Children’s Kick-start | Kids Fun, Art, Outdoor & Activities Blog
Children’s Kick-start is a popular parenting site to inspire children’s creativity, sharing kid’s crafts, home projects, easy recipes, parenting tips, and much more. Whether its kid’s crafts, easy recipes, or setting up fun activities in your home, they hope that parents will enjoy this wonderful parenting resource with their children.
Opposites may be a fairly abstract concept for little minds, but as teachers we are able to demonstrate the basic idea using different art materials.
You can teach opposites with gestures and placement of objects e.g. the ball is in front of the chair, behind the chair etc. But here are a few art lessons we used in our classroom this past week to demonstrate this concept.
First we showed empty and full by filling a picture of a gumball machine with little stickers. Great fine motor skills are utilised here when they peal the sticker off and stick it on.
Then we illustrated hot and cold by cutting cellophane and tissue paper. This was an excellent practice of cutting skills too.
Left and right we taught with handprints but was also reinforced in our gross motor time with songs – the Cha Cha slide song is a good one for “slide to the left, slide to the right.”‘
For night and day the children had fun pasting stars, sun and moon on different backgrounds.
The most fun was attaching a ladybug to a toilet roll to demonstrate in and out with a string.
Have fun with this theme. We would like to hear your ideas too!
This week our theme at school was bugs and the children had fun crafting different kids of bugs. We also made snails out of paper plates and made a fingerprint jar of bugs too. What was really outstanding this week were two very cute bugs which were created from egg cartons and a simple stick.
There’s a lot of things you can do with egg cartons, and there are some ingenious ideas from our local blogger lately: check out Harassed Mom‘s bugs (love the toothprick legs) and In These Stilettos firetruck and police car vehicles.
EGG CARTON BEE:
You will need:
egg carton (two compartments per bee)
pipe cleaners for wings and feelers (black and silver/ yellow)
Paint the egg carton yellow. Make two black stripes with koki.
Make two holes in front for the feelers and thread them through. Take another pipe cleaner and make a figure eight and thread it around the middle for wings.
Glue two google eyes in front.
You will need:
Paint the stick.
Wrap the pipecleaner around the pom pom for the head and then around the stick.
Maria Montessori established that sensorial experiences begin right when a
child is born. Children use their senses in order to study their environment.
By participating in sensory activities, children can consciously obtain clear
information that helps them classify their surroundings. These classifications
serve as stepping stones to organized intelligence, which gives children the
ability to adapt to their environment.
Montessori sensorial materials are
materials used in the Montessori classroom
to help a child develop and refine his or her five senses. Use of these
materials constitutes the next level of difficulty after those of practical
Like many other
materials in the Montessori classroom, sensorial materials have what is called
“control of error”, meaning that the child not only works with the
material, but has a way to check their work rather than seeking out the teacher
if they have a question on whether or not they did it right. This is done to
help promote independence and problem solving on the part of the child.
Why Sensorial Work is Important?
activities are used in Montessori learning to help children in discrimination
and order. They also help broaden and refine a child’s senses. When a child
combines Montessori designed materials with sensorial work, it helps them
become more logical, perceptive, and aware.
Montessori developed the concept of sensorial work long before sensory play was
put into practice. In Montessori philosophy, the child is considered the
“sensorial explorer” and learns to perceive qualities through sensorial
Montessori materials, for example the Pink Tower is designed to assist in
visual discrimination by allowing a child to recognize differences in
dimension, length, width, and size. Montessori activities such as the Brown
Stair, Red Rods, Knobbed Cylinders, and Colour Tablets can also enhance the
Sensorimotor Weekly Programme Held At Our School
Educators, Child Development Specialists, Physiologists, Neurologists and Paediatricians have proven that sensorimotor training can assist young children to a achieve more significantly in academic situations.
programme incorporated in our preschool programme is based upon observations
made by Heron, Piaget, Montessori, Getman, Gesell and others. Statements about their findings would serve to
point that Sensorimotor skills is
essential to young children’s
understanding of and adjustments to the
world of persons, things and ideas.
promising feature of our Sensorimotor programme is the effect upon the child’s
feeling about himself, whereby he is able to help build his self image. Our
Sensorimotor curriculum is designed to
appeal to the child’s natural instinct for play, giving the child to succeed in
an familiar environment .
“If, indeed, learning is
predicated on movement … if interaction with the environment is essential for
gathering information and storing it
in experimental unit for future
reference … if out of movement patterns comes a system of perceptual match ,
relationships pre-requisite to concept formation…. if spatial, form and time
concepts are natured in the direct bodily movements through space and time in
patterned directions in early life experiences , then revelation of pedagogical
practices is long over due, and the translation of known psychobiological
principles is actual with sensorimotor programmes which is crucial in the increasingly complex word.”
Doing and thinking for young children
will contribute to lowered self esteem and undermine their self-confidence. You
will create opportunities for your child to develop a lot of self-doubt by
sending messages showing that you do not think that they can do things
correctly, or that they should not try because you beloved it is too difficult
for them. Do not ignore the pleas of the young child “I can do it by myself”.
Children with high self esteem are those who are given the opportunity to be decision makers right from the very beginning of their lives.
Children need to take on
responsibilities, rather than their parents doing things for them. They learn
confidence by doing, not by watching someone else do it for them. They need to
feel important, to take risks, to try new adventures and to know that you trust
them, not so much to do something without error as to simply go out and give it
Children who learn early to be
decision makers – to pick up their own clothes, to decide what to eat, to play
with whom ever they choose, to be responsible without endangering themselves or
others, learn very early to like themselves and feel positive about who they
are. They begin very early to trust themselves with the daily age appropriate
tasks that make them feel proud and worthwhile.
