Summer Recap: We would like to welcome our newest student to our Infant Program Cora. We are excited to have them grow and explore with us here at Montessori of San Clemente. Summer was fun and amazing with all our different themes. We sang/learned so many different songs and enjoyed all the sensory activities we had (water play, bubbles and different types of toys). Teddy go a chance to explore bubbles with our bubble field trip.While big motor milestones, such as rolling, crawling, and walking, are the obvious ones, small motor skills, like reaching, grabbing, and pointing, are just as developmentally important. The exploration of bubbles and water play is great start of developing small motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Learning and practicing these skills will improve baby’s hand-eye coordination and teach them cause and effect. In the first year, baby will also improve their manual dexterity as they gain more control and strength in her tiny fingers. These new skills are sure to make playtime even more fun! Now they will be able to manipulate toys by lifting, tossing and dropping.With their newly developed abilities, baby will learn how to feed themselves and even hold onto an object. Watch how they grow more independent and increasingly confident as they master their small motor skills. Enrichment for this month was based on sensory play. We enjoyed water play and popping bubbles! We loved the bubbles our friend Dylan brought that smelled just like grapes. They were so much fun. Water play was great to explore the water pool outside to cool us down from this summer heat. Some of our friends loved running through it as some liked to look from afar. There were so many different things to do with water play!This month we learned different sea/ocean animals that lives in the ocean. We painted different types of whales and dolphins. We also enjoyed playing with the different soft animal (octopus, sea horse, fish, etc.). We sang “Slippery Fish” and “Baby Shark” as my teachers made the hand movements that went along with them. It was fun and silly at the same time. It was also so much fun to dance and move to the music. The petting zoo was a hit with all the children who participated. They enjoyed looking at the different animals they have brought into the school for our “field trip.” There were bunnies, goats, horses (horse riding for the older kids) and chicken we can pet and see. This was a great activity to put a name to face learning about barn animals in our classroom. We sang “Old MacDonald” and “1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Ducklings” to learn about different animal’s sounds. We clapped our hands while singing and danced around during circle time. The children really enjoyed the music and learned how to shake the musical instruments to the music. This is great motor skills development and learning how to manipulate and use their hands. We also enjoyed making different art using our hands and feet. We made little chicks using our hand and ducklings using our feet. It was a great sensory activity for the children who loved the feel of the paint on their hands and feet. Some even curled their hand squish them together to feel it in our hand even more.The children enjoyed being outside in the morning and exploring the grass and the wind blowing around them. They grabbed their feet, balls, plastic dices and toy cars as they explore all the different things outside. The children really loved being on the push car and balancing themselves as they are pushed around outside. Our Montessori lesson for the summer was playing with the classic Skwish toy. We used our motor skills to clutch the toy and manipulate them around. The children loved to try to smoosh it and watch it go up and down. They also enjoyed moving the beads from side to side and making it rattle. We like to thank our families who joined us for our family picnic. It was great seeing all our families and enjoying a wonderful lunch what was provided by the school. We had fun sitting during circle time. We read books and sang songs about who is here today. We learned how to clap our hands to make sounds and “talked” (babbled) along with our teachers and songs. It’s wonderful to see them engaged and sitting for a few minutes (short attention span) looking and pointing at the various of pictures in the book. Research dictates that we should let the child lead and encourage play with toys that they had the most interest in to lead the most focus. So pay attention to your child and learn about their interest! They hear and watch what you are saying and doing and they are much aware of their surroundings. What a great time to learn and grow with your child!
