"A great blog that is fun, interesting and informative. Packed full of information on a range of topics. I love Lisa's sense of humor while she is providing well informed and thought out answers to your questions. All in all a great read for any parent!"--Christine Howard.

Christmas Around the World and Hanukkah Too: A Montessori Approach

Christmas Around the World and Hanukkah Too: A Montessori Approach

Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

The words "Christmas," "Hanukkah," and "World" are abstract to a young child. Montessori activities from birth to six years are primarily "Sensorial": they are hands-on concrete activities and experiences: smell, touch, taste, hear, feel, and see. The child then abstracts from these concrete experiences as he or she gets older. So before we can introduce the abstract concepts of Christmas, Hanukkah, and the World, we need to build a sensorial foundation that can begin in infancy.

Infants and Tots
  1.  If you have an infant or tot, your main concern is safety, so that will be your guide to what you can introduce in the home (or daycare setting).
  2. An infant from age seven to 12 months is in a sensitive period for oral exploration, so you would introduce finger foods (typically at seven months). You can also provide safe objects for them to explore orally. And keeping with the theme of Christmas, Hanukkah (and the world) you could use baby proof and baby safe cultural, Christmas, and Hanukkah-type foods and items for the child to explore. 
  3. Music/Auditory: Infants are attracted to sounds including the human voice. You could sing multicultural, Christmas, or Hanukkah songs or rhymes, play a musical instrument, play a multicultural, Christmas, or Hanukkah CD, album, or Youtube clip. You can also look for infant-safe bells to play with and explore.

Are Montessori Young Kids on Average More Shy?

Hi, I am a mom from Macau. I am often faced with the comment from non-Montessori outsiders, or even families who send their kids to Montessori preschools, claiming "Montessori young kids on average are more shy, or need more time to warm up in social gatherings, than kids who go to playgroups". Is this the real scenario? My 2 yr 8 mo girl happens to be an introvert, and people are commenting like "is the Montessori environment really helping her to survive in an extrovert world". I firmly believe in Montessori philosophy, but have to admit I am anxious in this area, especially as she is approaching the time for school interviews for getting selected and admissions into kindergarten, and she really needs a long time to feel comfortable before she speaks or greets (we don't have Montessori kindergartens or elementary schools here in my place). Can you give me more insights to this? Thank you so much!

Are Montessori Young Kids on Average More Shy?


Ask a Montessori Teacher About Christmas Around the World & Hanukkah Too

Ask a Montessori Teacher About Christmas Around the World (and Hanukkah, too)!

WHAT: Ask a Montessori Teacher About Christmas Around the World (and Hanukkah, too)!
WHERE: Begin Montessori (on Facebook)
WHO: With Lisa Nolan of Montessori for the Earth

This event is now a blog post of notes, from the event. Go here.



Child Screams and Runs Around the Classroom When Asked to Put Montessori Activities Away

I have a child in the class who just turned three. Very smart. His parents are bilingual. Repeats words, phrases or sentences you say in third person. He can sit down and do work but when he is done he would start screaming or running around the room wall to wall. Then would have a hard time going back to work. He has a fascination on fans and makes fan out of most if the materials. Recently he has been pulling hair in random no apparent reason and no show of emotions toward the child. Are these sign of something about the child or just simply a child lacking communication skills which will come soon. Thanks.


Child Screams and Runs Around the Classroom When Asked to Put Montessori Activities Away


Photo credit: Nisha A / Foter / CC BY 

FAQs on the Montessori Knobbed Cylinder Blocks for Twos and Threes

I've been looking for some information on when to introduce the pink tower, brown stairs and knobbed cylinders. I have found info on their purposes, but not much on when and how to intro them. I have seen mini versions of these materials (with only half the steps, tower pieces or cylinders) in the toddler section of montessori shops online but they don't have any age suggestions. Can you please suggest a good source for info and activities?

FAQs on the Montessori Knobbed Cylinder Blocks for Twos and Threes

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