Saturday, May 19, 2018

Getting Creative with your Preschooler: Make at Home Learning Tools

It is exciting to bring your child’s learning home from school. While traditionally, this has looked like parents assisting with homework, the Montessori child’s education makes it easy for parents to extend their child’s learning more creatively. Using Montessori’s principles of self-directed learning, here are a few creative learning tools you can make at home for your preschooler.

Flash Cards
Flash cards are as relevant in graduate school as in preschool. The content will be different, but the learning method is relevant for a wide variety of situations and relate to the Montessori philosophy. Flash cards are easy to understand and also self-correcting, meaning that the process itself reveals to the participant what they have learned. These characteristics make them a useful learning tool for younger children because once the flash card framework is introduced, children do not need a lot of adult direction to learn. Flash cards can be created for history, spelling, plants, and any number of content associations.

Number games
Number games help children practice the association of numbers and arithmetic with real life situations. That provides an incredible amount of opportunities to create games at home for your child to discover the numbers all around them. This includes using a measuring tape to measure different items throughout your home or distances between different items.  Cooking is an activity full of numbers that also lends itself to games. Children can read a recipe and put together the right number of ingredients, or they can guess how many of each ingredient goes into a favorite meal. Another option is to have different items that can be placed into a scene. For example, you can have a bowl of plastic fish and a printed ocean scene. Your child can place the fish on the scene one by one, counting the total number of fish as they move them.

Map Games
Maps are representations of the world around us. Children can learn to use maps and create their own at home. This can include maps of the world or maps of the United States where children create their own labels, or they can create their own maps of their own spaces. For example, they can make a map of their house and create their own labels. They can even make maps of their school or town. Once the map and labels are created, they can then also practice placing the labels back on the map. While this is not self-correcting in the same way as flash cards, it can be good practice reading and understanding maps.

Educating your preschooler doesn't stop when the child leaves school - incorporating the Montessori method through learning at home with further enhance your child's love of learning.  To learn more about the Montessori method, contact the Montessori Children's House and schedule a tour today.

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