MONTESSORI: ACTIVITIES FOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT
One of Maria Montessori's fundamental principles is linked to the development of the child's autonomy, through which education passes, understood as a "natural process" and not an acquired one.
Maria Montessori prefers to define her pedagogical approach as support for the development of the child since the teacher places the enhancement of children's resources at the basis of teaching; moreover, he is the one who adopts a scientific attitude, considering infantile competence a certainty.
To bring out the child's potential and resources it is necessary to offer him a structured environment in space and the means to be able to bring out his autonomy.
Below we offer suggestions for some Montessori activities to be carried out with children.
"Help me do it myself" is the leitmotif of Montessori pedagogy which sees the child as the "teacher" and the adult as an observer, in total support of the latter.
If we want to make the child achieve a good degree of autonomy, we must be able to offer him an environment that is tailored to him and facilitates his movements.
We can't teach him to walk, talk, move, or touch but we can support him.
Choosing the Montessori style at home means creating an environment that allows the child to be able to carry out daily activities independently: going to bed, getting dressed, reading a book, tidying up the bedroom, etc.
When the child can move independently, we can support "mobility" by offering him a low bed without sides that allow him to go to bed with total autonomy. Many mothers choose to place the mattress directly on the floor but there are other comfortable solutions: futons, and beds.
Choosing a cot without sides means:
Support the autonomy of the child
Facilitating the moment of falling asleep
Experience the awakening of the child in a more serene way
TACT AND OBSERVATION
To achieve autonomy, the child needs not only a well-organized “time” and “space” but also exercises aimed at developing a specific competence.
If you observe an activity based on the purpose you want to achieve (motor, linguistic, social skills, etc.), you will be able to grasp the true conceptual aspect that will lead the child to absorb the information. Furthermore, the aesthetic and chromatic aspects of the aids used by the child will make the learning activity more attractive and engaging.
Below we propose the main Montessori aids:
The pink pyramid or pink tower is a sensory material to develop the concepts of size and three-dimensionality. The neutral color will help your child focus on size discernment, rather than the playful aspect.
Brown scale, is another tactile material useful for children to understand the sense of changing the width while keeping the length unchanged.
Geometric solids, a set of 10 pieces to introduce the child to solid geometry, allowing him to compare different three-dimensional shapes, improving concentration and coordination.
Lacing looms, a set of 6 looms useful for promoting the child’s independence in dressing. Each frame has a different lacing, to facilitate learning with different degrees of difficulty. The educational objectives are multiple, training eye-hand coordination, concentration, fine motor skills, etc.
HEARING AND SMELL
Children, since they are very young, love listening to sounds, and noises and exploring through taste and smell.
It is essential to refine your hearing to recognize the sounds of the environment and your sense of smell to recognize smells, therefore we propose below some useful supports for this development:
Sound cylinders, a set of 6 pairs of wooden cylinders, divided into 2 boxes characterized by different colors (blue and red) to refine the child’s hearing and memory skills. Each blue cylinder, if shaken, will make a noise different from all the others but identical to a cylinder in the red box: the child will have to listen carefully to associate the two sounds.
Sensory memos or scent bottles, completely customizable support that can be declined according to educational needs. It will be possible to organize memory and association games based on the senses of taste and smell.
Talking tirelessly “to and with” children will allow them to quickly acquire language mastery. The adult must not be afraid to use the precise, detailed, scientific language since the child’s mind is an “absorbent mind”, capable of learning everything that the adult and the environment offer him.
Making language and vocabulary more “childish” will not help the child, since the effort in understanding and translating words, whether they are simplified, is the same. The risk would be to impoverish it and force the child to make a double effort of understanding and translation.
Let’s see some useful aids for learning the language:
Frosted letters, a set of letters and punctuation marks presented with a rough surface, perceptible to the touch. Each tile has the same letter, uppercase on one side and lowercase on the other. It is an aid inspired by the Montessori Method and is very useful even with blind children.
The development of the child’s autonomy is the main objective of Montessori pedagogy. However, it is not only the activities within the school walls that allow for its development and achievement but every parent can decide, for example, to furnish the bedroom in the Montessori style, organize a soft space or take advantage of some Montessori aids, excellent for accompanying the child’s developmental path.
Among these, we mention the Montessori earning tower, a fundamental tool for allowing children to “do” at the same level and the same height as adults. By climbing up this turret autonomously, every boy and girl will be able to help their parents in the kitchen, work on the grown-up table, and be at their height, in complete safety.
We conclude our article with a quote from Maria Montessori:
“To help a child, we need to provide him with an environment that allows him to develop freely.”
And if you want to provide a prepared environment for your child you can Contact Mutendi Montessori for the enrollment of your child above 3 years of age.