September Recap: We would like to welcome our newest students to our Infant Program Tasya and Jameson. We are excited to have them grow and explore with us here at Montessori of San Clemente. In September, we learned how to count our 10 fingers. We like to touch and grab each of my teacher fingers as she goes through each one. Research suggests that well before a child’s second birthday, he or she recognizes the routine of scoring off individual objects one-by-one – a fundamental of counting. While it will still be a few years before he or she masters the art, the principles are being firmly established. It is important to have them start and gain interest at an early age and practice with you at home. We explored our body parts and attempted to point to each part of them. Learning body parts is a part of everyday life with babies and they are fascinated with who they are and the bodies they have. Creating an awareness of their bodies is also an important part of development. For us, we started exploring different parts of the face and body because we would talk about our eyes and nose during our circle and diaper changing time. We also learned how to use our fine motor skills to turn pages in our books as we look through them. We are practicing our pincer grasp [using the thumb and index finger to hold small objects], to turn the pages as our fine motor skills are still developing. Encourage a love of books by letting your baby explore board books, and don’t be surprised if they want to chew on the corners.Our Montessori lessons entailed counting apples and learning our numbers. It is important for children to learn at an early age and get in the routine about seeing objects. We counted up to 5 as the children wanted to explore the apples rather than count them. We also learned how to open and closes doors on our own. It is rather fun to see the children push it back and forth closing and opening it. This is a great for building their fine motor skills. Our special project we did this month was to make a self-portrait of ourselves. We glued on our eyes, mouth and hair; it was fun to touch the glue and get all sticky. We pointed the different parts of our face as we pasted the different parts of our face to the paper plate. Enrichment for this month was based on learning about ourselves. We enjoyed learning different songs about our body parts and did the movements (or tried to) with my teachers. We sang “If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands” and “Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes.” These were great as we pointed to each the body parts we have. This month was an exciting month to start off the Fall season. As it gets colder, we would like to remind you to bring in an extra pair of socks and jackets to make sure we can be bundled up on the coming cold weather. Please make sure to wash, wash, wash our hands as the flu and cold seasons are coming and this will help stop the spread of germs.
October Recap: We would like to welcome our newest student to our Infant Program, Ellie. We are excited to have her grow and explore with us here at Montessori School of San Clemente. We wanted to thank everyone who made open house a great success. It was wonderful talking to everyone and spent some time getting to the each other more, but most importantly, getting to know what your child is doing but also how he/she is progressing. It is always wonderful to know how home and school life differ and that communication is what make us a family. In October, we learned how to feed ourselves! Finger-feeding is one of the only safe early opportunities your little one will have to practice his finger coordination with very small objects. Learning to scoop cereal in a spoon, stab a green bean with a fork and steer a loaded utensil to the mouth are all great ways for your baby to practice hand eye coordination skills. Babies learn that feeling sticky, slimy, cold and warm on their hands and face is okay. Self-feeding also helps babies develop the kinesthetic or proprioceptive sense. This is the sense that tells you where your body parts are in relation to each other and to the world around you. As they say, “Practice makes perfect” so it may take time and make a mess, encourage your child to feed themselves. We explored different kinds of gourds and all different size pumpkins! It was fun rolling and climbing onto the giant pumpkin that was in our room! Our teachers cut it open and had us explore the insides with all the ooey-gooey seeds and inside of the pumpkin! We tried eating it and sharing it with our friends around it! The children enjoyed using their large and fine motor skills as they spent a few days exploring everything they can about the pumpkin. Our Montessori lessons entailed opening and closing doors. We used our Montessori box to push the door back and forth. This is great for them to learn hand and arm strength and developing concentration. This a popular toy among them as they love to hear the door go back and forth and they are so proud of themselves that they can do it. Our special project we did this month was painting our very own mini planet. They had a chance to get messy and enjoyed moving he paint with their hands to make the paint move around. They turned out great and was a great moment for them to learn the color red, blue and green. It also gave them a chance to feel the sliminess of the paint and really get the paint into their hands and fingers. Enrichment for this month was based on learning about the world around us. We sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and tried to imitate the hand movements that went along with it. We painted stars and learned that there are millions of stars outside even though there is still light outside. I would like to remind everyone about labeling food and bottles. Please make sure everything you bring in is labeled with first name, last name, content and date every day. This is strictly a licensing protocol we must follow. If you have any questions, please let us know and we be glad to answer any questions you may have.
