Are you practicing Montessori with your toddler and you don’t even know it?
It’s odd to think that there was ever a time when we weren’t purposefully practicing Montessori in this family but, there was a time!
We started bringing Montessori into our home when our first child was just 10 months old. A close friend of mine told me about the concept and I thought it sounded wonderful. The more I researched and the more I learned I realized, we were already practicing Montessori!
In this article, I’m going to highlight all the ways we were already practicing Montessori so you can easily start practicing Montessori with your toddler too.
Montessori is described as an aid to life. It’s a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and group play. When I first looked up the definition it solidified my belief that Montessori was the way we should be raising our children.
Just like you, I was attracted to Montessori as it promises so much. Although the Montessori world can be scary and intimidating at first it is absolutely worth the effort! Even if you only practice Montessori in your home for an hour a day, it’s 100% worth it.
Take what works for your family and start there. If you choose to keep practicing Montessori, even better.
The reasons we love Montessori are truly countless. The Montessori philosophy syncs perfectly with who my husband and I are and who our children will no doubt grow to be.
Before having a child I didn’t give much thought as to how I would raise my child. I just thought it would come naturally, and it does to an extent, but I must admit it is great having Montessori to guide me through my parenting years.
Every day your child is learning and you can choose the path you want to guide them on. We choose Montessori to show them the way and watch them succeed.
Here are a few actionable items you can do right now to get started with Montessori with your toddler.
Donate all the flashy, noisy, passive toys. I know this is by far the hardest step to follow through with. Truth be told we still have a few flash toys hiding away here that I just couldn’t bring myself to give away. The main point here is to create a prepared environment for your child to excel in. If you do keep any of these toys make sure to put them out of sight when not in use. You may even notice your child doesn’t miss them at all.
Yes, you are the adult but you can still show your child respect. Talk to your child like you would an equal. Talking TO the child, not AT the child. One simple way to start showing respect is to use common courtesy or manners when speaking to your child. This will also model the correct way to speak to other people outside of the home.
This works best when given 2-3 choices as not to overwhelm your child. For example, ask them whether they would like to brush their teeth with the blue toothbrush or the yellow toothbrush today. This helps create confidence and independence within your child.
Children want to learn. They want to help. Helping with laundry, cleaning, cooking and gardening are all great ways to incorporate your child in everyday tasks. These are called practical life activities in the Montessori world and are one of the most important things to work for a toddler.
This one can be difficult. Instead of saying “No” you can say “Cords are not for playing with. How about we read a book.” It is always best to tell them exactly what they shouldn’t be doing and then give them a new activity to focus on. Try to create more “yes” spaces in our house. This allows the child to explore worry free.
Once you make these changes in your home you’re going to notice a change in your toddler. Your child will become more engaged in their activities, cooperative in their abilities to help and their independence will start to soar helping him be a more confident child.
Have you already started practicing Montessori? Share with us any changes you have seen in your family since bringing Montessori into your home in the comments below.
Ready to take the next step into Montessori living? Join us in The Montessori Learning Center to learn everything you need to know about Montessori with your toddler! Click the image below to learn more.
I don’t know the exact circumstances with the children you were speaking about but I do practice the Montessori principle of giving choices and it hasn’t backfired on my children yet. I’m assuming the children were craving some boundaries. Another Montessori principle, freedom within limits. While we do want to give our children freedom of choice it is a freedom within limits. These limits or boundaries are up to the parents and teachers to provide. Perhaps this might have helped in that particular instance we will never know. What we do know is that children are excelling across all fields when practicing Montessori throughout their childhood. Hopefully, this helps with your questions!
Hey Holly its Amy and indeed we do things that make us feel we are maybe a bit ahead of the game. A tiny bit anyway. Gage loves to fold wash cloths as well as put laundry in the washer and dryer. He is also a duster of furniture and toys. We have a special stool that he uses for putting clothes in the washer,and helping wash dishes. He is learning to get his own water but that is a work in progress because he loves loves loves water play. Giving him choices, he really enjoys ,rather than being given something because WE think it is what he wants or needs. They really are little sponges and given time and direction it is amazing what they are capable of. He is 22 months and we are thrilled at our progress and his abilities already!
Thanks for the support.
Hey Amy! Wow, it does sound like you have a little life long learner on your hands! When you practice Montessori with your toddler, particularly practical life activities you really do see the benefits instantly. 22 months is such a fun age, watch out for the upcoming language explosion around 2. He will be talking your ear off. 😉 I’m so glad your family has found Montessori!
Leave a Comment:
Hi there! I love these general principles. However, I’ve see the decision making method (letting child choose between two objects) backfire magnificently. I know two children raised this way and every single time they WEREN’T allowed to choose the colors of plates, napkins, etc., they would have tantrums and meltdowns. Their parents would sit with them and give them time to calm down, as is suggested on other Montessori websites and parenting books. The children are now like 11 and 8, but they still act this way occasionally. Is this an avoidable behavior? Do you think this reaction was due to the temperament of the children?