If you’re looking to expand on your child’s exposure to Montessori concepts, you aren’t alone. Many parents see the value in promoting independence and building confidence in children as much as possible. Montessori concepts don’t have to be left at school after the dismissal bell rings. Montessori learning is all about having a “prepared environment” so let’s talk about some ways you can keep the Montessori concepts flowing even after the school day ends.
Create a space where your children can hang their coats at the end of a long day. This space can also double as a backpack and shoe storage area. Make sure the space is easily accessible to your children. For example, child height pegs and low bins will allow your children to easily take responsibility for putting away their own items. If you have to hang your child’s coat or backpack, or lift a heavy lid, the entire purpose of the prepared environment in this space is lost.
Hands-On Kitchen Time
Most kids love helping in the kitchen! Sure, it can test your patience at times, especially if you are trying to stick to a tight schedule. But, it’s important to allow your child the opportunity and responsibility of helping in the kitchen. Have them help you measure and pour liquids and solids or prepare vegetables like shucking corn. This will help with hand eye coordination, an understanding of measurements, as well as an opportunity to learn about different states of matter.
You can also help your child learn independence by stocking your pantry with easily accessible snacks that they can choose from. Throw in a small table and chair for your little one to give them an entire kitchen setup where they can independently serve themselves a snack and clean up afterwards.
It’s never too young to start being responsible for chores. Give your child all of the tools they need to pitch in around the house. A hand-held broom and dustpan, an easily accessible toy shelf, and a dirty clothes basket are all items that they can use on their own to tidy up.
If your child is too small to adequately reach the sink by themselves, give them a sturdy stool that they can use when you aren’t around. Make sure the bathroom stays stocked with hand soap and a hand towel. Include hand washing as a daily routine before all meals and after playing outside. Before you know it, your child will begin washing their hands all on their own without any prompting.
Be Mindful Of Opportunities For Independence
These are just a few examples of creating a prepared environment to allow for Montessori learning at home. Hands-on experiences can be found in nearly all aspects of daily life. Be mindful and aware of opportunities around you and include your child whenever possible. Embrace the mess and extra time it takes for them to help out. The experience they gain is worth every bit of it.