The Absorbent Mind.
Outdoor playtime in your Montessori preschool does not have to be completely unstructured. In fact, studies have shown that unstructured or lightly-supervised playtime can actually lead to aggressive play and behavior problems. Playing organized games and activities teaches cooperation, sharing, following the rules, helpfulness, social skills, and control of emotions. Additionally, organized play makes sure that all students are actively participating in some physical activity.
Here are some suggestions for activities to promote cooperation and social development during your Montessori outdoor play time.
Montessori Preschool Outdoor Play: Activity Ideas for Social Development
Outdoor Car Wash
- Materials: Riding cars, bikes, wheelbarrows
- Set up an area outside where the children can wash the playground “cars”. Children can have three stations: soap and sponges; clean water and sponges; and drying cloths.
Outdoor “Hot Potato”
- Materials: Medium-size playground ball
- Put a medium size ball (hot potato) in the center of a circle along with a student chosen to be 'in the oven'. The rest of the students stand in a circle representing the boundary of the oven, holding hands. The student who is 'in the oven' tries to kick the ball out of the circle using only her feet. The others try to stop the ball with their feet. Once the ball is out of the circle, another student is chosen be be ‘in the oven’.
Links on a Chain
- Materials: a length of rope
- Form a line, holding the length of rope at intervals. Tell the children they will be following a leader and doing everything the leader does. The Montessori teacher begins the game as the leader, but hands off to a student. Rotate leaders every thirty seconds or so.
Hop to It!
- Materials: open space
- Call the name of an animal and see if the children can imitate how they move. Examples: Bunny – hopping; snakes – slithering; horses – galloping.
- Materials: bubble solution made with 2 cups warm water, 1 cup liquid dishwashing soap, ¼ cup glycerin and 1 tsp. of sugar; funnels, straws, bubble ‘wands’
- Mix all the ingredients for the bubble solution together and pour into several small containers. Dip various objects in the bubble solution and blow or wave them in the air to create bubbles.
With a little creativity, your Montessori outdoor time will be full of cooperative fun for everyone!
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, September 29, 2009.