I think empowering children to help themselves with day to day tasks is one of the most freeing and exciting parts of Montessori in the home.
Rub-a-dub-dub: Montessori in the tub!
I’ve been loving the #30daystoMontessori challenge – finding small, do-able ways to incorporate more of the Montessori method into our every day life.
One of the amazing things about children from birth to age six is what Maria Montessori called their “absorbent mind” — their ability to learn constantly, without formal instruction. What this means then, is that our children aren’t just learning when we think they’re learning. They learn all the time, including during everyday moments like bath time!
Think about ways to make the bathroom and bath tub work for your child’s size and abilities:
- Clear away clutter, and keep out only necessities.
- Have a place for wash clothes, towels and soap and make them accessible (or, make a few accessible if you have a younger toddler) to your child.
- Decant shampoo or bubble bath into smaller bottles — perhaps even single-use amounts — for your child to use independently without waste.
- We have a small stool beside our tub from which our two year-old can’t quite climb over the bath, but which allows him to signal that he’s ready to go in.
When considering toys for in the bath think of what will make that twenty-minutes a day the richest environment it can be. Find objects (they don’t need to come from the toy department) that interact with water in interesting ways: sponges, funnels, measuring cups and colanders. When thinking of toys, think about models of things that go in or on water: a little wooden boat or a collection of realistic-looking whales.
Before getting out, Jasper puts his toys back into the bin (in our small, shared bath, we have this great tree frog toy holder, but you can see Kylie’s minimalist storage here), then he pulls the plug to drain the water. Even the smallest demonstrations of responsibility bring a young child great joy.
As an activity that happens everyday, bath time is a great opportunity to create consistent opportunities for independence, and simplifying the process will make both child and parents happier!