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Traditions

Montessori Extras Parenting

New You for the New Year-12 months to an even better you

By Anitra

It’s that time of year again when its time to say goodbye to another year.  You reflect on the past year and ask yourself if you’ve accomplished all that you set out to accomplish at the beginning of 2017.  I know that for me, I didn’t accomplish everything I set out to, but I did accomplish some amazing things this past year.  At the end of every year, people set unrealistic goals and make unreasonable resolutions for themselves; (trust me, I am guilty of this as well).

 

Here are a few of the most common New Year’s resolutions are:

1. Exercise more

2. Lose weight

3. Eat more healthy

4. Stop smoking

5. Drink less alcohol

6. Save money

7. Get organized

 

These resolutions always sound good, and you start out strong on accomplishing them.  But as the year progresses, they get harder and harder to keep up with.  Want to know why?  These are unreasonable and unrealistic goals.  I’ve learned over the years after failing at accomplishing my resolutions, that the common resolutions are so overwhelming to do all at once.  I chose to do a few at a time, and I had better results.  Maybe try a few of these each year, but trying to do them all at once makes it almost impossible to complete.

 

With that being said,  I think that it’s time to make some goals and resolutions that are actually reasonable and realistic, and you will definitely be able to accomplish!  By the end of 2018, you’ll have hopefully developed a few new habits that are a part of your daily life and that you can carry and build upon going in to 2019!

 

Monthly ideas to have your best year yet

 

January-Get more sleep:

Getting enough sleep is good for your heart, mind, and overall wellness.

 

February-Practice mindfulness:

Mindfulness is a way to be aware of thoughts & feelings.  It helps to reduce stress and strengthens mental health.

 

March-Take up an anti-stress activity:

Yoga, meditation, coloring books & gardening are inexpensive ways to reduce your stress levels.  Less stress leads to a better you!

 

April-Value experiences over things:

Plan a weekend getaway, plan a family night once a week, take a spur of the moment drive…These experiences are so much more valuable than buying things.  Create memories.  Experiences last longer than items.

 

May-Learn a new skill:

Learning a new skill will get you out of your comfort zone.  Dance class, a cooking class, a new language, sewing & ceramics are just a few suggestions.  You may end up finding something that you never knew you were good at!

 

June-Start a journal:

Write down your goals, your dreams, or your thoughts in a journal.  Writing can release stress and can be therapeutic.  Try writing in your journal at least once a week.

 

July-Unplug and unwind:

Put away technology for at least an hour and devote that time to yourself and/or your loved ones.  Talk about your day, play a game, or spend quality time together doing something you all enjoy.

 

August-Get outside & enjoy nature:

Go on a walk, a bike ride, go to the park, or go camping.  Getting outside is a good way to reduce stress and take a step back.  Nature has so much to offer, take advantage of it!

 

September-Complete a 30 Day Challenge:

Participate in a 30 Day Challenge of your choice.  Challenges related to fitness, health, money-saving, organization, fashion & gratitude are all popular challenges.  There are so many other activity challenges you can do; just do an online search for a topic you are interested in.

 

October-Read a book:

Take time to start reading a book.  Reading is a relaxing activity.  Find a book on the bestseller list, or ask a friend for a recommendation.

 

November-Practice generosity:

Volunteer your time at a charity or organization for a cause that interest you.  Volunteering and giving back to others leaves a positive impact on you as well.

 

December-Start one thing you’ve been putting off:

Whether it’s a small task that you’ve been putting off forever, or something big that you’ve been wanting to start; just get started on it!  Break it up into smaller chunks, and work on it throughout the month.

 

 

Many of these monthly activities can be shared with others in your family.  Besides, it is much easier to accomplish your goals when you have someone to encourage you!  I don’t know about you, but accomplishing my goals is SO much easier when I have the encouragement and support of my family or friends.  Without their support, I wouldn’t achieve half of what I’d like to.

 

So grab your better half, your kids, and your friends and start knocking out those goals!  You’re on your way to a better you; make 2018 your best year yet!

Remember…the best way to succeed at resolutions is to create new habits that are easily attainable and realistic!

 

Anitra

 

Classroom Content Montessori Extras

30 Holiday Books to add to your collection TODAY!

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see disclosure policy for more information.

