National Child Day in Canada, and it is also the UN’s Universal Children’s Day. Children’s Day is meant to be an observation of “worldwide fraternity and understanding between children and of activity promoting the welfare of the world's children.”
In this spirit, one appropriate activity for a classroom of any age of Montessori students is to sponsor a child. Utilizing organizations such as Heifer International, World Vision, Compassion, Children International, and Save the Children will connect your students with a child (or more than one child). As your students raise funds to donate, they will enjoy writing letters to and receiving letters from their sponsored friend. Your students will not only practice their language skills (and possibly foreign language skills), they will foster their generosity, empathy and understanding of others. They will also help contribute to the welfare of other children.
Universal Children’s Day: Montessori Classroom Activity Ideas
For younger students, “fraternity and understanding between children” can begin at home. Many of us have used Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown in the classroom. A common project involves sending a paper Flat Stanley through the mail and asking recipients to take pictures with Flat Stanley. These pictures allow students to see sights across North America and the world. Better yet, create your own unique classroom “buddy”, either a paper character or even a hand-made puppet or soft-toy character to share. Why not require that this “buddy” only be sent to other children? Friends, relatives and children of friends can be the recipients. You can also contact other Montessori schools nationally or internationally to see if they would be interested in hosting your class character for a couple of days. Younger children might also enjoy having a class “friend” such as a stuffed panda or other animal. Every weekend this “friend” goes home with a different student. The student documents the weekend with a journal and photos. The other students will enjoy learning the kinds of activities and traditions that take place in other children’s homes.
Take this opportunity to use Children’s Day as a chance to add some “spice” to your Montessori classroom activities while teaching your students to connect with and understand other children. Have fun!
Resources for Sponsoring a Child:
- Students of the World
- The Student Letter Exchange
- Circle of Friends PenPal Club
- ePALS Classroom Exchange
- Amazing Kids! Penpals
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, November 17, 2009.