Friday, December 30, 2022

5 Play-Based Ideas to Help Daycare Kids Learn Basic Math Concepts

Ordinary activities during the course of the day cab include simple math concepts for daycare children to pick up on. Adding and subtracting are concepts that solidify early, but even division and multiplication are possible with a little practice.

  1. Apples and Oranges

Fruits are excellent tools for teaching math to Montessori daycare students. Different fruits can be used for sorting and shapes, and you can also use things like grapes to learn about sets, multiplication, and subtraction. Fruit is more than an aid for teaching math, it is also an excellent sensory activity, combining math skills with scents and tastes.

  1. Lego-Style Learning

Pegged building blocks are perfect math accessories. In the guise of play-based building, children are learning to count, sort, and perform multiplication, division, and more. While lego-style blocks are not technically a Montessori activity, they have the ability to be used for a wide range of subjects from arithmetic to vocabulary. As an engaging activity, pegged blocks are fun to use and children will play with them for hours on end.

  1. Painter's Tape Shapes

Painter's tape is available in several colors straight off the shelf and makes a perfect medium for colorful shapes or numbers of many sizes-- even super large. Pointer's tape is similar to masking tape with less powerful adhesives. Painter's tape can be easily peeled off, and will not damage paint, wallpaper, or furniture. It is a fun way for children to build familiarity with numbers, make shapes of different colors, and count the shapes they've made.

  1. Daily Numbers

Use a paperclip on a piece of twine thrown into a plastic pail of magnetic numbers and then look for that number throughout the day. This helps young children discover how prevalent numbers are in our lives, and helps them become more engaged in learning to count or perform simple math. 

  1. Animals and Cars

Favorite toys like wooden farm animals or toy cars are often the first objects that children use to perform basic math functions like addition and subtraction. If you observe children at play with their like-sized toys, it is very common to see them sorting and counting, even if they aren't yet fully aware of what the order of the numbers may be. Counting cars develops relatively naturally and makes a great place to encourage the use of counting and math.

Daycare children are just beginning to learn about counting, so daycare math is typically very simple tasks using familiar objects. However, children learn basic math very quickly, and providing an increasingly challenging goal will help maintain interest over an extended period of time.

3 Important Types of Childhood Development Taking Place in Private Kindergarten

Private kindergarten is a middle-ground between preschool and "big kid" schools. As such, it is important that kindergarten help children complete any developmental goals necessary for them to participate fully. From learning to talk and communicate to learning basic math and science, children will be presented with many types of activities to help them learn. These skills are all considered vital goals, and include these 3 types of early childhood development.

1. Motor Skills

Montessori kindergarten kids need to develop a full spectrum of motor skills. Running, jumping, climbing, and jumping help them build stronger bones and muscles while building strong gross motor skills. For fine motor skills, activities can be anything that involves gripping, grasping, or moving objects. Activities such as playing tag or hopscotch are good for gross motor skill development, while drawing, painting and stacking blocks improve fine motor skills. The key to motor skill development is physical activity, and that means keeping children engaged in doing things enhances physical performance.

2. Social Interaction

Socially interacting with peers and teachers requires language, communication, and the development of social skills such as taking turns or being polite. In Montessori kindergarten, children are taught grace and courtesy as part of the everyday curriculum so that children absorb these social rules as a facet of living rather than a special category of learning. The idea is that everyone deserves respect equally, whether you are interacting with another child, a parent or teacher, or even a stranger at the supermarket.

3. Language and Communication

Developing strong language skills makes it easier for children to express ideas, understand concepts, and interact with their peers. Learning new words is a critical part of kindergarten, including how to say them, use them in a sentence, and how each word is spelled. In kindergarten, spelling will begin to take on more importance as children are becoming ready to expand their language skills to include writing. Language is at the very foundation of society, and every activity is an opportunity to expand vocabularies.

