Monday, October 31, 2022

4 Ways You Can Support the Montessori Method at Home

4 Ways You Can Support the Montessori Method at Home


Montessori education is a form of whole-child development. In order to work correctly, middle school children should be presented with Montessori-style opportunities at home. To illustrate how you can do this at home, here are 4 critical aspects of Montessori that can be duplicated in the family environment.

1. A Prepared Environment

While a corner of the home is appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers, Montessori middle school kids should be integrated into the regular household environment. Provide your son with his own chair, a table space he can arrange as he wishes, and plenty of access to bookshelves, activity areas, and his own choices for decorations and styles.

2. Communication and Inclusion

Communication is at the heart of appropriate learning. Talk with your Montessori son about his day, offer to help him with troublesome projects, and invite him to join in home activities like cleaning, cooking, building, and maintenance. Inclusion is critical to establishing a firm sense of self-esteem, and that promotes an eagerness to learn and participate. When a middle school child feels like they make a difference, he will be more interested in participating.

3. Encourage Curiosity

Children begin life with a clean slate of knowledge and will spend the rest of their lives absorbing information about the world they live in. For middle school kids, that means being encouraged to study and compare, explore and discover. It may be tempting to rely on your local factories, visit museums, and go for explorations in nearby parks and other public spaces. In the process, observe how your kids react to different things and help them focus their interest on subjects they find the most stimulating.

4. Montessori at Home

It is important that the tenets of Montessori are allowed to become a way of life. Avoid using punishments or rewards to motivate your kids, use positive reinforcement instead. By helping a child become motivated for his own success, you give him the confidence and curiosity to attempt new things, interact appropriately with others, and feel good about his achievements. Ask your child's teachers for suggestions on how you can more accurately continue the Montessori Method after school lets out.

Montessori was carefully developed to recreate the natural way kids learn in a broader, more structured context. To be the most effective, the principles of Montessori should become a common set of ideals in the home itself. From grace and courtesy to discovering the bounty of nature in local parks, supporting the Montessori Method will benefit every aspect of your child's development.
Authentic Montessori Schools Can Be Recognized By These Important Traits

Authentic Montessori Schools Can Be Recognized By These Important Traits


Not all private kindergartens are equal. If you are considering a Montessori education for your child, look for these important traits that signify you are signing up for an authentic Montessori education.

Montessori Materials

Authentic Montessori kindergarten materials are typically made of wood or other durable materials and teach one or more important educational concepts. Montessori activities are self-correcting, meaning that the child can readily see whether the activity was completed correctly and make the necessary corrections without the intervention of a teacher or fellow student.

Specially Trained Guides

Montessori teachers are usually referred to as guides because they play a different role in the classroom than you would expect of a public school teacher. Instead of lecturing the entire class on a given lesson, Montessori guides observe how children interact with different workstations, and then guide children in appropriate directions to help them achieve goals or overcome obstacles.

Self-Directed Learning

Montessori children are free to move about the room, interacting with various activities, working alone, in pairs, or as part of a larger group. This is in sharp contrast to traditional schools where all children are working on the same lesson, which has been presented by the teacher and may not have any connection to the specific interests and strengths of the children.

Multi-Age Grouping

Children in traditional school classrooms are almost all the same general age, separated by only a matter of months. In the Montessori classroom, children are grouped in 3-year age ranges. Instead of some children always being among the oldest and others among the youngest, Montessori kids all spend time as both the younger and older children in the room.

Extended Work Periods

Another prominent difference between Montessori and the public school system is that Montessori children do not waste a portion of each day shuffling between classrooms and teachers. In Montessori, children remain with the same teacher all day-- and often for several years. This provides more time in the school day to apply to activities and gives children a better sense of consistency, factors that are beneficial to information retention, academic performance, and more.

Always verify that the Montessori school you are considering is certified by a major Montessori institution. The word Montessori is not trademarked, and many schools claim to be Montessori but do not fully comply with the Montessori principles that are vital to developmental success. Before enrolling, ask the school administration to see the certifications of the school and its staff.
What Can I Do At Home to Promote Developing Fine Motor Skills?

What Can I Do At Home to Promote Developing Fine Motor Skills?


Preschool is a critical time for childhood development. Children learn skills that are necessary for performance, critical thinking, and future development. But developing those skills occurs during specific growth phases, and is not limited to classroom activities. At home, children can do a number of things to help them develop appropriately, including helping them with fine motor skills.

A Child's Space

The Montessori preschool environment is created around the needs of children. This includes furnishing and decorating from the children's perspective, and providing a similar place at home helps children be more engaged and interested. You do not have to child-size the entire home, but making the child's room-- and perhaps a corner in the family room-- makes them feel more like part of the family. Even more to the point, research has shown that children develop more readily when they feel comfortable in their own spaces.

Touchscreen Technology

The Digital Age is here to stay, and children need to have exposure to the basics of using electronic devices. Tablet-like toys are inexpensive and offer a digital experience for children that requires them to use their fingers and hands to accomplish tasks. In addition to fine motor skills, this type of device also teaches a very wide variety of concepts. From counting and sorting to digitized versions of popular Montessori activities such as the Pink Tower, children's computers use game-like programs to build vocabulary, teach basic math skills, introduce animals and plants, and much, much more.
 

Big Helpers

Children want to feel like an important part of the family, and including them in household tasks and projects provides the sense of inclusion they crave. There are no limits to what children can assist you with, from yard work to building birdhouses, and from housework to making delicious meals. Lifting, grasping, measuring, and cutting soft things are all excellent activities for developing fine motor skills. In the process, you will be exposing children to practical life skills that will benefit them for life.

It is critically important for children to develop good fine motor skills between birth and 6 years of age. By kindergarten, your child should be able to grip a pencil correctly, use a pair of children's scissors, and manipulate small objects. These skills are a big part of the Montessori Method, but children need to be practicing them all the time, and the home environment is where most of that development will take place.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

4 Tips to Get the Best Results From Residential Laundry Service

4 Tips to Get the Best Results From Residential Laundry Service



Residential laundry services offer several benefits for busy professionals that do not have the time to do laundry and even if they have the time, find doing laundry to be an incredibly boring household chore. In addition to saving time, outsourcing your laundry also saves you money. Instead of paying for the energy required to power a large washer and dryer, you push the costs of energy on a business dedicated to providing superior residential laundry services. Professionals who clean clothes for customers provide a higher quality result because of the experience and skills acquired over the years to wash and dry clothes.

