MontessoriMom Education that everyone can do

Summer Fun

Summer Fun & Freedom-
brought to you by Walking the Line, Animals at the Zoo, Montessori Sandbox, Camper's Delight,  and Your Questions Answered.
It's soon approaching Independence Day. Dr. Montessori was a great believer in freedom and independence for children to become good and productive people. Regardless of where a child is born, each child deserves the best environment that society and the world can offer. This  hope for the world was  her faith in the goodness of each child. This hope would be manifest in each generation in that we would become more thoughtful, loving and kind to each new generation of children. Read more in Montessori's "Have Faith in the Child" 


Summer is here. I love summer because it is a great time to do outdoor activities such as sand and water play, painting, chalk drawing on the sidewalks, and just enjoying the sounds and wonders of nature.


Walking the line
- you can do this on a patio or a deck outdoors

Beginning Line Exercises

Walking a Straight Line

My mother is 78 and lives with my family. As she has gotten older, her sense of balance and coordination is waning. A few months ago I had her try walking on a line. I had to struggle a bit myself to show her how to walk the line. After several weeks, Mom's equilibrium and coordination  improved dramatically! People even noticed the improvement.  Walking the line helps with coordination, balance, depth perception, and the overall function of the body and brain working together. My mom even felt like she was working a part of her brain when she finished walking the line. She felt "a mental push as well as a physical push."

When your child starts walking the line, he or she may have difficulty at first, but as your child practices, this skill will be quickly mastered.  Your child will be able to walk the line keeping his foot on the line with good posture with his head held straight ahead. Don't use a prop or any type of item to hold in the beginning.

You can gradually add items for your child to hold while he walks the line. Start with an easy object, such as a small block, to hold in your child's hand as he or she walks the line. They can hold the object to their side, or in front of their body, which ever is the easiest. The next object I use is a glass. Carefully grasp the glass with your thumb and opposing 4 fingers. Walk on the line holding the glass from your extended arm in front of your body. Next fill up the glass half way with water, and then even fuller later.

Do the same with a small, well balanced tea cup. Push your index finger through the handle, almost to the first knuckle, then firmly balance the cup by placing your thumb on the top of the handle and allowing the bottom of the handle to rest on your middle finger. Add water when this is mastered.

Here are some other things to do:
Walk line with a small bell with a handle, small flag, wine glass, small book on head-  (use an elastic headband around top of head and then put on book or any other object balanced on head),
small pitcher, tray with a glass, spoon with a marble or small rubber ball, spoon with small amount of syrup, the list can be endless.

Lastly, you can do other activities on the line.
Walk backwards, sideways, march, somersaults, skip, jump, clapping and walking, and walking, marching, hopping, and skipping to music.


Fun at the Zoo
Remember to bring your camera and take lots of pictures.

A good activity for older children is to categorize the Animal Kingdom according to groups, such as mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, insects, spiders, etc. Friends of the Zoo has some good. pictures and information

Animal Groups explains different groups of classification.
With younger children it is easy and fun to group the animals at the zoo by characteristics- Here are some fun questions to put the animals into groups-

does the animal have fur, scales, a shell, skin or feathers?
What kind of feet does the animal have?
How many legs does the animals have?
Can the animal fly?
Does the animal have a beak or a mouth?

If you live in a city or in the country, you can do this by observing the animals right where you live.

On a wall or bulletin board place the names of the categories and let your child put pictures of animals according the labels (fur, feathers or mammal, reptile etc.) If your child can't read yet, place a representation of the animal by the word.

Montessori Sandbox
There is so much to learn in the sandbox. Landforms, waterways, concepts of rough and smooth, heavy and light, alike and different, and sounds, are just a few things you can introduce.

You will need some sand, water, shovel and pail, recycled plastic containers with tops, spoon, two pitchers, and a sieve or strainer. This is fun to do at the beach too.

Just digging in the sand is great for any age child. It is fun and educational. 

Here are some ideas you can do with your child in the sandbox.
Let your child make forms using old cups and containers, shovel or spoon sand into a pail, pour sand from one pitcher to another, sift sand with a sieve or strainer, and even make sandcastles. You can even make a permanent sandcastle.

Make sound boxes with recycled yogurt cartons.
You'll need at least four cartons.
Some sand,
small pebbles or shells,
a small piece of wood, flower buds, etc.

Make two matching pairs of sound boxes with dry sand-fill ¼ full and close tightly- Continue making other pairs with your materials. For instructions

Rough and Smooth-
Have you child feel various items in the sandbox and determine which is rough and which is smooth-for example-sand, water, pail, grass, rocks, mud, and shells.

Heavy and Light
Have your child close his eyes-put a large amount of damp sand on your child's one hand and a small amount of sand on the other hand. Let him tell you which one is heavy or light.
You can make this harder as you child gets better at the game.
Take turns with him determining which is heavy and which is light.

