One of the biggest questions from readers is “How do I bring Montessori in my home?” Parents believe in the Montessori approach and want to embrace it authentically. In short, parents want to do it right. The good news is that you can integrate the Montessori philosophy into your home in easy and inexpensive ways.
Bring Montessori into the Home Activities & Ideas
Make Snacks Accessible
Create a drawer or shelf in a pantry with snacks your child enjoys. Invite him to populate the area with you. Encourage him to access this drawer when his body tells him to do so. Worried that he'll take too much? If he does, give it time. Allowing the child control over his eating and his body is respectful and will develop skills such as self-regulation and basics around nutrition.
Create a Kid Sized Home
Bringing Montessori into your Home must begin with creating a kid sized home. Make the bathroom accessible for kids with a Faucet Extender, Light Switch Extender, and Stools. One of my pet peeves as a parent is having to pick up my child to wash his hands. I do it because it is important but why not find a way to help the child help himself. Win. Win. There are ways to do this without having to reconstruct your adult sized bathroom. Kids will relish in being able to wash hands and turn on/off the lights all by themselves. Install Low Coat Rack, invest in Montessori Placemats, create a bedroom for your baby or toddler.
If you're going to bring Montessori into your Home, you have to embrace Positive Discipline. Talk in terms of what your child CAN do, not what they CANNOT do. For example, when a child is climbing furniture that you may not want him climbing on: “You like to climb. Why don't we go outside and climb the play structure.” or if your child wants dessert before dinner, “You want a cookie. You may have a cookie after dinner.” Instead of “No, you can't have a cookie.” There are loads of amazing positive parenting resources to learn the ins and outs of positive parenting.
Involve Children in the Home
Use real kitchen utensils, glass cups, and plates! Search goodwill for beautiful glasses and plates. You'll find great deals! Furthermore, in the event, as children are learning grace & courtesy, an accident occurs you don't feel too guilty about it. Montessori Services is a wonderful resource for a kid-sized kitchen, garden, and cleaning tools. Also, use visuals of real images in learning and routine charts.
Respect your Child
Talk to kids with respect. Dr. Montessori was all about respecting the child. The basic rule of thumb, as Janet Lansbury (a great parenting resource), would state: ‘Would you speak to an adult in such a way?' Remember that the child is a human being. Include kids in conversation and don't talk in the third person about them when they're in the room. No matter how young or how ‘busy' a child may seem, his ear is always open and taking in the environment. Lastly, give kids space and time to do things themselves and to lead their own development.
This basket of materials can hook a child. Baskets are great because you can mix up the materials keeping the child's interest.
This one is easy to do and versatile. Always having a tinkering basket of sorts available for your child to access on his own. Nuts and bolts are a fun and attractive work for young children. See these posts for more fine motor activity ideas!
Create a Peace Corner or Table
Teaching Peace to children involves three general layers: global (world peace), classroom/home (conflict resolution), and yourself (inner peace). Having a safe and calm place for children to calm down and to work through conflict is an integral part of many Montessori environments. These books for teaching peace to children are a great addition to your space.
There are so many wonderful ways to bring nature into your home. Nature can be integrated into all areas of a child's learning environment with art, science, math, and sensory activities. Getting children outdoors is the perfect learning environment!
Simplify Your Space
Dr. Montessori emphasized a neat and orderly environment. Make your home reflect the same. Less is More. Rotate toys, books, stuffed animals in your child's space. Anything visually overstimulating that has been bothering you for while? Recycle or give it away! Check out Joshua Becker's work from Becoming Minimalist for ideas!