An authentic Montessori kindergarten is working toward total child development. They put an emphasis on physical skills, mental skills, emotional skills, academic skills, and social skills. In many cases, one activity provides an opportunity to practice using multiple skills, but the goal is a responsible, capable person when their education is complete. Montessori even plays a part in life after education by encouraging children to learn a variety of practical skills starting as early as daycare.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

How to Encourage Your Preschool Child Read More at Home

Reading is one of the most valuable skills your preschool daughter will have. Her teachers are helping her read at school, but it is also important for you to encourage reading at home as well. Kids spend more time at home than at school, and opportunities to read can be found almost anywhere you look. Here are some great ideas you can use to assist your daughter in developing a love for words and reading.

Be A Good Example

One very effective way to get Montessori preschool children to read is to let them see-- and hear-- you reading. Make it a habit to read books and magazines, read recipes aloud as you prepare them, and use every opportunity to demonstrate to your daughter that words are important. 

Read  Along

Read with your children, taking the time to examine each page, and talking about the action depicted. This helps children develop critical thinking, builds a strong vocabulary, and helps small kids learn more about themselves and the world. Reading aloud to children is beneficial for kids with verbal challenges as well, because it allows the child to see up close how the mouth moves when words are pronounced.

Provide A Variety

Reading preferences are different from one child to another and children will learn at different paces. Fill the lower bookcase shelves with a variety of age-appropriate books and give your daughter the freedom to choose which ones she likes best. Don't hesitate to go a couple of years older with the material, but concentrate on books with short words, rhymes, and exciting subjects. In addition to children's books, try including a couple of pictorial tomes on nature, animals, and the like.


Make a game out of learning a new word every day. You can do this by setting up an erasable whiteboard and using appropriate markers. Choosing the word can be done any way you wish, or simply open a dictionary with your eyes closed and place your finger on the page. With your daughter, practice saying the word, then write it in her journal and talk about what it means and how it should be used in conversation. This provides an important link between printed words and spoken language.

Printed writing has been the way people have kept records for thousands of years, and was done using pictures instead of words even before that. The art of writing is even more important today, and the success of every school student relies on developing strong reading skills and comprehension. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

5 Fun Christmas Party Food Ideas for Daycare

Every Christmas event is a great reason for tasty snacks, and daycare children enjoy helping prepare holiday dishes. These 5 ideas are easy to make, delicious to eat, and excellent ideas for Montessori-styled practical life experiences.

  1. Appetizing Ambrosia

Fruity ambrosia is fun to make, and easy enough that Montessori daycare children can put the recipe together. The 2 basic ingredients are a can of mixed fruit and a tub of whipped cream. Just pour the ingredients into a bowl and stir until they are well-mixed. You can make the recipe more expansive-- and help children develop practical experience-- by adding fresh sliced bananas, apples, and segmented citrus fruits. To give the mixture a tropical feel, add shredded coconut and a little pineapple.

  1. Popcorn Garlands

Heavy thread, a small crochet needle, and bowls of multicolored popcorn are all you need to create decorative garlands with snack appeal. There are a couple of ways to dye the corn while cooking it, but you can simply spray popped kernels with a water bottle if the garland is strictly decorative. Crochet needles are large enough for the older preschool students to grasp, making it simple to thread the kernels into a ropelike garland.

  1. Daycare Hors D'oeuvres

This tasty treat is simple. Arrange crackers on a platter-- or individual dishes-- and stack cut meats, cheeses, and vegetables to suit. A sliced boiled egg or tomato slices can really liven up the appearance. Another fun finger food is to fill segments of celery with peanut butter, cream cheese, onion dip, or other tasty fillings.

  1. No-Bake Cookies

No-bake peanut butter and oatmeal cookies make a simple sweet treat. An adult needs to handle the stovetop cooking, but the kids can still help with measuring and then spooning out the cookie dough. You can also add things like chopped nuts or butterscotch morsels for a little extra indulgence.

