What are fine motor skills and how do we develop them?
Crossway Montessori Forest School Blog
by Crossway Community
1y ago
Fine motor skills are coordinated small muscle movements in the hands, wrists, and fingers. Often, the eyes are used to guide the movements. Babies start their fine motor development almost right away, with reflexes that let them grasp an adult’s finger or a rattle that you give to them. Between the age of one and two, children are ready to start fine motor activities in earnest. At this point, they may be as simple as learning to turn a doorknob, picking up a puzzle piece, or drawing on a piece of paper with a chunky crayon. The two-year-old child will also need many large motor activities t ..read more
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Celebrating Earth Day
Crossway Montessori Forest School Blog
by Crossway Community
1y ago
“The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.” - Dr. Maria Montessori. Earth Day (April 22) is an annual reminder to celebrate the beauty and bounty of the Earth with the children. The first Earth Day was held in the United States in 1970 when concern about the environment and interest in ecology was increasing. A number of rivers and lakes were dying, there was smog over many cities, and people were breathing in fumes from leaded gas at our gas pumps. The success of the first Earth Day helped to usher in a new era of care for the E ..read more
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Coloring Eggs with Small Children
Crossway Montessori Forest School Blog
by Crossway Community
1y ago
Celebrate the season by dying some eggs and hunting for them outdoors. Most of the time, they are called "Easter" eggs, but whether you celebrate Easter or not, this is a wonderful Spring project for children. Take away some lines from poet, Rose Styron, to inspire your egg-celebration of Spring: ...scores of rainbow eggs the small hands dyed and we conspired to scatter in our special places on the sunny green lawn. Daylong they ran, tumbled and compared cellophane baskets full of treasure. Coloring eggs is a tradition in many families at this time of year. Hard boiled eggs work best. Toddl ..read more
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“Who cooks for you?” and other bird calls
Crossway Montessori Forest School Blog
by Crossway Community
1y ago
Harriet Tubman spent much of her youth in close contact with nature. She grew up in an area full of wetlands, swamps, and upland forests in Dorchester County and these locations taught her the expert skills she used in her own quest for freedom in 1849. Several accounts of her life mention Harriet Tubman's slave labor as a child on a tidewater Maryland farm, including wading into frigid marsh water to catch muskrats for food. She has been described as the ultimate outdoors woman, using bird calls as she traveled, eventually helping approximately 70 people, escape slavery. Harriet frequently u ..read more
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How to have family fun when your back yard looks like a winter wonderland...
Crossway Montessori Forest School Blog
by Crossway Community
1y ago
Get outdoors this winter! Does your backyard look like a winter wonderland lately? Winter can be a difficult season for parents if you get cooped indoors or don’t have a natural inclination to go out and romp in the snow. You might need a plan for playing or keeping your child engaged outside. Sledding is of course a big favorite but here are a few more ideas that work well with toddlers and young children: Maple Syrup Taffy Stacking snow balls and knocking them down, it sounds really simple and it is, but few toddlers can resist it. You can also try stomping single snowballs on the ground ..read more
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Expanding our hearts, minds and school
Crossway Montessori Forest School Blog
by Crossway Community
1y ago
In our Montessori Forest School, children are able to realize their best selves, their most caring selves, and, as Dr. Montessori noted, “the good we receive from nature is not alone a material benefit, it is also a great intellectual, and moreover, a spiritual benefit.” Being out in nature helps us to recalibrate and increases health and happiness. Using Montessori land and water forms and a globe for sensorial and geographic learning. Dr. Montessori also references the significant intellectual benefits from learning outside. While our Forest School still uses the indoor spaces as our 'base ..read more
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Recycling and Upcycling
Crossway Montessori Forest School Blog
by Crossway Community
1y ago
Taking care of the environment, the outdoor classrooms and their "school home" is not only an essential skill to teach children – it also provides unique opportunities to explain discussion about how containers and packaging can be reused, and in turn, save the earth! Children also learn about energy conservation and saving resources, through recycling. Many recyclable materials can be reused for crafts and new products. With that in mind, children also learn that when they recycle egg cartons and bring them to school, we can use them to start the fire pit or package the eggs from our chickens ..read more
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Our Beloved Community
Crossway Montessori Forest School Blog
by Crossway Community
1y ago
Unlike adults, young children are open and accepting, finding differences in language, skin color, culture, or religion interesting and often fascinating! As children age into the 'conscious absorbent mind,' ages 3-6, they begin to ask questions about perceived differences, and can subtlety begin to absorb bias within their first community: their family. By the time children are elementary age, they move from being embedded in their family into the a somewhat larger community--their neighborhood: elementary school; team sports, youth/church organizations, etc. We have a golden opportunity with ..read more
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Rituals can ground us in challenging times
Crossway Montessori Forest School Blog
by Crossway Community
1y ago
Welcome to 2021! On January 6th, we celebrated the 113th anniversary of the first "Casa dei Bambini," the Children's House, established in inner city Rome by Maria Montessori. One of the most important parts of the learning cycle that Dr. Montessori established is ritual: a "ceremony" consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order. Since children cannot yet read, tell time, or predict what the day will bring, ritualized routines give children a sense of predictability and order so they know what to expect. Since the dawn of time, human beings have gathered around t ..read more
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Celebrating the Winter Solstice!
Crossway Montessori Forest School Blog
by Crossway Community
1y ago
Spending this time of the year with children reminds us of the beauty the holidays have to offer. Our students come from a variety of backgrounds and we try to acknowledge each family’s cultural traditions to share the joys of the season. Being outside in our forest school every day, we are very aware of the winter solstice: the celebration of the return of the light and preparing for the New Year focusing on the interconnectedness of all living things on Earth. Today, Monday, December 21st is the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere. It is also the l ..read more
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