There are a few things that make Montessori at home different than in a classroom. Most importantly it's space but there is also this little thing called life that gets in the way. In a 3-6 classroom there is always a little wet area with shelves lined up, tiny jugs and bowls full of blue water and dried beans, buckets and brooms so the kids can pour, spill, wipe, spoon, sweep and explore to their little hearts content. They go about their own work, packing away after themselves, washing up, slicing fruit, everything is tiny and perfectly presented for them to manage with minimal help. The bigger children diligently work, the little ones follow their lead, occasionally drinking the blue water and basically - all you can hear is the buzzing of little brains working away.
Flash forward to home, yeah, it's a bit different. There are tanties and washing to get done, messy kitchens, creative games, visiting friends and not enough room for the toys we already have. Put a one year old - Godzilla style - literally smashing through the middle of it all and let's just say there is no hearing a pin drop, or finding said pin.
There are a few things that you have to compromise when you are doing Montessori at home, things can't always be in the same place, they can't always be accessible to kids and the activities have to always change, you can't just leave an activity out for a few months on the hope that your kid will discover it, you can't always have a jug of water full on the wash stand in case they want to wash their hands. It will end up full of hair clips, or spilled all over the baby. That's life. The important thing is that I give the kids activities that get her little hands working, exercising the muscles that are so important for holding a pencil and that they have the option of quiet concentration as well as crazy games.
The way we do it around here? In the morning when Squawk goes back to bed, if we have nothing on that day I grab a few trays and set out three or more activities. Today we did transferring because the lovely Kylie from How We Montessori shop and blog sent us a beautiful Practical Life Transferring Set (pictured above) and I have been busting to break it out. It has everything you need to set up some simple activities and it's only $26. You should pop over to her shop and see all the beautiful little things she sells, just gorgeous.
Sorry I digress, I clear the coffee table (no I do not have one of those houses where coffee tables are always clear) and set up some activities.
On one tray I put two glass tumblers (why glass?) and a baster. I filled one with water and a drop of food colouring and popped it on the table while a curious lady watched on. I also put a folded cloth on the table for any spills.
On the next tray I put a pyrex bowl, a little whisk and a small pump action bottle full of dish soap. There was also a small jug of water on the table so she could fill up the bowl. After the bubble making was done she emptied the bowl into the garden bed.
On the next tray was I put two little bowls, some cheerios and the automatic chopsticks. She transferred them from one bowl to the other a few times and then into her belly.
When she had packed everything away (back on the table where it started) I popped all the tools back into the bag they came in and I put all the bits and pieces in the dishwasher and we were done.
I am working on having more activities available and I did actually recently buy a vintage sideboard with glass sliding doors so I could leave some pieces of work, safe from chubby hands set up for Scout to choose from. ($15 bargain) I am planning on blogging about that soon so stay posted.
Thanks so much for visiting and make sure to pop over to How We Montessori for lots of great ideas and products. This is not a paid post but I was gifted the pictured Transferring Set.
Want to see more Montessori at home posts? Wondering why Practical Life activities are important. Want to see more transferring activities? Want to follow my Montessori At Home instagram profile? Want a donut, I do.
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