  1. Veggie Trays

Veggie trays are exactly what they sound like. Sliced carrots, green peppers, cucumbers, and steamed vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli make a colorful, nutritious snack that children can wash, cut, and lay out. Small cups with "sauces" like ranch dressing or honey mustard-- or even honey by itself-- are great to add a little spark to each slice.

Holiday food activities offer children a wide assortment of developmental opportunities. Counting and sorting, language and vocabulary, and practical skills like measuring and cutting are all common tasks in the kitchen. Every dish is a classroom adventure and the resulting snacks and treats are a wonderful incentive to keep children engaged.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Does a Montessori Infant Care Program Benefit My Child's Development?

It is not unusual to enter an average daycare and witness a certain amount of pandemonium, but that is rarely a situation in Montessori schools. Montessori was expressly created in a way that allows children more freedom of movement, interaction with older and younger peers, and a sense of self-value to make them confident students. Unlike traditional schools that are only interested in teaching a limited and rigorously enforced set of information, Montessori schools provide a whole-child developmental process that produces a well-rounded education and the social and emotional skills needed for everyday life.

Motor Skills

Children are encouraged to work on their fine and gross motor skills in Montessori daycare. Each day is spent on various authentic activities that require children to use their fingers for detailed work like lifting, touching, gripping, and more. The muscle tone and physical coordination they build at this age will be immensely valuable when they begin using pencils, crayons, scissors, and other small educational tools.

Academic Skills

Academic studies combine with physical activities to teach children a variety of useful concepts while they play. Montessori schools have been teaching STEM subjects to small children for over a hundred years-- long before such a term even existed. In fact, Maria Montessori considered interacting with nature to be a vital aspect of early development, to the point that it became one of the fundamental aspects of authentic Montessori education.  

Social Skills

Because children aren't restricted to a single location in the classroom, Montessori children are able to work on important social skills throughout the day. As they freely move between activities, children learn to take turns, work in pairs and groups, and develop the critical thinking skills to negotiate outcomes rather than displaying emotional outbursts.

Emotional Development

Emotional development is important in an environment where children are able to make their own choices and take responsibility for their own actions. To guide emotional development, Montessori guides help children become more empathetic, considering the reactions of others, and making decisions based on avoiding infringing on the feelings of others.

Montessori is a different sort of education because it is focused on more than academic instruction. Without external rewards or punishments, the Montessori environment is focused on providing real development in areas that make children stronger, help them communicate better, and leave them more accepting of the differences-- physical, emotional, academic, racial, and cultural-- of the world they live in.

4 Simple Montessori-Inspired Activities For Teaching Children About Thanksgiving

In a private kindergarten, every day is a good day to express gratitude and thankfulness. With Thanksgiving approaching, opportunities to learn about the holiday and the importance of being grateful for what we have will be everywhere you look, and children will enjoy participating in various activities centered around the season.

  1. Inclusion in Holiday Activities

The Thanksgiving season is a busy time for most of us, and Montessori kindergarten children may feel left out at times. It is fine to enjoy the company of relatives and visitors, but make sure your children get to be part of the experience. For many children, the holidays are the only time of year when they see some relatives, and children need to interact with them, learn about them, and get to know the diversity of the family. 

  1. Grace and Courtesy Activities

Social interaction is an important part of childhood development, and this time of year is perfect for practicing social skills. Grace and courtesy activities are central to the Montessori Method, including learning to address elders appropriately, ask politely, and show gratitude when it is deserved. Every day has opportunities for thankfulness, and thanksgiving is an excellent time to look for them.

  1. Fall Crafts

Engaging in fall crafting activities will keep your children entertained for hours. Making things to decorate for the holidays also helps children feel more like a part of the celebration, helps them work on fine motor skills, and helps them develop a broader vocabulary. Remember that your children want to see their work admired, and hang artwork and decorations at a level that makes it available to children as well as adults.

  1. Practical Life Experience

Helping with tasks such as setting the table, helping cut or measure, and serving refreshments teach vital practical skills that will benefit children throughout their lives. It may be a treat to lick the mixing spoon, but it is an honor to be allowed to participate in preparing the recipe. Given the opportunity, kindergartners will be thrilled to measure and pour and mix ingredients along with you.

