Children enjoy being a helpful family member. Children love small hand tools they can use to help with authentic living experiences: cooking, cleaning, and opportunities to fix mistakes. When a child walks into his home, he would like to have a low stool to sit on to remove shoes, and a low coat hook to hang his jacket and bag.
Montessori classroom avoid clutter by placing materials and work activities on shelves on trays, in baskets, and in closed bins. You can avoid clutter at home, too by eliminated toy boxes which are just places to keep belongings in chaos. Rotate books, toys and art activities to keep learning and playing opportunities fresh and organized.
Children know when they feel hungry or thirsty. A low shelf in the refrigerator with appropriate, healthy food choices placed on plates and as small pitcher of water allows children to serve themselves independently. This opportunity is intrinsically rewarding for young children.
“We must give the child an environment that he can use by himself: a little washstand of his own, a bureau with drawers he can open, objects of common use that he can operate, a small bed in which he can sleep at night under an attractive blanket he can fold and spread by himself. We must give him an environment in which he can live and play; then we will see him work all day with his hands and wait impatiently to undress himself and lay himself down on his own bed.” Maria Montessori The North American Montessori Teachers’ Association (NAMTA) sells a video that reflects the quote, “Help me to do it by myself.” It shows a day in the life of 20-month old named Edison, who lives in a home that was definitely created with him in mind. It is a superb video which our teachers, and some parents, have enjoyed and learned from watching. It’s called “Edison’s Day”.