Proud affiliate for Montessori Services!

Exploring Outside: Nashville, TN


Photo by Marie Mack
Our family loves to travel! Samuel has visited 19 states in his two and a half years. A native Texan, he has traveled as far north as the Canadian boarder in northern New York and as far south as Orlando, FL. He has studied the beauty of the Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, AZ, and made sand castles on the beaches of Charleston, SC. He has stopped at every rest stop and BBQ joint in between. Avalyn is just as road worthy for her 9 months. We take our kids everywhere we go and it has helped them to be flexible and interested in the world around them. 
Samuel and Avalyn are amazing travelers and it makes going on trips so much more fun. As I mentioned on our Facebook page, the kids and I took at trip to Nashville at the beginning of last week. My mother-in-law was gracious enough to join us there. Maria Montessori felt we should take advantage of the human need for exploration and she bases much of her philosophy on children's want to explore the world around them. I would love to share with you some of the activities we did on our exploration in Nashville, TN. 


"An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking: it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual and the preparation of young people to times in which they live."
                   From Maria Montessori's Education and Peace, translated by Helen R. Lane



Photo by Marie Mack

Photo by Marie Mack
  
Samuel has shown a huge interest in letters, so much of what we do when we explore is letter recognition. He mostly likes to show us that he can pick out letters. Here are a couple pictures of him standing on some of the different letters he found interesting. This over-sized map of Tennessee was awesome. We were able to stand on familiar places as well as walk along the roads we were on during our drive up. 



Photo by Marie Mack

Photo by Marie Mack

We also found an over-sized compass. This was an awesome introduction to the cardinal headings (and of course letter recognition). Water fountains are always an interest and if it was summer I'm sure we would have had one or two wet kids on our hands. There is also a lot of climbing, jumping, and running that happens with all our exploration which is always a good idea for energetic little guys (and Momma's)! 
                          
Photo by Marie Mack


Photo by Marie Mack

We usually go on a nature walk in the fall to find new leaves for our art projects. Samuel will almost always pick up an kind of leaf he sees on any of our explorations and marvel at its color and texture. The walk at the Bicentennial Capital Mall State Park was beautiful with many options to talk about different types of trees, meet new people, and admire the park statues and recorded history. 



Photo by Marie Mack

Avalyn is always observant when we go on our walks. More often than not, I have her in some kind of carrier, but she can see and experience more in the stroller. And it is easier to have her get out and play if she sees something she is interested in. 



Photo by Marie Mack

On almost all of our walks we find a set of stairs that Samuel wishes to count. This set was no different. The grass and stone contrast of these stairs offered different types of textures to walk on and a stage like this is always a magnet for Samuel. He loved running around on the elevated surface and listening to the echos of the amphitheater.  



Photo by Marie Mack

An added sightseeing bonus for us was seeing the train on the elevated tussle. Sam loves trains and being able to see and hear a real train whistle was a highlight of our adventure. We counted the train cars and read the letters on the side. I love using these kinds of concrete examples as a reason why we learn letters or numbers. If my kids are anything like me they are going to want to know WHY! We learn letters to be able to read. We learn numbers to help us with adding and subtracting. These seem like basic ideas, but it keeps us all focused on using exploration to enhance our learning in life. 



Photo by Marie Mack

Photo by Marie Mack
  
The farmers market near the park looked amazing. Too bad we were there in the off season. We spent a good amount of time with two pieces of art outside the farmers market. Jumping is a new found skill of Sam's so he enjoyed jumping between the corn stalks and walking under the "tunnels". And who wouldn't love to drive a giant tomato! We talked about the bright colors of these pieces of art and really enjoyed playing here. 



Photo by Mary Mack

Mary, my mother-in-law, is always an enormous help with the kids. She explored some of the local monuments with the kids during the day. We are around a lot of soldiers in our life and Samuel is always interested in different statues of them. Especially if they have horses!.  



Photo by Mary Mack

We try to take time on the weekends to explore areas around us. 

There are always  free opportunities for you and your children close to where you live. Search your local chamber of commerce online or find a local newspaper. Find free events, farmers markets, or just local parks and monuments. We didn't pay for any of the adventures we had in Nashville. Free museums are wonderful for the winter time and local libraries have events geared toward children. 

*******


Are you looking for affordable Montessori lessons and activities! I highly recommend Lisa Nolan's affordable online programs! Her 0-24 program is here, her 2-3 program is hereand her 4-5 program is hereDo you need affordable help setting up your Montessori-inspired environment? Contact me!
And feel free to check out my favorite Montessori books here and in my store on Amazon.com. If you click on any of the books or Montessori programs (and make a purchase) I get a small commission. This helps fund Montessori materials, activities, and books I can get for my family. A big THANK YOU from my family to yours in advance of any purchases you make!

*******

Linking up with Montessori Monday!

Montessori Monday

*******