8 Summer Montessori Inspired Activities
The Montessori method stands apart from other teaching methods because it teaches children to become in charge of their own education by being self-directed, hands-on and playful all at the same time. It gives children the ability to do things on their own, which helps with responsibility, organization skills, planning, executing and problem-solving. The Montessori approach focuses on cognitive, emotional, physical and social development rather than traditional education approaches that focus solely on cognitive development. During the summer there are so many fun things that a child can do that is Montessori inspired. Here is a list of my favorite summertime Montessori activities:
The summer is always filled with yummy seasonal fruit and vegetables. One of the best ways for children to understand where our food comes from is to take them to a local u-pick farm. It can be strawberries, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, corn, etc. Children learn so much from just being in that environment. You can talk about what the plant needs to grow, how they grow and even describing what they see, smell, feel, taste and hear. Once at home the learning doesn’t stop. Have the children clean, prepare and make a snack or use in a recipe. Taking the food from farm fresh to table is such an amazing experience for the children.
Plant a garden
Another great practical life skill for kids to learn is to plant a garden. It doesn’t have to be a huge extravagant garden. Just a small one with a few of the families favorite fruit or vegetables. Have the children prepare the ground, plant, weed, water and harvest. Having them help prepare the food is the perfect way to learn all about the produce. When children get to experience this from start to finish it gives not only a sense of pride and accomplishment but it also allows them a full circle of learning.
Have a picnic
During this time when everything is in full bloom, the birds are singing, butterflies are fluttering and bugs are burrowing, is the best time for a picnic! What a great way for children to practice their practical life skills than to plan, prepare and execute a picnic! Let the child do as much of the work as possible. They will love planning and preparing a picnic lunch for their family.
Play with a water table or sandbox
Nothing says summer like getting wet or dirty outside. Sand and water play is a classic and entertaining activity. Several containers and sensory bins are perfect for holding sand or water. Add some shells, little balls, scoopers, figurines, small shovels, figurines, whatever you or your child wishes. Pour into containers, dig through the sand, splash in the water. So much educational fun to be had by all!
Do a star unit: stargazing
Every year my son and I do a fun star unit. Being able to stay up later and enjoying the night sky is one of our favorite summertime activities. During the day my son will work on a constellation or a planet tray. I will print out pictures of constellations, planets or even our moon and have my son match the constellations to their names using a constellation app or book from our library.
You can also have your child copy constellations out of the book into a notebook, build them with marshmallows and toothpicks. The activities for this are endless. At night, gaze together at the sky and try to find the constellations.
Oh, the amazing activities one can do while spending time in nature. This is why camping is a HUGE part of our lives. When you go camping there are so many ways you can make this an educational trip. Having the child help with the preparations before the trip, setting camp and just doing the basics is so beneficial for the children. Have them pick a night that they get to plan dinner and make it while camping (safely with adult supervision). Go for a hike while camping. Being able to surround yourself and become observant of your surroundings is so educational. This can open the door for plant or animal identification, bird watching, dangers of nature how to protect yourself, the list can go on and on.
Doing a sea life animal study is so much fun. Especially if your family takes a beach trip. Learn about sea life that is native to wherever you are going to visit or live by. It doesn’t have to be about ocean sea life; lakes, streams, and rivers work just as well!
Nature scavenger hunt while on a hike
Take a hike! There are so many fun things to do while hiking. One of them is a scavenger hunt. Kids love to be on the hunt of things. Bring a little paper bag to collect treasures and hit the trail. Hands-On and letting the kids lead on the trail is what makes nature scavenger hunting so much fun!
These are just a few ideas for summertime Montessori fun. The key to a Montessori summer is letting the kids find what they love to do and dig deep. Make it fun in the sun!
Nancy is an Orthodox Christian wife and mom to a 6-year-old son and two angels originally from Illinois. She has been married to a chef for almost 10 years and has homeschooled her son his whole life. She has a Montessori Certificate in pre-primary education and has enjoyed tutoring children for 15 years. She is a huge advocate for literacy and the family read-aloud movement and currently uses Classical Conversations. Nancy and her family enjoy the beauty of living in South Carolina!