Maria Montessori was one of the first experts in the world of pedagogy who emphasized the child’s integrity, the need to respect the child, treating children as equal to adults and introduced a comprehensive system of education around this idea. More and more educational institutions around the world have adopted her views on childhood. What are the best activities you can do with your little one, which were inspired by Maria Montessori?
By teaching children when and how to wash their hands, we contribute to their independence and a sense of order and rituals, which will accompany them into adulthood. Therefore, let’s not forget the correct hand washing procedure, which is certainly also taught in kindergarten if your child is included in it:
Wet your hands thoroughlypply soap
Rub all surfaces of the hands thoroughly for 20 seconds.
Wash your hands
Dry them with a towel
Does the object sink or float?
This is another traditional Montessori activity that I’ve made really simple for at home. We put different materials and objects on the tray and let the little one explore. Older children may focus on only n subjects and study it thoroughly. Younger toddlers will be just learning which things sink and which float and throw a lot of them in at once. You can prepare things such as: a screw, a plastic toy, a pen, a stone, a shell, a wooden spoon, a piece of wood, a leaf, a pea, a crayon…
Mystery box with items
Simply put a few everyday household items in a bag (an opaque fabric bag works best) and ask your child to identify each item just by touch. This helps to develop a child’s sensory sense and is usually a lot of fun too. You can choose a wide variety of things from your home. You will be surprised how long it sometimes takes a person to figure out what it is about when the object is out of context or out of sight.
Sorting things by color
Color sorting/searching. Use color cards, colored bowls, or colored felt and find objects around your home that match that color. If you don’t have colored cardboard or felt, you can paint the paper. You can put this in a basket or tray, or go on a color hunt to find items that match in color. “Let’s go look for some red things”, “Let’s see if we can find something green.”. You can also do this exercise while bathing and look for different colors in the bathroom or anywhere else. Try it, it’s fun!
Tray with natural materials
Collect objects from the forest and sort them on the tray. Try different plants, cones, pebbles, moss… Also see if you can find interesting things like feathers, leaves, pods… If you have a magnifying glass you can add these too. Sit with the child, feel the objects and talk about them, allow the children to touch the objects and explore independently.
Folding is another skill that a child will not be able to avoid in his life. You can start with simple rags, such as lunch mats, small towels, cleaning cloths, pillow covers… Eventually, we can let the child fold his own laundry and tell him how to fold each piece of clothing. You won’t believe how quickly toddlers learn new skills. And it’s okay if it’s not perfect! Better to let them have their freedom, a little mess in the closet and wrinkled clothes in the kindergarten. They will do better every week!
Pretend to run a store or set up a home library with your little one. Play a role-playing game and let yourself be entertained! Great practice for real life! Use products you have at home, make mini cookie boxes, take books off the bookshelf, organize your own little shop. Toddlers enjoy this game to no end. Switch roles, who buys and who sells, who puts new stock on the shelves, etc. Set up a cash register, money and everything, name each object separately, let the little ones learn as many new words as possible!