Parenting / 1 August, 2023 / My Baba
As parents enjoy the summer holidays, the challenge of keeping their children entertained and engaged remains. However, this year, with the added strain of a cost-of-living crisis, the challenge becomes even greater. But fear not! According to Louise Livingston, Head of Training at the Maria Montessori Institute and an experienced Montessori teacher with a background in educational neuroscience, parents can do more than just “survive” the summer holidays.
Discover how incorporating elements of the Montessori approach can encourage your child’s creativity and independence while making lasting memories without breaking the bank.
Embrace the wonders of nature: budget-friendly outdoor adventures
The secret to a successful summer lies in establishing a routine that balances structured activities and free time. Additionally, parents can transform their homes by organising toys and resources to support independent play and learning.
Creating a consistent and predictable environment through routines helps children adjust to the summer break effortlessly. By organising board games, art materials, and other resources within easy reach, children can select activities and entertain themselves. Involve them in organizing the home to foster a sense of responsibility and ownership for their space.
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Unleashing creativity through boredom
Spending time in nature not only provides inexpensive outing opportunities but also offers numerous physical and mental health benefits. Whether you are visiting a local park, exploring a nature reserve, or spending time in the garden, connecting with nature opens your child’s eyes to its wonders. Slow down and embrace the world through your child’s perspective, discovering magic in the simplest of things.
Life skills through household tasks
The Montessori approach places great emphasis on nurturing independence by involving children in age-appropriate household tasks. From watering plants to food preparation, children can develop practical skills, responsibility, and confidence while contributing to the household workload. Empower your child by involving them in tasks that suit their abilities.
In today’s fast-paced world, boredom is often seen negatively, but it can be a catalyst for imagination and curiosity. Instead of filling every moment with planned activities, encourage self-directed play and exploration. This approach helps children tap into their innate creativity, become more self-sufficient, and discover their interests. When they enjoy a particular activity, consider ways to extend it to offer a greater challenge and enhance their enjoyment.
Letting your child lead
The holidays offer an excellent opportunity to support children in becoming more independent in their daily activities. From dressing to playing, encourage them to look after their own needs, fostering all-round development. Observe your child as they undertake tasks or play, stepping in to offer help when needed but also giving them space to overcome challenges on their own. This builds their self-belief and confidence, as they realise “I can do this by myself!”
Fostering decision-making from an early age
Whether planning a playdate or a special outing, involve your child in decision-making. Encourage them to think about whom they would like to play with or where they would like to go. Offering choices nurtures a decision-making mindset from an early age, empowering them to tackle dilemmas later in life. Start with simple choices and gradually expand options to build their capacity to make decisions.
Enriching your child’s educational journey
Are you intrigued by the Montessori approach to education? If so, consider introducing it to your child’s educational journey. The Maria Montessori Institute offers a school for children from 2 years old on five sites in North and West London. Additionally, they provide the UK’s only AMI Montessori training centre, offering shorter online courses and comprehensive Montessori teacher training. Explore the possibilities at Montessori.
Article by Louise Livingston, Head of Training at the Maria Montessori Institute