Tuesday, December 13, 2016

STEM Activities for 2 1/2 Years to 12 Years

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, an educational plan which encourages learning the scientific process. The concept behind STEM is to interest children in science and math earlier, motivating them to pursue these fields during secondary education.


Preschool: Basics of Math and Science

Babies are born with the scientific process at their disposal. They observe new things, formulate hypothesis, experiment, form theories based on the results, and share those results with their peers.
·        Sorting Shapes and Sizes - This exercise teaches important comparison techniques that will be useful in future STEM activities.
·        Observation Skills - Simple games like choosing the ball that is a different color, or the difference between cold/hot and wet/dry teach observation and comparison.
·        Patterns and Sets - Learning about capital and lowercase letters or even and odd numbers are simple games that teach pattern and set recognition skills.


Fun Science: Ages 4 to 6

Mathematics are fundamental to science and engineering. Simple experiments teach children complex arithmetic without making it look like math.
·        States of Matter - Water and rock are extremes of liquid and solid. Water is excellent for experimenting with converting from one state to another, from solid to gaseous.
·        Volume and Displacement - Using solids and liquids together, children learn that adding a solid to a container of liquid increases the volume in the container.
·        Edible Building Blocks - Building 2- and 3-dimensional shapes with marshmallows and toothpicks teaches engineering and geometry skills that are delicious when the lesson in complete.


Scientific Process: Ages 6 to 9

The world we live in is filled with opportunity to learn about science and chemistry. Household ingredients make excellent tools to instruct and inform children.
·        Basic Chemistry - Pour a bit of vinegar into a 2-liter bottle and a teaspoon of baking soda in the cap. Crush the bottle, screw the cap on quickly, and stand back as chemistry goes into action.
·        Observing Weather - Heating a small amount of water in a bottle creates condensation that can be used to explain why it rains.
·        Starving Flame - Covering a tea candle with a glass jar teaches about oxygen requirements and can be expanded to teach basic environmental lessons, including carbon buildup in the atmosphere.

Biology and Physical Sciences: Ages 9 to 12

·        Understanding Biomes - Learning how plants and animals interact to create a sustainable ecosystem helps children understand life cycles and extinction events.
·        Natural Energy - Natural energy is everywhere, from the sun heating a dark surface to an LED light powered by a lemon or potato, or the wind turning a pinwheel.
·        Weather Observations - Predicting the weather begins with observing cause and effect. Why it rains, the relation of air temperature to rain showers, and why seasons change are excellent learning opportunities.


When children can make things happen as they learn, the lessons will last a lifetime. Encourage experimentation, explaining why and how things work - from the science behind the difference between a screw and a nail to the reason heating changes ingredients into desserts.  Montessori education encourages students to explore and interact on their own.  Contact the Montessori School of Fremont today to learn how hands-on learning is integrated into the Montessori curriculum on a daily basis.

The Wonderful World of a Montessori Classroom

There is a special magic to Montessori classrooms, with this learning method offering some of the best options for curious children. The focus is on a more individualized approach that helps children learn by studying in a way that keeps their full attention. The teachers take a less disciplinary approach to students struggling with difficult subjects, encourage the students to help each other, and offer a less structured format.

Students Have More Control
An exciting feature for both kids and their parents is the fact that students self-regulate much of the classroom experience. One of the first things you'll notice is that the students don't have to sit at tables or desks in a prescribed location. Besides being able to work on lessons in flexible locations around the classroom, students are also given the chance to learn to cope with many common problems on their own.

Much of the Learning is Hands-On
The lessons in a Montessori classroom are more interactive than most other classrooms. This approach is considered an essential part of the learning experience, instead of just an option. One of the advantages is better engagement, so often lost in traditional learning. You'll find that the way the lessons are structured and the items used in the lessons will appeal to your child's natural curiosity.

Your Child Will Be a Better Decision-Maker
The Montessori philosophy is based, in part, around the idea that children with more leeway to make decisions make better ones. The students can make a lot of their own decisions about how they learn, within reason. Your child will know what their teacher expects of them, and make better decisions knowing those expectations. Students will learn special skills that will benefit them both inside and outside the classroom.

Their Education is in Good Hands
Many people who aren't familiar with Montessori schools aren't aware of how academically sound the curriculum is. For some learning styles, this method is superior to what they might learn in a public school setting. Some children thrive best academically when they are in a less structured class environment. Your child will learn everything that is essential to their academic success, in a way that engages them.


Contact the Montessori School of Flagstaff Westside Campus today for a tour of our school.  We invite parents and students to spend a day in our classrooms to learn about Monetssori education and the Montessori difference firsthand.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Reading Inspiration - Awe-inspiring Books for Kids

Inspiring awe and imagination helps kids of all ages develop. Start with books that encourage reading and learning and graduate to more thought-provoking titles.


Entertaining Infants and Toddlers

Early readers benefit from basic learning skills. Select books that cover a range of topics and interests, focusing on the things your children are drawn to.

·        Go, Dog, Go! By P.D. Eastman - The Book of Things That Go is an entertaining book about types of transport used by dogs going to a party.
·        Toes, Ears & Nose! By Marion Dane Bauer - Learning about the different parts of the body keeps tots entertained and helps with vocabulary skills.
·        C Is for Coco: A Little Chick's First Book of Letters By Sloan Tannen - This educational lift-the-flap book that is as much a game as a book.


Inspired Learning for Children

Exciting books are the key to inspiring grade school children. Books in a series allow your children to become familiar with characters and situations.

·        The Magic School Bus by Joanna Cole - This educational series mixes science and fiction on a variety of field trips from the human body to the solar system.
·        Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish and Herman Parish - Teach the importance of proper vocabulary with the misadventures of Amelia and her comical misunderstandings.
·        Who Was Books Series by various authors - These biographical books geared towards early readers inspires kids to learn about famous people.


Larger Worlds for Preteens

Preteens want to know more about the world and feel like they are part of something outside themselves. Books that teach social values and critical thinking are important in keeping them engaged.

·        Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White - Listed by Publisher’s Weekly as the best-selling children’s book of all time, this story is about friendship and teamwork among creatures on a farm.
·        Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis - A fantasy series about a group of siblings who have powerful alter-egos in a magical world reached through an inconspicuous wardrobe.
·        The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew by various authors - Logic and attention to detail are the educational points of these complementary series targeted towards boys and girls, respectively.


Adventures for Teens

Teenagers often feel as though they are alone in the search to find themselves. Providing them with larger-than-life characters they can identify with helps teach self-esteem and social interaction.
  • Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling - Young Wizards learn valuable lessons on the road to maturity in this series of fantasy novels.
  • Divergent Series by Veronica Roth - In a dystopic future world, teens learn the dangers of a broken society and the value of working together to achieve larger-than-life goals.
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Another series set in a dystopic future, teens are selected by lottery to compete in life or death battles for a chance to rise to fame and fortune.

There are thousands of books for every age group. Focusing on the subjects and styles your children enjoy will inspire reading, learning, and positive development.  Contact the Montessori Childrens Center today to learn how reading is integrated into the Montessori classroom, allowing children to choose their own books and work at their own pace.

The Valued Difference in a Montessori Elementary Education

An elementary Montessori education is one of the most valuable assets that parents have access to for their children. Many are drawn to the less structured form of teaching that helps students fully engage in their lessons. Others appreciate the use of learning styles that have broader appeal among children that don't learn as effectively using traditional methods. A few of the advantages of Montessori-style education include happier children overall, better ability to tailor the lessons to the students' needs, and a calmer environment for learning.

A Whole Child-Focused Environment

Montessori schools take the entire student into account, focusing on their physical and emotional needs, as well as academic needs. One of the ways in which this concept is most obvious is in how teachers deal with bored or distracted students. Instead of taking a disciplinary approach, teachers help the students understand their task or direct them to a different one. There is also a certain degree of responsibility for maintaining the classroom.

Flexible Schedules and Structure

One of the many advantages of Montessori-style education is flexibility in students' daily schedules. Being able to use this flexibility is an example of a skill that will benefit students even after elementary school. Some examples of flexibility in this setting include:
  • Field trips that enrich the learning experience
  • Visits to local libraries for extra learning
  • Interacting with special visitors to the school

Individually-Paced Lessons

The lessons in a Montessori curriculum are largely tailored to individual students and designed to help them work at their own pace. Another one of the advantages is letting the students put extra focus on lessons that interest them if they wish. Ultimately, students will meet the goals for the curriculum while being able to do it in a way that works for them. Your child's curriculum plan will suit his or her needs as a learner more effectively than many other methods.

