With the holiday season drawing near, it’s a perfect time to plan how you will facilitate fun learning activities for your son or daughter when school is out. Fortunately, you don’t have to feel stressed out about the idea—because Christmas and Thanksgiving and other holidays invite lots of practical fun you can engage your child in.
The Montessori approach is especially good at this, because it celebrates the magic of discovery and learning along with the delights of the season. Here are some of our favorite ways for children to continue their Montessori skills during the holiday break.
1. Make Decorations
Decorating the house can be exciting, but some tasks—such as replacing broken bulbs on string lights—are not for children. So, give them something to do that also allows them to practice skills like problem-solving.
Gather several fun materials such as jingle bells, large beads, buttons and other décor, as well as yarn and pipe cleaners—and invite your child to string them together to create garlands and ornaments. Buy a tabletop-size tree for them to personally decorate.
2. Play a Matching Game
There are so many ways to let young children practice their colors, shapes and numbers with holiday décor.
Here’s one idea for toddlers: Use different colored paper, and cut out shapes of trees, candy canes, wreaths and gift boxes, and place them on the table or around the room. Then, get out decorations, brightly colored candy canes, and other holiday-style items and ask your child to match similar colors.
3. Craft Homemade Cards
Crafting holiday cards is a wonderful opportunity to have your children create and be generous—blending social graces with manual dexterity.
Find patterns for cards online and print them on colored paper. Your son or daughter can write their name, string yarn through a hole in the top of the card so it can be hung, or color in their own creative designs. The possibilities are endless.
4. “Write” a Song with Bells
The sounds of the holidays can be just as exciting as the sights! Gather different-sized bells, and invite your child to play them all, listen to the differences in tone, and then play a song for you.
For slightly older children who have the dexterity for it, gather some glasses of varying sizes and fill them with different amounts of water. Then tap them with a pen or other object to experiment with the sounds they make.
5. Bake Cookies and Other Holiday Foods
Children delight in providing assistance in the kitchen, especially when they get to sample the baked goods. So, encourage them to make their favorite goodies. The hand-eye coordination, counting, and other skills that go into cooking build on what they’re learning in their Montessori class.
Depending on their age, you might ask them to crack the eggs, gather the ingredients, measure them out, and stir them together. And encourage them to help clean, stack bowls, and put utensils away, just as they do with their study materials in class.
6. Read a Holiday Story Together
Bring the joy of words, sounds, and reading into your child’s world with some Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other holiday stories. Find a new book dedicated to the holiday you want to highlight, and read it together.
Have your son or daughter point to illustrations and name them. If they’re learning to write, ask them to practice the letters of the main character’s name. Or invite them to create a drawing that illustrates a sequel to the tale that they can then share with the whole family.
Invite Montessori Learning into Your Child’s Life Daily—and Set Them Up for Lasting Success
A Montessori education creates lifelong success for your child—especially when you choose a school with expertly trained teachers and exceptional enrichment programming.
At Primary Montessori Day School, we take pride in providing an authentic, caring space for your son or daughter to grow in confidence, leadership, social graces, and life skills. Read our reviews, and see why parents—and students—in and around Rockville, MD love our school.