Do you have a child at or around six years old? I've put together a list of topics and activities that a child of this age might be interested in, based on what they are learning at school and Montessori thoughts on this stage in development.
Children of this age are often interested in topics that come from the great stories told at school and may include topics like the first humans, volcanoes, dinosaurs/prehistoric life but there are so many more areas of interest the child may take from this study. Children at this age are often becoming more social beings and may be more interested in activities outside of the home. They are also becoming more aware of their environment and may be interested in more environmentally friendly activities.
"At six, there is a great transformation in the child, like a new birth. The child wants to explore society and the world, to learn what is right and wrong, to think about meaningful roles in society. He wants to know how everything came to be, the history of the universe, the world, humans and why people behave the way they do. He asks the big questions and wants answers." - Child of the World: Montessori, Global Education for Age 3-12+.
- Make recycled paper - using a kit is a good place to start for beginners, eco-friendly project.
- Paper mache projects - eco-friendly art.
- Make volcanoes - can be made with clay or with a kit, add coloured vinegar to baking soda to erupt the volcano. Connects well with the Montessori cosmic education.
- Dinosaur study - go to the museum, look at bones, books or use Dinosaur models, connects well with the Montessori cosmic education.
- Make a diorama - this is a fun way to express or reinforce knowledge, allow the child to choose the topic! (Solar system diorama pictured below).
- Rocks, minerals, gem and fossil study - can connect to Montessori cosmic education. We've recently got a rock tumbler which has been fun to use but requires patience.
- Chess, checkers games - learning about social rules and for social interaction.
- Bike ride, scooter riding - great gross motor activities for this age.
- Handcrafts - woodworking, knitting, finger knitting, origami, weaving, basket weaving.
- Use a telescope - star or planet spotting, more on cosmic education.
- Use a microscope - can connect to earth and life sciences.
- Take an extra-curricular activity - this is the age I've found that many children within my own community take up an extra-curricular activity (horse-riding, Aikido, Taekwondo). This has a lot do with their self-expression (finding out more about themselves) and becoming social beings (looking outside of the home for social interaction and experiences).
- Visit an exhibition - try the art gallery or museum but find (or keep an eye out for) an exhibit that the child connects with and research it first, knowing more about the exhibit before visiting will enhance the experience for both you and your child.
- Visit the Library - hopefully, your child is familiar with their local library and have their own card, but if not this is a good time to start! This is also the approximate time (if not perhaps within a year or so), the child may become interested in the junior book section (rather than picture books or readers), depending on the design of your library.
- Learn about inventions and simple machines - introductory science and physics, think learning pulleys, wheels, gravity. There are lots of ideas here.
- Basic science experiments - we've used this book as a reference/starting point.
- Snap circuit, electric circuit kits, Little Bits - possibly early coding toys and kits, it's likely at six the child will require parent involvement, to begin with.
- Listen to a podcast - you can see our favourite podcasts here.
- Build things with sticks - lots of nature play, think bows and arrows, building structures are a favourite around here.
- Make a child's recipe book - compile family recipes, the recipes the child can make independently or of their favourite foods.
- Gardening, composting or start a worm farm - look for the child's special interests, connects well with earth and life sciences.
- Tell and share jokes - write a joke book or make up knock, knock jokes. I don't know why but this is a fantastic age for telling crazy and silly jokes.
If you have a younger child you may be interested in some of my previous posts:
- What can I do with my infant (birth to six months)?
- What can I do with my baby (6-12 months)?
- What can I do with my one year old? Part One 12-18 months.
- What can I do with my one year old? Part Two 18-23 months.
- What can I do with my two year old?
- What can I do with my three year old?
I hope you've found some of these ideas useful! Please feel free to add some of your own activity ideas below!