Julia Gorham an Educational
specialist with over 27 years of experience, offers a Children’s Home Learning
Montessori Workshop for
children ages (18 months to 5 yrs.) for Caregivers, Au Pairs and Students!
These workshops will foster stimulating, fun activities for use in your home, giving understanding and guidance towards your child’s optimal growth and development
Course outline: Child development, setting
up easy, fun stimulating activities in your home to develop your child’s fine
motor skills, concentration etc, lesson plans, art activities, gross motor
activities, sensory activities, language development, workshop practicals,
including a Home Programme Manual and a certificate of attendance. ( More
Information to be emailed upon request)
How to book: Please complete the
on-line booking form and pay your deposit for confirmation for attendance or email: Julia Gorham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Contact: 083 600 6833
Cost: R 800.00 for a 3 hour workshop.
Location : Field and Study Park. 45
Louise Ave, Parkmore Sandton. Fields Montessori Pre-School.
Dates: Wednesdays 2 pm to 5 pm. Saturdays:
9 am to 12 pm.
Additional Home Programmes/Parenting manuals for sale.
Additional workshops to make your own learning materials.
The Montessori dressing frames are an important part of the care of the
self Practical Life Exercises
in our classroom.
Each frame isolates one skill of dressing and offers the child the opportunity to perfect this
skill by repeating the motion over and over, thus helping her to become
independent in dressing him/her
Being able to dress and undress oneself is one of the major
steps to a child’s sense of ndependence.
To help children learn how to dress and undress themselves,
we provide dressing frames in our classroom on which all the different kinds of
clothes fasteners can be found. It is very difficult for children to practise
for example; buttoning their coat buttons when they are wearing a coat, but if
you have a frame with the buttons on the table, your children can see the
Childrn are able to practise on the Montessori frames and
when they learn to do them on the frame, it is not so difficult them to do their buttons on therr own. Children enjoy
doing things on their own which gives them makes them proud.
Adults and children process grief very differently. Here are some tips from personal experience about what is helpful with a preschool child dealing with grief.
I was very open with
Nicky about how things were going in hospital. As every doctor meeting arrived
with worse and worse news, there wasn’t really a way to sugar coat it. I
remember actually saying something along the lines of “when all these
hospital visits stop”, and him asking when that was going to be and my
saying “when dad dies.” And he accepted it. By that stage the months
had taken their toll and I think we were all hoping and praying for an end to
When Brett actually
passed it was during the night time when Nicky was asleep. He only found out
about it the next morning. I told him very honestly that dad had died. No fancy
language, but in a way for him to understand that dad was not coming back. He
Let Them Attend the Funeral
it was vital for Nicky to attend the funeral. To be with the extended family
and celebrate the life of his father. My niece Emma put together an amazing
power point of his life which I am glad Nicky could see. Even when I gave my
eulogy I included Nicky in some way, mentioning all the toys that dad had given
Nicky just to make him happy. I looked at him when I talked about it and he
agreed with me.
went up I also made sure that Nicky had someone to sit with, which was his aunt
Debbie. Keeping him safe and secure was important.
might want to make this call yourself on whether the child could attend or not.
You know your child best and also if it would be best for him or her. For us we
needed to do this.
Let Them Play
have a totally different way of processing emotions than adults. During the
Blitz in London, children played out the trauma of the bombs. Adults talk,
sure that I had Nicky’s bath toys all out for him to play with. He has a set of
a family – Zebra and Lion are the parents and Horsy and Parrot are the kids.
(Added to this Horsy always has diarrhea sitting on the toilet and Parrot is a
bit of a mechanic and doctor and fixes things). We also have another horse and
another little donkey.
night after the funeral he played out a scenario where everyone died except the
little donkey. And he had a funeral for them. My heart just broke because in
all of this it left the little donkey so vulnerable, but he was expressing his
emotions. I’ve also made an effort to let him know that he’s not by any means
alone and that he has other family to support him. In fact I’ve drawn up a will
that makes special provision for someone to look after him in the event of my
death and I’ve told him about it.
therapy is a great addition to helping your child. Nicky went to the school
psychologist who played and did activities with him. She also read a book to
him about death.
Just Be There
Show yourself to be emotionally available to your child. You are
grieving as well, and you can be open about that. Nicky has hugged me so many
times when I’ve cried, I feel bad for him. But I’ve also been there for him to
answer his questions, whatever they may be, and if he needed to sleep with me
for a bit. This happened after my mom left for a week, having her gone was
another blow for him (and us) and he needed to sleep with me and have that security.
Yes, there might be regression in your child, but that’s ok. This
is a major life event, they’re allowed to take a step backwards before going
Keep Routines in Place
much has changed in their lives, it’s good to keep other things the same. I
think this is also why I am delaying selling the house and moving. I’m trying
to keep some things the same before we have to change them, although Nicky
might be more ready than I am to move. He’s quite excited to look for another
place. Keeping his school the same and doing all the normal things we do is
helping us keep sane in this new normal.
thing to remember is that there is no one generic timeline for grief – it affects
everyone and every child differently. I know there will be more challenges to
come in the future as we face certain milestones without Brett. But I know that
together we will figure it all out, as long as I am there for him.