You'll need:
Moist sand and water
Baking soda
Red Food Coloring

You can introduce a mountain, volcano, river, lake or sea, island, peninsula, and almost any landform sculpted in the sand. This is how I introduced some of these concepts.

I first made a hole with my child with a channel leading to the hole. My child lets the water run down the channel. I tell him, this is like a river. Eventually, the hole fills up with water, and I tell him this is a lake. In the middle of the lake, we put a big pile of sand and pat it down; this is an island. We add more sand to one side, making the pile of sand surrounded by water on three sides; this is a peninsula. My child and I each push on opposite sides of the sand and push together a mountain (folded mountain).

I tell my child that sometimes mountains are made from volcanoes and show how this happens. We make a crater, put in about ¼ cup of soda, red food coloring, and slowly pour in vinegar. Lava pours out and the lava hardens to make a mountain.

You can make a cape, isthmus, bay, cove, and so on. Here is a site that shows how these landforms should look like

This newsletter has printouts for landforms and water cards.

Here is a place where you can get print outs for land form cards and definitions.

This has Geography/Culture Scope and Sequence spans the preschool years through high school.


Camper's delight-This is great outdoor cooking on a hot summer day.

My kids loved to cook this meal for themselves.

You'll need:
Pineapple chunks
Green pepper-cut in large pieces
Green onions
Zucchini-cut in circles
Cubed tofu seasoned with soy sauce or chicken or turkey hotdogs
Brush and oil
Salt, pepper-onion, and garlic salt

Let your child gently wash and dry the vegetables with you.
Your child can easily cut the tofu or a hot dog with a serrated butter knife. More advanced prep chiefs can cut the zucchini. Give your child an 8 to 10 inch piece of aluminum foil. With a pastry brush and a small dish of oil, let your child lightly oil the tin foil. On half the foil, let your child put on the vegetables, tofu, meat, and lightly season with salt, pepper, and any other seasonings.
Fold over the top and crimp the edges.
The adult part-
Put on a campfire grill or a barbecue grill on high. Let it cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning the foil packet so it doesn't burn. You can serve this with rice or bread.


Your Questions Answered

"What is deviated child and
 normalized child?"

A deviant child thinks outside of the norms of society. They have a different way seeing the world. Montessori's inclusive environment helps a child like this to normalize. The community in a Montessori classroom helps a deviant child adjust to his or her world through positive peer pressure. This is especially true in children over the age of 6. Here are some qualities of a normalized child-

  1. A peaceful and joyful personality.
  2. A normalized child is obedient.
  3. Quite and thoughtful.
  4. Loves others and animals.
  5. Long attention span to finish and do work.
  6. Orderly and puts away projects.
  7. Helps take care of environment, plants, animals, and other students.
  8. Can work in groups with other children.
  9. Is polite with good manners.
  10. Has inner discipline.
  11. Most of all he or she has a quiet self-love and self-esteem.

Montessorians usually believe children who are deviant take a little longer to adjust to society. They are just unique children who may for awhile exist outside of the norms compared to other children. Because the Montessori classroom is so nurturing, these children usually normalize.

"The senses are points of contact with the
environment" How does activity with the sensorial material encourages observation and perception of the environment. Can you please help me how to answer this question?"

Babies and toddlers have innumerable impressions of their environment, including language. Sensorial education refines these impressions into concrete representations. One of the first senses defined is touch. Touch is probably the basis for all future learning. For a young child, and even a baby, it's not real unless you can touch it.

For example, the natural or pink tower helps show dimensions, shapes, sizes, and gradation. This is first done by touch. After the exercise is mastered you introduce the names, big and small, short and tall, heavy, light, and so on. This helps the child understand language expressions in a concrete way.

The sensorial activities refine the senses, and narrows the use of the senses with the material. For example, the sound boxes are helpful in developing the sense of hearing. The rough and smooth boards isolate the sense of touch. With all the sensorial exercises, vocabulary is introduced after the exercise is complete. Vocabulary for the Sound boxes-loud, soft, louder, loudest, etc. Rough and Smooth board- rough, smooth, rougher, smoother, roughest, smoothest help refine the abstraction of gradation. 

All of these exercises are helpful with math and reading readiness. Since most of the towers and cylinders are degrees of 10; they introduce the concept of counting, less and more, and big and small. The vocabulary is also helpful for reading readiness. 

The refinement of the senses helps later with number and letter recognition in that a child can see differences in objects, and eventually symbols. This key of analyzing the sensorial material helps the child observe the environment to classify it for the sensorial mind of a preschool child. Montessori knew that young children are kinetic learners, and that they learn by doing and using their senses. With this knowledge children can understand their environment. 

Here is a link that may help

Happy Independence Day!

Similar Pages:

Lesson of the Day 4


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