As we know from observing the activity in our classrooms, young children love to work. They love to participate in the care of their environment, whether that environment is at home or at school, inside or outdoors. Children feel such satisfaction when they see the results of their table washing work, or when they see their classmates enjoying the snack that they helped prepare.
One of the best ways to integrate the Montessori philosophy into our home lives is to provide these satisfying “work” experiences for children on a daily basis. At school, students are able to do their work at child-sized tables, and are given child-sized tools with which to do their work: small brooms for sweeping, small pitchers for pouring...you get the idea! With the help of companies like Montessori Services, we can bring some of these tools into the home, allowing young children to participate alongside us in tasks of food preparation and care of their environment.
One of my favorite items used by my two-year-old son has been our “Learning Tower” (pictured at the beginning of this post). A great deal of our time as a family is spent in our kitchen, and this tower allows Milo to easily reach the counter and help me prepare dinner (or just hang out with me, while I prepare a meal). While the kitchen is not toddler-sized, a tool like the Learning Tower helps a young child enjoy and participate with greater ease.
And since life with children isn't always as neat and tidy as the Learning Tower's promotional image, here's the end of a successful brownie-baking session...