Have you ever noticed that your toddler is more interested in “helping” you fold laundry or cook dinner than she is in playing with the toys you so lovingly purchased? I have! Montessori noted that young children/humans in general are desperately seeking to be included in their communities. One sure-fire way to be included is to do something meaningful in the household. Here are some fun Montessori works involving real, every-day tools that will engage your toddler in meaningful work.
Maria Montessori referred to children’s activities/toys as the children’s works. She did this as a way to respect the play/activity of the young child as extremely meaningful to their growth and development. Montessorians do not expect children to be constantly “working,” we simply view children’s play as children’s work.
Here is a way to save money and turn some toys that you already own into Montessori works.
- Montessori works have a clear goal.
- Montessori works have a control of error (this lets the child know if she has completed the work without an adult telling her so)
- Montessori works are attractive and contained for ease in carrying them and organization
I wanted to buy my son a water/sand table for his first birthday, but sadly all of the tables that appealed to me were over $300.00. That was a bit more than I had expected and more than I was willing to spend. I mulled it over and decided that I could go with a cheap, plastic water table from Walmart or build one myself. I found some pretty straight forward plans on various blogs for how to build a simple water table, but I found myself worrying about taking time away from my son in order to buy the supplies and build the table. I had a Walmart water table in my online cart when I realized, “Hey! My son needs to see his mom working with wood and tools and he will have a great time at Lowes.” It was settled; I was going to make this thing myself.
I love looking at all of the wonderful Montessori at home blogs, but sometimes I’m left feeling like I need to fill up my Amazon cart with a bunch of beautiful, wooden Montessori materials. While for some this is no problem, others of us may need to watch our Montessori spending habits. Here are a few great works for toddlers that can be made easily at home from inexpensive or recycled materials.