Hello! Welcome to fall and the start of Montessori Mondays here at “Crunchier by the day.”
If you’re not familiar with Montessori education check out the Wikipedia page about Montessori. I worked in a Montessori school as my very first job and worked there for almost 6 years. In many ways I grew up there and learned as much, or more than, the kiddos. The school was the most peaceful, loving, compassionate and fun environment I’ve ever been in. Kids in a Montessori school are allowed to work at their own pace and are all very gently guided and led as needed. My co-workers and director truly loved the kiddos and we all worked together as a fantastic team to help them grow. When the economy started the plummet my school had to close and we were all so sad to see it go. However, I am still close with the director of the school and several of my former co-workers. Several families still keep in touch with former staff too and it’s been amazing to see kids grow up. My time there was so blessed and beautiful and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. I looked forward to every day and still often refer to it as my job even though it’s been 7 years since we closed. I could go on and on and on about what a great job it was for me… maybe I’ll save that for another post.
We always knew we wanted to incorporate Montessori methods into our home for our son and we’ve really tried hard to do so for him. So- I have decided to introduce Montessori Mondays. Every Monday I’ll post photos and tutorials (if needed) about some of the ways we’ve brought Montessori into our lives. We started right away when our son was born and have brought it through into his toddler life. I hope you enjoy them and feel free to ask question if you’d like to do Montessori work with you baby, toddler or child!
This week here are some photos of the small shelf that we have our son’s toys and Montessori work on. When he was very young we kept no more than 5 toys out at a time and rotated them out every week. He has been putting things away himself since he was about a year old and we keep his space very uncluttered, neat and organized with a space for everything and everything in it’s place. This helps kids to not get overstimulated, to be able to experience everything and to take responsibility for their own space by being able to clean it up easily.
You will also notice we don’t have very many plastic toys and we have no toys that take batteries. We, along with the Montessori method, believe that kids are creative enough on their own and are taking enough in without bright, loud, battery operated toys to occupy them. I even suspect that a lot of these battery operated toys might be helping contribute to the rise in ADHD and other attention problems in kids. Why little plastic? Because plastic toys don’t teach children to respect their belongings- they are tossed by the wayside, beaten up, etc with little to no consequences. Wooden toys are naturally very beautiful and children must treat them gently or they will be ruined (not to mention the chemicals found in plastic!). There are some plastic toys we’ve kept after researching to make sure they were chemical free or 100% recycled plastic free of chemicals.
|This was from about 9 months old|
|We added a second shelf in his play space under the stairs when we moved|
|Low, easy to access and very simple|
Hope you enjoyed these photos!!! Consider making your child’s play space cleaner and more simple by not having too many toys out at once!