“One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.”
– Maria Montessori
In hopes of becoming an annual event, the Apple Montessori School of Hoboken hosted their first “Mommy and Me Get Happy Event” on Thursday March 3rd, 2016 in celebration of National I Want You To Be Happy Day. Their goal was to do something for moms in Hoboken that showed learning is fun, and provided a bonding experience. The event was held in Hoboken and ran from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Guests were able to drop in at anytime, and stay as long as they wanted. They had a variety of “happy-themed” events, all which took place at the same time in efforts to encourage freedom of choice and independence.
The idea behind it stemmed from the Montessori philosophy of nurturing the whole child. Creating a love of learning is based on children being innately curious. If you give them the right tools and guidance, they will take it [learning] upon themselves. And although Montessori schools are well known for their academics, they’re equally devoted to the social and emotional side of childhood development. Happiness is an emotion that helps fuel the educational process, while the social apsect teaches children how to relate to each other, share, and form bonds. The reason event was set up like this, no schedule, freedom to go room to room, was to give children a feeling of empowerment.
There were four different happy-themed experiences that guests and children were eligible to participate in. A Mommy & Baby Yoga class, which normally is a part of their infant toddler program. The yoga event was meant to promote strength, good posture, balance, coordination, gross motor skills, and body awareness. A teacher assistant, who is also a dance instructor, hosted the Music and Me Dance Party which provided music enrichment and taught children to have an appreciation for music, body movement, aided in cognitive development—and was just really fun!
In addition, there was a Happy Crafting event, aimed towards older kids (preschool age) who were tasked with drawing on and decorating paper plates, turning them into smiley faces, (there were also crafts for younger children). On the back of the plates they were to write down what makes them happy. The project’s aim is to promote coordination, focus, and concentration and created an appreciation for beautiful and interesting things. They also had “Happy Tales Storytime” a chance for kindergarteners of the Apple Montessori Schools to read aloud to the guests. The happy-themed books included The Big Book of Happy, Mr. Happy, and Happy Hippo, Angry Ducks, and children were told that they could wear or bring their pajamas to be more comfortable. All of the programs by offered Apple Montessori Schools are research-proven to emphasize social, emotional, and academic development.
To learn more about Apple Montessori Schools, please visit their website www.applemontessorischools.com