Montessori elementary school children have a lot to gain from hands-on activities. While the casual observer may see children at play, the children are actually hard at work and happily engaged in learning everything from academic lessons to physical exercise. Montessori is focused on developing the whole child, and hands-on activities are the preferred method of doing so.
Fine Motor Skills
Most students have developed their fine motor skills by the time they get to Montessori elementary school. On the other hand, “big kids school” is when those skills are put to good use and honed to perfection. Activities like writing, painting, or using authentic Montessori workstations require kids to grasp, lift, and manipulate objects, and that promotes healthy fine motor skill development.
Gross Motor Skills
Your child’s Montessori elementary school focuses more intently on teaching gross motor skills than fine motor skills. This includes exercises like running, jumping, climbing, and throwing, and can be accomplished with practical life activities or other Montessori-inspired tasks.
Comprehension and critical thinking are important cognitive skills that benefit from hands-on activities. The self-correcting nature of authentic Montessori activities themselves encourages children to solve problems and practice critical thinking skills, but the same lessons can also be approached by outdoor activities like exploring the local park or identifying leaves, bugs, and backyard creatures.
Teamwork activities promote sharing, increase empathy, and help children learn to be polite and attentive to the needs of others. Hands-on activities like treasure hunts or group participation activities like sing Alongs are great for helping children learn to interact with others, follow instructions, and– sometimes literally– put their best foot forward.
Just because children are doing physical things, you cannot assume they aren’t pursuing academic education. Even a walk in the woods is a perfect opportunity to count, learn to spell new words, increase vocabulary, and more. From arithmetic to writing and everything in between, hands-on activities allow teaching a broad spectrum of information in the process of having a frolicking good time.
A number of academic studies report that hands-on learning is an important educational tool. Research shows that children will learn more readily and retain information longer when they are able to see the information in a contextual way. Hands-on activities turn education itself into a context-oriented experience, providing important real-life experiences to corroborate what they learn.
Hill Point Montessori is dedicated to the development of children, providing quality care and authentic Montessori instruction. To find out more about what we can do for you please contact us or schedule a tour of our school.