Scissors

Letting Your Child Use Scissors

By the time a child is between 3 and 4 years old, they should have the skills to start learning to use scissors. If your preschooler begins showing interest in cutting with scissors, there are a few things you can do to help.

Strengthening Your Child’s Hands

In order to cut with scissors properly, you need to be able to use your thumb, index finger, and middle figure separate from the ring finger and the pinkie finger. This can be difficult for children with small hands. You can help your child develop strength by having him or her pinch clothespins or wring out sponges.

Selecting the Best Scissors

Scissors come in a variety of sizes. It is important to choose a pair of scissors that will best fit your child's hands. You want to choose scissors that have a blunt point. You should choose scissors that have blades sharp enough for cutting. If the scissors are too dull, they will only fold the paper rather than cutting it. If your child is left handed, you should give them left handed scissors. The blades on left-handed scissors are on the left side. This will help your child to be able to see the cutting line. There are scissors on the market that are considered to be ambidextrous, however, they are not true left handed scissors.

Teaching Your Child Scissor Safety

Before your child is allowed to handle scissors, you should teach them the following safety tips.
1.     Scissors are for cutting paper only.
2.     Don't walk with scissors: You should discourage your child from ever walking or running with scissors. If your child must walk with their scissors, they should keep the blades closed and hold the scissors with the tip of the blade in their hand, in a fist.

Teaching Your Child to Cut With Scissors

To help your child practice using scissors, you should draw a few straight lines down a piece of paper for your child to cut. After, you can teach your child to cut.
1.     Position your child's wrist so that their thumb is turned upward. Have them rest their thumb in the thumb loop on the scissors.
2.     Some scissors only have room for the middle finger in the opposite loop. If that is the case, have your child rest just their middle finger in the loop. If there is more room the middle and ring finger can be placed in the loop.
3.     Place your child's index finger on the outside of the loop so that it can be a guide while they are cutting.
4.     Curl your child's pinkie and ring finger into their palm.
5.     After you child's hands are in the proper position, they can try cutting.

One of the core foundations of a Montessori education is practical life.  Practical life allows a child to develop skills for academic growth.  Come visit Montessori Children’s Center in Fremont, California for a tour and to learn more about an authentic Montessori education. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Importance of Cultural Diversity in Daycare

The Importance of Cultural Diversity in Daycare

Increasing diversity is the norm for today’s society. Culture generally refers to the different types of traditions, beliefs, and values within a group of people. Children may live in a household with one culture or numerous integrated cultures. Entering into a daycare environment introduces children to more cultural diverse peers and, caregivers and educators.

Since children are born with a natural curiosity to learn about the world around them, cultural diversity should be part of the daycare curriculum. Introducing cultural diversity may provide children with the idea that everyone is different but still share many common traits. With the right approach, daycare providers have a chance to teach children to value and celebrate the uniqueness of living in a diverse society.

The Importance of Cultural Diversity

By incorporating cultural diversity into daycare routines, children will understand the importance of being a citizen in a multicultural environment. Children as young as two years of age begin to notice physical differences in people. Daycare providers can introduce cultural diversity as a way to improve social behaviors.

  • Set an Example: Educators can lead by example. When young children view adults acting positive toward others, children will mimic the actions.
  • Answer Questions: Provide truthful, simple answers to cultural diverse questions. Pointing out differences and sharing similarities can help raise self-awareness. As young children begin to learn and ask more questions, the educator has a chance to promote self-esteem within the day care setting.
  • Vocabulary: Help children build a positive vocabulary for cultures and society differences. Sharing correctly pronounced words builds a broader vocabulary.
  • Integrate Cultural Diverse Activities: Supply numerous types of activities and projects with various types of cultural differences.
  • Books: Read books and fill the bookshelf with different cultural stories and backgrounds. Even younger children can look at the pictures and notice the differences.
  • Introduce Cultures: Explore different cultures around the world. The simplest lesson or project can introduce the value of being part of a global citizenship.
  • Music: Use songs and musical instruments to experience music from around the world. Daycare educators are in the unique position to encourage, support, and highlight cultural differences.  By promoting cultural diversity, children become self-aware of the differences within the classroom environment.  The positive reinforcement of celebrating differences while recognizing similarities promotes cultural diversity awareness.

Montessori Children’s Center embraces cultural diversity into their curriculum. If you would like more information on the value of a culturally diverse classroom, contact us to set up a tour of the school. Our friendly educators are more than happy to answer all of your questions.

Montessori Terminology

Montessori Terminology

When considering a Montessori education for your child, there are a variety of terms that may be unfamiliar. Below are some of the most common terms and their meanings.

Montessori Terminology

Montessori: This word describes the founder of the school, the teaching method, and the school itself.

Nido: Nido means “Nest” in Italian. It is the word used to describe the Montessori environment for babies between 2 months and 14 months old.

Casa dei Bambini:  Meaning “Children's House” in Italian. It is also the name of the first school opened by Dr. Montessori.

Children's School: This is the name of the classrooms where student ages 2 ½ to 6 will study. Other schools call these classrooms, preschool or primary school. Some schools call the entire school the Children's School.

Absorbent Mind: From the time a baby is born up until they are 6 years old, their brain allows them to learn from their environment. The knowledge is absorbed, and they don't need to make any conscious effort to learn. It happens naturally.

Planes and Development: There are 4 distinct periods of growth, development, and learning, based on a child's age. The absorbent mind occurs between birth and 6 years old. 

Practical Life and Practical Activities: These are activities that students learn in the school to help them learn to take care of themselves. They would learn hand washing, mopping, and dusting. Older children would participate in more advanced practical activities.

Prepared Environment: This describes how a classroom is designed to meet the needs of the children and focus on their learning. It includes carefully selected materials and child-size furniture. Also, the rooms are prepared so that children have room to work alone or in groups.

Sensorial Exercises: These are exercises that help children develop and refine their fives senses: seeing, touching, tasting, hearing, and smelling. Also, through sensory materials, children build a foundation for math, writing, and speech.

Work: These are purposeful activities that are meant to help children learn through activities that they choose themselves.

Sensitive Period: This is an important time during human development where the child becomes ready to learn a skill or ability. The teachers at the school understand the importance of this period, and they prepare the environment to meet the child's development needs.

Montessori Schools of Fremont have been providing premium education since 1974. We invite you visit one of our locations, schedule a tour and see how a Montessori education may benefit your child and family.