You do not have to wait for a holiday to practice the tenets of grace and courtesy. Try helping your children keep a daily journal of events and reasons to be grateful, and discuss them regularly. When your child sees that her experiences are important to you, she will be more willing to share them with you, and eager to receive the praise that comes from great behavior.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

4 Benefits of Teaching Self-Regulation to Kindergarten Students

Self-regulation is difficult for very young children, but most kids have developed enough to begin learning the importance of self-regulation by the time they enter private kindergarten. Prior to that age, their brains have not yet developed the skills and critical thinking abilities for self-regulation. Once they have, the benefits are numerous and include things such as these 4 beneficial examples.

  1. Self-Control and Social Order

Even though the activities taking place in a Montessori classroom are largely chosen individually by the children, the environment is orderly and quiet. This is largely due to the fact that Montessori kindergarten children are taught self-control and courtesy from daycare onward. They are taught that courtesy and grace are essential in any social environment, and that creates a more structured environment for everyone to enjoy.

  1. Sharing is Caring

Under the Montessori Method, that sort of unwanted behavior is curbed through consistency, guidance, and communication. Children are shown how sharing attracts friendly responses, something that all children prefer over animosity or anger. Teaching kids the importance of using empathy is a developmental milestone that can only be undertaken around the age of 6 because children are simply incapable of thinking beyond re and now before they have reached the intellectual age of a kindergarten pupil.

  1. Learning to Focus

Montessori materials are self-teaching tools that require children to observe the activity and recognize their errors. For this to work, children have to be able to focus more clearly on the task at hand, a developmental achievement that only comes when a child can regulate their emotions and apply critical thinking skills.

  1. Developing Self-Esteem

Another vital aspect of Montessori education is helping children develop a strong sense of worth and personal value. This is done through inclusion and achievement, such as being invited to take part in an activity or completing a project without having to ask for help. Instead of directly approaching these developmental goals, they are an underlying part of the Montessori Method. Simply explained, children gain self-respect by achieving goals that result from self-regulation and a desire to succeed.

Self-regulation is not so much taught as it is a result of learning other important developmental skills. The Montessori Method is a whole-child teaching philosophy that is designed to teach a wide variety of developmental skills as children work with engaging and entertaining Montessori activities.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Why is The Value of Play Essential in an Authentic Montessori Daycare?

Play is vital for early childhood development in daycare. More than simply keeping children occupied, playtime is also an excellent time for teaching children a variety of developmental skills. From fine and gross motor skills to language and writing, Montessori activities keep children engaged and interested in learning and doing.

Hands-On Learning

The Montessori daycare is a play-based learning environment. Working with specially designed educational toys makes it easier for children to learn new skills and reach vital developmental goals in physical, social, and intellectual areas. Some activities provide practical experience as well, such as learning to use classroom tools like pencils or crayons. In fact, Montessori daycares are involved in the complete development of small children, and the activities they are engaged with were carefully selected to develop the total range of developmental skills.

Learning Social Interaction

When children play together, they are also developing critical social skills that will help them interact with others. For example, playing with a particular toy is also an opportunity to practice taking turns and sharing resources. By playing together, children learn the basics of diplomacy, the value of teamwork, and the importance of perseverance. The thing to keep in mind is that the game is being presented as an educational tool that inspires, excites, and motivates children.

Natural Order of Development

In the process of developing the Montessori Method, Maria Montessori how children interacted in a natural, unstructured setting. What she saw was that children learn by doing things with their hands as they go about their childhood games. She also observed that children naturally group into mixed age groups and that younger children are able to absorb new information by observing and playing with kids a little older than themselves. These observations became crucial points that were incorporated into the Montessori Method.

