December already! Bring on the cold weather so we can enjoy snuggling up inside with hot drinks, baking and crafting with the kids, and enjoying some twinkling lights on these long dark evenings.
News from the classroom
We’ve been celebrating Sinterklaas in class these last weeks. We baked pepernoten together (recipe below), I added some Sint gluing activities to the craft area, and we all enjoyed singing lots of Sinterklaas songs at circle time.
It’s never too late to bake pepernoten even if Sinterklaas is now heading back to Spain on his steam boat. So for those of you who would like to try it at home, here is the recipe.
150 g (2/3 cup) butter
135 g (3/4 cup) brown sugar
10 g (2 teaspoons) ’speculaas spices’
250 g (1 1/4 cup) self raising flour
a pinch of salt
4 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 160 °C (320 °F). Cut cold butter in little chunks and knead through sugar, speculaas spices, salt and self raising flour. Add the milk bit by bit until the dough is smooth and supple. Start making little balls (a bit smaller than a marble). Your kids can help with this: if you give them little pieces of the dough, they will love making the little balls! Line the little balls up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten them slightly with your thumb (I make two batches). Bake for about 15 minutes until light brown.
Getting ready for Christmas
We have our little Christmas tree ready in the classroom – it’s about 30cm tall and sits on a table where the children enjoy hanging wooden ornaments. I like how the children like to place lots and lots in one place!
Next week we’ll be adding some festive craft into the mix too. Will be fun.
We have one more week of classes before the school holidays commence. Please note the last class before the holiday break will be Friday 19 December. Classes will restart from Monday 5 January.
My new project – The Montessori Notebook
Did you see my news last week? I have just launched a new idea to the world, The Montessori Notebook – where you’ll be able to find all my notes, ideas, and e-courses about the Montessori approach.
I want to help you all bring Montessori into your daily life. Give you ways to better understand your kids. Practical tips you can use at home. Answers to your questions. And in early 2015, I’ll be giving my workshops online so you can follow along at home, wherever you are in the world. I can’t wait to meet you all over there.
Very soon there will also be a website and e-newsletter too.
So if you haven’t already, I would love for you to come over and follow along! The link to the Facebook page is here: http://www.facebook.com/themontessorinotebook.
And, don’t worry, Jacaranda Tree Montessori is not going anywhere. This new idea will just help me to reach more people. I am so excited!
Hey hey hey! It’s this Saturday. Yes, our Festive Craft Extravaganza is nearly here. The morning session is completely booked out, but we have a couple of spaces in the afternoon session from 3pm to 4:30pm if you would still like to join us. Follow the registration link here: http://www.jacarandatreemontessori.nl/shop/festive-craft-extravaganza-afternoon/.
We are going to be decorating cookies and making beautiful decorations for your house. Plus you can make wrapping paper, take some fun festive photos, and of course there will be singing too! Looking forward to it.
Getting ready for a Montessori Christmas
1. Blog post
I had a plan. I was going to get all my Christmas shopping done by 30 November. Wrapped and ready to go. And a homemade advent calendar. You can read the blog post here: http://www.jacarandatreemontessori.nl/2014/11/13/getting-ready-montessori-christmas/. There are also lots of Montessori gift ideas too if you are still looking for ideas.
Well the plan was good, has been moderately successful, but better than last year in any case. A box of presents has been shipped off to my nieces and nephews in Australia, most of the Christmas shopping is done or ordered online. But wrapped and ready it aint. There’s always next year!
2. More Montessori Christmas ideas
And if you are looking for some activities to set up in the home, you should check out “A Merry Montessori Christmas” by Aubrey Hargis. Aubrey is a fellow Montessori blogger and has put together over 20 Montessori Christmas activities. You’ll see she even has a version of decorating a small Christmas tree, just like we do each year in our classroom :). It’s US$4,99 to download – I am not an affiliate but just think it is a fun selection of activities for kids from 2 to 6 years old.
Guest blog post
And if you still have time for one more thing, I’m very honoured to have my blog post about visiting museums with young children featured on The Montessori Bloggers Network. If you missed it before, it’s got lots of fun ideas for making trips to museums interesting for your kids. Follow the link here: http://montessoribloggersnetwork.com/making-museum-trips-fun-young-children/. Yes, that is a cute photo of my kids at the Art Gallery in Sydney aged nearly 2 years and the other just a few months old. I love that shot.
I’ll see many of you in class this week and next. But as this is the last post of the year, I’m sending you all much love for the festive season and look forward to catching up in 2015. Miss you already!
I’m looking forward to a cosy break in Amsterdam. I’ve a list of festive things I want to do like visiting Intratuin to see the Christmas displays, snuggling up with my kids, drinking lots of hot chocolate, and baking lots of cookies!
Have yourselves a great one…