Montessori At Home

10 Fuss-free Montessori Practical-Life Activities (Evan at 2 Years)

“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.”

Maria Montessori

 

Hello! Me and my Little Mimo.

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.

 

img_6161
Preparing my morning coffee. Learning to stir & dissolve sugar. 

 
2. Washing Dishes

 

img_6334
5 minutes to wash one yellow plastic cup.

 

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.

 

4. Laundry

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.

IMG_6460
To sign please, take you hand with fingers extended and all together, and thumb extended and sticking out. Take the hand with palm facing in and rub it in a circle on your chest.
IMG_6461
Touch you fingers to your chin and bring your fingers forward. It is almost like you are blowing a kiss out, tothank the person – but the sign is a bit lower.

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.

 

montessori pouring
Love this image of Montessori pouring activity using child-sized glass & pitcher. You can get similar items from Daiso. Pic courtesy of www.montessoriservices.com

 

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.

Dettol-8-steps-of-Handwashing

 

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.

Have fun!

Xoxo,

Jingyi

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “10 Fuss-free Montessori Practical-Life Activities (Evan at 2 Years)”

  1. Adore the simple yet meaningful activities with your kid! Great pragmatic chores which not only instills responsibility but also have great fun! Yes. Usually all these are fun to lil ones!! I miss those toddler days just having so much hands on fun! At the end of the day, love Is the main ingredient to a wonderful child. 😊 jiayou!

    Like

  2. Lots of good ideas here. I totally feel you – we want to incorporate as much learning opportunities for the little ones at home but yet, we have so little time! Practical tasks like cleaning for the win! 😀

    Like

  3. I never thought of Montessori that way though but what better way than through practicality right! And I can resonate with some of these activities cos I do them with my bub too.

    Like

  4. Methods need not be too fancy…The activities that you are planning for your kid are simple and yet so so effective. Kudos!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s