Now that you know about the benefits delivered by using residential laundry services, how can you get the best results by outsourcing your laundry?

Let Us Do All the Work


You might have read other articles that recommend completing a few tasks before dropping your laundry off for professional cleaning services. At Laundry Care Express, let us do all the prep work that other laundry services ask their customers to do. We sort clothes to match the right types of wash and dry cycles. Our team of laundry professionals prepares your clothes thoroughly, such as not mixing delicate and dry-cleaning fabrics with regular apparel. We remove all stains before the first wash cycle, as well as wash and fold laundry to allow our customers to store their clothes immediately upon arrival.

The reason why you chose residential laundry services is to remove every task involved with laundry from your weekly chores list. Let us do the work for you.

Make Special Requests


Maybe you have experienced poor customer service in the past that makes you reluctant to make special requests. Perhaps you never have thought about seeking extra services from a business that provides residential laundry services. When you sign up for our residential laundry services, we encourage special requests to ensure we meet every one of your laundry needs. Ask for the use of a specific fabric softener or request that certain clothes go through the air drying process.

Making special requests in advance of an appointment helps your clothes come back to you in mint condition.

Take Advantage of Discounts


Many customers that use residential laundry services do not take advantage of discounts. Either they forget to ask about receiving a deal or the business where they drop off their laundry does not advertise discounted services. At Laundry Care Express, we publish updated discount specials on our website. You might be able to save money on dry cleaning one week and the next week, enjoy savings because of a bundled special that discounts the price of delivering your laundry.

Confirm the Cost


The last thing you want is to fall victim to sticker shock. You should get what you paid for, not receive a bill that is substantially higher than what you expected to pay for residential laundry services. Confirm the cost of using residential laundry services before dropping off the first load, as well as ask for an itemized invoice to ensure you do not get charged for a service you did not request.


The Bottom Line


Residential laundry services offer several benefits such as cost savings and a higher quality of apparel after a wash and dry cycle. Make sure you do your part to enjoy the benefits of residential laundry services by knowing the four tips to get the best results.
Will Receiving Child Therapy Improve My Daughter's Self-Esteem?

Will Receiving Child Therapy Improve My Daughter's Self-Esteem?


As a parent, there is nothing more heartbreaking than detecting sadness in a child. Many factors drive the mood of children and young adolescents, but one factor stands out as the most common reason why children feel down in the dumps.

It is called self-esteem.

The self-esteem of your daughter is about the value the child places on feeling worthy of love, acceptance, and compassion. If your daughter possesses low self-esteem, it makes it difficult for the child to navigate life’s often difficult journey.

How do you help your daughter build self-esteem or restore previously strong self-esteem? One of the most effective strategies is to enroll your daughter in a highly-rated individual child therapy program.

Why Does Child Therapy Matter?


Children face many difficult life issues that often result in confusion at best and intense emotional pain at worst. The more a child receives negative feedback, the more likely the child eventually shuts down because of reduced self-esteem. Child therapy pairs an empathic and experienced therapist who builds the level of trust required to get your daughter to open up about the issues that have damaged her self-esteem.

Improving self-esteem is about building or rebuilding confidence, and one of the proven ways to achieve enhanced self-esteem is through play therapy sessions.

What is Play Therapy?


Taking your daughter to a therapist can trigger an inordinate amount of stress for the child. Although adult therapy can trigger stress because of the stigma attached to undergoing therapy, for a child, the stress often derives from confusion and the uncertainty of what lies ahead. One of the best ways to eliminate confusion and uncertainty is by introducing your daughter to play therapy techniques.

Play therapy centers around activities your daughter should consider fun. It allows your daughter to relax and eventually express what issues are troubling her. Children, especially young ones, have difficulty verbally expressing their emotions. Play therapy provides them with an opportunity to act out the challenges they face that have diminished their self-esteem.

Implementing play therapy techniques can provide emotional support for kids that face academic challenges, deal with a traumatic event, or live with an acute mental health issue such as anxiety and/or depression. Two types of play therapy play a pivotal role in boosting the self-esteem of children and young adolescents.

Child-centered play therapy allows your daughter to take the lead when communicating with a therapist. The therapist working with your daughter pays close attention to non-verbal cues, and then encourages your daughter to share what is on her mind. Directive play therapy involves the therapist directing your daughter by asking questions or encouraging her to act out different scenarios that trigger positive emotions. The techniques used to foster the development of self-esteem include sand play, pretend play, and creating art.

The Bottom Line


Poor self-esteem can spill over into every area of a child’s life. It can produce irrevocable damage to your daughter’s mental and emotional development. Child therapy offers your daughter the opportunity to build confidence by sharing information with one of our experienced therapists.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Coping with Your Anxiety Outside of Therapy

Coping with Your Anxiety Outside of Therapy


Adult therapy can help you cope with a wide variety of negative feelings and emotions. One of the most common, as well as one of the most debilitating negative feelings, is anxiety. You can feel anxious in just about any type of environment, from a college classroom to a corporate boardroom. Although feeling anxious is one of life’s many obstacles, developing acute anxiety can destroy relationships, as well as inhibit professional growth.

Once you leave an adult therapy appointment, how do you cope with your anxiety outside of therapy?

What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?


Anxiety does not produce the same symptoms for every client. However, feeling nervous represents one of the most common types of anxiety symptoms. You might feel nervous before taking a final examination or when the time comes to undergo a complex medical procedure. A distinct sense of pending doom is one of the more destructive symptoms of anxiety, as the negative outlook can make it difficult to complete the most mundane tasks. You might feel helpless, which is a common symptom that develops after going through a natural disaster. Physical symptoms of anxiety include sweating, trembling, and hyperventilating.

If your anxiety symptoms are considered serious, your therapist might recommend completing EMDR therapy.

Tips for Coping with Anxiety Outside of Therapy


When you exercise the body, you also exercise the brain, which is perhaps the most helpful tip for coping with anxiety outside of therapy. Developing an exercise routine reduces stress, which in turn enhances your mood. Make sure to start an exercise program slowly at first to develop both strength and stamina.

Say No to Drugs and Alcohol


Drugs and alcohol often exacerbate the symptoms of anxiety by triggering certain neurons in the brain. Controlled substances can generate negative emotions such as acute fear and paranoia. Drinking away anxiety only sweeps the negative feeling away for just a few hours. Once you sober up, the symptoms of anxiety return with a vengeance. If you cannot quit drinking or using drugs on your own, consult with a therapist to discover the best option for getting clean.

