Cleaning with kids underfoot is a part of everyday life for every Mama. When Chook was a baby I would clean with him nestled in his baby sling, then as he grew older Chook would be nearby as I worked. When he took an interest in what I was doing I would encourage him to help with a kids’ cleaning task appropriate to his development. It is useful to keep in mind that a young child’s ‘cleaning’ is about the experience not how clean something is. I have continued this with Strawberry and Ooffa.
Last month I began a one year course of online Montessori training through KHT Montessori. What in the world is a Waldorf inspired Mama doing studying Montessori?!? Hmmm, that is probably another post!
As a newbie Montessori Mama I was thrilled to discover the Practical Life Manual/Album which is full of things that we are already doing and a whole heap more that we can start doing. There’s a section in the manual called Care of the Environment which has several kids’ cleaning tasks. Over time I will be adding my own tasks, relevant to our home. The teacher in me is doing little cartwheels as each activity has notes on language developed, areas of childhood development encouraged and a ‘how-to’ of presenting each activity.
“Even the littlest children are anxious to do something…The importance of the works does not bother children, they are satisfied when they have done as much as they can and see that they are not excluded from an opportunity to exert themselves in their surroundings.” Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child
Kids’ cleaning tasks we have been doing and will continue to do:
Tidy up the family room right before dinner, starting with singing the clean-up song, inviting the children to join me in tidying up.
“Everybody pack away, pack away, pack away
Everybody pack away, just like me”
Then change “just like me” to the name of a child who is helping!
Packing toys away into their labelled buckets.
Sweeping the tiled areas.
Wiping down the dining table.
Kids’ cleaning tasks we will start to do using Montessori principles at home:
Demonstrate using the vacuum cleaner with care and respect.
Demonstrate sweeping with a broom.
Demonstrate using a dustpan and brush.
Demonstrate wiping down the table.
Care of the Indoor Environment develops:
- Development of hand eye coordination.
- Language development through naming and labeling items used to clean the home.
- Skills such as responsibility and concentration are developed.
- Emotional development through fostering independence.
More in this series:
- Afternoon Tasks:
- Evening Tasks: