EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MONTESSORI AT HOME WITH YOUR 12 MONTH OLD
Montessori with your 12 month old to 15 month old is such an exciting period! This has got to be one of my favorite stages of growth for toddlers. They are becoming more and more independent and you as a parent get to help them along the way!
I’m going to dive right in here. I’m going to give you everything you’re going to need to get started with Montessori with your 12 month old. Let’s go!
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Montessori with your 12 month old – 15 month old
PREPARING YOUR ENVIRONMENT
First thing’s first with Montessori, you need to start by preparing your environment. Even if you’ve been practicing Montessori in your home for awhile now you still need to prepare your environment for each of your child’s new developmental stages. This will help support your child through his/her sensitive periods which we will talk about below.
By now you should’ve switched your child to a floor bed. The low bed offers your child a better perception of their environment and allows them to move forward in their path towards independence.
An area for feeding should also be set up for your child by this time. It should include items such as a weaning table, weaning chair, and dining set (weaning set).
The area for work should be set up with aids for independence, age-appropriate toys and materials and practical life activities. Use these aids for independence to start preparing your area for work:
- Child Sized Chair
- Child Sized Table
- Child Sized Wardrobe
- Low Shelves
- Learning Tower
You’re going to want to set up an area for self-care at this time as well. This is normally done in the bathroom where other members of the family partake in self-care. You can add a small sink or a stool to access the sink. You’ll want to make sure everything your child uses for self-care such as a toothbrush, hairbrush, hand towel, soap, etc are all within reach so he/she can independently access them.
TOYS & MATERIALS
When you start to fill your low shelves please remember that you don’t want to overwhelm your child with too many choices. Anywhere between 6-12 toys or materials is a good number to have out at one time. Also, keep in mind that rotating the materials every few weeks is highly suggested.
Using an educational program such as Monti Kids will be of great help. This program is designed to take the guesswork out of finding Montessori materials suitable for your toddler. Learn more about Monti Kids and how they can help you find age-appropriate Montessori materials by clicking here!
Here are just a few materials your 12-15 month old may be interested in:
- Play Silks
- Ball Tracker
- Egg Shakers
- 1-2 Piece Puzzles
- Schleich Animals
- Object Permanence Box
- Learning Tower
- Child Safe Knife
- Scrubbing Brush
- Child Sized Table & Chairs
- Wooden Trays
- Child Sized Glass
- Child Sized Dining Set
- Vertical Dowel
Upon beginning a new activity or presenting a new material you need to remember that your child is only just learning to concentrate. As your child grows older he/she will be able to concentrate for longer periods of time.
It is also important to note not to correct the child when they are concentrating. This will not allow them to build the skill of concentration. Instead, wait until they are finished and model the correct way to use the material for them continuing to present and model the activity or material to them each time until they correctly use the item.
Here are some activities your 12-15 month old may enjoy:
- 1-2 Piece Wooden Puzzles
- Sand Play
- Using Open & Close Items
- Point & Make Animal Sound
- Playing Posting Games
- Transferring Work
- Washing Station
- Animal Watching
- Puddle Splashing
- Mud Painting
Practical life activities are important because they allow your child to feel part of a community. They promote sensorial exploration, language development, and independence.
Start to introduce practical life activities to your child by first observe your child’s interests. Present the activity to your child remembering to practice beforehand. Starting with one activity and building more and more.
Start by trying one of these practical life activities and building from there:
- Washing Fruit or Vegetables
- Peeling Bananas
- Stirring with a Spoon
- Drinking from a Glass
- Wiping Table with Cloth
- Using a Fork or Spoon to Eat
- Brushing Teeth
- Brushing Hair
- Washing Hands
- Loading the Washing Machine
- Putting Dirty Clothes in Hamper
- Putting Activities Away
- Throw Away Trash
- Berry Picking
- Watering Garden
- Gather Leaves
The child’s absorbent mind (0 – 6) is driven by what Maria Montessori identified as sensitive periods in development. Follow your child’s lead for his/her cues of sensitive periods beginning. Try not to underestimate your child’s ability or work. If he/she is doing certain work over and over, they are probably in their sensitive period for that work/task.
Here’s a list of sensitive periods your child may be experiencing at this age:
- Movement Birth-6 Years
- Gross & Fine Motor Development Birth-2.5 Years
- Language Birth-6 Years
- Sensory Skills Birth-5 Years
- Emotional Control Birth-2.5 Years
- Walking 12 Months-15 Months
- Toilet Learning 12 Months-18 Months
Remember that your child is in their first plane of development. Maria Montessori described this time as the absorbent mind. Your child is watching you. You should be modeling the behavior you desire your child to have.
What questions do you have about Montessori? Pop them in the comments below so I can help you get started with your Montessori journey!
Disclaimer: This isn’t the end all be all for Montessori with your 12 month old to 15 month old. Montessori is largely based on following your child’s lead, knowing that every child is unique, there can not be one set standard for every child. Use this information as it suits your child.