If we look closely at Maria Montessori’s writings, we notice how much she emphasised children’s need for routine and purposeful activity, so you could organise your holiday with your child with these two principles in mind. Before the holidays start, I would recommend discussing or creating a daily routine with your child. What needs to be done each day, and how can your child contribute?
I know my own children love to help sort the washing, including folding it at the end of the day! Can you set up a morning/afternoon tea table where your child can help themselves to snacks when hungry? Let your child cut their own fruit and butter their own bread. Discuss and involve your child in all the daily jobs, what is going to be for tea, helping to write the shopping list and taking them to the store.
Getting your child involved in all the tasks you do each day will not only keep them absorbed but will also give them a great appreciation for the jobs and skills needed each day to take care of their environment. Try to keep the routine similar each day and soon your child should begin to thrive on the responsibility of having all this purposeful work to do. With summer approaching, it is the perfect time to go on nature walks, plant some swan plants, make mud pies and run in the long grass. Exposure to the outdoors is essential for your child’s well-being. Don’t forget to arrange play dates with other children from your child’s centre. This will give you the opportunity to spend time with other adults and keep the link between your child and their centre alive.
Also, talk to your child’s Montessori teacher about activities your child loves to do at school this may give you some ideas for projects at home. Good luck with your holiday adventures!
Author: Anna Phillips, Montessori Educare, Palmerston North, New Zealand
First Published: Montessori Voices, December 2011