Increased Teamwork and Critical Thinking

Students will have plenty of chances to collaborate with each other, learning valuable teamwork in the process. Your child will have a great chance to develop necessary critical thinking skills. These skills will help prepare them for success later in life. By enrolling your child in a Montessori school, you're giving him or her a great chance of success.


Contact the Montessori School of Flagstaff Switzer Mesa Campus today to schedule a tour of our school to see and learn more about how Montessori education will be beneficial for your elementary aged child.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Foundational Lessons of Montessori Elementary Education

Since the beginning of time, man has asked the question, "Why am I here?" The Montessori Elementary Education Principles use the naturally inquisitive nature of all humans to explore the universe, instilling a love of learning, and a respect for the earth and our fellow man.

The Foundation of Montessori Elementary Education is made up of Five Great Lessons. The Five Great Lessons help children develop an awareness that everything in the universe is both connected and interdependent; jointly creating a harmonious entity of which they are a part. The Five Great Lessons explore the connections and the role we as humans play and contribute to the whole picture.


Lesson One - Coming of the Universe and the Earth

The First Great Lesson covers many mainstream subjects including Astronomy, Meteorology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, and Geography. These lessons tell the story of the beginning of the universe, how the world was created, and how solid matter and water interact.


Lesson Two - Coming of Life

The Second Great Lesson incorporates Biology, Botany, Eco-systems, History, Animal Kingdoms, and Species Classifications. These lessons include a timeline of the universe and the earth including the development of microorganisms, plants, and animal life.


Lesson Three - Coming of Human Beings

The Third Great Lesson covers subjects ranging from Biology, History, and Culture to Social Studies, Science, and Religion. These lessons explain the beginning of civilization and how the developed mind of humans allowed them to adapt and utilize their surroundings.


Lesson Four - Communication in Signs

The Fourth Great Lesson introduces Reading, Writing, Language, Literature, and sentence structure. These lessons explore the creation and development of the written word from ancient alphabets and pictographs to the introduction of printing presses and modern day communication techniques.


Lesson Five - The Story of Numbers

The Fifth Great Lesson delves into Mathematics, Numbers, Geometry, Measurement, Graphs, and Statistics. These lessons look at the numerical systems of the earliest civilizations. They follow the advancement of mathematics and the roll it played in the development of every culture on earth.

Discussing the Five Great Lessons in practical terms along with everyday meaningful examples allows young minds to easily understand these concepts.

Contact the Montessori Childrens House today to take a tour and see first hand how the Foundational Lessons of the Montessori System can open up a new way of thinking and learning for your child. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Internet Safety for Kids

Kids today are using the internet at very young ages. It is very important to teach your kids a few internet safety rules before they go online.

Never Give Out Personal Information
Children should learn that it is dangerous to post their address, phone number, and even their email address. They should understand that this is information that should never be online for the whole world to see.

Never Friend People They Don't Know on Social Media
Kids need to understand that predators will always disguise themselves as kids. You should teach your children to never friend people they don't know, and they should tell you when a stranger tries to friend them. You need to know if there is a predator targeting your child.

Never Meet Up With “Online Friends”
Kids should know the dangers of meeting online friends. Regardless of how long the online friendship has gone on, it should never be done. They should understand that they cannot be 100 percent sure that their friend is actually who they say they are and that a meeting can be very dangerous. They should also alert you when “online friends” suggest a meeting.

Never Bully Other Kids Online
Your kids should understand how hurtful and dangerous bullying can be. Every year, there are stories on the news about young kids who have committed suicide as a result of bullying. You should teach your children that bullying in person and online is unacceptable. You should teach your child to rise above the bullying, even if all of the other kids are doing it. You should also teach them to tell you if they see someone being bullied. Let them know that they can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Think Before You Post
It is important to explain to your kids that once they post something online, it is there forever. They should always think before they post anything such as a photo, an idea, or even a thought. Remind them daily that the internet posts can never be erased.