November Recap: We would like to welcome our newest students to our Infant Program Olivia. We are excited to have them grow and explore with us here at Montessori of San Clemente. We wanted to thank everyone for signing up for parent teacher conferences. It was great talking to everyone and learning more about each and every one of our families a little more. I look forward on working and growing with each and every student in our classroom. In November, we learned how to say please and thank you in sign language! To do this at home, the sign for “please” is made by placing your flat right hand over the center of your chest. Move your hand in a clockwise motion (from the observer’s point of view, use a circular motion towards your left, down, right, and back up) a few times. To say thank you, the sign for “thank you” is made by starting with the fingers of your dominant hand near your lips. Your hand should be a “flat hand.” Move your hand forward and a bit down in the direction of the person you are thanking. Smile (so they’ll know you mean it).These are a great way to start learning our values and being polite to each other. We are learning to be gentle to one another and help each other when we can. This is a great way to start following simple instructions and learning as we are having fun. We explored different kinds of leaves and pinecones. We get to see the different sizes and sounds each of them make. Leaves are so much fun and great to learn colors. We saw how they changed from green to red/orange to brown at the end. The children love to move them around and squish them between their fingers. Our Montessori lessons entailed sensorial activities. We touched different papers and cards and learned the difference between rough, smooth and bumpy. The children enjoyed running their fingers through each sensory activity and learned the difference of each one. Our special project we did this month was making turkey handprints. We saw the different colors we have put on our fingers and my teachers recited them to me. I love the feeling of paint in my hands as I squeeze them together and mix the paint together. Enrichment for this month learning to count to ten. Children don’t fully understand counting until the child is 2 years old, she may learn to count up to 10 by rote, though they won’t really understand the concept of counting objects yet, and may skip around in her counting — “One, two, five, six…” This is a great time to introduce numbers and counting objects in front of them. Daylight savings is here, and it also means cooler weather. Please bring a sweater for the morning when we go outside. We will be spending more time outside watching the leaves turn red and orange and exploring the fall weather we have here in California.
December Recap: What an eventful month it was! We learned about the different cultures we have all around us. We sang Christmas songs and saw different things from Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. We looked at the Menorah and how people light each candle each day of the festival. We also learned about the Star of David and what it means to the Jewish community. For Kwanzaa, we learned that the celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. We learned that during Christmas time, Santa Clause comes and see the children and bring them gifts on Christmas day. We also got to see Santa Clause here at the school! Our Montessori lessons entailed discovery bottles. Babies’ are mesmerized by discovery bottles. These bottles ignite the senses Isolating a quality is a great way to approach bottles whether with sight (e.g) color, sound (loud versus quiet), texture (soft versus hard), and even smell.Our special project we did this month was painting with color ice paint. We got to move the different colors and mix them together. We also like to touch them and see how cold it felt under our fingers. Enrichment for December was learning to sing the alphabet. Introducing infants to their ABCs is a great idea as they are little sponges for knowledge at this young. Remember we want to introduce it since this age is about play and exploration is which is the most important part of their activities. We incorporate the ABCs in our reading and circle time. The best way for them to understand and learn is through repetition. So just remember, sing to them as often as you can and make it fun for them. Those little ears and eyes are watching you and they will often repeat and model what you do. Learning mode is on permanently at this age!Just a reminder, it is getting colder and darker earlier! Please bring a jacket for them to wear when they are outside, so they can play and be warm and cozy when they are outside! Also, we are closed from December 24th to January 1st. We will see you January second for our new month of curriculum!
