Montessori activities, Montessori schools, Montessori toys, these words are trending a lot amongst new moms, but what is the Montessori method of play or education?
It is a child centred educational approach based on scientific observations of children. Knowledge/learning may not be thrust upon, rather they are naturally eager to learn and even initiate it.
Play is a method of learning for children. Play time is serious for them if not for us adults.
A Montessori toy is one that stimulates learning by encouraging kids to experiment.
It can be any toy that the child can hold and touch as learning to manipulate objects is the key in exploring.
Freeplay is one such method. Just leave your child with a few things of his interest and see how he plays and manipulates them eg. A bunch of keys. Freeplay rekindles a Toddler’s imagination
Montessori play doesn’t mean spending hours making a DIY toy at home or spending big bucks on the most famous branded Montessori toys available in the market.
Start easy, making changes in a child’s thinking process and imagination can be very rewarding.
Here are a few methods to incorporate the Montessori style in your child’s life. Later we can talk about toys and play ideas.
Applying Montessori principles in your life: 1.Organise your environment.
- Designate a place for everything
- Your child will quickly learn where everything goes.
- This simple habit has many implications like inculcating a sense of belongingness in your child
- Helping your child cleanup his mess after play
- Keep your child’s toys, clothes in an accessible low drawer.
- Keep your child’s books in 1 accessible location, be it a shelf or a cupboard.
- Keep their toys sorted- blocks, cars, soft toys, art supplies.
- Keep their snacks in the lower shelf of the refrigerator.
- All these minute changes will help raise an independent individual in the future.
2. Emphasis life skills: (No I am not being philosophical, we are still talking about toddlers) What I mean by that is, if we inculcate the habit of helping around, pitching in, in our kids then we are setting the stage for a capable adults who can take care of themselves. Also we get a free house help, at least for a few years and for the simple chores.
- Water the plants
- Fees the pets
- Pick up toys
- Put clothes in laundry
Most important thing to keep in mind is to give tasks that are age appropriate for your children. Others inability to complete the task may create a sense of failure and we do not want such negative feelings for so early on…
3. The ability to concentrate.
I know what your thinking by now, a tods concentration is less than that of a fly. Ans it’s true. But by the Montessori method of thought you can help them concentrate for longer spans from their formative years. For doing this you have to keep an eye for things your child is interested in. It can be anything a box in which your new lipstick just arrived or dads old files, or grandma’s box of nick nacks. Set them up with these things in their own space and let them explore. This doesn’t not mean you leave your child in solitary confinement of his room. Just be careful to not include any choking hazard or sharps.
Do let me know how this goes for you.
Next talk on Montessori toys.