Significantly Reduce Caffeine Consumption


A couple of cups of coffee in the morning and a few glasses of tea at lunch keep you energized throughout the day. However, caffeine represents one of the most powerful triggers of anxiety symptoms, especially the symptom of feeling constantly nervous. Because caffeine can worsen anxiety symptoms, slowly wean yourself off caffeinated beverages before going cold turkey.

Get More Sleep


You cannot snap your fingers three times and automatically extend sleep time by a few hours. It is more about the quality of sleep than the quantity of sleep. To improve your sleep pattern, do not eat large meals at least four hours before bedtime. Because exercise makes you feel energized, do not perform rigorous, structured exercises at least six hours before you want to fall asleep. If you have trouble sleeping, discuss the issue with your healthcare provider.

The Bottom Line


You cannot expect to cope with anxiety outside of therapy unless you learn more about why you have developed anxiety symptoms. Discussing your anxiety with one of our experienced therapists can help you cope with stress and negative emotions.
5 Simple Steps to Help Your Kindergarten Child Read at Home

5 Simple Steps to Help Your Kindergarten Child Read at Home


Reading is an important academic development for private kindergarten students. But reading is not limited to school studies. The steps that parents take to assist children in achieving a fondness for reading are a continuation of the educational process that will pay off in the years to come.

1. Adequate Access


Providing a prepared environment for children is just as important at home as in the Montessori kindergarten. Even if you aren't able to provide a separate space, you can still do things such as putting a selection of appropriate reading material on the lower levels of a bookshelf, hanging pictures and artwork at your child's eye level and providing an area where everything is built to the scale of a child.


2. Practice Everywhere


The opportunity to read is all around us. Box labels, TV screens, and billboards are all opportunities for a child to practice reading, build a stronger vocabulary, and learn how language is entwined with everything they do. Practice helps children refine their skills, and often encourages them to read more.


3. Role Modeling


When your children observe you reading a book, they infer that reading is an appropriate activity. In fact, you may notice children imitating you by pretending to read books or magazines that are far above their reading ability solely because they have witnessed you reading the same material. When parents spend a little time each day reading with their kids it shows them that they are excited by reading as well.


4. Word Play


Reading begins with individual words, not full sentences. Play word games with your young children that introduce them to new words, and explore how the words are spelled, pronounced, and used in sentences. Simple games like Word of the Day are a good place to start and help children develop a strong vocabulary.


5. Let's Find Out


Children have a myriad of questions about everything from animals to why it rains, and each question is an opportunity to engage them in reading. Help your child look up the answers to their questions, and go over the answers with them. Once a child understands that books and words hold the answers to some of their most pressing questions, they will become more interested in using books and developing a larger vocabulary.

Childhood development is a long-term investment in children's futures-- and the communities in which they live. When parents take steps to assist the ability to read, the results are children who are more engaged in their own education and more interested in the magic and mystery found in books.

5 Signs it's Time to Hire a Laundry Service

5 Signs it's Time to Hire a Laundry Service


Whether to spend money or not to spend money on residential laundry services, that is the question that you face every month when the time comes to create a budget for the next 30 days. Saving money is the prudent goal, but what is the cost of washing and drying your clothes instead of allowing a team of professionals to do the job for you?

The answer is the five signs it’s time to hire a business that specializes in providing the highest quality of residential laundry services.

Damaged Clothes


The first time it happened, you chalked it up to bad luck. One of your favorite apparel came out of the wash cycle looking frayed around the edges. The second time it happened you started to wonder if washing and drying your clothes at home caused irreparable damage such as discoloration and the creation of permanent stains.

Despite following washing and drying instructions closely, doing your own laundry has left you with fewer apparel options because of the damage caused by your apparel-cleaning appliances.

Out of Time


Because of the time it takes to clean your clothes properly, you notice that you either consolidate loads into one cycle or do not wash and dry certain apparel to avoid putting your clothes through more than one wash and dry cycle. Doing your own laundry does not require developing a set of specialized skills, but it does require you to set aside a significant amount of time to complete the chore.

Delegating the responsibility of washing and drying clothes frees up more of your time to take care of more important responsibilities.

Higher Utility Bills


You did not notice the increase at first, but after a few months, your monthly utility bills started to increase because of the demand for water and electricity. Although you have considered outsourcing your laundry needs to be cost-prohibitive in the past, the fact remains that you save money by decreasing the number of times you use the washer and dryer. The result of outsourcing your laundry is a substantial decrease in the cost of utility bills.

Specialized Services


Doing your own laundry made sense when you did not need to dry clean clothes that require a more delicate approach to washing and drying more formal apparel. Whether it is a new job or the purchase of apparel for special occasions, you now need to treat some of your clothes with a much more delicate washing and drying approach.

Residential laundry services that include dry cleaning ensure you treat apparel such as silk shirts and blouses with the utmost care.

Appliances Start to Break Down


Despite the best intentions, your apparel has a limited lifespan. The same principle applies to the appliances you use to clean your clothes. From the first rumble heard from a washing machine to the dryer declining in efficiency, the time to turn to the professionals that provide residential laundry services has arrived.

The less you run your laundry appliances, the longer you have to use the appliances.
The Bottom LineYou can wait until you notice the five signs it’s time to hire a laundry service or be proactive by taking your clothes to a business that keeps your clothes smelling fresh and looking in mint condition. Take action today by outsourcing your laundry needs to Laundry Care Express.

Monday, September 26, 2022

5 Ways to Reduce the Stress of Dropping Off Your Preschooler at School

5 Ways to Reduce the Stress of Dropping Off Your Preschooler at School


Since birth, preschool children have spent the majority of their time with a parent or guardian. When they are dropped off at preschool, new and unfamiliar people are added to their daily calendar, and many children react by crying or clinging to their parents. If you are having problems of this sort, try a couple of these methods of reducing stress and promoting a peaceful transfer from one role model to another.

1. Establish a Morning Routine


Montessori preschool children perform better in all aspects of development when they have consistent routines. Morning routines include things like getting dressed, having breakfast, brushing teeth, and preparing a book bag. Following these routines accomplishes several tasks, from encouraging wakefulness to helping children become more organized.

2. An Apple For Teacher


A daily or weekly gift for the teacher gives your child a reason to look forward to arriving at school. It doesn't have to be an apple, and a small bit of artwork is often a better choice. After all, if every child brought an apple a day, the school would be full of apples before the first month was done.