Daycare children learn by playing with toys and activities that are fun and engaging. They never consider that the activities they are having a good time with were chosen for their educational value. And the practice of hands-on education doesn't end with daycare or preschool. Children of all ages will be using hands-on education as their primary method of learning for as long as they remain in a Montessori environment.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

3 Ways that Montessori Kindergarten Parents can Support Disciplinary Strategies

When children attend a Montessori private kindergarten, discipline is handled differently than in traditional school systems. Teachers do not criticize children in front of the class, for example, and Montessori utilizes intrinsic motivation instead of external or physical motivation. The thing is, this type of discipline only works when it is supported by the parents after the school day is done.

  1. Present a United Front

It is very important that your Montessori kindergarten children see your relationship with the school as a team effort. Any time that you pit yourself against the teachers in defense of your children, you are showing them that they can use one side as leverage against the other. Communicate regularly and accept what the staff tells you even when it may not coincide with your child's side of the story. Remember that the school's purpose is the development and education of children and they have nothing to gain from plotting against your children, no matter how it seems to the child.

  1. Consistency Counts

Be consistent between school and home. It benefits children to know that the consequences of actions will be the same whether they act out at school or at home. If a teacher observes a change in your child's behavior she will bring it to your attention and discuss ways to solve any issues that arise. Together, you can uncover the root causes of disruptions and address them rationally and without resorting to actions that use fear to coerce desired responses.

  1. Avoid Punishments and Rewards

Montessori works best when children are intrinsically motivated-- when the child wants to behave or perform in appropriate ways because they know and understand that the behavior is the best way to act or react. Traditional punishment and reward systems depend on fear, pain, and threats to be effective, whereas an internally motivated child wants to perform correctly for the benefit of the act itself. The first tenet of the Montessori Method is that children should be treated with respect and hitting someone to address their behavior is never a respectful response.

Children look up to adults and have closer bonds with their parents than they will have with anyone else for many years. Because of that, what they see and hear from their parents will be a large part of how they learn to interact with others. For Montessori-style disciplinary strategies to be effective they must be shared by parents and school staff alike.

Why is Montessori Preschool Important for Early Development?

Preschool is the most important period for children to gain the many personal tools needed for later education and eventually interacting in the community. This includes fine and gross motor skills, social etiquette, academic lessons, and learning to perform practical tasks such as measuring, pouring, and cutting.

Mixed Age Groups

The 3-year age group used in a Montessori preschool conforms to a natural order observed by Maria Montessori when watching a group of children. It allows children to spend more or less time learning specific lessons without "falling behind," and it helps children develop interactive skills and self-esteem by cycling through being the oldest-- thus more experienced-- children in the room.

Hands-On Activities

Authentic Montessori activities are designed to be apparently useful, self-correcting, and appealing. This is true of classroom activities such as the Pink Tower as well as nature and natural activities. Each activity is meant to be interesting so that children will take notice, engaging so that children want to use it repeatedly, and self-correcting so the child will know if the task was performed correctly without requiring affirmation from someone else.

Interactive Skills

Montessori children often work together to accomplish tasks, and the Montessori Method makes developing language and social skills one of the highest priorities for early education. Social etiquette is practiced constantly and consistently so that children absorb the rules of social behavior as they grow and without singling out courtesy and grace as a task rather than the natural means of interaction.

Nature in Education

Nature and our relationship with it is a primary tool of Montessori education. From playground games to learning about plants and frogs, children are encouraged to become immersed in learning about the world they live in. Getting outdoors was considered a vital part of early development, and Maria Montessori incorporated nature-based activities into the Montessori Method.

Learning Leadership

Montessori encourages and promotes self-esteem, critical thinking, and social interaction. As a result, children who attend Montessori schools develop the basic skills necessary for leadership activities concurrently with other education goals. And because of Montessori's mixed-age classes, all of the children spend a portion of their education among the oldest children in the class, instilling leadership skills as a natural progression of events.

Montessori promotes a more holistic style of teaching that instructs children on multiple levels and addresses all of the developmental milestones of early education. Children learn to read and write as they gain the skills needed to add and subtract, along with the critical thinking and social responsibility vital to peaceful interactions with other children and adults. 

