Did you guess which state we are discussing this week? Yes, that's right, Michigan our home state. In geography we are moving from our country USA to our state MICHIGAN. It is surrounded by five lakes and it’s divided in two parts – Upper Peninsula- looks like running rabbit, and Lower Peninsula – looks like mitten.
Did you know that the name Michigan comes from an Algonquian Indian word that means big water?
In sensorial area the kids are exploring the Blue Rectangle Box. They are also called constructive triangles. The purpose of this material is to make the child aware that all polygons can be made with triangles. This activity prepares the child for geometry.
We had an interesting discussion about migration and hibernation. The kids were asked about “Where we get food from?” Their response was of course “The store” and “where do store get from? Funny you asked – From the shelf!!!!!!!!!” Well, it’s not that easy for animals during the winter time. Winter can be harsh for animals. Weather, scarcity of food & other energy sources can make their survival difficult. To get through this part of the year, several kinds of animals either hibernate or they migrate.
Ask your kids if they’ve ever thought what it would be like to travel 5,000 miles away from home, and then travel back again six months later. Believe it or not, some animals have to do this every year!
Animals depend on their environment for food and shelter so they must find a safe place to live that will supply them with what they need. When an animal moves to a different location for part of the year, we call this journey a migration. There are different reasons for animals to migrate. Some animals migrate due to weather changes and others migrate for better food supplies.
Migrating animals sometimes need to travel extremely long distances, through very harsh conditions and without stopping for food. The gray whale migrates farther than any other animal on earth. Almost all gray whales spend the summer months (June, July and August) at their feeding grounds in the Bering Sea, which is located between Alaska and Russia. This area of the ocean has a very large amount of zooplankton, which is the gray whale’s favorite thing to eat.
Hibernation is when some animals have long periods of deep sleep or becomes inactive during cold weather. To help them prepare, hibernating animals eat lots of food during the fall so they can survive the cold and dangerous winter. Their metabolism, or rate the body burns calories, also slows down to save energy. Hibernating and dormant mammals include bears, squirrels, groundhogs, raccoons, skunks, opossums, dormice, and bats. Frogs, toads, turtles, lizards, snakes, snail, fish, shrimp, and even some insects hibernate or are dormant during the winter.
To prepare for hibernation, many animals eat to gain weight in the summer and fall. The extra fat keeps them alive during the winter. A black bear can gain up to 30 pounds a week during its pre-hibernation eating binge.
The kitchen is the tastiest place to learn!- what do you think ? its not just about cooking but you can learn math, sequencing , measurement, order, communication and the list goes on....and involving children into it it’s like cherry on top of an ice-cream.
Many of the Montessori practical life activities give the children an opportunity to actively contribute to their classroom or family. Working together to prepare and serve food can become a social event including everyone.
Here are a few ideas for using a mortar and pestle in the home with children. Use the mortar and pestle to mix, smash, grind, or pound:
Nuts to add to ice-cream or for desserts.
Garlic to add to pasta sauce or butter (to make garlic butter).
Egg shells - before placing in compost.
Nuts and dried spices to make your own Dukkah.
Ochre (or soft stone), add water and combine to make paint.
Dried spices - try buying coriander or cumin seeds and have the child grind them and store them, rather than buying ground.
Dried spices for curry, marinades, dressing, sauces, pastes or seasonings.
Rituals are an important part of kids’ lives. They connect children to their family and community and give everyone a sense of “who they are.” And the holidays are a time for family to come together to celebrate tradition and to learn the reason for the season. Teaching our children about how different cultures and religion celebrates these holidays can do wonders for their ability to respect other cultures and expand their worldview.
The Hebrew word Hanukkah means re-dedication. The Hanukkah (or Hanukkah menorah) is an important Hanukkah candle holder. It has nine candles. Traditionally, one candle is separated from the rest, usually by being higher than the other eight.
In another allusion to the Hanukkah miracle, traditional Hanukkah foods are fried in oil. Potato pancakes (known as latkes) and jam-filled donuts (sufganiyot) are particularly popular in many Jewish households. Other Hanukkah customs include playing with four-sided spinning tops called dreidels and exchanging gifts.
The centerpiece of the Hanukkah celebration is the Hanukkah or menorah, a candelabra that holds nine candles. Eight candles symbolize the number of days that the Temple lantern blazed; the ninth, the shamash, is a helper candle used to light the others.
In the African-American culture, Kwanzaa is a holiday that honors tradition and deepens children’s understanding of their heritage. It’s also a lot of fun—seven days of food, music, dancing, creativity and other family activities. Kwanzaa (also spelled Kwanza) was founded in 1966 as a way to celebrate African-American heritage, community, family, justice, and nature. It’s a celebration of unity and ancestry.
The Mexican celebration of Christmas is called las posadas and begins on December 16. The ninth evening of las posadas is Buena Noche, Christmas Eve. In Mexico, Christmas is celebrated from December 12th to January 6th. From December 16th to Christmas Eve, children often perform the 'Posada' processions or Posadas. Posada is Spanish for Inn or Lodging. There are nine Posadas. These celebrate the part of the Christmas story
One game that is often played at Posada parties is piñata. A piñata is a decorated clay or papier-mâché jar filled with sweets and hung from the ceiling or tree branch. The piñata is often decorated something like a ball with seven peaks around it. The peaks or spikes represent the 'seven deadly sins'. Piñata's can also be in the form of an animal or bird (such as a donkey). To play the game, children are blind-folded and take it in turns to hit the piñata with a stick until it splits open and the sweets pour out. Then the children rush to pick up as many sweets as they can!
Ramadan is a holy month celebrated by Muslims around the world. Ramadan takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when the first sliver of the crescent moon appears.
Diwali: Festival of Lights!
Diwali, or Dipawali, is India's biggest and most important holiday of the year. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness.
Music improves the mood, intelligence, motivation and concentration. It also improves the quality of life and aids in physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs. And festivals are events where people celebrate and enjoy time together. Everyone is at their best self and is happy. It's a time to celebrate life! people who prioritize unique experiences over 'things'.
Created with an image by David_Phelps - "lighthouse ice snow"