3. Avoid Lingering and Rushing Off


Two common mistakes when dropping children off at school are to either wait around trying to alleviate the stress or rushing away without a proper-- and considerate-- send-off. The best method is to arrive early enough to share some encouraging conversation, then say your farewells and leave the child in competent hands.

4. Create Excitement Before You Arrive


Instilling a sense of excitement and anticipation helps divert a child's attention away from being left alone in a relatively unfamiliar environment. Talk about the way she enjoys doing things with her school friends. Remind her of the fun she has had on previous days. The more her thoughts are centered around the positive aspects of being at school, the less she will rebel against the idea of not having her parents nearby.

5. From One Role Model To Another


For shy children, the best solution to being dropped off may be the actual act of transferring trust from yourself to the school staff. Take your son by the hand and walk him through offering his teacher a morning greeting. His teacher has a busy schedule early in the morning, so make your conversation brief, but be sociable enough that your child understands his teacher is a trusted adult that is on your side and his.

In most situations, the stress of parental separation is a fleeting response. Within a couple of minutes of the parent leaving, those children have found something to interest them, or become engaged with other children in some playful activity. Keeping the stress of being dropped off limited in duration helps them acclimate more quickly, and that benefits everyone involved.
5 Ways That Gross Motor Skills Affect Middle School Classroom Success

5 Ways That Gross Motor Skills Affect Middle School Classroom Success


There are two skill sets involved in the proper development of young bodies and minds. The first is the category of fine motor skills necessary for manipulating objects and begins at birth. The second is the area of gross motor skills, an area that is developing continuously from preschool through elementary school and beyond. It may surprise you, but developing gross motor skills goes even further, promoting a healthier, more capable child who is able to consider possibilities and consequences as well as the absorption of a myriad of academic information in the process.

1. Connecting Health and Learning

In Montessori middle school, gross motor skills are necessary for running, jumping, climbing, and throwing. They are also necessary for the proper development of bones and muscles. Research has shown that the exercise needed to develop these skills also promotes better health in general and cardiovascular functions in particular. Consequently, promoting better health results in children who are better able to concentrate, have a higher retention rate.

2. Social Skills

Since most methods of developing gross motor skills involve playing of one sort or another, the process also develops the skill sets necessary for interacting with their peers. From learning the art of sharing to developing diplomatic skills, the practice of developing gross motor skills has a tremendous impact on social skills as well.

3. Emotional Reinforcement

Becoming more adept at performing tasks like catching or kicking a ball builds a sense of self-esteem that children must have to become confident students. Physical activity is also a great way for children to learn to do tasks independently, and that sort of self-reliance is a primary goal of the Montessori Method.

4. Academic Enthusiasm

As mentioned, physically exerting themselves is beneficial for classroom retention and focus, but activity can be used to teach academic skills as well. Math, vocabulary, and science can all be easily incorporated into physical activities, for example. This is a major reason why Maria Montessori considered hands-on activity to be a critical part of childhood education.

5. Critical Thinking Through Activity

Hands-on activities help children develop the skills to make effective decisions, compare options, and solve problems. Montessori education is devoted to total child development, so building important intellectual skills while developing physically and emotionally is an appropriate course of action.

With properly developed gross motor skills, children work on almost every aspect of their development. Physical exercise is necessary for kids to be well-coordinated, build stamina, and teach children to perform practical actions to achieve desired goals.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

6 Ways You May Be Unknowingly Ruining Your Clothes

6 Ways You May Be Unknowingly Ruining Your Clothes



One of the many benefits of allowing a business to provide residential laundry services is to receive advice on how to take care of your clothes. After all, wearing the right ensemble makes the type of positive first impression that goes over well at job interviews, as well as when you enjoy a nice, relaxing night on the town. One way Laundry Care Express helps our customers is by describing the ways they might be unknowingly ruining their clothes.

Not Separating Clothes by Degree of Dirtiness

You have heard about separating your clothes by color and type of fabric. You also should separate your laundry by the degrees of dirtiness. A University of Nebraska study discovered washing extra dirty clothes with lightly soiled garments damages the lightly soiled garments. This means relatively clean whites turn light gray when washed with heavily soiled clothes.

Wash and Dry Everything

The urge to get laundry done as quickly as possible leads to some poor decisions. One poor decision involves washing and drying everything at the same time to save time. Some clothes, such as dresses and dress shirts, are meant to be cleaned through a commercial laundry service’s dry cleaning system. In many cases, you can drop off clothes for dry cleaning in the morning and pick up the same clothes late afternoon in time for a formal dinner.

Wiping Stains

When you spill food or a beverage on your pants or shirt, you immediately grab a cloth to soak in a little warm water for a fast wipe and dry of the stain. However, wiping stains makes the eyesore much worse by spreading the concentrated area of the stain over a larger section of your garment. Instead of wiping a stain right after it develops, take your time by lightly blotting the stain until it starts to diminish in size. Start blotting on the perimeter of the stain, and then work your way to the epicenter of the unsightly blemish.

Shrinking Jeans and T-Shirts

We remind our customers that natural fibers such as wool and cotton are highly susceptible to shrinkage if left in a dryer too long while running on the warmest cycle. Natural fiber garments also can shrink during a hot wash cycle. Apparel such as jeans and t-shirts not only can shrink after a hot wash cycle, the natural fibers that run through the garments can become frayed and eventually break free to create holes.

Hanging Sweaters

Some clothes are designed to be folded, not placed on a hanger and hung in a closet. Sweaters are one type of garment that requires a finessed folding technique that does not damage the sensitive natural fibers. Because of the heavy, natural materials used to design sweaters, hanging them in a closet stretches the garments to well below the knees. Asking a business that provides residential laundry services to wash and fold your laundry ensures your sweaters remain in pristine condition.

Using the Wrong Kind of Detergent

Knowing the type of washing machine that you use helps you select the right kind of detergent. For example, a High Efficiency (HE) washing machine consumes less water and energy, which means you want to wash your clothes with a low-suds, HE recommended detergent. Washing your clothes with a standard detergent in an HE machine might leave detergent residue on your clothes.
The Importance of Practicing Empathy in Family Therapy

The Importance of Practicing Empathy in Family Therapy


Empathy represents the ability to relate to the emotions and thoughts experienced by another person. Think about the phrase, “If I could walk a mile in your shoes.” Empathy is all about putting yourself in the place of someone else and trying to recognize and feel the same emotions. For family therapy, empathy is important for the therapist to display, but it also is an important trait for family members to possess if they expect to make breakthroughs trying to settle family issues.

