This is the twelfth installment of 12 Tips for Choosing a Montessori School which can also be downloaded as a free eBook.
Practical life exercises are one of the primary foundations of the Montessori environment. These exercises provide a range of activities which allow children to develop:
- Control and coordination of movement
- Awareness of environment
- Orderly thought patterns
- Independent work habits
Through practicing Montessori skills at home, children gain these and many other characteristics which can be attained through spontaneous, purposeful work. Here are a list of activities that you can have your child easily perform in your home environment:
- Turning water taps on & off
- Scrubbing Sinks – For younger children, you can apply the cleanser and they can help scrub
- Help unload groceries – Let them hand you items, or put things away that are within their reach
- Vacuuming – Make it very clear that an adult is to plug it in! Show your child how to turn it on and off and how to clean different parts of the rug
- Pouring – Allow the child to pour drinks from a small pitcher, with only a cup of liquid. Gradually increase the amount of liquid as the child is older and more dexterous
- Setting the table – hand them one item at a time, and later set one full place and allow the child to replicate it for remaining place settings. Then, finally, allow them to do the whole process on their own
- Putting toys away – This is a habit. Encourage your child to replace each toy on the shelf after he/she has used it
- Rolling socks
- Folding clothes
- Storing clothes
- Raking leaves
- Watering plants indoors and outdoors
- Helping wash a car
- Helping wrap packages
- Helping decorate the home for
- Washing and drying dishes
- Sorting clothes for a wash
Toys in a Montessori home
Here are some suggestions for choosing toys in a Montessori home. First and foremost, toys should be safe. They should also challenge the child’s interest and imagination without being too difficult or too easy. If your child destroys a toy, it is typically either too simple, too difficult, or is in a deteriorated condition. Toys should inspire a sense of joy, wonder or fulfillment as a child plays with them.
We recommend that toys are stored on neutral colored toy shelves because they offer the possibility of displaying a toy in such a way that it attracts and lures the child to it. Each toy should be washed often and have all of its parts. If a toy is difficult to store or keep neatly on the shelf, make an attractive box for it. Each toy that has removable parts should have a beautiful small box for the storage of those parts.
Toy rotation results in better use of toys. This way, children always feel that some of their toys are “new.” Limit the number of toys on the shelves to 8 or 9 at any one time. Remaining toys should be stored accessibly. As the child tires of certain toys they can replace them with a stored toy. Of course, if a child asks for a “stored toy,” he/she should be able to have it.
Choosing a quality Montessori school will provide your child the foundation they need, as they embark upon their educational journey. This can be the one of the best decisions you will make for your child!
If you want your children to have a Montessori School education, but are not ready to bring it into your home, we can help. Our Chula Vista Preschool offers an effective Montessori education, read what our students’ parents are saying. Montessori American School offers a wide variety of programs for your children. The Early Childhood Program, for children 2 to 6 years old, offers practical life, sensorial, language, math and so much more. If you have further questions please contact us online or call (619) 422-1220. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.