Who doesn’t LOVE a good book?!  Books are the gate to literature, reading, and language.  Exposing children to books early on in their lives aids in their language development.  Something as simple reading to your child will open up a whole world of learning for them!

Are you looking for books to add to your classroom library or for your children at home for this holiday season?  Well this Ultimate List of Holiday Books has you covered!  The list consists of 30 books with everything from Winter, snow, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.  There are many classics on the list, as well as some new ones or some that may be unfamiliar to you as well.  I wanted to have a good mix of books on the list to add some variety to the list.  I hope you are able to get a hold of some of these great selections this holiday season!

 

The Ultimate List of Holiday Books

1.

by Ezra Jack Keats Illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
2.
3.
 
by Juwanda G. Ford Illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max
 4.

There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow!

by Lucille Colandro Illustrated by Jared D. Lee

 5.
by Norman Bridwell Illustrated by Norman Bridwell
 6.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?

by Jane Yolen Illustrated by Mark Teague

 

 7.
by Cecily Kaiser Illustrated by Brian Schatell
 8.
by Jane Yolen Illustrated by Mark Teague
 9.
by Caryn Yacowitz Illustrated by David Slonim
 10.
 
by Chris Van Allsburg Illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
 11.
by Lauren Thompson Illustrated by Stephen Savage
12.
by Lauren Thompson Illustrated by Jon J Muth
13.
by Nick Cannon Illustrated by AG Ford
14.
by Norman Bridwell Illustrated by Norman Bridwell
15.
by Lisa McCourt Illustrated by Cyd Moore
16.

Can You See What I See?

by Walter Wick Illustrated by Walter Wick

 

17.

Clifford’s Christmas 

By Norman Bridwell , illustrated by Norman Bridwell

 

18.

Christmas Morning

By Cheryl Ryan Harshman , illustrated by Jenny Mattheson

 

19.

Christmas Tree!

By Wendell Minor , illustrated by Wendell Minor

 

 

20.

Snow

By Marion Dane Bauer , illustrated by John Wallace

 

21.

Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah

By Susan L. Roth , illustrated by Susan L. Roth

 

 

22.

Snow! Snow! Snow!

By Lee Harper , illustrated by Lee Harper

 

 

23.

Hoppy Hanukkah!

By Linda Glaser , illustrated by Daniel Howarth

 

 

24.

Winter

By Janie Carr

 

 

25.

It’s Winter Another Season Book

By Jimmy Pickerin

 

 

26.

The Seven Days of Kwanzaa

By Angela Shelf Medearis

 

 

27.

Mooseltoe

By Margie Palatini , illustrated by Henry Cole

 

 

28.

The Legend of Mistletoe and the Christmas Kittens

By Joe Troiano , illustrated by Lydia Halverson

 

29.

Santa’s Reindeer Games

By Samantha Berger , illustrated by John Manders

 

30.

The Littlest Reindeer

By Brandi Dougherty , illustrated by Michelle Todd

 

 

 

I hope that some of these books bring back great memories and that some of them become new favorites and you make new memories with them!  Books are always great to have, no matter the time of year!

 

Happy Reading!

 

Anitra

 

Art Montessori Extras Parenting

Easy Christmas hanging photo tree craft

By Anitra

 

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see disclosure policy for more information.

It’s that time of year where shopping for gifts is in full spring!  I personally always LOVED when my daughters would give me handmade gifts for holidays; these are the ones that I still have and hold dear to my heart.  When children make things, they feel a sense of pride, accomplishment, and joy knowing that they created something so special for someone they love!

 

With that being said…Are you looking for an easy child made craft to give as a Christmas gift?  This hanging photo tree is fun and would make a great gift for parents in your classroom, grandparents, or other relatives!  I am actually making these this year in my classroom, and I am getting quite a few compliments on them from the other teachers in the school!  It is fairly easy and inexpensive, but it does require an adult’s aid. Hope you like our parent gifts for this year!

 

Christmas Hanging Photo Tree Craft

Materials/supplies needed:

clothespins

Christmas ribbon

-Beads (either Fused beads or Pony beads)

White wire hangers

Wire cutters

Hot glue gun

Hot glue sticks

Acrylic paint

 

Step 1:

Cut the wire hanger to your desired length with wire cutters.

 

Step 2:

Determine how many clothespins you would like your photo hanger tree to have, and paint them with acrylic paint.  I decided that six clothespins would be efficient, and I chose to paint them green.  Make sure to paint all sides of the clothespins.

 

Step 3:

Decide what kind of beads you would like on your photo hanging tree.  Put the beads on the wire base.  I decided to use the Fused Beads in green and red.  For the beads, I used fourteen of them, in alternating colors.

 

 

Step 4:

Put your freshly painted clothespins on your wire base.  Place each clothespin in between every two beads.  I also left two on each end to complete the look.

 

Step 5:

Using the hot glue gun, glue a fused bead onto both ends of the wire base.

 

 

Step 6:

Using the hot glue gun, glue the end of a pre-cut piece of ribbon onto the fused beads on the ends of the wire base.

 

Step 7:

Your hanging photo tree is complete!  Just add pictures and hang!

 

 

 

This was a really fun activity that the kids made.  The only part that I would suggest an adult do is cutting the wire hangers with the wire cutter and any part of the project using a glue gun.  Other than that, children can do the rest!  We will be wrapping these up for the parents and giving them for presents in a few weeks!  I’m happy with how they came out, and they didn’t take long at all to do.  I actually did 21 of these, and it didn’t take long at all!  The acrylic paint dries fairly quickly, so it made it easy to paint all sides in one day.

 

I hope you enjoy our craft, and hopefully you will make your own hanging photo tree!

 

Anitra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Montessori Extras

Birthday Celebrations-Montessori Style

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

 

Who doesn’t love celebrating their birthday?!  Kids and adults alike love celebrating their born day.  It is a very special occasion that is shared with family and friends in a variety of ways.  Children in a Montessori classroom have a very unique way that their birthdays are celebrated and shared with the classroom .  It is termed the Celebration of Life; in which we celebrate and share aspects of each year of their lives on Earth. Each child excitedly waits for their turn to do the Birthday Walk each year on their birthday.

 

 

 

Montessori Walk Around the Sun Activity

 

 

The Montessori Walk Around the Sun is composed of a painted wooden sun with twelve points on the ends.  It also comes with twelve wooden months of the year cards for each of the twelve months.  The sun has a space for a candle as well, which is not included. Add a birthday and the Montessori Walk Around the Sun is ready for use!  For the activity, I put out the sun on a work rug, and have the children repeat after me saying the months of the year as I place them around the sun.  They have learned and memorized the months of the year this way!!

 

 

 

 

 

The Celebration of Life…

In a Montessori classroom, birthday are a tradition.  During this special ceremony, the child stands next to their birth month and holds a globe; which represents the Earth. They (as the Earth) walk around the sun.  Each trip around the sun represents one year that the child has been o the planet.  I begin the Montessori Walk Around the Sun by explaining to the children that we are the Earth and that the Earth goes around the sun.  I tell them that it takes the Earth three hundred and sixty five days to go around the sun, and every time it does, you get one year older; I also add, (except for Ms. Anitra who is 21 forever!) Haha!!!

 

                                 

 

I also ask that the parents send in photos from each year of their life, either as single, individual photos, or as a prepared birthday poster.  I also send out a form for parents to fill out that documents any significant milestones, firsts, or trips that they would like shared during the birthday celebration.  I’ve had some parents get quite creative with the birthday boards they’ve prepared!!

 

Along with the birthday walk and the picture board, I have a special song that we sing as the child walks around the sun.

“The Earth goes round the sun, the sun

The Earth goes round the sun.

The Earth goes round the sun, the sun

And (Child’s Name) turned one!”

 

Continue until the child’s current age is reached.

The children love joining in to sing this song!  I’ve even gotten in on the fun of the Birthday Walk!!

 

 

 

 

Birthday’s are a special time in a child’s life, so why not make it a day to remember!  The Montessori Walk Around the Sun teaches science, months of the year, history, and traditions all in one  It is that amazing of a thing to celebrate your child’s birthday Montessori style!

 

Anitra

 

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