There is a tendency for people to think empathy and sympathy are the same things. Sympathy is the ability to recognize and care about the feelings of someone else. On the other hand, empathy takes sympathy a step further by not only caring about another person’s feelings, but also putting yourself in the other person’s shoes to relate to how the other person is feeling.

Sympathy=I care about what you feel.

Empathy=I am feeling what you are feeling.

What is the Relationship Between Empathy and Psychology?

People that measure high on empathy tests typically report they interact in larger social circles, as well as develop more satisfying relationships than people that experience low levels of empathy. Couples that participate in therapy sessions work to develop the traits that define empathy through role-playing a wide variety of relationship scenarios. Psychological tests demonstrate that empathy is a vital trait to possess when interacting with loved ones, but it also helps anticipate reactions, persuade others to take a certain course of action, and improve the relationships developed with employers and professional peers.

What is the Role of Empathy in Family Therapy?

Empathy plays a critical role in determining the outcome of family therapy sessions. Deep-rooted animosity can derail any attempt for family members to resolve long-lasting problems, such as a lack of respect shown by a child towards one or both parents. For the therapist side, empathy helps create a bond of trust, which is especially important for developing a strong relationship with cynical teenagers. Therapists that display a high level of empathy help clients overcome the mental and emotional roadblocks that form because of highly negative past experiences.

Family members that have built a strong level of empathy are much more likely to see things the same way another family member sees things. Creating a mutual understanding is the foundation for building relationships that help resolve issues, not destroy family relationships. Empathy is not about pitying a family member, and a successful therapist emphasizes this when conducting family therapy sessions.

Is There a Cost of Caring?

Is it possible to care too much about the feelings and emotions expressed by a family member? Some research studies indicate some people are much more influenced by someone’s feelings and emotions than other people. One study released in 2013 demonstrated that highly empathetic women who find out a close friend went through a tragic life event experienced up to 14 percent more stress in their lives. Highly empathetic men who learn that a friend or a family member received a demotion experienced up to 15 percent more stress.

One of the many roles of a successful therapist involves identifying the highly empathetic members of a family before starting therapy sessions.
3 Essential Things Parents Should do to Support their Montessori School

3 Essential Things Parents Should do to Support their Montessori School


A Montessori kindergarten education revolves around the cooperation of students, teachers, and parents. All 3 have specific roles to play and each one is equally important to the other two. For parents, reproducing a prepared environment at home is an important first step, but parents can also help support their schools in these 3 important ways.

1. Communicate With Teachers

Private kindergarten teachers hold regular meetings with parents. This allows both adult sides of the pyramid to voice concerns and make observations about advances that affect how the children will be guided as time goes on. Conferences are held privately and conducted with children present in most circumstances because children are a third of the equation and their voice deserves to be heard.

2. Volunteer Duty

School events and activities can always profit from parents donating their time and experience. From career days to field trips, there will be many opportunities for parents to participate in classroom activities. Some parents are comfortable serving as chaperones on field trips and others prefer things like baking cookies for a class event, but every parent can contribute in one or more ways and every contribution enhances the quality of education being given to the whole class. If you really want to get involved, attend school meetings and help your child's school become exactly the kind of school your child deserves.

3. Cooperation

In order to do the job you expect from them, Montessori teachers need your support and respect. One way that cooperation benefits your children is when their teacher suggests that you could practice a specific type of activity with your child. This may be requested if your child needs a little extra help with a subject, but it could just as easily be given because your child has shown a spectacular aptitude or skill that should be fostered and encouraged. In both situations, your cooperation will give your child an opportunity to shine, get through a difficult concept, or even encourage participation in larger classroom activities.

Sure, you have a busy schedule and pay tuition for your child's private education, but nothing should be more important than playing an active role in helping your kids develop into the best members of society they can be. From inspiring all of the kids on career day to keeping children safe at the zoo, the parental side of the Montessori triangle assists students in reaching early developmental goals and has the added benefit of demonstrating to children that the parents and teachers stand united in wanting only the best for them.
4 Reasons Active Outdoor Time Expands Your Elementary School Child's Potential

4 Reasons Active Outdoor Time Expands Your Elementary School Child's Potential


All elementary school children benefit from spending time outside. Whether the child is wrapped up in solitary observations or taking part in group or team activities, getting outside makes them healthier, happier, and better equipped for the life ahead of them. The natural world even assists in teaching math, language, and a stronger vocabulary.

Physical Activity

Running, jumping, climbing, and throwing are important physical skills that are improved with practice. Active outdoor time allows Montessori elementary school students to flex muscles, improve coordination, and promote the development of critical thinking skills, math concepts, and more in the process. To provide a single example, throwing a ball requires strength, dexterity, and the ability to calculate distance, wind speed, and other factors subconsciously.


Healthy Exercise

Exercise does more than build stronger bones and muscles. Exercise promotes a healthy body, including things like a healthy heart rate, maintaining acceptable blood pressure, and improved lung function. Exercise is good for the whole body, and children who do not get enough exercise struggle with the potential of many types of maladies that include diabetes, obesity, and susceptibility to allergens. Aerobic exercise has been proven to benefit blood flow, but it also causes endorphins to be released into the bloodstream which promotes a better mood and improves mental focus.


Social Interaction

Playing together is great for muscular development, but it is also a critical part of developing strong social skills that will have a permanent effect on children as they get older. Learning to share, working as a team, and negotiating are all social skills that take place during active outdoor activities, and all three are necessary for the development of leadership skills.

Creative Discovery

An open field or a clump of trees are both sources of a wealth of nature-based educational opportunities. Learning to plant vegetables, collecting ripe fruit, and learning what types of insects are found in different biomes use the natural world for scientific instruction, and these activities help children learn to develop the bounty and complexity of nature as they learn. Maria Montessori recognized that children learn readily from nature, and outdoor activities have been a vital part of the Montessori Method since its original conception.

It is true that children should take part in a wide range of outdoor activities, but getting aside and doing anything at all is a good place to start. There is no limit to the number of ways that children can apply outdoor time, and every one of them provides benefits that positively affect the body, the mind, their attitude, and how well they can interact with others.
5 Most Beneficial Qualities in a Montessori Preschool Teacher

5 Most Beneficial Qualities in a Montessori Preschool Teacher

Not all preschool teachers are the same, and there are some key traits parents can look for in an authentic Montessori classroom. With the exception of group activities, teachers encourage children to go about their own business, choosing activities and moving about seemingly at will. This type of education would quickly turn into chaos, except for the training and personal qualities that define a great Montessori preschool teacher.

