Cleaning the environment with the Magic Pot.

Environment awareness activities continued through July. Children watched short videos and learned how to make compost from wet waste the ‘Kambha’ way! Children were initially curious but also somewhat reluctant due to the “funny” smell. They had only one question looming large in their eyes: “Do we really need to do this?”  But as they understood how it works and how all the creatures that look “yucky” are actually helping them make the compost, they not only began appreciating but also participated actively in getting wet waste from home and asking their parents to segregate the waste. They fondly call the Kambha ‘the magic pot’.  Do watch this Youtube video that we played to the kids, by clicking here.  It’s called Daily Dump – Kambha’s Fundas: Segregate.

Ramadan – the month of Empathy

Ramdan2 As July was also the month of Ramadan and many children wanted to know what it is all about, why some people don’t eat – we shared how Ramadan is really the month of Empathy. It is the month for learning to be Patient, Kind and Generous. Ramadan comes once every year to help us remember the lesson of Empathy and practice it through the year. RamdanSometimes we forget but if we can try and remember to be Patient, Kind and Generous; we will have a better world! Eid is to celebrate one month of Empathy practice in Ramadan. Radha taught the extended session and primary children a new song on Empathy too. On Friday, July 25 we celebrated Eid. Children came dressed in traditional attire, joyous and colorful! The younger children made Eid cards with glitter and older ones prepared Sheer Khurma with the Aunties. Everyone was seen equally keen in extending a helping hand for the preparation. Ramdan1They also savored it with delight. We further did an activity on appreciating and celebrating diversity. We talked about different colors, flowers, leaves, animals, languages, states, countries, foods and cultures and how the world is so interesting and beautiful in all its diversity. It would be such a shame if we all looked and talked the same, wore the same type of clothes and ate the same kind of food.  We also talked about the different days and festivals we will celebrate at our Montessori. Later they exchanged Eid greetings and the day was spent in general festivity.

Celebrating Birthdays. Celebrating Life.

Birthday_July14 We celebrated three birthdays in the month of July. For anyone who is not familiar with Montessori birthday celebrations – these are occasions to make children feel special in a Birthday1asimple yet meaningful manner. As they went around the Candle holding the Globe firmly in hand, parents shared interesting anecdotes about their precious little ones, making them feel special in a very special way. At the end of the ceremony, they were presented a card made by their friends. Parents brought some home-made sweets that were relished by all of us. Happy Birthday Hamna, Abhinav and Sarah!

The more we get together, the happier we will be.  

Friday, August 1: An otherwise dull and cloudy day was made festive and sunny by our young ones arriving in different shades of yellow to celebrate Friendship Day!  Friendship-Day_2014They were very enthusiastic about making multi-color friendship bands as well as a hand imprint collage on the wall. In the extended session, we had a friendship quiz with older children where they shared about their favorite food, places, family, pets, toys and especially best friends. We were pleasantly surprised by the fact that they had so much to share. On second thoughts though, children always have a lot to share if we make time and listen to them. On our part, we never miss an opportunity to talk to them about Empathy! So we also had a puppet show where the puppets sang and danced on a few friendship and empathy songs. One such popular song that we are teaching our kids and you can also sing with them at home is The Learning Station’s – The more we get together, the happier we will be.
Homework for parents On a more philosophical note, it is interesting how we all want to do the best we can for our children. Yet we keep dwelling and procrastinating on our own simple joys of life. Ask yourself when was the last time you took time out from the daily humdrum to reach out to an old childhood friend?  For the longest time I did not do it myself. But this year the kids inspired me to celebrate Friendship day by calling an old friend. And my world transformed; I was like a child again!  This friend is perhaps my very first friend. We met when I used to visit my grandma’s place. We were both four years old then. Those were long hot summer afternoons when time stood still and all that mattered in the world were our rag dolls and their dresses that we tried making from old discarded fabric pieces my grandma used to make bedspreads. You may be wondering why I am telling you to reach out to a friend. You see, children are very perceptive. They sense our moods. We are often so caught up we forget that they are watching our every expression and move. If we are happy, they will be happy – simple. Your homework; call an old friend.  Trust me.  It will bring loads of happy memories and smiles galore.

Happy Friendship Day!