January Recap: We would like to welcome our newest students to our Infant Program Suriya and Radli. We are excited to have them grow and explore with us here at Montessori of San Clemente. This month, we learned about snow and ice. We got to touch the ice and felt how cold it is. Playing with ice is a great tactile experience for them. They are able to feel the ice in their hands and feet as the ice slipped away from their hands. But also, playing with ice gives them a chance to exercise those hand eye coordination and fine motors skills as they try and handle the ice. We also learned how to wash our hands under the sink. This is a great time to introduce hand washing before and after lunches, snacks and diaper changes. It will get them use to everyday routines and having a self-awareness for personal hygiene. Also, it will help the spread of germs around the classroom as well as the home. As we learn about winter time and how cold it gets, we get to explore the different types of animals that lives in the snow and how they spend their day. We got to look at bears who lives in the mountains and penguins who lives in Antarctica where it is freezing. We growled as bears and waddled like penguins in imitating what they do. We learned a new song, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Turn Around” and tried doing the movement along the song. Some of us can turn around with help and others thought it was super silly. Our Montessori lessons entailed learning about object permanence. We used the Montessori Permanence Box to drop the ball in and grab the ball out of the box. This is a great way to understand object permanence which develops between the age of 4 to 7 months. They will try and understand that when things disappear, they aren’t gone forever. This is a precursor to symbolic understanding (which helps them develop language, pretend play and exploration) and helps them through separation anxiety knowing that mom and dad aren’t gone forever. Our special project this month entails us making a snowman out of cotton balls. We got to glue the cotton balls onto our snowman and felt how soft the cotton balls were. This was great practice for our pincher grip which allows us to pick up objects/food with our thumb and finger. We also got to feel the stickiness of the glue when it touched our hands and how everything sticks to it when it touches the glue.Enrichment for this month was based on learning the different parts of our body. We love the song “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” and like to point to the different area of our body (or have help).
February Recap: We would like to welcome our newest students to our Infant Program Remi, Logan and Ethan. We are excited to have them grow and explore with us here at Montessori School of San Clemente. In February, we learned about self-help skills and how it helps develop independent skills. Starting with feeding skills is important to learn the normal developmental stages of self-feeding. This will encourage the child to practice feeding themselves from infancy on. We begin by offering older infants finger foods; this encourages practicing fine motor skills (such as pincer grip and being able to place food into their own mouths). As they become more comfortable in feeding themselves, we can introduce a spoon and fork and give the children plenty of time to practice. This lets the children be as independent as possible during mealtimes. We encourage children to try for themselves but provide help and encouragement when needed so they don’t get frustrated.We learned about sharing and parallel play. Some infants don’t actually play with other babies at this age. Instead, they are content to sit alongside a potential pal, seemingly ignore them, while they both sort shapes or chew whatever they can get their hands on. This is called parallel play and it is part of the developmental course for babies and toddlers. They are still busy figuring out so much about the world and don’t yet realize that people their own size are indeed people too. They are too young to make ‘friends’ but side-by-side play is a good start. If they frequently spend time with the same group of babies, they may even seek out a special few babies to sit alongside more frequently.Parallel play can also be a learning experience as they are observing each other and taking notes on what each other is doing. Eventually, over the coming year, they’ll begin to imitate what they see their friends doing. And for now, this “peer pressure” is a good thing; it opens your baby’s mind to new possibilities for play and may eventually help him learn new words too. Playing peek-a-boo is one of babies’ favorite games! Playing Peek-A-Boo helps babies to develop Object Permanence which is a fundamental part of early life learning. Object permanence means that the baby begins to understand that objects continue to exist, even when they cannot directly be seen, heard, or touched. The majority of babies develop this concept between 6 months to a year old. During the Peek-A-Boo game process, babies develop brain cell connections (synapses) due to visual stimulation. Repeating the same action over and over contributes to strengthen these newly formed synapses: it is the learning process of a baby. Bear in mind that repetition is an important part of learning for a baby, therefore, be ready to play Peek-A-Boo more than just once!Our Montessori lessons entail learning about pincer grasping blocks. The pincer grasp develops around 8 to 9 months. Around this age, children are interested working to grasp objects with their thumb and forefinger. Children love to practice this grasp, and the pincer grasping block is perfect for helping them perfect it. The children learn that the cylinder should be placed back into the base, he/she uses the palmar grasp to grab onto it and pull it out, then they can attempt to place it back into the hole. The repetition of this builds concentration and fine motor skills. Our special project was learning about crinkling pink paper. This is a great way for them to learn how paper feels in their hands. They were encouraged to use their hands and look through the sensory bin and touched all the different textures paper can have. Many of them enjoyed the different textures paper can have and the different shapes that were in the bins (circles, hearts, triangle, etc.). Enrichment was learning to mix different colors to make a brand new color. We love finger painting here in the class and the feeling of paint in our hands. The children enjoyed moving the white and red paint together to make the color pink.