1. Montessori Training


In addition to a minimum of 4 years of formal education, Montessori preschool teachers also undergo specific Montessori training. This additional training is important because the role of a Montessori teacher is different than traditional public school teachers. Montessori has an edge over public schools, and the teachers are one of the things that make the difference.

2. Positive Role Model


Montessori teachers demonstrate the kind of behavior they want to instill in children. Great Montessori teachers don't get excited or influenced by manipulative behavior, calmly talk out problems with their students, and portray themselves as considerate, caring role models the children can rely on.

3. Montessori Teachers are Observers


Montessori doesn't use grades to describe how children are performing in class. Instead, the teachers carefully observe children individually, guiding them to new projects and goals based on how they are doing with their current objectives. For those children who display unwanted behavior, observation examines how the situation arose and helps children develop the social skills necessary to avoid future problems of the same sort.

4. Communicates With Children


Montessori teachers do not dictate to children, they communicate with them. From discussing the results of a child's latest artwork to helping another discover why the sky is blue, Montessori teachers are referred to as guides because they observe and communicate what they have seen, guiding children to new subjects, ways to overcome new obstacles, and explaining the intricacies of academic endeavors.


5. Guidance Over Demands


People, including children, have a tendency to resist being demanded to do something. Such demands typically involve rewards and punishments, and that runs contrary to the Montessori Method. Instead, internal motivation is encouraged, guiding children to do the right thing or make the right choice voluntarily, and to approach learning new information enthusiastically. This is a critical difference because they manage the classroom without the threat of punishment or ridicule.

Montessori teachers are a breed apart. Without prejudice or command, they maintain an orderly, engaged classroom where children are busily but quietly going about a host of different tasks, each chosen to some degree by the child herself. Once you have witnessed a Montessori classroom and the peaceful assurance of the teacher you will understand how these qualities provide a better form of teaching.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Montessori Elementary School and Its Influence

Montessori Elementary School and Its Influence



In 1907, Maria Montessori opened the first Casa de Bambini, or Children's House. Since then, Montessori education has spread around the planet and is now used in thousands of schools on every continent. From daycare to middle school and beyond, Maria Montessori has left a lasting legacy that is slowly changing how children are taught.

Hands-On Learning

Private middle school uses hands-on activities as the primary form of instruction. These activities are engaging and self-correcting, allowing children to build confidence and self-esteem by correcting their own mistakes. Play-based learning is gaining popularity in more traditional educational systems today, but it has always been a critical aspect of the Montessori Method.

Child Centric Development

The children themselves, not the subject being taught, are always at the forefront of the Montessori Method. From developing fine and gross motor skills to helping children develop strong language and writing skills, the focus is on each child, not on keeping the whole class working on the same lesson at the same time.

Discipline Without Punishment

Montessori does not use threats or physical punishment to maintain discipline. Instead, children learn that appropriate behavior is valued, and straying from that behavior results in unwanted consequences such as going into timeout, being left out of engaging group activities, and more. Children learn to act in preferential ways because they want to be meaningful members of the group, not because they are afraid of being punished.
 

Leadership Through Confidence

At the heart of the Montessori Method is a child who is self-confident, aware of how their actions affect others, and personally invested in their own educational progress. Maria Montessori recognized that children who feel good about themselves are more willing to do good things for others, take risks, and apply themselves to solving problems and reaching goals.

A Dynamic Triad

There are 3 major factors in Montessori education. The first and most important part is the child, but the adults-- generally parents and educators-- form an equally valuable aspect. The triad is rounded out through a carefully prepared environment that regulates activities and guides progress without hampering the individual freedoms of the children it serves. To be successful, the Montessori Method requires all 3 aspects to be present and work in unison for the good of the individual child.

Not every aspect of the Montessori Method is available in traditional schools and the name Montessori is not trademarked. Before you enroll your children in a school that claims to be Montessori, take the time to verify that you are working with an authentic Montessori facility.
Considering Infant Care? Here's What You Need to Know

Considering Infant Care? Here's What You Need to Know



Infant care is a necessary part of life for most households, and the type of care ranges from dedicated family members to preschool, but a key trait of all experienced infant care approaches is that they employ some of the fundamental traits of the Montessori Method. With this in mind, the best place to begin looking for infant care may be in authentic Montessori schools themselves.

The Best Time for Enrollment

As soon as you are ready, Montessori preschool is available. Childhood development experts suggest that enrollment before the age of 7 months is best because children enter a phase when they are wary of strangers between 7 months and 1 year. Your kids can still be enrolled during this period, but may not adapt to the Montessori environment as quickly as they would if they were enrolled sooner.

Engagement Without Overload

Children can be overwhelmed with sensory input, leading to reduced performance, or resistance to appropriate behavior. Montessori addresses this phenomenon by limiting the amount of sensory input children experience, specifically by using activities that only impart limited information when it is used. Sensory input does not mean that only one form of development is being addressed, only how much data needs to be absorbed for that particular activity. Children are still working on fine motor skills, language development, and other early skills, a Montessori trait that continues throughout the educational process.
 

Montessori is a Prepared Environment

Montessori infant care facilities begin with lots of open spaces. The rooms and furniture are designed for small bodies, with accessible sleeping areas spaced for easy access by the children. Montessori daycare never uses cribs or playpens because children are expected to sleep or be active as they choose rather than according to arbitrarily assigned times. From hanging artwork at a child's eye level to well-designed developmental activities, everything about the Montessori preschool is about the children themselves.

Developmental Freedom

One of Maria Montessori's early observations was that children need to have the freedom to move if they are going to develop appropriately. To this end, classroom activities are well-spaced, children receive frequent access to an outdoor environment, and every child is allowed to move relatively freely from one activity to another at their own discretion. Far from producing chaos, this freedom of choice creates a quiet, motivating environment where children busily explore their world as they develop important physical, emotional, and mental skills.

There are many types of infant care available, but only authentic Montessori schools use the Montessori Method, prepared environment, and careful observation that have been proven to impart fundamental fine motor skills, social skills, and academic fundamentals such as language, science, and math.
How to Deal with Work Anxiety

How to Deal with Work Anxiety


Dealing with an anxiety disorder at work can have a significant negative impact on your career. Maybe you turn down a promotion because you fear the additional pressure placed on you by assuming more responsibility. Perhaps a conflict with a co-worker explodes into an office battle for everyone to see. Do you make excuses to get out of attending social events held outside the workplace?

