Create a Montessori Environment at Home
Helping to Unload Groceries
Put all the bags on the floor. Let your child hand you things to be put high on shelves. Your child can put away things that are stored in low cabinets. (Keep in mind that some things may be too heavy to be lifted by a small child.)
Turning a Water Tap On and Off
Call your child’s attention to the dust. Invite them to join you. Show them where to find a small cloth or soft brush to use. Show them how to wrap the cloth around the fingers and wipe the dust away in slow, careful strokes. Point out how to change the position of the dust cloth on fingers as dust that is collected is noticed. The brush can be used for carved furniture, nooks, and crannies. Show the proper place to put the soiled cloth so it can be cleaned.
Most children love to run vacuums. Show them how to connect the parts of the vacuum. Make it very clear that an adult must plug in. Show them how to turn it on and off and how to clean different parts of the rug.
Find a small hand broom and dustpan. Show how to sweep the dirt into a pile. Hold the dustpan and sweep the dirt into it with hand broom. Carefully carry the dustpan to the wastebasket and empty it.
Setting the Table
Have your child help you count how many plates, napkins, and utensils you will need. Let them help you carry all necessary items to the table one thing at a time. The adult should set one place as an example and then the child can set a place for each family member. Be sure that necessary items are stored where the child can reach easily.
Putting Toys Away
This is a habit that must be established by encouraging your child to replace each toy on the shelf after it is used. They should put one thing away before they choose the next toy to play with. This makes cleanup more manageable and less overwhelming.
Other Activities that Children Enjoy
- Rolling socks
- Folding laundry
- Watering plants indoors and outdoors
- Helping wash a car
- Watering plants inside and outside
- Raking leaves
Small children truly enjoy these activities and being able to help you. When your children do activities to help care for themselves or the home environment, they appreciate it regardless of the result. Work that is done with joy and delight needs little praise, but children want to know that what they do is valued and appreciated. Do not redo any part of their projects in front of them, and if possible, do not correct any part of them at all.
Preparation of Home Environment
- Mirror at the child’s eye level
- Toothbrush and comb within reach
- Towels, wash cloth, and towel rack within reach
- Low clothes racks and hooks with two or three choices for the day
- A place for raincoat, boots, shows, bag, etc.
- A bed that the child can enter and leave independently
- Shelves for toys that are in neutral color
The Living Room
- A small comfortable chair with good light
- The possibility to see outside through a window
- Beautiful, interesting objects in the environment that the child can safely handle
- Child’s own chair at the table
- Possibility of getting water at the sink when wanted
- Sponges and towels at the child’s level so that spills can be wiped up
- A low drawer or cabinet that contains the objects needed by the child to help care for the environment and to participate in food preparation