Summertime is upon us, and this means the heat is here to stay, nature is in full bloom, the sun is out later and later, and your little ones are home with you during the day instead of in their classrooms. Undoubtedly, your preschooler has much more spare time in these summer months, and with that, you may be wondering how you can keep them engaged, entertained, and growing over their summer break.
These long days and warm nights create the perfect environment for your preschooler to learn and explore, as they do in their Montessori classroom. Here are some fun activities to keep your preschooler immersed in their Montessori learning over the summer.
School may be out for the summer, but that does not mean lesson learning and development have to end. One easy way to keep expanding your preschoolers’ minds is by reading with them. In the Montessori classroom, storytime provides many benefits for students and is almost always a favorite classroom activity.
Over the summer, you can keep storytime going, reading to your child and even helping them read to you. Sharing the experience of learning something new or following a heroic journey with your preschooler can help grow their confidence as it builds their ability to communicate and create.
Adding storytime to your schedule this summer can help your preschool students develop their reading skills, language, and imagination, but that is not all it accomplishes. Aside from aiding your preschooler in their academic journey, reading together is also a great way to spend time together, create family memories, and strengthen your bond.
Stay on Top of Skills
Similar to making time to read over the summer so that your preschooler retains their reading skills, there are other skills you can practice to make sure your little learner does not forget their knowledge or practice in the classroom.
You can help your preschooler stay on top of their game by working on the skills they have learned already and introducing some new ones when they are ready. From practicing their counting to identifying colors and shapes, there are several games and lessons you can share with your child this summer.
Games like I Spy, where you provide your child with clues and have them guess the object you have selected, can strengthen your child’s senses, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. Other brain-building games are word association, guess the letter, or spot the number. These games teach skills and lessons that can occur anywhere, in the backyard or the car on the way to the beach.
While at school, your preschooler is often crafting things with their hands, using sensory-friendly materials that the Montessori classroom provides. In the Montessori environment, we provide open-ended art activities that help children explore and use their creativity.
Art and creating provide an avenue for children to communicate their feelings and develop their fine motor skills. To encourage crafting at home while out of school for the summer, parents can plan and participate in arts and crafts projects with their preschoolers, using materials that stimulate touch, smell, sight, sound, and even taste.
One example of this kind of craft is building an ocean. To recreate this project at home, parents would help their child to fill a tub with water, adding found materials like rocks, sand, and sticks. Your preschooler can then get inventive by adding other things they think they would find in the ocean, finding materials that represent seaweed, fish, whales, turtles, and more. This type of activity doubles as an artistic expression and learning opportunity, familiarizing your child with the ocean and all its creatures.
When all the crafting is complete, parents can give their child’s creations some space on the wall, refrigerator, small shelf, or corner, showing their creativity and hard work off and encouraging confidence and pride.
Dr. Maria Montessori and the philosophy she built around educating the child insist that the outdoor environment is an extension of the indoor classroom since nature provides unlimited opportunities for experiential learning. Through interactions with their surroundings and with nature, your children are developing their senses, coordination, awareness, and much more.
This summer, there are countless outdoor activities you can do with your preschooler. These activities do not have to be anything fancy, either. Venture to the backyard with your child to collect rocks, leaves, shells, or other things they may find. Ask your child to practice sitting in nature quietly and listening carefully, then play a game where you and your child name the sounds you hear.
Nature walks and gardening are other activities you can do with your child in the outdoors that promote the Montessori philosophy and build a connection between your child and their environment. Teach your children to care for nature by planting, watering, and tending to plants. Create a DIY bird feeder together, and then watch and listen to the birds.
There are numerous sensory experiences that children can find outdoors this summer like splashing in the water, building sandcastles, making flower necklaces, or identifying cloud shapes.
One more activity that makes for a fun learning experience for your little one is helping you in the food preparation process, helping with snacks, breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Your preschooler can help in the kitchen in a number of ways, from pouring drinks to spreading crackers or cutting fruits with a child-safe knife.
An important component of a Montessori classroom environment is food preparation. Preparing food has always been a part of Montessori learning because Dr. Maria Montessori saw food preparation as a critical life skill for children to learn. Cooking asks children to practice many skills, like following directions and using their senses; taste, touch, smell, and so on.
Many young children love prepping meals and there are many easy and fun food prep activities that preschoolers can complete by themselves at home. Asking that your child practice working with food and cooking tools may seem like a big ask for a preschooler, but helping you to cook provides them a hands-on sensory experience that can be both safe and enjoyable for them.
The possibilities for summer fun and learning this time of year are endless, so parents can pick and choose what works for them and their child.
The Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff was the first school in Arizona to have its application for a charter approved by the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools. We offer an academic program that identifies and encourages each child’s individual social and emotional development. Visit our blog to learn more about our method or reach out today to begin your journey with The Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff.