I have worked in a Montessori school for 5 years and in that time I have become passionate about sharing what Montessori is and ways to incorporate it into your home. I am so passionate, in fact, that I have written an entire ebook about it. But I wanted to give you a little taste of some of the easy ways you can be more Montessori today.
The ebook is divided into three sections: Mindset, Furniture and Other Products, and Toys. In this post, I will share one thing from each category.
The first way you can have a more Montessori mindset is simply by being understanding. Many parents fall into the trap of treating their children like babies well into their toddler years. They forget that as their baby matures and starts to walk and talk, that it is important to take their thoughts and feelings into account.
Now, I’m not telling you to let your toddler decide everything. But once they are over a year old or so, you should start to try to give them choices that pertain to their own lives. Offer them a choice about what to have for snack or what shirt to wear. It is that easy.
Giving your child choices and some control won’t mean they never get upset or throw a tantrum. It means we need to be understanding about their feelings also. We all get mad. We all get sad. We all get upset over little things because we are having a bad day. Children need to be allowed to experience that also. We need to model how to handle negative feelings and help lead them through those feelings. So if they are cranky, we need to let them feel that emotion. It doesn’t mean they are allowed to hit, scream, or destroy things. But we can offer them ways to feel better, such as a hug or doing a favorite activity like reading books together or coloring pictures.
The ebook also gets into things like taking outings with your children, limited screen time, and access to nature.
It is important for children to be exposed to beautiful things. That includes artwork, both framed on the wall and small, beautiful knick knacks they are allowed to touch and admire. In a young child’s bedroom, artwork should be mounted at their height so they can actually enjoy it. You can even mount artwork at their level around the house.
Around our house, I am careful to put anything I would not want broken up out of her reach, but I leave other items where she can admire and explore with them. For example, I have some beautiful coasters that appear to be somewhat handmade. They contain real, dried butterflies inside. They are somewhat breakable, but I do have them in a spot where my toddler can reach and admire them. When she does look at them, we talk about how beautiful they are and how much I like them. I stress that I want her to be careful because I would be really sad if they broke.
The last bit about artwork is access to famous works of art or artists as the child gets older. Besides taking them to art museums or reading art books, you can also have reproductions of famous pieces in your house. We love “Starry Night” and have a framed copy above our bed that our daughter loved to stare at as a baby. We also have another, large Van Gogh print in our kitchen.
The ebook also talks about getting a stool for your bathroom, using open glasses with your child, and getting a learning tower for your kitchen.
One thing that children of any age should have at home is puzzles. Now, I will admit that I love jigsaw and crossword puzzles. I love a mental challenge and most children I know also love it. There are several different kinds of puzzles for all ages.
Once a baby is around a year old or so, they are capable of doing puzzles. The first puzzles you should give a toddler are things like simple shape sorters and stacking toys. These are puzzles for them to try to figure out and are a bit more sensorially pleasing to them. You can also give them very simple knob puzzles with just a few distinct pieces. The knobs should be big so that toddlers can hold on to them easily. Once toddlers get a little older and have better fine motor skills, the puzzles they do can have more pieces and smaller knobs.
Older children might have more fun doing jigsaw type puzzles. If you can find one with a picture that interests them, most children will be excited to put it together. I have linked a great example of each kind of puzzle on my resource page.
The ebook also talks about limiting electronic toys, the importance of a library card, and practical life exercises.
Make sure you check out the ebook to read more easy ways to have a more Montessori home. From products and furniture to buy to changing your thinking, it contains 30 easy ways to change up your parenting in a Montessori way. Click on the picture below to be taken to the sales page.
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