We had the pleasure of a little excursion to Camden today.  What a lovely town it is!  We have visited many times before, however, it is usually in the summertime when tourists abound.  Today was a beautiful day – sunny and a delightful 30 degrees!  Yes, it felt warm and a hint of spring could even be felt!  We walked to the Camden Public Library where Little Miss participated in a story time for babies and toddlers.  Big Stuff and Mr. Man wanted no part of that of course and were content to read in the “big kid” section.  I couldn’t resist a photo-op against Camden Harbor – as beautiful in Winter as in any other season!

 Now that we are approaching the end of February Vacation week, I am reminded of my lessons at school, specifically on the Art shelves.  Here is a preview of what I have in store for next week:

Cutting folded paper

Painting with spoons

Can you guess what the color theme will be for March?  These activities are from an excellent Montessori resource:  Let Out the Sunshine by Regina Reynolds Barnett. If I were a bit more tech savvy, I would provide a link to this book…but I’m afraid I haven’t figured out how to do that just yet…In any case, I find the content extremely helpful in providing ideas for art education in the Montessori setting.  One of the main differences of a Montessori preschool classroom and a traditional preschool setting is the way art activities are presented.  In the Montessori classroom, the activity is set up as an individual lesson, not unlike any of the other Montessori learning materials.  It is important to note, however, that the children are given specific lessons on the proper use of these materials and can only complete the activity once a lesson is given.  This is in contrast to the traditional setting where typically a large group of students is instructed at the same time, leaving limited opportunities for the child to explore on his own.  Additionally, art materials in traditional settings are usually only provided to children at a specific time and then removed from reach.  I love how a child can choose an art activity (or any other lesson) in a Montessori setting whenever they feel the desire to do so and are not constrained by the “group lesson” or adult schedules.  I am planning on saving the artwork produced by the children from the paper cutting exercise and having them assist in assembling a collective piece of art.  Hint:  Think large canvas…stay tuned!