North Star Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten education program encourages children to learn about countries around the world. Each month we learn about a country in one of the seven continents and participate in art, music, cooking and language to explore their customs and traditions. Children love to look at maps and use puzzles and other hands-on materials to learn the continent names, animals and their habitats, as well as climate, and topography. Great children’s books and music bring the curriculum alive. Children love to learn about new places and are open to try new phrases in Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Swahili and Hindi.
In January, we learn about Asia and focus on Chinese culture culminating by celebrating the Lunar New Year. This celebration is one of our favorite traditions at North Star Montessori. Children dress in red for the festivities, which is the color of good luck and fortune in Chinese culture. The day is spent creating red paper lanterns that symbolize happiness, as well as red envelopes called Hong Bao, which are typically gifted to children with money inside. The giving of Hong Bao symbolizes the transfer of good fortune from elders to the kids. For lunch, we love further immersing ourselves in Chinese culture by trying traditional Chinese cuisine. This gives children the opportunity to try new dishes and practice using chopsticks. Additionally, children learn about the 12 Chinese zodiacs that are represented by animals. 2019 is the year of the pig, and similar to western zodiacs, it is believed that your animal plays a role in deciding your career, health and relationship success.
While children around the globe bring in the new year with different traditions, there is a common theme of positivity and happiness for the year to come. At North Star Montessori, we embrace the opportunity to learn about and participate in holiday celebrations from around the world.
Building Global Perspectives
By Barbara Barnes
Preschool and Kindergarten