Whenever there is a spill, James points to the table or floor enthusiastically. I ask if he knows where a dishtowel is and he runs to get one. He then wipes the spill. He is not very effective at this yet, but he loves doing it and it’s a great habit to form. It helps to keep a sponge or dishtowel where your toddler can reach it.
Putting things away
Children go through what Maria Montessori called a “sensitive period for order“. This is a time when they are fascinated by the organization of things and love everything to have a place. This lasts from birth to five, but generally peaks from 18 months to two-and-a-half years old.
As soon as I saw this interest, I began asking him to put toys and books away regularly and he enjoys returning them to their proper spot.
I noticed James reaching the sensitive period for order by how carefully he arranges his food on his plate and by how he began to occasionally put things away. As soon as I saw this interest, I began asking him to put toys and books away regularly and he enjoys returning them to their proper spot. This is much easier for children if everything they use has a precise spot in the house where it belongs.
Other practical life tasks I hope to try with James soon are peeling banana slices, watering plants in the backyard, and sweeping the floor. For Small Hands has a wonderful selection of cooking and cleaning tools for little ones.
Originally published HERE.
Christina is a Montessori teacher, wife, and mum to one pretty awesome little boy, living in Austin, Texas. She writes about all things motherhood, Montessori, and everyday life, at Montessori-ish Mom.