Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Montessori Theory & Practices

Maria Montessori, M.D. believed that human beings are directed by their own inner drive for self-development. She believed that the goal of early childhood education should be to cultivate the child's natural desire to learn and to aid in the unfolding of life.

In a Montessori environment, this objective is approached in two ways:
  1. Each child is encouraged to experience the curiosity and excitement of learning by choosing his or her own activity;
    and
  2. Once the activity has been chosen, the child is guided to perfect his or her natural tools for learning by using the Montessori materials which have been created to develop this process through self-correction. The result is a joyful, creative interaction with the prepared learning environment.
Maria Montessori observed that children pass through four six-year periods of development. She called these periods the four planes of development. Children in each plane have their own specific characteristics and needs. Montessori realized that these children need an adult trained to assist them in a special way, as well as, an environment suited to their specific needs.

Our program is conducted within all-day, year around Montessori environments. The Montessori environment is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. However, the majority of the curriculum is followed form 8: 30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This schedule has one set of rules and procedures during the time they spend away from home, eliminating confusion and stress. The outside environment is available several times during the day.

Learn about our Little Genius Montessori Philosophy.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Teaching Toddlers How to Put on their Underwear

Teaching your toddler how to put on and take off their own underwear will greatly help with their potty training. Here are a few tricks to teach your toddler how to put on their underwear:


1. Lay underwear on the floor with the tag side closest to the ground.  Touch the tag and say "tag" then point to the floor and say "floor."

2. Have your child sit on the floor facing the underwear and make sure you are sitting behind them.

3. Tell them they have to use their thumbs to put their underwear on. While saying "thumbs," take your thumbs and place them over the child's thumbs to pick the underwear up.

4.Pull the underwear open while saying "open."  Typically a child will know to put a foot into the hole.  They remind them to "push, pull" "push, pull."

*TIP: If the child's thumb slips off of the underwear, you can let your thumb go too and remind them that "you have to use your thumbs to put your underwear on."  This will harbor a sense of letting them know they are capable of doing it themselves and build their self esteem to know they CAN do it!

5.Then have the child stand up to pull the underwear all of the way up.  They will have to hold the waistband with their thumbs and pull up.  If they are looking to you for guidance, you can motion and say "pull up."  (Don't forget to exaggerate your thumbs - even though how to put clothing on seems obvious to us adults, we had to learn too!

It's never too early to start building their self confidence!  Self fulfillment is the BEST fulfillment :)  

Sensitive times to toilet learn are between 18 & 22 months for children.  However, some children learn earlier and others choose to learn later.  No matter what age, the most important part is that they learn & continue to build self confidence/esteem.  


Little Genius Montessori offers extended care hours from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., full-time & part-time schedules are available. Also, integrating healthy, nutritional food choices into snacks & meals is an essential part of assisting proper growth for our children. Learn more about our programs here.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

How to Set Up the Bathroom for Potty Training

Are you ready for your child to become self sufficient in using the toilet?

First thing is first: setting your child's environment up so they can be independent & successful!  Here are a few tricks to prepare the bathroom for your little one to use the toilet independently:

1.  Use your adult toilet in the bathroom! 
*HINT: A child has a hard time understanding why they would use an area that is different than what everyone else in the household uses.

2.  Get a step stool for the toilet and for the sink.  If you have a tall toilet or sink, you can pick up a two step footstool (here's a great one from Ikea http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20201738/).  If you have a shorter/smaller toilet or sink, a children's stool with one step may be sufficient (Ikea has that too - http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60248418/)
*TIP: Make sure the steps are close enough together for little legs to easily climb! :)

3.  Get a simple toilet insert & hang it next to the toilet.  Also, if you put a command hook with the insert hanging on it in the bathroom, you can teach your child to pull up to take the insert off of the hook and then replace it after they are finished using it.

4.  Make the toilet paper & soap easily accessible in the bathroom.
*TIP: Monitor your child's use of toilet paper & soap until you feel like are capable of using only as much as they need.

