The Holiday season is here and for Montessori students, holidays offer plenty of opportunities for growth and celebration.
Celebrating The Holidays Through Art, History and Stories
Montessori classrooms seek to enrich children with an understanding of many cultures. During the holidays, Montessori students learn about traditions and various holidays celebrated during the season, including Christmas and Hanukkah.
Often, this discussion begins during a circle time, the morning ritual that Montessori teachers use to begin the school day with students. Classroom celebrations include discussing the history of the holiday and stories about how it is celebrated. The students work on holiday art projects and other season-inspired Montessori activities.
Bringing Montessori Into Home Celebrations
Outside of classroom, holiday celebrations may be more prominent and there are ways to extend Montessori principles into holiday observations at home. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Gift giving — and receiving — is a big part of Christmas, Hanukkah and other holiday celebrations. Use it as an opportunity to apply the Montessori principle of thoughtfulness. Get your child involved in selecting the gifts for others, from classmates and friends to family members. Talk about each person’s likes, hobbies and preferences and discuss which gift would be best for them.
- In the true spirit of the season, teach your child kindness and generosity by finding ways to help others. Participating in a holiday toy drive, donating clothing or food to charity organizations, or engaging in volunteer activities are all great ways to express kindness.
- Create holiday rituals with your child. Rituals are very important for young children. They are likely to become those fond moments that your child will enjoy looking back on when he / she grows up. Think about the kind of rituals you would like to create with your family. Whether it’s working on holiday crafts together, baking holiday cookies or going for an evening walk to see the festive lights, these memories are very strong and will probably last a lifetime.
- Cooking is one of the key practical life Montessori activities and the process of preparing meals offers multiple learning opportunities. Measuring and counting, for example, are great ways to begin to instill basic math lessons. Holiday foods are also colorful and can be used as a canvas for a child’s creativity.
- Create a “Kindness Calendar” for 2021 or use the one we shared on the La Prima Casa Facebook page this month. The Calendar offers a whole month’s worth of activities to inspire kids to show “grace and courtesy” during the holiday season. The activities are mostly simple, from cleaning your room to writing a thank you note to donating old toys to calling an elderly friend. Such activities will help foster an attitude of gratitude within your child.
Whatever you do this holiday season, remember that it’s the time to celebrate being together as a family. Enjoy each other’s company and make some beautiful memories together. Happy Holidays from all of us at La Prima Casa Montessori!