Helping kids learn on vacation is an excellent step in furthering your child's academic achievements and personal development. Children who feel encouraged to explore new places can develop independence and confidence. Parents can foster self-growth and encourage exploration at the child's pace by learning some tips for incorporating Montessori learning into their next trip.
What Is the Montessori Method?
The Montessori Method of education and learning was created by Dr. Maria Montessori. As an Italian physician, she understood the need for self-motivated growth and development during childhood education. She made a revolutionary method for teaching children to work well independently or in groups.
In the classroom, Montessori education can help students learn through independence or teamwork. Teachers or counselors can use unique learning materials and educational activities to encourage engagement and excitement. Montessori techniques can also promote respect for students as individuals and care for their peers and surroundings.
The methods of Montessori may vary depending on the child's needs and wants. Montessori education is motivated by self-growth, meaning students can grow in whatever forms they want, such as emotional, physical, social and cognitive development. When students can learn and lead themselves at their own pace, teachers and guidance counselors can better understand what students need to grow and develop academically.
How Can Montessori Learning Be Incorporated During Vacation?
When your family goes on vacation, taking the Montessori approach to travel can be helpful. Montessori travel activities can help your child learn and explore independently while developing new skills and learning new information. Here are a few ways you can incorporate Montessori learning into your vacation.
Exploration without structure can help your child learn about free choices and engagement. Encourage activities based on the child's decisions, and try not to overschedule your vacation with too many activities or tasks. When the parent allows the child to take over their discovery and play, they can let their imagination run free. Parents can explain the child's general activities during vacation rather than going into specifics. By avoiding pre-established activities, the child can structure their day how they see fit.
2. Hands-On Learning
You can encourage hands-on learning through unique experiences and direct interactions with items and places. For example, babies and toddlers may benefit from sensory touches like sand, seashells, toys or souvenirs. Let them explore sand for the first time or encourage problem-solving when collecting seashells. Toddlers and younger children may like to collect new treasures as well. Let them investigate new items and practice speaking or writing new sounds and words. You can find a map of the area and encourage them to discover new spaces.
3. Nature Appreciation
Seeing nature in person can significantly impact your child's development. Whether you plan to travel to the beach or the mountains, ensure your child has time to interact with new plants and trees or see new animals in the wild. You can even encourage star-gazing at night or hands-on learning through observing wildlife, examining leaves and shells or exploring local animal sanctuaries, gardens or aquariums. Be sure to impart the principles of leave no trace, essential guidelines to minimize our impact on the natural world.
4. Current Life Skills
Bring your child's current life skills to your vacation spot. For example, your child might already be familiar with your home cleaning, cooking or bath time routine. However, you can incorporate those skills into your vacation home. Allow them freedom of choice to decide how the meals might be prepared during vacation or how to set the table. They can accompany you while you grocery shop or make up a vacation bedtime routine.
Montessori Tips and Activities for Your Next Vacation
Learning some summer vacation learning and travel activities for kids can help your students engage and learn during the trip. From interacting with maps and pictures to packing items or keeping track of their luggage, Montessori activities can encourage new growth and development even while on vacation. Here are eight Montessori tips and activities for your next family trip.
1. Learn About the Destination
Encourage your child to learn more about the destination before traveling. For example, you can discuss with them how you plan to travel, by plane, car or boat. You can also explore different books or pictures related to traveling, such as a book about airports or traveling on the subway for the first time. Clips and videos are another great way to show scenes of the destination, beach or city you plan to travel to. By learning more about your vacation spot, children can develop ideas and questions or plan special activities once you arrive.
2. Think About Who and What You Will See
For some children, traveling might mean visiting familiar family members or making new friends. Consider FaceTiming or calling your hosts before you leave so your child can meet them and discuss the trip. You could also look at pictures of the place you plan to visit to develop conversations about new sites and friends with your child.
3. Review Past Trips
Think about places your family has already traveled to, and look at pictures or videos to remind your child of the trip. By exploring past vacations, you can remind them of the fun they have while traveling and spark their excitement. Exploring past pictures can encourage confidence if you plan to return to the same destination as before.
4. Read and Explore Destination Information
Some older children might benefit from reading books or online websites about the destination. What fun facts can they find out about the vacation spot? By building interest in the area, your child has something to look forward to and can even contribute to planning activities.
5. Model Good Packing
Packing is one of the most important parts of planning a vacation. Help your child learn how to pack and what items are most important. Give them their own piece of luggage and acknowledge each item as your child sees fit. Give them suggestions along the way while encouraging independent thought and decision-making.
6. Carry Luggage Independently
Give your child a small piece of luggage they can carry independently. It can be a carry-on bag or a small backpack. Introduce it to them during packing and let them explore its pockets, zippers and compartments. When the time comes to pack, be sure they understand its purpose and give them some items to carry independently using their luggage. They will feel a sense of confidence as they take charge of their items.
7. Pack Activities for the Road
If you plan to drive or take a bus or plane to your destination, packing some activities for the ride can be helpful. Pack fun activities or items your child has never seen to foster exploration and excitement. They can be random items or toys your child has yet to play with.
8. Explore Meaningful and Practical Tasks
Small jobs and tasks can help your child feel involved while learning engagement, collaboration and community. For example, you can ask your child to pull a suitcase or help count pieces of luggage. Ask your child to find a trash can or an elevator when traveling by plane. When you arrive, you can ask your child to assist with unpacking and finding places for their personal items.
Explore Montessori Learning With Sapientia Montessori
At Sapientia Montessori, we encourage individualized education through tailor-made, high-quality development and academic courses. Using the Montessori Method, our child education programs are made for those from 18 months to 12 years old. As an accredited institution and part of a family of three private schools, we offer a way to encourage academic success, independent thought, social development and free exploration in your child.