Workplace anxiety can be a career changer, and not for the better. Undergoing adult therapy that focuses on the issues that trigger your anxiety can help you cope with anxious moments.

In a national research study conducted on workplace anxiety, employees that live with an anxiety disorder mentioned several obstacles such as meeting deadlines and maintaining personal relationships that are difficult to do because of anxiety symptoms.

Let’s see how you can deal with work anxiety.

Discuss the Issues with Your Manager


Not every worker feels confident enough to speak with a manager to discuss anxiety issues, but opening up to your manager might lead to a few solutions that help you cope with stressful workplace situations. Your manager might refer you to the company human resources manager to determine whether you qualify to receive workplace accommodations as mentioned in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Let a Trusted Professional Peer Know


Not every employee has developed a level of trust with a manager to reveal sensitive information such as dealing with anxiety at work. Telling a trusted co-worker about what you are dealing with at least gives you peace of mind knowing that you have support outside of attending family therapy sessions. Family therapy allows you to work on your work anxiety issues with the support of your family.

Know Your Limitations


One of the biggest hurdles to get over for professionals that suffer from an acute anxiety disorder concerns understanding how to maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses. Knowing your limitations can help you deal with anxiety symptoms in the workplace. For example, if working on multiple projects at the same time causes you to stress out, change the game plan and break down one project into smaller steps, and then finish the one project before you move on to another project.

Take Care of Your Mental Health


You have many strategies that you can use to combat the negative symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Some employees listen to music at work to relax and concentrate on the matter at hand. Taking a walk during a break is great therapy for the brain by slowing it down and removing negative thoughts. Whenever you feel an anxiety attack coming on, take a break from what you are doing and close your eyes to focus on something else.When the negative emotions associated with an anxiety disorder begin to come to the surface, know that you have several tools including adult therapy to diminish the impact of the negative emotions on your career.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

5 Fun Summer Snacks That Preschoolers Can Help Prepare

5 Fun Summer Snacks That Preschoolers Can Help Prepare


Snack time is a great opportunity to keep daycare children engaged. Instead of preparing those snacks for the little ones, enlisting their assistance promotes activity, encourages critical thinking, and offers an opportunity to work on practical skills that impart real-world experience. These 5 snack ideas were selected because they offer all of these benefits-- and taste great as an added bonus.

 1. Snack Cracker Sandwiches

This fun snack time activity helps Montessori daycare children learn to identify shapes, gives them experience with cutting, and offers a healthy snack that is high in protein and low in sugar. Start with snack crackers that have different shapes such as round, square, and rectangular. Have your child slice lunch meats and cheeses to fit the cracker shapes. It's OK to place the meat and cheese on top of a cracker and trim around the edges at first, progressing to free-hand cutting with practice.

 2. Fun Fruits

Fresh fruits provide essential summertime hydration, tasty snacks, and ample opportunity for slicing (with a butter knife!), sorting, and counting. You can use any fruits you or your child wish to use, and the activity can also include as-you-go lessons on food origins, cultural favorites, and more. From bananas to watermelon, there are many types of fruits available, and each one has its own texture, flavor, and story to be told.

 3. Celery Dip Activity

As a practical experience, slicing and dethreading celery prior to eating it are excellent for helping children develop fine motor skills. Once the celery is prepared, put small amounts of various "dips" such as ranch dressing, peanut butter, or onion dip on a dish for dipping.

 4. Fancy PB&J

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are among the most common lunch and snack meals for small children, but their usefulness in developing fine motor skills and gaining important household experience are often overlooked. Allow your little ones to spread their own peanut butter and jelly or jam, and then coach them in carefully cutting away the outer crust.

 5. Yogurt Popsicles

Yogurt popsicles are one of the simplest snacks your child can make. All you need is one or more favorite flavors of yogurt, some popsicle cups and sticks, and a spoon. Using the spoon, have your children pack the popsicle cups, place a popsicle stick in the end, and freeze the cups for a least an hour before serving. You can introduce other variables if you wish, such as adding fruit, having popsicle taste tests, and more.

Inclusion is an important part of early development, and allowing your kids to help you with repairing snacks is an inclusive activity with many benefits. You may have to do most of the work at first, but children learn quickly and will be able to prepare their own fun snacks after only a few tries.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Why Does Montessori Middle School Help Children Become Leaders?

Why Does Montessori Middle School Help Children Become Leaders?

Just as the Montessori Method promotes total child development in early education, it also benefits them in many ways during the middle school years. This is the time when kids are starting to really think about things outside themselves, and putting concepts they were taught in early education to work. Things such as grace and courtesy, elements at the foundation of Montessori's Method, are ready to be put into practice, helping children develop into caring, intelligent adults with the skills necessary for becoming tomorrow's leaders.

Learning Self-Responsibility

In the Montessori classroom, middle school students are already practicing the skills of leaders. Instead of being assigned a specific curriculum, Montessori students make contracts concerning their educational goals and choices. Freedom of choice is an important part of Montessori, but learning to be responsible for their own goals and behaviors is priceless for children entering their third stage of development.

Practicing Empathy

Children first begin to relate to the feelings of others during their second stage of development, or the years between ages 3 and 6. In middle school, they will fine-tune their ability to put themselves in someone else's shoes. Working with other students, taking part in community activities, and playing a more active role at home are all instances where practicing empathy-- and humility-- help children become future leaders.

Developing Critical Thinking

In the simplest terms, critical thinking is the ability to solve problems by considering the options available. Learning to think critically also encourages children to take leading roles because solving a problem requires action to implement. Opportunities to apply critical thinking are found everywhere and develop necessary skills for those who will be taking leading roles in the community and workplace in a few short years.

Self-Esteem and Montessori

When children perform an action successfully-- even abstract lessons gained from empathy, responsibility, and critical thinking-- it makes them feel better about themselves and their abilities. Montessori is intended to benefit all aspects of childhood development, including developing the social skills necessary for future leaders to be able to fill those leading roles.

Middle school is when the concepts learned in the early years can be put into practice. Children are already saying polite things and helping each other by this time, but the social constructs they are using before middle school are only an outline of the behaviors that will mold them into success stories during middle school and beyond.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Why Use a Laundry Pick Up Service?