Don't Be Afraid to Tell
Make sure your kids understand that if they see something online that makes them feel uncomfortable, they should tell you immediately. This could be anything from a stranger sending them messages and photos online to a person who is just asking too many questions. Make sure that your kids understand that it is okay for them to come to your with their concerns about things that they read and see online.

Teach Them to Respect Others People's Views
You should teach your children that just because they don't agree with other people's views on the internet, they cannot be rude. They should understand that everyone won't always agree, and that is part of what makes people and life so interesting.


At Mission Valley Montessori, your child will learn internet safety tips to keep them protected. For more information, contact us today to schedule a tour and learn how the Montessori Method teaches kids to make smart and educated choices. 

Early Math Concepts for Children

If you have ever sat and stared at one of those math problems that come up on your Facebook feed, you are not alone. Just the other day there was a math problem going around with horses, boots, and horseshoes. Math is everywhere in our day to day lives and without a strong foundation, it can be hard to even answer the simplest of math questions.

Starting your child early on math concepts can make a big difference when it comes to a lifelong love and understanding of math.

Teaching Early Math Concepts on a Daily Basis

There is no need for preschoolers to sit down and do a math sheet every day; quite often, this will just lead to frustration. Instead, add math into your everyday activities and play. Whether you are at home or you are out and about, you can start to incorporate early math concepts into your day.

Early Math Activities

Here are some math activities you can use to help your child get a head start in math.
  • Count it Out - Counting everything may seem a little redundant, but it can help a lot. Count out snacks on a plate, all the yellow cars you see as you drive, and toys as you put them away.
  • Sorting - Sorting laundry, blocks, buttons or any other small objects can help your child start to understand size, shape, and patterns.
  • Tell the Time - This is one of the foundational pieces of math. Bring attention to the clock during the day, let your child know what time it is, and have them look at the clock. Create a clock with a paper plate that your child can play with themselves.
  • Shapes are Everywhere - You can start early on geometry by helping your child recognize shapes. Use a shape sorter at home and explain the different sides and names. When you are out and about, talk about all the different shapes you find.
  • Measurement Fun - A yard stick is a great way to get your child learning and enjoying measuring skills. Hand the yard stick to your child and head outside. Show them the numbers on the yard stick and let them have fun exploring and measuring their favorite things.
By adding these early math concepts into your day to day activities you can give your child a strong start when it comes to math.


Our Montessori schools focus on teaching math through hands-on activities and play. We have seen this learning style bring forth a greater understanding of math as your children grow. If you would love your child to have a great math foundation, contact Montessori School of Fremont today to learn more about our programs.

What Nature Teaches Our Children

If you look around at what children are doing these days on a day to day basis, it is far different from what happened even a decade ago. Children are spending more time in classrooms, more time in front of screens and more time indoors. While to some this may seem the safer option, there is a whole lot that children can miss out on when they aren't out in nature.

Why Nature is So Important to Our Children

There are several reasons why children should be out in nature more; a lot of it has to do with building a strong and resilient child. Let's look at some of the reasons it is important to get your child outside.
  • In the Moment - Being outside can slow your mind down, it helps us to breathe and relax and just be in the moment. Learning this lesson early on can help keep that childlike wonder in your child's life.
  • Discovering the Senses - When a child is outside they are touching different objects, smelling the wonderful fresh smells, hearing the leaves rustle and the wind blow and feeling the sunshine on their face. Being outdoors can help them learn about their senses in the best way possible.
  • Learning to be out of Control - Your child learning that they are not always in control is a wonderful lesson and will help your child be more resilient as they grow up and face the world. In nature, you can't control if a bug crawls on you or if the sun shines too bright. When your child is indoors all the time they are in a controlled environment and too much of this can cause anxiety and fear when they leave that controlled environment.
  • Building Connections - When your child is outside with other children, connections happen. There are no faces in front of screens ignoring each other - you are outside learning and exploring together. As adults we understand how this works, it's like magic when all devices are left behind and you spend time face to face with another. Nature ramps this up as there are no rooms to escape too and no virtual realities to get lost in.
  • Learning to Meet Challenges Head On - When your child is outside, challenges are sure to be thrown at them. If there is a big rock in the way, how will they get to the other side? If the only way to get down is to get down a steep hill, how will they do that? Being outside presents obstacles that your child needs to navigate. Learning the skills to navigate these obstacles will help your child grow up to be a problem solver, which is never a bad thing.

