I am often surprised at the simplicity of (and sometimes statement of the obvious) Project Montessori at Home posts. A friend of mine asked to explain Montessori to her, and as I explained Practical Life aspects she looked at me and said, “Aren’t children already getting that stuff at home anyway? Why do they have to go to school for it?” Yes and no, mostly no. Plus Montessori school create an environment that even with best efforts a home cannot achieve for children.
So, that brings me to this Practical Life Project Montessori post about The Hamper. In an effort to organize our home we recently purchased two laundry hampers. One for our room and one for our boys. It occurred to me that this hamper is nicely integrated into our desire to place a Montessori overlay on our home mostly for our boys but definitely a part of the desire is helpful to us, too.Â Any seconds of a chore taken away from us is deemed helpful in our book!
I didn’t even have to introduce the hamper to my 2.5 year old. He immediately noticed it and was curious about it, So I explained how we put dirty clothes in it and bring it to the laundry room when it gets full. I explained it as a ‘we’ not a ‘mama and daddy’. This Montessori thing is a family effort, all hands included…
So as we prepare his bath at the end of the day, he happily brings his clothes (and his younger brother’s clothes) over to the hamper.
Then when the hamper was full he ‘helped’ me carry it over to the washing machine and load up the machine with the dirty clothes. First, though, we sorted lights and darks (there are hampers that have separate baskets for lights and darks). Then, shocker, he likes to put soap in and start the machine. Transferring the load of wet laundry is also quite fun and interesting for him (I know this fun won’t last but at least he’ll learn something!). So he helps me transfer the clothes into the dryer and, of course, start the load.
We’re still working on the next step: folding. Hey, they are never too young.
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