Take advantage of a time in your child's life when they WANT to do things on their own! They want to be able to do the tasks that the adult is doing in the home. They also desire to independently do the tasks that the adult does for them. The Montessori class is designed for the child to learn and practice these simple daily tasks. They receive lessons and learn through observation, as they are able to become independent they are thrilled and their confidence increases.
When setting up practical life a activities for your child keep these tips in mind:
• Demonstrate SLOWLY when showing how to do something
• Make sure that you follow a clear sequence
• Do not talk while you are showing your child what to do
• Use eye contact and a smile between steps to help your child stay engaged
• Let your child try for himself
• To start with you may need to help a little and collaborate in the activity but you should aim to do as little as possible
• Gradually withdraw your help so that your child finds himself doing it all by himself
“Making time for your child to continue with the things they are interested in doing can be difficult at times but it is essential for their development. We all need time to focus on something, uninterrupted, if we are going to perfect it and this is no different for small children. When young children are allowed to carry out the things they are interested in doing with their hands they gradually gain control over their bodies. Being in control of their bodies helps them to start to be in control of their behavior too.”
Practical life activities we reviewed this month at our meeting:
1. Wiping nose
Set up a small end table with a mirror, tissue box, and trashcan nearby. When your child has a runny nose and visible boogers dripping down, encourage them to go take a look in the mirror. Show them how you clean your nose and dispose of the tissue. Then ask your child to do the same. The next time they have a runny nose simply ask to look in the mirror and they will know what to do once they see their boogers!
2. Closet / Wardrobe
Set up your child’s clothing so they can independently chose them on their own. Keep in mind to set out only clothing you would approve of them wearing. Such as a sweater during the winter days but not ideal for a Arizona summer day. Uniforms for school days and casual clothes for the weekend. Help them be part of the daily choice for their clothing!
Here is a helpful link: https://www.howwemontessori.com/how-we-montessori/2017/01/montessori-toddler-closets.html
3. Eating independently
Setting up a small table that is your child's size is a perfect place to enjoy lunch or even dinner every once in a while! I suggest you try it, and your toddler will most likely love it. Having a table just their size allows them to feel like they fit right in and gives them the opportunity to practice sitting down throughout the whole meal without the restraint of the highchair buckles.
Its important to foster independence in your child. Let them do it on their own! Try not to take over.
It can also be difficult to stand and watch your child struggling to do something that you know you could do easily but he will only get better at things by putting in his own effort. When we jump in and take it over we give him the message that we don't think he is capable of doing it and if we do it too often he gives up trying