Monthly Archives: September 2017

Rainbow Toast

Combining food and art is nearly always a hit with the toddler crowd. This activity is super simple and sure to become a fast favorite.  All you need is clean paintbrushes, milk, food coloring and bread.  Mix food coloring with the milk and let the kids go to town painting their bread.  Pop the bread in the oven or on a skillet and let the kids enjoy their painted toast!  They can even “water color” with the leftover paint on paper.

Indoor Bubbles!

This is not an activity that will leave a film of soap all over your world, or a soupy mess all over your floor.  This is a much more sedate version of the outdoor favorite.  All you need is a plate and straw for each child.  Put a little dish soap on the plate and add a little water until some suds form.  Then the children step in. They put the end of their straw in to the suds, straight up and down, until there is soap around the edges.  They then very slowly blow through the straw to make bubbles.  Another variation is to do this activity over the sink or in the tub, and instead of a straw, coat their hands in a little dish soap and add water. They then make a circle with their fingers and blow through to create a bubble they can hold.  

 

Leaf Threading

With today being the first day of autumn, a fall themed craft seems to fit the need of the day.  This activity provides fine motor skills, practical life skills, and nature all in one.  All you have to do is go outside, gather leaves (not crisp, but freshly fallen work well) and use a child safe needle and embroidery thread to make a leaf necklace.

All you need:

* leaves and flowers
* child safe needle
* embroidery thread
* scissors

Kitchen Learning: Baking Bread

Letting kids help in the kitchen builds their confidence, teaches them more about their world, helps them learn to take joy in serving others, and is fun! Bread is a wonderful “first” for kids to learn.  Bread is forgiving for mistakes, is wonderful for sensory play, and oh so rewarding about 10 minutes after it is pulled from the oven.  This recipe from Mess for Less is so easy, most kids over three will have fun.  You can set out the premeasured ingredients and give verbal commands and let your child go crazy.

  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup of warm milk (110 to 115 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/8 cup of melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 cups of all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dissolve one package of yeast into a bowl of the warmed milk. Next add the honey, melted butter, and salt. Mix to combine.

Add 3 cups of flour and mix with hands until a soft dough forms. Save the last cup for kneading and dusting.

Place the dough on a floured surface and begin kneading for about 10 minutes.

When you are done kneading, place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it. Place the bowl in a warm place so it can rise and double. This will take about an hour.

Next, punch down the dough and place it in a greased loaf pan. Cover the dough and place in a warm place for another 30 minutes until it rises and doubles.

Bake for 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees. Our top started browning at about 20 minutes so we placed some foil over the pan for the remainder of the cooking time. Remove from pan when done and allow to cool.

Why Montessori works

This article from Montessori rocks perfectly encapsulates what so many parents feel  after just a short time having their child in a Montessori school.  “Montessori provides experiences for students to learn from. Learning doesn’t just come from lectures or listening, learning comes from doing and experiencing the world around them. Learning is real and relevant and that’s the way I want my child to learn.”

Cultivating Peace

Montessori Services talks in depth about building a peace centered classroom by teaching simple lessons of grace and courtesy.  Some of the items included in the “must teach” list include, but are not limited to:
– How to walk around a rug
_ How to ask for a hug
_ How to blow your nose
_ How to greet a visitor
_ How/when to say “excuse me”
_ How to ask for help from a teacher/friend
_ How to walk peacefully and quietly
_ How to tell someone you want to be alone
_ How to watch someone do work
_ How to clean up your snack
_ What to do if you’re really angry
Many of these are teaching points that can easily leave a classroom and go home, too.  Instead of “how to walk around a rug,” you can teach your child how to carefully move around a project another family member is working on.  The rest of the list is easily transferable to a home environment, and encourages respect and peace within every aspect of the child’s life. 

Leaf Impressions

This is a fun project that literally uses what is lying on the ground. Have the kids go outside and gather fall leaves, rocks, twigs, flowers, etc.  Come back in and pull out the clay or playdough.  Let the kids press the objects in to the dough and discuss texture, shape, and the imprint.  You can also make a salt dough and then bake the imprints to keep them as decorations for the kids.