Packing the Car & Cooler for a Summer Trip

With Montessori learning, the experience is the most important aspect of early childhood. It is one of the best ways to ensure that gain a complete understanding of the world around them. It is hands on and becoming a part of the area that they live in. For that reason, we encourage parents to take their child out into nature where they can experience the “real world” for themselves. However, before you head off into the big world, there are a few things you will want to take along. Just follow our tips for packing the car and cooler for a summer trip.

Sensorial Learning to the Max

exploring with kidsIn nature, there will be numerous things for your child to see, touch, smell, and hear. You may also be able to find things that they can taste if you have a basic knowledge of berries and what is safe to eat. You can take your child out into nature during every season of the year and experience different things with each trip. You will be able to help your child look for animal tracks or help them to find bird feathers. You can encourage them to go on a nature treasure hunt. Searching for specific colored flowers, odd shaped leaves, twigs, and acorns can give them a bag full of treasures to look through even after they have left the woods for the day.

Things to Pack for Your Big Day Out

Your child will have the opportunity to explore when they are in a natural setting. However, you will want to make sure that you pack a few comfort items for them. If they have a favorite teddy bear or doll, it will be okay if they want to bring it along. They may learn by telling their best pal about the adventures they are having and about the treasures they have found. You will want to carry a small box or a bag for their treasures. You will want to carry a blanket for times when your child wants to sit down and rest. You could also pack a cooler or a backpack cooler so that you and your child can have a picnic when they are ready for a little break from exploring. There are coolers of all shapes and sizes so you can pack your child’s favorite drinks and snacks. You can see a variety of them by visiting Cooler Critic.

The Things You Can Explore

exploring natureIn a world of nature, it is possible to find anything. Most parents have the natural instinct to protect their child. However, you should allow your child to wander around and explore on their own a little. Keep them in your sight, but do not stay on top of them. If your child finds a treasure that they are curious about, they will bring it to you. If you see something that your child missed, you can show it to them. This will ensure your child has the ability to make the most of their day out. It will benefit you both and give you something you can talk about for days to come.

Toy Guns, Appropriate for Children?

kids and gunsThere is a huge debate over guns of all kinds; even toy guns. The thing is, virtually every child born will at one time or another pick up a stick or a broken toy and start saying “bang bang”. Kids are imaginative. They are curious. They pick up things off the television and from other kids. However, every time a child pretends to fire a gun, parents cringe and many begin to worry about their child one day becoming evil people. Is it true? Are toy guns appropriate for children or not?

In the Beginning; Kids and Guns

Back not so long ago, it was not uncommon for children to play cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians. To say that every child who played those type games grew up to become violent is crazy. It was seen as a game and the truth of the matter was; they were learning from it. They were active and outdoors. Many of those same kids grew up to become police officers fighting the bad guys. What changed to make it wrong for kids to be kids and fight off the bad guys?

Present Day Fear of Guns

Bright Toy GunsWhen asked, approximately 70% of parents do not allow their children to have toy guns of any kind. This is mostly due to the fact that children are carrying guns to school and doing bad things. It stems from the fact that there have been children suspended from school because they turn their fingers into a gun and say, “Boom”. Policemen have made mistakes and not realized someone held a toy gun and shot them for pointing a toy. Fear is the root of our new idea that guns should never be in the hands of children. At Montessori, we do not necessarily agree with this idea. We feel that you can turn a child’s natural curiosity into a learning opportunity, even if they have a natural curiosity about weapons.

Teaching Kids with Guns

rifle partsOne way that you can take advantage of teaching with guns is to explain cause and effect. Talk to them about the difference between real and toy guns. Choose brightly colored guns that look nothing like a real one for smaller kids. Set rules about where they shoot it. Talk to them about aiming and targeting specific, non-living things. If they fire at you, tell them it hurts, even if it doesn’t. As they get older, explain that toys are toys, but that some real guns cause actual pain. Explain they can be deadly. Most kids do not intentionally want to cause pain to others. They will learn from you that respecting a weapon; even if it is a toy, is important.

Older kids can also learn from discovering different parts of a gun and perhaps even using a “real” air soft gun.  All guns have safety switches, triggers, barrels, and other features. Rifles have scopes like the ones seen here. Learning about the different features of a gun will teach your child about them and go a long way to keeping them safe.

Why It IS Important You Let Kids Play

parts of a pistolWhether you have a home that has guns or doesn’t, your kids will discover their existence. If you do not have weapons around; that does not mean that your child’s friends will have a gun free home. Some parents leave guns under their beds or in cabinets. Would you rather have your child understand the dangers of those hidden treasures before they find them or have them wait to explore until they have a real one in hand? At Montessori, we feel it is best to have kids understand what they are touching when they see a toy weapon and understand that real guns should NEVER be touched.