One of the things that I absolutely just love about the Montessori method is how the children are encouraged to use all five senses to explore their little world. Here are some Montessori inspired activities that we have done/are going to do in preparation for Shavout which do just that~
Remember, when your kids are little (under 6) it is not about feeding them content and information about the holiday (teaching your 4 year old to memorize the different names of Shavuot!) - its about letting them discover the holiday through their own five senses, looking at pictures, tasting the foods, preparing the foods, feeling things that connect to the holiday, smelling things that connect to the holidays and listening to things that connect to the holiday.
In Shir Hashirim, the Torah is compared to the sweetness of "milk and honey under your tongue".
Set out a tray with milk for the kids to pour into a cup to drink with a straw. Then have the kids pour some honey into a small bowl and taste it with a small spoon.
Here are some wonderful books to read for Shavuot:
A Dozen Daizies for Raizy - A little girl giving out her daisies that she bought for Shavuot
When the World was Quiet - How the entire world was completely quiet when the Torah was given on Har Sinai
Shavuos with Binah, Benny and Chagai Hayonah - this is for older kids, filled with lots of information and stories about Shavuot
Dovid the Little Shepherd - Since David Hamelech's birthday is on Shavuot, it is an appropriate time to read the story of David as a young shepherd and how he took such good care of his sheep.
We learned that at Matan Torah you could HEAR the lightening and SEE the thunder. Take out books from the library and learn about thunder and lightening.
Flowers bloomed all over Har Sinai. Have the children arrange flowers in a vase. Fill it with water then cut the flowers off the stems to arrange in the vase. You can use these for Shavuot.
Go outside with a scissors and cut flowers from the garden to put in a vase.
Plant flower seeds. Get a small pot, have the children fill it with dirt from outside, plant the seeds and water it every day. The kids will be so excited as they watch their little seed turn into a little bud, then into beautiful flowers.
Collect a bunch of flowers and smell each flower. Divide them into two groups- flowers that have a smell and flowers that don't.
Using Playdo (Click here for the recipe- I just added 1/2 cup cocoa to make it brown) let the kids shape it into a mountain and decorate it with pretty stones and flowers. Have little people that they can set up as the Jews around the mountain. This was a BIG hit, the kids LOVED doing this!
I drew a flower pot and my daughter decorated it with feathers, pom poms, glitter and colored it in.
I got this idea from Pinterest (Click here to check it out) but my kids wanted to do it their own way. My daughter actually collected real flowers and glued them onto her plant. My son decided to collect real flowers and draw each flower onto paper, cut them out and glue them on. He is four and did this all by himself.
Classic Montessori puzzle- learning the parts of the flower.
We eat dairy on Shavuot. Have the kids scoop their own ice cream into a bowl, then eat it!
Make your own ice cream:
Pour the following into a small ziploc bag-
1 cup of milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs. honey
Place the bag into a large ziploc bag that is filled with ice and 6 Tbs. salt.
Seal it well and throw the bag around for about 10 minutes. It should turn into ice cream.
Shavuot means weeks. There are SEVEN weeks between Pesach and Shavuot. There are SEVEN days in a week. Using fruit counters count to seven.
Practice writing the number seven using sandpaper numbers and write it in sand.
Talk about Shavuot. Using miniatures, have the kids hold them as you discuss the different things. Talk about how we learn Torah all night on Shavuot, and if they plan on staying up to learn too. Talk about dairy foods and what other foods are made of milk. Where does milk come from? Have some miniature cows available. Whatever little things you have, use when talking about them.
Here are some great products I use for Shavuot~
So there you have it- I hope its helpful!
Wishing you all a wonderful week,
Wishing you all a wonderful week,