At Montessori Children's Center, we believe being out in nature is an integral part of your child's learning experience. If you would like to learn more on how we incorporate nature into our program, contact our school today to schedule a tour.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Value of Make Believe

Children are born with a wild imagination and ability to play make-believe. They can take simple objects around the house and yard and transform them into just about anything they can dream up. Pots and pans become a drum set, furniture can become rocks in a sea of lava, and rugs have magical powers to fly them to anywhere in the world.

As your child learns to control their environment, a game of make believe is a way to expand their surroundings in a safe way. You may frown on their game that involves jumping from the furniture into an imaginary pool of water or their ability to jump from the top of the porch steps onto the grass below but to your child, these are a way to experiment both physically and mentally in a relatively safe way.

Make-believe can also take the form of inventing stories or scenarios. Your child can describe fantastical situations that would never happen in real life - fights with dragons, playdates with princes and princesses, walking on the moon and so much more.


Does Playing Make-Believe Help Your Child Academically?


You might think that rough and tumble games or pretending a large box is a boat floating around your living room are just for fun, but they offer so much more than that. Your child learns through play and exploration. Make-believe games give them the opportunity to develop hand and eye coordination, dexterity, depth of vision, balance, etc. It also stimulates their mind and emotions.


Using Play to Encourage a Love of Learning


You never have to ask your child if they would like to play. It is something that comes naturally to them. They learn as they play. The more they practice the better they get. The Montessori Method capitalizes on this. Each child grasps concepts at a different speed. Some things come easily, others take longer. By encouraging children to explore the world around them and asking them questions, rather than telling them the answer, they will learn intuitively.

Encouraging free thinking and allowing your child to explore and dream gives them the freedom to push the boundaries to escape into a world where anything is possible. It fosters self-confidence and a higher level of independence.

If you would like to learn more about the Montessori Method and how we nurture your child's inquisitive nature through play and exploration, contact the Mission Valley Montessori today to take a tour of our school. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Celebrate Columbus Day with Your Montessori Child

Columbus Day celebrates major European settlements in North America, and is also an interesting time to learn more about the cultures that these explorers first encountered. Your child is likely to enjoy these hands-on activities that celebrate the importance of multiple cultures.


Native American Object Trays


Object trays featuring handmade crafts, dolls and similar objects are a good art project for kids and also help them learn in a more hands-on way. Labeling each item is helpful, and your child might also want to create a written narrative about the objects they have chosen. Some examples of objects to include miniature versions of:
  • Spears
  • Hammocks
  • Open shelters used by the Arawaks
There are many historical drawings and even photos going back to the late 1800's that show what life was once like for these tribes. Contrasting how life was for these tribes before European arrival adds dimension to this activity.


Continent Boxes


Continent boxes help make learning about the world's continents come to life. For boxes about Columbus Day, you will want to focus on individual trays or baskets for Spain, where Columbus sailed from, to the islands of the West Indies, where he landed. Items you might want to include:
  • Maps that plot out Columbus' journey
  • Postcards featuring the islands of the West Indies
  • High-quality photos of museum exhibits that show replicas of the ships used
  • Dolls featuring Spanish costumes of the time or dressed as Arawack Indians
One of the most exciting things that kids enjoy about these boxes is that they are easy to add to at any time. Kids often find that the longer they study a subject, the more they want to know about it. These boxes provide the perfect opportunity for kids to make the learning experience completely their own.


Singing About Columbus


Younger kids are likely to get a lot out of learning about Columbus in song. One of the major advantages of teaching kids fun songs is that they will remember names and dates more easily. Fun songs include:
  • Singing "Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria" to the tune of "Three Little Indians"
  • Singing "Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue" to the tune of "The Ants Go Marching"
  • Hiding pieces from a puzzle of the North American continent and searching for the pieces while singing "Sail, Sail, Sail Your Ship"
These musical activities will help keep everything lively and fun for your kids.

Our Montessori Children's Center in the Bay Area will keep learning exciting for your children. Call us today to schedule your tour and learn about how the Montessori Method incorporates hands-on activities into the learning environment for your child.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

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

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

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.

Educational

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

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.