Why Use a Laundry Pick Up Service?


When you think of residential laundry services, you probably picture taking your clothes to Laundry Care Express to have everything perfectly cleaned according to the proper instructions. However, you can have us provide a laundry pickup service, which means you do not have to leave the comfort of your home to drop off laundry and then return later in the day to pick up your clothes.

Why should you use a laundry pickup service? Let’s find out.

Time is Money

Many of our customers think that signing up for a laundry pickup service that also delivers clean clothes is a waste of money. Yes, you spend a little more money each month on a laundry pickup and delivery service. However, the time that you save by staying home allows you to spend more time making money.

Our residential laundry services end up being cost-effective in the long run.

Fast Service

Have you ever dragged out the time it takes to do your laundry because, let’s face it, you hate putting your clothes through several wash and dry cycles? Maybe your favorite television show comes on or another distraction makes it easy to take a break from doing laundry.

At Laundry Care Express, we finish your laundry much faster than you do at home. Our dedicated team of laundry professionals stays on the job until we get the job done right. We operate several machines at the same time to shorten the time it takes to wash and dry your clothes.

Quality Cleaning

Getting a highly-rated business such as Laundry Care Express to pick up and deliver your laundry ensures you receive the highest quality of apparel after we are done. Think about getting clothes back that look and smell fresh, as well as do not contain wrinkles. Yes, we fold your clothes after we are through cleaning them.

Convenient

Think about sitting at home, running errands, or giving yourself the day off, while a business like Laundry Care Express washes and dries your clothes. You determine when we pick up your clothes, as well as when you want us to drop off your laundry. Hiring a laundry pickup service allows you to organize your schedule to account for the freed-up time because you no longer have to wash and dry your clothes.

One-Stop Residential Laundry Services


When you choose to have Laundry Care Express pick up and drop off your laundry, you also can choose to get some of your clothes dry-cleaned at the same time. Having the option to use a one-stop service for all your laundry needs makes it even more convenient to have a reputable business pick up and drop off your laundry.

Eco-Friendly

The washers and dryers that we use are more energy-efficient than the washers and dryers operated at home. Less energy consumed means less stress on the environment. Laundry Care Express also uses the most environmentally-friendly detergents to ensure no harm comes to our delicate ecosystem.

The next time you consider spending an entire weekend afternoon doing laundry, change the way you look at doing laundry by bringing your clothes into Laundry Care Express. Our laundry pickup service is a convenient way to get your laundry clean, while also saving you time and giving you more flexibility to manage your busy schedule.




4 Ways You Can Improve Your Child's Reading Skills at Home

4 Ways You Can Improve Your Child's Reading Skills at Home


All Montessori preschool children need to learn to read, and you can help your child improve her reading skills at home. As her most valuable role model, encouraging her to enjoy reading begins by displaying traits that indicate to her that you value reading yourself. In addition to that, these 4 tips for improving reading skills can make the difference between looking forward to reading a book and choosing to leave books idle on the shelf.

1. Read to Her

As early as childbirth-- and some parents begin even before birth-- you can demonstrate the magic and mystery of reading by reading out loud to your preschool child. As soon as she is old enough to follow along with you as you read, let her look at the words and pictures, and discuss the meaning of the things being read.

2. Books Must Be Accessible

One of the key traits of the Montessori Method is the prepared environment, and one of the facets of that environment is the "Children's House" where everything from artwork to workstations is laid out from the perspective of the child. You may not be able to duplicate a complete children's house in your home, but you can rearrange the bookshelf so that your child's books are at her eye level and easy to get to. This gives her the freedom to make choices about reading material, and the choices she makes will help you better understand how to engage her in reading.

3. Explore Her Reading Preferences

Talk to her about the things she likes. Does she prefer books that explore the world, or books about children who have adventures in them? Would she rather flip through a book about a puppy, or one about giraffes? By getting to know your daughter's personal preferences, you can supply reading material that engages her more intently, a major step toward building strong reading skills.

4. Vocabulary Game

A preschool child has a limited vocabulary, mostly because she has yet to be exposed to a vast majority of the language she speaks. Make a game of building her vocabulary by naming and spelling the names of things you encounter during the day. Write down a couple of "words of the day" and let her practice writing them, using them in sentences, and emphasizing those words throughout the course of the day.

Reading is one of the most important educational skills because the ability to read and comprehend opens the door for a child to learn everything else. Take advantage of every opportunity to help your daughter develop and expand her reading skills.

Friday, June 24, 2022

4 Exciting Activities That Help Daycare Children Develop Fine Motor Skills

4 Exciting Activities That Help Daycare Children Develop Fine Motor Skills


In daycare, developing fine motor skills is a vital part of the program. Fine motor skills are necessary for picking up small objects, stacking blocks, and simple motions such as clapping or waving. To develop these skills, Montessori daycare will present children with a variety of activities, including the ones listed here.

1. Discovery Bottles

Discovery bottles, sometimes referred to as sensory bottles, are jars or bottles that contain a wide variety of items. The idea is that Montessori daycare children will shake, rattle, roll, and turn the bottles during the course of investigating their content. Discovery bottles are intended to convey sensory information when children are holding them, developing the five senses in conjunction with improving coordination and the manipulation of small objects.

2. Artwork

Gripping a pencil or crayon depends on well-developed fine motor skills. When small children create drawings or other artwork, they are using those skills and learning how to control their hands and fingers. At first, a child's artwork may seem random, but the more practice they get in using art, the better they will be able to draw recognizable images, stay within the lines while coloring, and make distinct marks that will eventually become letters and words.

3. Being Big Helpers

Helping with small tasks provides children with a number of developmental skills, including fine motor skills. Picking up their room, organizing books on a shelf, and chores such as feeding the family pet are all great ways for children to hone critical developmental skills they will need throughout their lives. Helper activities also help children develop self-esteem and feel more like a valuable part of the family and classroom.

4. Building with Blocks

Stacking blocks or building with Lego-style toys do more than encourage the development of fine motor skills. This type of activity also builds critical thinking skills, helps children learn to sort colors and sizes, and more. Blocks are one of many play-based tools available to small children that make learning enjoyable and engaging.

Maria Montessori recognized that the most successful way to teach children is to keep them active and engaged. In school and at home, it is important that children receive plenty of opportunities to use their hands and arms, developing fine motor skills at the same time as they absorb other lessons, running from academic skills to practical experience that will make them feel like an important participant in everything they do.