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.

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