How do we teach our children to understand days, months and dates? These concepts to children are abstract, they cannot use their five senses to fully comprehend the actual meaning of days and dates. But if we are creative in our teaching approach, learning these concepts can be fun for both adult and child. For example, the Masfe Montessori Calendar! It uses a visual and hands-on approach which reinforces the child’s learning in a fun and interesting manner. As it’s easily portable, parents can alternate between using the Masfe Calendar for table top activities and hanging it up on the wall as an additional visual cue to children.
Firstly, young children need to learn the names of the days in a week in sequence. Once they’ve memorised this sequence, you can move on to learning the sequences of the months in a year. In my previous post, we talked about teaching children number concepts (you can find more detail in this link). Using the Masfe Montessori Calendar, encourage your child to arrange the days of the week (or the months of the year, depending on what you are targeting) in the correct sequence. You can even sing a song to provide additional cues to your child as some children learn better when they pair what they see with what they hear. Early readers will also benefit from learning to read the names of the days and months.
For older children who are familiar with days of the week and months in a year, you can get them to learn about dates. They can use the Masfe Montessori Calendar to make their own fun calendar! Teach your child to place the correct dates, day, month and year. Check their placing with an actual calendar to compare if it’s the same. Make it a daily practise to change the dates and day every day. When a new month begins, educate them to change the month.
Parents can help their children to relate calendar concepts with their daily activities. For example: talking about which days the children have school or specific activities which fall on certain days (e.g. swimming, going to the park, birthdays). Print out some photos of your memories together to further reinforce your child’s learning. Your child will slowly and surely understand date, days, months and years!
We will discuss the concept of yesterday, today, tomorrow, etc in the next post.