“The greatest development is achieved during the first years of life, and therefore it is then that the greatest care should be taken. If this is done, then the child does not become a burden; he will reveal himself as the greatest marvel of nature.”
A moment of truth, it is really, REALLY tough to practice Montessori at home when I’m swarmed with a million tasks every day. It’s been roughly (give or take) three months since we gave up having 1. a car and 2. a domestic helper. (That shall be another article how we thrived without these two seemingly necessities in Singapore on another blog post.)
As the boys grow up, my priorities shift with each milestone developments. But the one thing that remains is I am their mother. Not a teacher, not a friend, not someone who constantly gives them the best learning environment to thrive with lots of Pinterest-worthy activities. I’m their mother. Period.
The best thing I can give them is love.
I try to involve the boys in our daily life. Bubs is turning five and that’s a whole new development for him in terms of the “Why?”, self-awareness, acute observation in my Husband & my actions & speech, ability to manipulate both of us to get what he wants, a sudden burst of interest to read & write, superheroes, sense of right vs wrong, moral values…
Bubs is turning five and that’s a whole new development for him in terms of the “Why?”, self-awareness, acute observation in my Husband & my actions & speech, ability to manipulate both of us to get what he wants, a sudden burst of interest to read & write, superheroes, sense of right vs wrong, moral values…
Little Mimo (Evan) on the other hand, is developing a great sense of independence and entering that
terrible terrific twos! Perhaps it’s a second child syndrome. But this little Mimo is way more vocal than his big brother when he was the same age. Of course, when I say ‘vocal’, I don’t mean that Little Mimo could talk yet. Though he could express himself extremely well with baby sign language & gestures.
I am ever so thankful for a plethora of great Montessori sites online to guide me.
Here’s 10 simple Montessori practical life activities I do with Little Mimo at home & through our daily life.
These are simple activities adapted from Montessori that help him develop a sense of self and independence. They don’t require excessive planning & anyone can try them with their toddler at home too!
1. Food Preparation
We have a plastic stool from IKEA that alleviates Evan to a good height. Our dishes are mostly Chinese, so he helps wash the vegetables, put dried fish/scallops into soup stock bags, peel garlic, touches dead poultry, fish, seafood… mostly exploratory.
Just the other day, he poked & prodded prawns & squid & tried eating raw organic baby corn.
2. Washing Dishes
More like playing with water. L.Mimo thinks he’s helping so I won’t break his concentration span. He’ll take about 3 – 5 mins focused on washing one plastic cup over a trickle of tap water.
It’s one of those times where his bro is in school & no one breaks his attention span so I’ll let him focus.
3. Cleaning Activities
Mopping the floor & tables gives Little Mimo a great sense of satisfaction. In addition, it helps build up a sense of purpose for
I use Magiclean wet wipes & change our kitchen cloth once a week to avoid bacteria growth. I even have Magiclean kitchen sanitising wet wipes (from Japan, available on Qoo10) for those wipe & throw moments for L.Mimo.
Little Mimo assists me in getting the dirty laundry into the washing machine (front load) & press the start button.
Recently, he’s eager to help me hang up the clean laundry. It’s not perfect and I still had to hang it again after. Nonetheless, it’s a wonderful motor skill, concentration work for a 20-month-old.
5. Grace & Courtesy
Little Mimo’s verbal skills aren’t quite there yet. I found out about baby sign language when Bubs was an infant and loved the idea of getting babies & toddlers to communicate via sign language. I’m so glad I did cos I find that the boys were able to communicate well even though they can’t speak yet.
My latest project is getting Mimo to sign ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. We practise getting him to throw garbage and place used plates or cups at the sink on his own after mealtimes as part of our grace & courtesy practical life.
Photo Images from www.babysignlanguage.com
6. Choosing clothes
Mimo gets to choose his own clothes daily. I limit it to 2 options. It helps him feel more independent, in charge & we get lesser tantrums.
7. Pouring Activities
I procured some child-sized pitchers, cups and sponges from Daiso for our pouring activities. Other than the basic water, we’ve tried rice, macaroni & sand. Personally, I’d just stick to water because it’s easiest to clean up and less of a food wastage… sorta.
Recently, I get overwhelmed with so much cleaning around the house I shifted this activity into the bathroom and Mimo can pour, wipe, squeeze sponges & pump water to his heart’s content.
8. Keep Away One’s Shoes
Ok. This is a no brainer. I get Mimo to arrange his shoes whenever we return home.
It’s simpler if there’s a designated space just for toddler shoes and Mimo only has one pair.
9. Care of self – Soaping up, washing own hands, brushing teeth
The boys’ toilet were set up just for them. Hence they take pride in caring for themselves. A step by step how-to helps toddlers wash their hands clean.
I found this 8 steps of hand-washing by Dettol (not sponsored) helpful.
10. Getting Ready to Go Out
Here’s the list of items Mimo helps prepare whenever we are heading out – get diapers, choose snacks, pack water bottle, zipping up our weekend bag, wear his shoes (of which, only one pair so it helps save a lot of time).
All extremely simple tasks that a toddler enjoys doing together as a family.
So, here we have it.
10 easy, fuss-free Montessori inspired practical life activities for you to try out with your toddler.