Friday, June 13, 2008

Celebrating Father's Day with Montessori Classroom Activities

NAMC montessori classroom activities father's day grandpa and girl
When I was in middle school, one of our art lessons was to carve a very porous grill brick into something spectacular. Using paring knives, my classmates and I were deep in concentration making masterpieces with a material that emitted the odor of rotten eggs. Mine, though just as foul smelling, was of a more simple design. Not being as artistically gifted, I simply carved D-A-D into my brick. I gave it to my father for Father's Day, ashamed and embarrassed at the simplicity and lopsidedness of the carving. My dad, on the other hand, treasured it as if it were the most precious piece of art. I never expected him to keep it, yet he proudly displayed it on his dresser for many years, until it finally succumbed to the elements and disintegrated. It was not a thing of beauty, but it was a token of love given and accepted with grace.

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 Activities

A 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 NAMC montessori classroom activities father's day painting at easlewatching 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 NAMC montessori classroom activities father's day reading to girl 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.
French Toast Casserole
1 ½ c. milk
6 eggs
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
Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Pour in bread cubes. In a mixing bowl, combine milk, eggs, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons sugar, orange peel and salt; mix well. Pour over bread cubes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

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
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, June 13, 2008.

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