Friday, July 29, 2022

5 Examples of Differences Between Montessori and Traditional Public Schools

Preschool children tend to perform well in a Montessori environment. As an alternative to traditional schools, Montessori stands apart from other educational strategies because the Montessori Method is designed around children, focusing on helping each child develop in a natural manner using special activities and a completely different teaching style.

  1. Children First

Traditionally, all of the children in a class are expected to always be on the same page, working on the same projects, and using the same materials. By contrast, Montessori preschool students work individually. This is only one example of how Montessori puts individual development first, but the classroom itself is another example, with everything designed to be more comfortable and appealing to the children in the room.

  1. Observation and Guidance

Montessori teachers are called guides because guidance, not instruction, is their primary function. Student guides do not spend the day lecturing to the class as a group. Their approach is to observe the progress of individuals and gently guide them toward new activities or goals that help each child at a personal level.

  1. Hands-On Activity

Independent research has demonstrated the effectiveness of learning through doing, but Montessori students have always used a play-based educational system. Maria Montessori recognized that children are learning when they are at play and designed activities around the idea that children will learn more readily when the task at hand is also enjoyable and engaging.

  1. Mixed Age Groups

Children in the Montessori preschool are learning different skills at different speeds. In a traditional classroom where all of the kids are within months of the same age, this method would be problematic but in a class with a 3-year age spread every child has ample opportunity to learn at a pace that suits them instead of struggling to stay in step with other students.

  1. Practical Experience

There isn't much room for learning to perform practical tasks in a traditional public school environment. Montessori teaches children to perform these tasks as a fundamental part of the educational process, including routine chores and lessons about culture, language, and math, and as a tool for developing important social skills. The end result is a child who not only learns academically, physically, and socially but gains practical experience in real-world tasks as they do so.

Montessori is vastly different from traditional educational approaches. It allows more freedom of choice but demands more focus on learning. It is self-guided and self-correcting, and Montessori is more fully involved in helping the child develop along several developmental paths in unison.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Do Mixed Age Groups in Montessori Schools Benefit the Children?

Over a century ago, Maria Montessori observed that children develop more effectively when they are members of a mixed age group. Through further research, she realized that mixed age groups in Montessori daycare correspond to learning phases, beginning with the absorbent mind period that spans from birth to 6 years and can readily be divided into 2 distinct groups split at around age 3. 

A Natural Order

Montessori's mixed-age groups were inspired by the natural order of things. In an unstructured environment, this grouping happens by default, based on things like interacting with siblings to the age distribution that occurs within a community of children. Even more importantly, mixed ages have an impact on a variety of developmental goals, critical thinking skills, and social interactions.

Learning Paces Vary

Children do not absorb the same information or reach the same mental or physical development milestones at the same time. By mixing the ages of the children in a classroom, each child can develop individually while allowing all of the kids to achieve the same milestones before moving on to the next mixed-age group. And since some children develop more quickly, they have the abilities and experience to help guide the development of those who follow.

Building Future Leaders

When older children are encouraged to identify and assist others, they are building strong emotional skills such as empathy and practicing leadership skills such as diplomacy. Montessori is renowned for producing adult children who have done extremely well in leadership positions, and this is related-- at least in part-- to having begun learning to be leaders at an early age.

Bolstering Self Esteem

Immersion in a mixed-age group helps children develop vital social skills, but to do that they must also have a healthy sense of self-confidence. The self-esteem to help others and the willingness to ask for help when it is needed are both based on developmental skills that are available through social interactions in a mixed-age classroom. This effect is part of Montessori's method as well and corresponds to the observation that children need to feel good about themselves before they can feel good about learning, or even interacting appropriately with others.


Not only does mixing the age of students benefit them, but the idea itself is also one of the founding principles that Montessori relies on to work so well. Just as children need to develop practical experience with tools and utensils, they also perform at their best when they have practical experience with social interactions that involve people of different ages than their own.