As a parent, you spend all day thinking about your children. Their smiley faces, something cute they said, and all the decisions about what’s best for them. Education is an extremely important component in the considerations you make about raising your kids.
When thinking about different educational methods, it can feel like there are thousands of options - because there are. Fortunately, Montessori education is one of the most effective, groundbreaking educational frameworks out there. Incorporating Montessori education into your home is simple and effective, and you’ll see great results with your little ones in no time.
What is Montessori Education?
Montessori Education is a method that dates back to Italy around the early 1900s and was designed with real children in mind by someone who worked with them. Dr. Maria Montessori wanted children to be more involved in their learning and believed that it would greatly improve learning outcomes. She began to test her theories at a small school in which she worked, and great learning outcomes skyrocketed.
The goal of the Montessori education program was to encourage children to be their best selves, to explore while learning, and to teach little ones all about the natural world around them. After achieving such miraculous results, Montessori education began to circulate around the world and is still very popular today.
Montessori Education in Schools
In a school setting, classes are carefully curated to support and facilitate Montessori education. For example, there are typically multiple ages within one room that can span as much as five years apart. Fortunately for those wanting Montessori in the home, siblings check that box easily.
Second, Montessori education professionals love daily activities and real-world applications. You might not even realize it, but by including your children in your everyday chores, you are implementing Montessori in the home.
Finally, don’t worry about setting up the perfect home classroom because many Montessori education centers don’t have the traditional desks and chairs one might see in schools. Instead, there are lots of different areas to learn in different ways. There might be a quiet reading nook with lots of pillows or a big open space on the floor for puzzles and games. This is easy to accomplish at home and helps little ones understand how they learn best.
How Do I Use Montessori in the Home?
Implementing Montessori in the home is much simpler than it may seem. Acquiring Montessori toys for your children is a great way to start Montessori in the home. Just like in schools, certain types of toys encourage Montessori education a little more than others.
In addition to offering your child Montessori toys, consider trying to give them a little more freedom to direct their day and their way of play. One of the goals of Montessori education is to nurture confident, self-assured children, and allowing them the distance to truly explore their surroundings is a great way to start. They should be playing however they see fit, whether that’s with a creative Montessori toy set or just playing pretend.
Another keystone to Montessori education is connecting with nature and learning about the world around you. Allowing your children access to outdoor activities is extremely important when you are implementing Montessori in the home. Nature has a profound impact on the well-being of children and adults, helping to improve mood and encourage exercise and movement. By encouraging independence in safe spaces like your backyard, you are cultivating a great learning environment and showing your child that you trust them.
How Can Toys Support Montessori in the Home?
Montessori toys can be the gateway to achieving the best Montessori education within your home, and your kids won’t even realize they’re learning! There are a few differences between regular and Montessori toys to look out for. Generally, Montessori toys are simple and aesthetically pleasing.
Three other characteristics of Montessori toys are:
- Made of natural, high-quality materials
- No bright lights or sounds
- Have multiple uses and are open-ended
So not only are Montessori toys great for learning, but they’re great for your wallet! Without flashing lights, songs, sounds, or one specific purpose, you won’t need nearly as many toys in the toybox once you begin purchasing Montessori toys. Your little ones will be able to find many uses for one toy, providing endless entertainment for everyone in the house.
Activities for Montessori in the Home
As previously mentioned, a core principle of Montessori in the home is doing your normal, everyday tasks. You can even use some of the best Montessori toys from Hazel & Fawn to keep the fun and learning going.
Three of our favorite things to do for Montessori in the home are:
- Baking and cooking
- Exploring nature
- Stacking and sorting
Montessori in the Kitchen
Baking and cooking are perfect learning activities for Montessori in the home, and little ones love helping in the kitchen anyway. Kids can practice different motor skills, like opening and closing containers and pouring different ingredients. For extra time in the kitchen without actually making a mess, we love this Vegetable Set Montessori toy. Little ones can pretend to chop, mix, and cook veggies to their heart’s desire.
Using Nature to Facilitate Montessori Education
Children can practice tons of our favorite Montessori skills outdoors, like counting trees, identifying different colors, and even learning about animals. If you live in a climate that is too hot, cold, or rainy for regular outdoor play, don’t worry. You can bring nature inside with Montessori toys, like this Mini Forest Set, or even wooden animals, like this Sabo Concept Elephant.
Sorting and Stacking Skills
Teaching your little one to sort and stack is a great way to help them practice fine motor skills and encourage cognitive development. Perhaps you can try sorting articles of clothing by color, or maybe you can practice stacking by putting towels away in the linen closet. If you want some sorting or stacking toys, we love the collection of these great Montessori toys from Grapat.