A number of people in our Exchange Community are offering ideas for ways to support families who are with their children at home all day as people shelter in place. Here are some of those ideas:
1. Early Childhood Investigations Webinars is hosting a free webinar: Facilitating Meaningful Online Experiences With Young Children: Unexpected Challenges and Joyful Opportunities in Action on April 29, 2020 at 2 PM Eastern Time.
2. More than one person sent in the idea that now would be a good time to let families know about Montessori’s Exercises for Practical Life. The Living Montessori YouTube channel has videos of many of these experiences: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCABMcwt-Imj1rY0TkrNyuEA/videos
3. A number of readers have also told us they are finding interesting ideas to share with families in the book, Bringing the Outside In by Sandra Duncan and Jody Martin. Here are simple ideas centering about pine cones (that in many places could be found on a walk around the block):
“Conduct a scavenger pine cone hunt to see who can collect the most in a short period of time. Once found, there are many experiences you can have with children, such as categorizing, classifying and matching…The authors explain that “it is also great fun to paint pine cones because of all their nooks, crannies, bumps and crevices.”
And here’s one more painting idea the authors share: “Nature provides so much variety that sometimes it is surprising what can be created from leftover kitchen scraps. The next time lunch is prepared for children, see what kitchen scraps can be salvaged for their next adventure in painting. Dip the kitchen leftovers into paint and watch the excitement begin.” The authors give these examples of scraps that would work well to dip in paint: banana peels, carrot tops, celery stalk bottoms, potato peelings, citrus fruit rings.
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At a time when many families are struggling with food insecurity, we need to be very careful when we suggest activities that use food as tools and toys. Right now, one person's definition of "scraps" is another person's meal for the day.