Wednesday, October 14, 2020

How to Plan Festival Activities for Kindergarten

How to Plan Festival Activities for Kindergarten

How to Plan Festival Activities for Kindergarten - private kindergarten - Montessori West

While private kindergartens offering large fall festivals may be on hold this year, you can still enjoy the semblance of normality with small festival-like groups. Planning festival activities will take a little work, but for small groups such as what is currently allowed it is easier than you might think. How many kids, what will they do, offer refreshments, and clean up when the day is done. Beyond that, you should be able to wing it.

Number of Children

Most localities currently prohibit private gatherings in large groups, sometimes as few as 10. Find out what the regulations are in your community, and plan to stay below that, even if it means only four or five children and their guardians. Keeping a small group engaged is an easier prospect anyway, requiring less supervision of children bored by inactivity or waiting.

Simple Games

For group entertainment, cooperative games keep everyone involved. Scavenger hunts are great for social distancing, along with silly obstacle courses and non-contact games like hot potato. The key is to get all of the kids involved and rely more on having fun than a strict tally of winners and non-winners.

Treats For All

Refreshments are a must-have for any group of kids. It is okay to have some sweets involved, but serve them early for burning energy and rely on healthier snacks like fruit or celery sticks to snack as the event progresses. Be sure to check with other parents to make sure you won’t be serving the wrong items to children with allergies or aversions.

The Clean-Up Game

Plan on the day coming to an end, and a grand finale of everyone chipping in to get the area cleaned up and organized. When the whole group is chipping in, tidying up is more like another game than a chore, making the work go faster and easier. You will still have some work to do later, but a cooperative effort beforehand will be a big time saver when you do. 

Whether in school or at an authentic Montessori private kindergarten, small groups of a few children can still enjoy seasonal fun. Focus on social distancing and hand washing, along with treats and activities that minimize direct contact with others.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Exciting Nature Activities for the Absorbent Mind

Exciting Nature Activities for the Absorbent Mind

Exciting Nature Activities for the Absorbent Mind - Montessori preschool - Montessori West

Maria Montessori identified the first six years of preschool life as the period of the Absorbent Mind. She recognized that children are more focused on learning and discovering new things during this phase of life, beginning with discovering their body and immediate surroundings before branching out into the larger world around them.

Bountiful Book of Bugs

Even though preschool parents might be a little squeamish, small kids tend to love bugs. One ongoing activity is to create a journal about the bugs found in the yard. Identifying ants and beetles and spiders and butterflies and all the hundreds of types of insects found in the yard or local parks is interesting for parents and children alike and teaches kids tremendous amounts of information about bugs and how they benefit the environment.

Build A Weather Kit

Another ongoing project is to gather and use a weather kit. Windsocks, thermometers, and a rain gauge are the basic tools to track weather day-by-day, and you can add a clock to measure how the days get shorter as the end of the year approaches. Not only is this a simple and educational activity, but it is also a practical life-long experience.

Visit a Corn Maze

Corn and sunflower mazes are popular with small children, and well-suited to a socially-distanced environment. It is a great activity for building critical thinking skills, developing fine motor skills, and establishing a firm foundation for self-esteem. Corn mazes tend to be on farms, and familiarity with farm animals and country living are typically part of the excursions. Due to group size limits, it is best to schedule your maze visit in advance. 

The Montessori philosophy encourages preschool kids love to learn, and Fall is an excellent time to get outside and take part in the natural world. Giving your child’s absorbent mind a world full of engaging discoveries is beneficial in ways that won’t be obvious for years to come.