Father's Day is a day to honor not only fathers, but all men who have acted as father figures. I was a little surprised when my son's 1st grade teacher said that she would send my son to the library when the class made their Father's Day presents. When I asked why, the teacher replied "Because he doesn't have a father and I wouldn't want to embarrass him." I thanked her for her consideration, and gently reminded my son that although that was true, he most certainly had a Papa! Over the years, I've encountered many different family situations. As Montessori teachers, we should encourage the children to celebrate their own family makeup and give respect to their families. Most often there is a father figure in a child’s life who can be honored on a day such as Father’s Day.
Celebrating Father's Day with Montessori Classroom ActivitiesA few years ago, my father started a new Father's Day tradition. It's called Father's Movie Day. This is the day where he gets to choose the movie, regardless of what anyone else wants to see. Of course, he always took into consideration the appropriateness of the movie in consideration of his grandson. This is a day he looks forward to all year. We may not enjoy the movie as much as he does, but we enjoy being together as a family.
Here are some ideas for creating new traditions in the Montessori classroom for Father's Day:
- Homemade Ice Cream Party – Everyone loves ice cream! Invite each family in your Montessori classroom to make a different flavor of homemade ice cream to bring in and share. Fathers get the first dish, of course!
- Annual Work of Art – One of the advantages of having a multi-age classroom is watching the children mature and develop over the years. Begin a tradition of creating the same artwork each year as way of observing the children develop. Paint a 9- by 12- inch canvas (available at all craft stores) with a base color. Allow the children to decorate the canvas with craft acrylics, using paintbrushes, sponges, and small squeeze bottles. When the artwork is dry, an adult can seal the design with a clear varnish. Be sure to choose new color schemes each year.
- Father's Day Read Aloud – Children of all ages love to be read to. Children, especially boys, need to see that the men in their lives enjoy reading. Ask the fathers in your Montessori classroom to select books that they loved as children to read to the class.
- Father's Day Breakfast – Invite the fathers in your Montessori classroom to have breakfast before going to work. This easy to make recipe can be made the day ahead by the children and baked by you when you come to school in the morning. The children can set the table and serve their fathers, using their best grace and courtesy manners.
1 ½ c. milk
1/3 c. maple syrup
3 T. sugar, divided
1 T. grated orange peel
1 t. cinnamon
1/3 t. salt 5 c. French bread, cut into 4- by 3- by 1-in. cubes
The next morning, preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Uncover baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Serve with maple syrup. Father's Day memories focus on family. We can help our families create memories by beginning our own Montessori classroom traditions, serving to create memories that will last for years to come.
See also: Montessori Curriculum Ideas for Father’s Day Activities
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, June 13, 2008.