Montessori Mondays: Involving Children at Home

Little children find mundane tasks like emptying the dishwasher exciting and fun. So, as the adults who care for them, we are fools not to take advantage of their enthusiasm. ;) 

Everyday, Coco loves to help me empty the dishwasher. We started with just silverware. She would hand me one piece at a time, then I'd say thank you, put it away and she'd hand me another one. Sure, it took forever but it's worth it. I can tell that when she helps me, she feels involved and she also learns the processes that make up daily life at home. 

We may have some broken dishes in our future because now she's branching out. She's graduated to handing me plates and coffee mugs, too. ;) Good thing they're all from IKEA and easily and inexpensively replaced!
All together too often, we hesitate to allow children to do things like emptying the dishwasher when they want to. Then fast forward a few years and we expect them to do it when they're no longer interested! If you start out at the beginning fostering that interest, it will translate naturally into genuine involvement and help with chores and household tasks. That involvement means a sense of responsibility and accomplishment that is so healthy for building confidence in young children.  

Do you let your toddler help with household tasks? Will you?


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  2. I love all these montessori posts! When do you think is a good time to start involving little ones? I have an 8 month old who LOVES to be with me in the kitchen, but I'm at a loss as what to do to encourage him. He loves watching, but also like to be doing something. Right now it's playing with the recycling garbage....what would you do?

    1. Playing with the recycling garbage is exactly what Coco was doing at 8 months! I think from there, she graduated on to emptying the cupboards. Her favorite things were the melamine mixing bowls (that she couldn't break easily) and the tupperware type things. Sometimes the sensory experience of sitting in a high chair or on the floor with a tray and some of the ingredients to feel, mouth and squish can be interesting. But, I don't like letting children make a huge mess in these instances. Once it gets too messy and there isn't any more exploration going on, take it away! ;) Once a child is standing, they can do a lot more! Stirring is a favorite of all kids.

  3. ok, thanks so much, I'll try the tray idea!

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