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Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

Practical Life Lessons for the Holidays

Holiday events provide a wealth of opportunities for children to practice their practical life skills. Of course children should be reminded of the basic grace and courtesy skills if they will be guests or hosts (if you will entertain at our home).  However, do not forget other activities which are natural practical life lessons, as well.  Choosing, washing, and donning holiday clothing are all good self-care activities. Straightening the house for guests or before putting up holiday decorations teaches care of the home environment.  Participating in decorating activities and/or food preparation gives the child a sense of their part in the event, as well as a chance to practice toward mastery of these household skills.

In guiding children through the many interesting activities and chores of the holiday season, remember the words of Maria Montessori “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” We all need to develop a sense of mastery and confidence, and these experiences when we are young provide the foundation for lifelong self-esteem and self-reliance.

Please enjoy the following practical life lesson resources.

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North American Montessori Center has provided a whole array of interesting holiday-themed activities that help children practice many different skills. Don’t miss the interesting and versatile Furoshiki fabric package wrapping instructions, the cute cinnamon-scented gingerbread men project, the counting exercises, flower arranging, and more.

Find another nice activity  that is appropriate for the holidays in their Napkin Folding Exercise.

For more general information on day-to-day mastery opportunities, NAMC offers a very useful listing of Practical Life lessons here:

Fun Felt’s Handprint Towel craft/gift project is a nice way to combine a fun craft with an item that can be used during daily activities.

Kimbo’s Self-Regulatory Exercises use music to help young children learn to concentrate and control their own bodies.

Manners are the building blocks of the characteristics of grace and courtesy mentioned in the NAMC 3-6 Classroom Guides ( Find many manners books at Farm Country General Store.  They have a wide selection for different ages and personalities.

Another important life skill for children to practice around the holidays is writing “thank you” notes. Find some good hints on the subject here: and

Working together as a family is also a practical life exercise. Find suggestions for modeling positive perspective, gratitude, generosity, and more in Rethinking Holiday Priorities During Tough Times by Sara L. Ambarian.

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Delicious Apple Recipes for the Holidays

Special Apple Recipes and Crafts

Ann, from Kids Quality Toys, has whipped up a delicious Easy Pecan Granola Apple Crumb-Pie recipe for all to enjoy.

Author and homeschooling mom, Marty Layne, offers a Simple Wreath craft, to add just the perfect touch to a centerpiece or wall. See
Part IV

Jaye, from Creative Care, contributed the Apple Wreath and song that can be used for children ages two to five. Visit Part V for details.

Montessorian Kathy O’Reilly, from Cooking with Children Can Be Easy has shared her Apple Sauce Parfait recipe. Kathy tells us that she has used this recipe with toddlers (18 months) through adults
(81 years) and that it tastes kind of like apple pie. Kathy provides the reader with a very complete set of practical life exercises. Sequence cards, shopping list, station setup of equipment, booklist, finger play and extension activities are also provided.

Want more?? Kathy has generously also included a Fresh Fruit Freeze recipe with practical life exercises. Both can be viewed and downloaded
by clicking here.

Dale, from North American Montessori Center, contributed two excellent practical life exercises.

First, you will want to read through the Making Apple-Cinnamon Muffins unit. Let Dale walk you through setup, presentation, making the muffins, tidying up and tasting – all Montessori style. Extension exercises are also included. See Part V of this newsletter for details. For Dale’s second presentation, scroll down until you see The Friendship Quilt.

Don’t forget to download both the to access the delicious Old Fashioned Apple Crisp, courtesy of MindWare and the Apple Angel Food Cake recipe from Conceptual Learning.



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Thanksgiving Holiday Lesson Planning Ideas

Wednesday, I had a conversation with several college age foreign exchange students representing South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to chat with two other foreign exchange students from El Salvador and Indonesia. Although the students appreciate the holiday, they couldn’t help but also giggle about our annual turkey celebration. Many of these students live in dorms or apartments and found out last year that they just couldn’t think of enough creative ways to eat and use all of the left over turkey. So, we had some fun discussing various ways to prepare the leftovers, plus talked a bit about their favorite dish and holiday traditions.

You, too, can plan a day to have a multicultural turkey celebration. Plan a unit study for your children focusing on maybe three countries at a time.

To help you get started, visit the following links:
All About Fall Cooking – Worldwide
Find some excellent information for planning your Thanksgiving feast by visiting
AMC Fall Holiday Lesson Planning
Multicultral Lesson Planning Part I
Multicultural Lesson Planning Part II
Scroll down on each page for the lesson planning information. 🙂


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