March Recap: This month, we learned about different numbers. We sang a lot of different songs that focused on different animals in the African Savannah. We sang “10 in the Bed,” “5 Little Speckled Frogs,” and “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.” These songs are wonderful and gave us a chance to count up to 5 and then up to 10. Counting numbers with infants is a great way to integrate education into their play time. May it be singing a song with numbers in it or just counting their toes and fingers. This is a great bonding experience for them as well as you! This month we learned the song “Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes.” My teachers pointed to each part of our bodies that corresponded to the song. We attempted to follow along and smiled and laugh through the song. It is important for infants to see and touch what they are hearing. It gives them a sense of what they are doing but also see the different things that makes their world go round. Identifying different objects and being able to give it a name will help them understand how things works in the future. Not to mention, it is great hand eye coordination following the teacher’s hands as they move up and down our bodies. Babies now can reach out and grab items willfully and independently. When offered a toy, babies will look back and forth between the toy and their hands. This is evidence of their developing ability to plan and coordinate their movements. When presenting toys to these babies, offer the toy so that they must reach out and grab it. At this stage, we can demonstrate to them idea of passing objects back and forth. We simply can roll a ball to the child and have the child roll it back to us. Our Montessori lessons entailed learning about scooping and pouring objects. Infants begin to dump toys (or cereal, a cup of water, a bin of diapers…) as soon as they discover that they can. It’s a developmentally appropriate skill that happens as mobility develops. When little ones pick up a bowl or cup and turn out the contents on the floor, it may be frustrating to anyone (teachers and parents included) that just picked up all of the toys for the third time, but it is such a great function that is the occupation of play. Pouring and dumping is discovery and exploration of gravity, weight, muscle control, cause and effect, and self-awareness. Infants are discovering what they can do by pouring, they are learning about their environment while working on so many skills. Our special project this month is enjoying and playing with playdough. The children always loved to squish and squash playdough. Educationally, playdough ticks all the boxes for learning and development. The sensory nature of playdough allows babies to be naturally curious and explore the world around them using their senses. It is also beneficial for fine motor development and strengthening little fingers, hands and wrists. As children grow and develop, playdough also grows with them and is so versatile for different learning experiences such as imaginative play. Plus, kids absolutely love it! Enrichment for this month was watching and popping bubbles! Watching bubbles for a period of time helps babies recognize patterns. Blowing bubbles can help bonding between the teachers (or family members) and babies. Babies may try to reach for and touch the bubbles, helping to develop motor skills and eye-hand coordination.
April Recap: We would like to welcome our newest students to our Infant Program Aidan. We are excited to have them grow and explore with us here at Montessori of San Clemente. It was a wonderful Spring break and we hope everyone is well rested and ready to start our new curriculum for April. In April we learned about islands and the different color fishes and sea animals that are out there. We learned a new song “Slippery Fish” and the hand movements that go with it. We tried making fish faces to go with the song and thought it was very silly of us. This month we learned about different textures that the Earth provides for us. We explored different sensory activities that included water, leaves and grass. It is fun to explore the Earth and what are around us! Doing sensory play helps them stimulates their senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing.We have been enjoying this great weather we are having and been going outside to explore our playground. We love how the floor and grass feels on our hands and feet as we crawl to explore what is outside. We love touching the leaves that our teachers find and let see and feel them in our hands. During the first few years of life, infants and toddlers are trying to make sense of their world. One of the ways they do this is by soaking up every noise, every sound, and every experience that they have. They then take this information and come up with ideas about how the world works. So, not only is being outdoors an enjoyable experience for infants and toddlers, it’s critical for cognitive development. Our Montessori lessons entailed sensorial activities inside and out. We are having so much fun touching and smelling the fresh air from outside! Having a rich sensory experience gives young children something to talk about. When an infant feels the leaves or the toddler notices the airplane in the sky, they are more inclined to verbalize this experience because it will elicit a favorable response by their teachers. This verbalization to others also promotes social development. Even infants, who do not have the ability to physically play with others, are able to watch others, which is the first step in social development.Our special project this month is making bunnies with our feet. It is fun to feel the paint go on our feet and make them tickle. When we are done, we got to place a cotton ball on it to make it have a fluffy tail. We talked about how bunnies hop and the different colors it comes in. Enrichment for this month was learning about ourselves. We enjoyed learning different songs about our body parts and did the movements (or tried to) with my teachers. We sang “If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands” and “Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes.” These were great as we pointed to each the body parts we have.
