It’s the first week of summer. The days are longer and children more curious. How do you capitalize on both? It’s easier than you think, even if you are away from home!

It’s the first week of summer. The days are longer and children more curious. How do you capitalize on both? It’s easier than you think, even if you are away from home!

TODDLERS
A toddler’s favorite activity during the summer months and all year round is building their intelligence,

deepening their concentration, and giving them an appreciation for their new and ever expanding capabilities.

Summer is a great time for outdoor Montessori work. Outdoor activities are so important to the toddler, especially those activities at (or close to) home.

At The Playground
Time at the playground will give the opportunity for many gross motor works as well as grace and courtesy practice. This is also a great time to socialize!

Gardening
A favorite for many toddlers is gardening which offers so many opportunities for learning and skill development.

  • While germinating seeds the child will also be scooping dirt repetitively into the pot.
  • Fine motor skills are used to make a spot and place the seed.
  • Eye-hand control is used while filling the watering can and watering.
  • While caring for a plant, the child will learn that it needs sun, water and a place to grow.
  • A child’s language will grow as he learns about and how to use a spade, hoe, shovel, hand rake, and trowel.
  • Using a raised garden bed lets the toddler care for plants independently because it’s the perfect height.
  • The child will learn about interdependence in nature such as what animals/insects are eating in your garden, what creatures are attracted to your garden, and what creatures are beneficial to your garden.
  • While gardening the children use all their senses: they taste the fruits of their labor, touch different textures of plants, smell the fragrances of the plants, hear the creatures the garden brings in, and see their tiny seeds grow into a plant!

Day Trips
Trips to museums, the zoo, and other places around town are a great way for the children to learn and explore new things!

Stop and Explor
The biggest part of a Montessori summer is defined easily in an old saying, “Stop and smell the roses.” Slow down your life and let your toddler enjoy the world around them. They are sponges taking in everything that is around them.

Build time for your child and family to explore every day!

PRESCHOOL/PRIMARY
Enjoy this time with your child!

Be outside
Enjoy and explore the outdoors! Teach appreciation of the environment.  Bring bird and flower books on nature walks. Find the names of what you discover.  Have your child help pack their own backpack.  Bring a bag and gloves to pick up litter.

Read
Find books at the library that are of interest to your children. “Research” and assist your children in creating their own projects from their interests (dinosaurs, rocket ships, birds, ballet, rainbows, etc.) Listen to what your children are talking about and find books and projects to help expand their knowledge of these interests.

Garden
A Montessori staple! Have your child help plant, weed, water, and harvest the garden.  Allow them some space to plant their own garden.  Use containers if you don’t have enough outside space.

Play Verbal Sound and Word Games
“I’m thinking of something that starts with ‘s’.  I’m thinking of something that rhymes with far.  I’m thinking of something that ends with ‘th’.”  Think of your child’s abilities and go from there.  These can be in the car, on a walk, etc. Label items in the house with post-its.  “Something that starts with h,” or the whole word.

Allow for Quiet Time
Let them entertain themselves.

Tie, Buckle, Snap, and Zipper
Encourage children to do things on their own, like tying their shoes.  “Try 3 times.  If you still have difficulty, you may ask for assistance.”

Have Children Contribute to Family Life
Allow children to have responsibilities to assist and include them in your daily home activities.

Play Number Games
Play to their ability and consider counting cars, flowers, birds, etc.  Practice addition  “I have 3 grapes you have 4, how many together?” and subtraction.  Include word problems for older children.  Practice fractions: cut fruit in half, thirds, and fourths; bake and use measurements; plot the garden.  Measure household items.

While on Vacation or following a Special Day Trip
Send postcards home. It’s so much fun to revisit and reflect on those moments of a trip that impacted us the most!

ELEMENTARY
More than anything support your elementary-aged child as he/she relaxes and has fun! It’s summertime! Of course, spending time with the family, traveling, and relaxing at home is inherently valuable for all children.

Support Authentic Engagement
A common theme in Montessori all year round, allow children to pursue their interests and passions. This might be giving them extra time to cook with you at dinner, exploring one of their interests at a local museum, seeing a play, trying a themed/educational camp, visiting the library regularly where they can study or learn about new things, creating inventive games, or building and being outside.

When children have space, they will naturally gravitate toward what interests them despite how their interests could be classified by subject – science, math, history, geography, geology, language arts, drama, music, etc. The way we support your children in the classroom is to expose them to the world throughout hundreds of lessons and then allow them to pursue and learn about the things they find inspirational.

During the school year we make sure children are advancing in all their subjects, so summer can give your children a greater opportunity to further pursue their passions.

Read Nightly, Practice Math Weekly
Elementary students should read nightly and practice their math skills every week.

Summer Camps
If it’s an option, summer camps are a great way for children to continue to learn how to work in groups with children that they are not familiar with. This will help them learn how to be a team member. From academics to arts to sports, camps are opportunities for children to pursue personal interests and improve their collaboration skills.

 

A Montessori Summer