There are three, easy steps you can take when deciding what station to set up in your home (or classroom) next.
The wonderful thing about stations, is that there’s not a rigid timeline as to when stations should be introduced. Stations should be introduced to our children when they show an interest in whatever the station entails. It’s important to remember, that our work as parents or educators is to observe what the children in our care are most interested in, and cater our stations to their interests. If your child is showing an interest in helping to dress or undress themselves, a dressing station would be a perfect next step. However, if they have shown no interest in the station but you set it up anyway, the child may show interest for a short while, but will likely, quickly become bored with it.
After you’ve observed your child, follow their lead. Maybe that means you’ve noticed that your child has a keen interest in water. They play in the water outside. They love to help you with dishes or laundry, etc. So, maybe a hand-washing station makes the most sense. When we truly make the effort to follow the lead of the child, we are more likely to set up stations that they can hardly tear their attention away from.
I know that something like a hand-washing station sounds like a nightmare. You’re already picturing the water all over the floor. That’s why it’s so important to create stations that promote ‘freedom within limits.’ Meaning, our children have freedom of choice, but we are providing the choices and providing appropriate boundaries. When it comes to WHAT station to create, just remember to follow the child’s lead and that practical life activities are always a good place to start. For example; gardening, self-serve stations, self-care stations, etc. Anything that your child will one day need to complete independently, is a great station idea.
Interested in learning more about Montessori Stations? I’d love for you to join us in my Montessori Station Creation 2 day workshop. I’ll be covering the “who, what, when, where and how” of Montessori stations.
In the meantime, I’d love to know; What is your child currently, interested in completing independently? Remember, whatever that is, it may be a good thing to plan a station around.