Montessori World

An educational blog for children and adults

Things to do with your family this week

This entry is a little bit like the one titled ‘Hooray, Holiday, Ho Ho How?’. We know how much brainpower we need to use when it comes to think about what to do with our families, especially with children, during the weekend. We are talking about exciting, fresh and enticing activities here. Here are a few suggestions:

Have a French breakfast

This activity is excellent for children who are starting to learn a foreign language at school, like French. Organise and preside over a weekly French-only tea. Get some good croissants from the local bakery and insist that the conversation in this session would only be in French.

We can ask each other how we are (comme ci, comme ca, ca va mal), count the croissants and discuss colours. A two-year-old inevitably finds it easier to say ‘je veux croissant’ than ‘un croissant, s’il vouis plait’, and there will be disputes over pronunciation and grammar. This is a magical experience indeed: there’s no better way to appreciate diversity than call ‘milk’ or ‘bread’ by another name, with a different set of meanings and a different culture surrounding it. It’s like peeking through a crack into a new world. Eventually the crack will become a door.


Make a Rain House

I have always wonder how to entertain young children when it rains for days on without spending money. I read somewhere about converting your greenhouse into a rain house during the winter months. You feel like you’re outside, but you’re not getting wet.

First of all, lay down a big piece of tarpaulin on an open soil. Then, roll up your sleeves and make sculptures out of soil, use washable paints to paint glass, water pistols to clean them again, and then play Pictionary with twigs and clay. You can also have a picnic inside and watch the birds fly.

Create A Goldrush

Fool’s gold costs 2 pounds for a handful of nuggets from any new-age shop. It has the appearance of gold nuggets but is virtually worthless. Send some nuggets to your child, covered in mud and claim to have dug them up in the garden. Ask your child whether he/she has any idea what it is and if he/she could help to find out. Your child might take them to school, and surrounded by other children with overactive imagination, look them up in a mineral and precious stones book in the library.

One account of this is as such: The child told his grandpa that he might have struck gold in Wallingford (never mind where is that). He contacted his grandpa and told him to excavate the garden. The child knew he was on tricky ground – there was chance it might also be fool’s gold and he didn’t want to dash grandpa’s hopes. One afternoon the child spent hours digging around the flower beds. Grandpa squared off the diggable flowerbeds on a sheet and they methodically charted the territory. The child obviously had gold fever. After an exuberant granddad-grandson bonding kind of day, the child spent hours in his room with his microscope and books. Possibly for the first time enjoying the process of learning with somebody he loved.


December 29, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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