Maria Montessori, the founder of the Montessori method, once said this: “To assist a child, we must provide [them] with an environment which will enable [them] to develop freely.” The idea that children need space to grow is one of the most fundamental Montessori teachings. It is the reason why classrooms in Montessori schools in PA and beyond are alive with energy yet calm and contained. You can do the same for your home.
Here are 5 simple tips to make your home more Montessori:
Empowerment is Key
The one thing any household can do is give their child the tools for independence and self-confidence. By empowering your child with small tasks and responsibilities, they will feel more satisfied and fulfilled. For example, you can make them a space that is theirs to take care of, as in keeping organized and clean. Give them shelves or a cabinet in the kitchen where they can keep their eating and drinking utensils. Let them prepare their own snacks, wash their own hands, and select their own toys to play with.
One important thing to keep in mind: messes are going to happen. But you can use those messes for empowerment as well. By keeping cleaning supplies close by—rags and sponges—you can teach your child two things. First, if they spill something, they learn cause-and-effect. Then, they learn how to clean something up by themselves.
Bring the Outdoors In
Maria Montessori also said that “the child must live in an environment of beauty.” Nothing is as beautiful as the natural world with all its splendors. And when a child has a chance to be a part of that world, they thrive.
Aside from creating a garden space outdoors where children can dig in the dirt and care for blossoming vegetables, put houseplants throughout your home. One or two easy-to-care-for plants on the windowsill not only brighten up a room, but they add another element of responsibility.
Your child can water the plant and maintain it as it grows. You can teach them how to re-pot the plant once it’s grown big enough.
Here are some hard-to-kill houseplants that your child will love:
- Zebra Haworthia
- Spider Plant
- Aloe Vera
- Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe)
- Chinese Evergreen
- Jade Plant
- Umbrella Tree
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Declutter and Limit Toys
A lot of people wince when they see the word “declutter,” because it means you have to sift through everything you have gathered throughout the years. But, it does help to remove clusters of items from sight. You don’t even have to worry about the entire house. As long as there is one decluttered space with a simplified layout, you can teach your child that “less is more.”
Put only a couple of their toys on easily accessible shelves. Choose only what your child currently enjoys the most. Observe how they play then begin to rotate toys in and out. Avoid giving them a limitless treasure trove. Plus, your child will spend more time with each item they have, building their concentration.
But you also need to set an example. You, as the adult, are an integral piece of the prepared environment. That means that you must also work on your spaces. Label drawers and cupboards. Throw out or donate old clothing you no longer wear. Remove any extra utensils in the kitchen you don’t need (you obviously don’t need 12 can openers and several peelers).
Not only does this make it easier to organize your home, but it makes it easier to be responsible. Children are more willing to put things into their proper place when that spot is clearly visible.
Give Them Books
Reading is an excellent way to teach children about the world. Keep books available throughout the house. You can provide your child with multiple options, but make sure you have books that develop their personal interests further. For example, if your child is currently invested in dinosaurs, give them reading material about their favorite one.
- Seasonal books about holidays and history can be kept in the living room.
- Informational books can be kept in a basket in the bathroom.
- Keep some books in the car so that your child is entertained during long drives.
- Cookbooks in the kitchen can inspire children to try new foods or even attempt a recipe.
Keep Everything as Natural as Possible
You may have the urge to decorate the house and your child’s room with bright colors and fantastical images. But that could be overstimulating. Instead, opt for a calming environment. Make the walls a neutral color, such as an off-white, gray, or light browns and tans. Choose more natural items over plastics. This is true for the kid’s room as well as décor around the house. Opt for beautiful pieces of artwork (inexpensive prints, posters, and even your own pieces) rather than cartoon posters for children’s spaces.
Bringing Montessori into your home is as easy as organizing the space and making it more accessible to smaller individuals. You can implement these ideas in your home as soon as today. Remember to go slow with the change, as to not overwhelm your family. With that, you will have a home environment that promotes development and supports your child’s interests.
Searching for Montessori schools near me? Look no further! If you have questions, get in touch with us at Fishtown Montessori. We can answer all your questions about the Montessori method and more. Call us at 215-821-1455 or send us a message.