5.  To assist your child in being successful, you will need to teach them how to take their underwear & pants off and how to put them back on!  (Unless they go to Little Genius Montessori, then they should already know) 

It's never too early to start building their self confidence!  Self fulfillment is the BEST fulfillment :)  

Sensitive times to toilet learn are between 18 & 22 months for children.  However, some children learn earlier and others choose to learn later.  No matter what age, the most important part is that they learn & continue to build self confidence/esteem.

Happy Potty Training :)

Little Genius Montessori offers extended care hours from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., full-time & part-time schedules are available. Also, integrating healthy, nutritional food choices into snacks & meals is an essential part of assisting proper growth for our children. Learn more about our programs here.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

How to Make Salt Dough Keepsake Ornaments


Using only 3 ingredients your children can help make a Salt Dough keepsake ornaments to treasure for years or to give to give as a gift to loved ones. Capture the memories of little hands and feet using the salt dough recipe provided below.
What you'll need:
  • 3 cups flour 
  • 3 cups salt (easiest to buy in bulk)
  • 1.5 cups water

  1. Knead all ingredients together and if needed, add more water.
  2. Roll out on flour surface to desired thickness, half inch to 1 inch thick.
  3. Use bowl to cut perfect circles.
  4. Push hand or foot into the dough, make a hole for hanging and mark year if desired. 
  5. Bake on a cookie sheet on 250 degrees until dry (at least a few hours).

TIP: bake on foil to easily remove from oven and let cool completely before painting.
Happy holidays!  May your days be filled with quality family time and fond memories.


Little Genius Montessori offers extended care hours from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., full-time & part-time schedules are available. Also, integrating healthy, nutritional food choices into snacks & meals is an essential part of assisting proper growth for our children. Learn more about our programs here.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Gift of Help

Tis the Season of Lights; a time to share good food, love and gifts, with our family and friends. In North America, this is typically the time of year we call for peace, and remember that there is Hope and Goodness in the world. This is also one of the times that we more readily remember our neighbors and consider their needs. To that end, Primary 2 (The Blue Butterfly Room) has been discussing helping and sharing the last few days, and Rhonda is asking anyone who is willing, to please bring in something to put in our giving box. The donated goods will be taken to Human Solutions on December 24th.

According to their webpage Human Solutions is in urgent need of:
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Cereal
  • Juice
  • Socks (adult or child)
  • Blankets
  • NEW Undergarments (adult or child)
  • NEW Winter Hats (adult or child) 
  • Hygiene supplies (soap, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine products, toothbrushes, combs/brushes)
  • Diapers size 3-5
Any other nonperishable food items will also be gratefullly accepted!

Please help us, help them!

Thank you,

The Best Little Genius Montessori 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2015 Little Genius Montessori Holiday Closures

The Best Little Genius Montessori school will be closed on December 24 and December 25th, 2015. We will also be closing at 5:00 p.m. on New Years Eve, December 31st, 2015.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these times please give us a call at: 503.492.8500 or stop by at: 3200 NE Hogan Dr Gresham, OR 97030 and we can discuss it in detail.

Little Genius Montessori offers extended care hours from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., full-time & part-time schedules are available. Also, integrating healthy, nutritional food choices into snacks & meals is an essential part of assisting proper growth for our children. Learn more about our programs here.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Toddler Two's Natural Encounters


The Little Genius Montessori's two year old toddler classrooms had the chance to watch a squirrel eat! This brave squirrel feasted on a healthy nut snack while the children watched through the fence outside on the playground.


While taking a walk with your toddler have them look around for natural encounters. If your toddler spots a bird, bug or some other critter let them observe it for a moment. Ask them questions about the animal they found such as "Where do you think they live?" and "What do you think it likes to eat?" Observing living creatures and thinking about their activities broadens a toddlers understanding of the world around them.

Little Genius Montessori offers extended care hours from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., full-time & part-time schedules are available. Also, integrating healthy, nutritional food choices into snacks & meals is an essential part of assisting proper growth for our children. Learn more about our programs here.