May Recap: In May, we learned about the great migration of whales. Our babies learned how whales migrate together to keep their calves safe. Baby whales are capable of whispering to their mothers for communication. We made whale footprints and taught the children how to recognize the color black. Since we had so many May showers, we thought it would be a great time to explore the sound of rain using sensory bottles. We created the bottles with sticks and rice inside plastic bottles. When the babies shook and turned the bottles, the rice would drop down through the collection of sticks, emulating a rain-like noise. All of the infants enjoyed hearing the fun sound it made when it rattled. This was a great way to make music! We played the sensory rain bottles to the rhythm of Itsy-Bitsy Spider and Row, Row, Row, Your Boat. We even introduced our new song, Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!. The special project we made was beautiful butterflies made out of footprints. The infants learned about the lifecycle of a butterfly and how caterpillars form into a chrysalis before spreading their wings as a butterfly!
June Recap: In June, we learned about different vehicles we see when we go outside and discussed the many community helpers that dive them. We learned about firemen and police officers and bus drivers. We sang “The Wheels on the Bus” and “Bumping Up and Down” as we described each part of the bus and how it felt being in the car. We heard and saw different vehicles that my teachers had pointed out when we are outside. We get very excited for the trash trucks (and some even are scared of the loud noises it makes) and airplanes that fly by. We also describe different cars our parents have that they use to take us places and go to work. We enjoy seeing the different colors cars that passes by and practiced our waving “good-byes” as they leave. We enjoyed doing various art and mixed paint together to make a different color (this month was red and yellow to make orange). We got to explore making “tire” tracks using a toy car and stamp pads. We had fun pushing the car back and forth and exploring and manipulating the cars to go! We learned about different animals that calls California their home especially our state bear, the grizzly bear. Our teachers showed us a picture and “growled” like a bear to show us what they look and sounds like. We also like looking at pictures of poppies and their vibrant colors they have (red and orange). Our Montessori lessons entailed stacking our octopi’ cups and building with our blocks. We used our fine motor skills to pick them up and stack them high. As children learn the important skill of intentional grasp and release, as well as how to control and position their fingers. Since infants don’t have the dexterity or fine motor control yet, they use their entire hands to explore, hold, release, and place objects. When it comes to working on language skills, keep in mind that you can use almost anything as an opportunity to learn new words and concepts, and stacking toys are no exception. We used this opportunity to work on colors and counting. This helps them understand numbers as we sit and count to six. You can do this at home with them by taking turns and letting the child stack a piece, then you, and so forth. This will be a fun experience for you and your child. We are excited to have our children learn and develop self-help skills this month. We have been practicing holding our own bottle and feeding ourselves with our fingers. These self-help skills develop and strengthen their fine motor skills.
Summer News: Summer is here and will be filled with fun and lots of sensory exploration. We will be focusing on water play and bubbles. We have several in house field trips planned and are looking forward to puppet shows and water play days. Please bring extra clothes and a towel for water exploration. During the summer it will get hot so please make sure prior bringing them to class they have been applied with their first application of sunscreen. We will re-apply it for the afternoon. There will be weekly themes so please keep an eye out for them. We will be doing fun art activities with them and learning amazing facts about ocean and farm animals. We be singing “Old McDonald Had a Farm,” “Baby Shark, “Slippery Fish,” and so much more! Children will learn farm animals sounds so keep an eye out for your children “mooing” and “baaing” at home. This will create verbal skills and animal recognition for their cognitive development. We will explore different ocean and farm animals as they float or sink in the water. Look out for our pirate ships we have made and color as we explore the ocean animals. Summer is going to be amazing!