Party Time at The Children's School

There are some significant skills one can put to use in putting on a good party. Not the least of these is setting a pretty party table. So of course, here at The Children's School, we like to practice this skill. We have a small table, often found in the hallway, in between Rooms 341 and
343 (Mrs. Banks' snack room, and the MWF classroom), and a rolling cart full of table-setting tools. Looking carefully at the picture below, you can probably identify the "theme" as well as the color choices around these supplies. Usually included are things like: tablecloth, cups, vase(s),
flowers, plates, utensils, and sometimes napkins. The table below was set by one of our friends in the M-F class. Mrs. McArthur was there to help, should the need arise. (I don't recall that ever turned out to be necessary!)

Another simple, but very fun party preparation is to make table runners for our snack tables. With a few paint sponges, and or cookie cutters, we can practice our stamping work (or hopping) and decorate a long sheet of paper that can then be used as a table runner upon which to place other decorations. Flower arranging, which is a skill we have been practicing in our older classrooms now for a couple of months, becomes an important and useful skill for our parties.

We also take advantage of these special occasions to do some "secretary work" with our children around the idea of cooking special foods, and so writing down recipes the children share with us. Here's an example from a couple of years ago:

Pumpkin Pie by Karsten
cherries on top
Picture of a bunny hopping on a rainbow plate. It serves the whole class.

We might also have the opportunity to write down some party planning ideas for someone.
From last year:
Lily and Grace's Costume Party
Lily - Sleeping Beauty, black shoes
Grace - Belle, yellow shoes

M&M's - blue, orange and yellow
Candy bar
Fruit - Strawberries
Water and Apple Juice

TV Show:

Flowers - Blue, Pink, REd, Yellow, and Orange

Dora Game
Princess Game
Backpack Game

We don't always take on the responsibility of the writing. Our invitations allow for, not only the obvious "announcement" of an upcoming party to our families, but also the opportunity to practice our writing.

Another really important component to Party Planning here at The Children's School is the opportunity for special clothes. It is FUN to have the opportunity to dress up and wear our special clothes. Here at TCS that is defined as dress shirts, dresses, ties, and slippery shoes! If you don't have a tie, you are always welcome to borrow:

None of these preparations alone is very complicated. And that is by design. Because when you put all of these lovely events together, you create an amazing and memorable experience for the children that is fun without being overwhelming or complicated.

And one more party plan - this time from Hannah who is planning a party at her house:

Food will include:
Macaroni and Cheese (rainbow colored)
Salad Cheese (green)

Jack O Lantern
and a decoration pumpkin
White pumpkins to paint

7 people will come to her party; bring a costume. Hannah's costume is a Snow White Princess!


Simple...But NOT!

Many of us would know what to do with the above object if handed to us, wouldn't we??

An object or shape on a clipboard, a piece of paper underneath, and a marker, would indicate that we were invited to trace the object. As you can see when you look closely at the shape afixed to the above clipboard, many a child has attempted to do just that - TRACE the jack-o-lantern, and obviously, with varying degrees of success.

I sat with some of my friends from the M-F classroom just a couple of days ago with this very tool in front of us. Hannah and August and Macy and I all sat with our clipboards and our choice of markers with the point of the marker placed carefully next to the edge. We then all tried to follow the edge of the jack-o-lantern - ALL THE WAY AROUND. OO-oo-oo! My that's tricky.

Once the tracing part is done, what next?? Well, here's an option of what can be done after the tracing, done by a friend of ours, Griffin, with a dinosaur cut-out a couple of years ago:

Any opportunity our friends can have to hold a marker, or a crayon, or a pencil is a plus. The trick sometimes is finding something interesting enough to compel our friends into wanting to do the work. Handwriting is a hard-fought for skill. And here's another idea for getting our friends to pick up a writing instrument:
The above structure was created just the other day in the M-F class by our friend, Dominic, with a few Halloween-colored Lego blocks. Instead of destroying the structure, which is hard for many of our friends (deconstructing their creations to allow others to make something of their own), we offer them the opportunity to preserve it by tracing it.

Above is Dominic's structure inside his tracing, and below
is the result!! Awesome, huh?!

This is another great and simple way to practice, practice, practice with our handwriting tools - paper and pencil (or marker or crayon).

And here is another amazing example of a traced structure by Amin from our Pre-K Class.
If you want more ideas and examples of ways to help our children learn writing skills or just want to learn more about Montessori in general, please join Mrs. Banks on Wednesday, November 2nd for our 2nd Parent Education Opportunity!