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  • West Suburban Montessori

Let's get moving!

A child looks stands next to a river and looks through binoculars. Quote reads "When children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength. Maria Montessori

Were you as surprised as we were to wake up to a snow-covered world this morning? Even though April snow is common in Chicago, it's always a bit of a shock!

As parents, we may not be excited about this dramatic change in weather, but for our children it may spark joy to experience a "snow day" in the middle of quarantine. With a quick shift in our own attitude (hey! at least most of us don't have to commute today!) and a really big mug of coffee, we can use this potentially annoying weather event to create a fun, memorable few hours for the whole family. Dr. Montessori would definitely approve. After all, she once said, "When children come into contact with nature they reveal their true strength."

Whether it's snowy, rainy, or sunny, we encourage all families to find ways to get outside for some fun and fresh air every day. When you're outdoors, movement seems to come more naturally. Whether you're in your yard or taking a walk, allow your child to set the pace. It's so tempting to comment on a child's speed or style, because we adults typically have a specific purpose in mind--getting from place to place, getting in some cardio, or just getting it over with. If you start to feel frustrated, try to remember that children's movement has purpose even if we can't see it. They may move slowly because they're observing something in the environment that isn't obvious or important to us. They may move quickly because it feels good to move growing muscles in new ways. They may fall down, repeat the exact same activity, and fall down again; but next time they might achieve their goal. Allow this natural movement to happen whenever you can, but don't feel guilty when you have to rush your child back into the house because your next Zoom meeting is starting. We're all just doing the best we can with what we have these days.

For the days you can't or don't want to go outside, our gym assistant Ms. Katarina has created a movement-based board game to help you get the wiggles out. You'll need one die and one place marker (coin, bottle cap, piece from another board game) for each player. You can download the board game here.

Did you and your children have a chance to bundle up and throw a few snowballs this morning? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to share your photos on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram!

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