Montessori Lifestyle Tips
by Holly Daniel
I first started hearing about Montessori when my friends began having babies. One enrolled her daughter in a Montessori preschool because she had trouble concentrating in a normal preschool environment. My other friend actually taught at a Montessori preschool where her child attended. It was this friend who truly introduced me to the world of Montessori.
She told me it was all about letting your little one learn at their own pace and make their own decisions; and when you get the choice, choose natural products and activities. Noting that “You’re probably already Montessori and don’t even know it.” She was right.
Now that I’ve been consciously practicing Montessori for awhile I hear a lot of talk about what toys are appropriate or doubt about making your environment perfect. We are all on our own journey here and there isn’t a standard we all need to meet in order to practice this lifestyle.
Here are some tips on how to implement Montessori into your life and examples of Montessori activities for toddlers.
Respect your child in every aspect of their life.
Talk TO your child not AT your child.
Use natural simple materials and toys.
Stay away from the flashy plastic toys that will lose their attention in a few days.
This can be difficult when your child is trying to complete a task and you are in a hurry to do something. Try to give them the option to do practical tasks only when time will allow as you don’t want to interrupt their concentration.
Follow the child.
Observation of the child is key to success when it comes to Montessori. Let your child take the led and follow them on their journey.
Freedom of choice and movement.
A child must have freedom to explore the indoors and outdoors as well as the freedom to choose.
Teach by modeling not correcting.
Show your child how it is done. Do not correct them. If they make a mistake show them again. There is no need to tell them they made a mistake just show them how to do it again.
Teach practical life and sensorial activities.
Children want to learn. They want to learn the tasks that they see us do every day. Both practical and sensorial activities will allow your child to learn new tasks and grow their independence.
Orderly and attractive prepared environments
It is best to be orderly as not to distract or overwhelm the child’s concentrating mind.
Don’t interrupt your child at work.
Concentration is something your child needs to develop and interruption will delay this.
Use child-size materials.
This will help your child develop their independence by not having to rely on the adult as often.
Create hands-on learning opportunities.
This allows the child to gain a very concrete understanding of the materials.
13 Montessori Activites for Toddlers
Patience is everything when completing a real life task with a toddler. As parents, we get wrapped up and the go go go of life keeps us busy. We need to allow the child time to learn at their own pace. Be sure to keep this in mind when your toddler is taking 20 minutes deciding which pair of shoes they want to wear.
- Cutting fruit and veggies
- Watering garden
- Folding laundry
- Washing dishes
- Setting the table
- Putting groceries away
- Choosing clothes to wear
- Putting toys away
- Peeling fruit
- Loading the washer
- Sweeping the floor
- Mopping the floor
- Buttering toast