Montessori is mostly known as Montessori education at school. But Montessori has also found its way beyond the classrooms into family homes.
Montessori focuses on encouraging the independence of children by motivating them to learn things because they WANT TO do it, not because they HAVE TO.
As a result, children have the chance to develop their abilities in their own time, without feeling pressure to achieve something in a certain amount of time and it can be guided based on their interests and individual developmental phases. Montessori gives you the joy of watching your child grow and develop by itself, with you being its learning companion.
1. Less is more
What applies to so many areas of life, is also true for children: Less is more.
Placing fewer, easier to access toys into the child's play area allows for them to freely explore each item based on their individual interest. By observing which toys are interesting to our children we can also use this to help guide how we rotate the toys.
And of course, having fewer toys and specific spots in the toy storage for each item also allows the child to return the toy after it is no longer playing with it.
Photo Credits: @bunt.und.schoen
2. Create play areas for different topics
Creating play areas for different topics allows the child the freedom to choose and establishes safe boundaries for certain activities. This can for example be a creativity corner (for forming things with the hands), a movement area (for climbing, jumping etc.) or a soft corner (for games like puzzles or building blocks, but also for reading books).
Using a play mat can be a great way to show where a designated play area is and creates a safe and solid base for the activity.
When all those corners are set up, the child can decide on its own when it wants to play in one of these corners.
3. Set up a gallery for all the artworks of your child
You should not forget to appreciate the artworks of your child, and to motivate it in this way to keep going.
The best is to turn a small area in one of the rooms of the house, in which all of you and also visitors spend time – for example the hall or the living room – into a gallery for all the artworks. This can be a door for paintings or a shelf for bigger artworks.
Photo Credits: The Creativity Exchange
4. Integrate the seasons in the play
A good way for your child to learn more about nature is to integrate the seasons in the play and artwork. Go with your child in the nature and collect – depending on the season – for example flowers, shellfish, leaves, nuts, corncobs, pinecones, special stones or moss.
You will be surprised how many ideas your child will have, when it comes to create artworks out of the treasures of nature.
Photo Credits: Learning and exploring through play
5. Give your child the possibility to make its own food
A great way to support your child’s independence is to allow the possibility to prepare a small snack or a glass of water on its own.
For this, you can set up a little table with basic dishes and food like bread, butter or a banana. In the meantime, this also helps the child to take responsibility for itself and improve its own eye-hand coordination.
Photo Credits: My French Recipe
6. Integrate your child in the real world
One of the Montessori principles is to encourage the child’s independence and self-confidence. Related to this comes that your child should have the feeling that it is an important part of the family and is needed to make the family life work.
This means, that you should include your child in tasks in the household. One way to do this is by incorporating your child in the household tasks. Children want to help, because this gives them the feeling of being important, and in the meantime, they can spend time with their parents.
It is important to choose age-appropriate tasks which don’t overwhelm the child, for example: watering flowers, helping with setting up the table, sorting socks or helping with filling the dishwasher.
Photo Credits: Little Partners
We hope these tips bring you some inspiration for applying Montessori in your home!