A child’s desire for independence is a real gift, though we sometimes groan at the words “I want to do it myself!”, picturing huge messes in their wake. One of my favorite quotes from Maria Montessori is, “Never do for a child what he feels he can do for himself.” In this first week of Montessori activities at home, I’m retraining myself to not correct every little error, but instead honor and praise his willingness to try these new things. Children and adults are the same in this: if they aren’t given the chance to do what they can do, they will eventually stop risking themselves to even try. There are two words from a child’s mouth that truly break my heart. “I can’t” I can’t from a child really means “I won’t” – I won’t risk your reaction or disapproval to even try.
Today, let’s look for ways to let our children be involved and feel success!
Carter is 3 years, 2 months old.
You will need:
Shirt or sweater with large buttons
1. Place the shirt on the table so your child can see clearly. Open up the shirt and close it again so your child can see how it works. Starting at the bottom, guide the bottom button through the first hole.
2. Open up the buttonhole as wide as possible so your child can see that it needs to be open for the button to pass through. Finish the rest of the buttons, then undo them. Pass the shirt over for your child to try.
Conclusion: To me, Carter’s expression in the second picture says it all! He giggled and smiled the entire time he did this. He loved doing it himself, but he double loved his Daddy being the one to work with him on this one.
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