Although I don’t follow all of the Montessori style of child raising there are some things I like in it and that includes some of the practical life skills. Frequently ‘matching socks’ is an activity described for toddlers but I discovered that we were doing something even more practical (at least in my home) – Emptying the dishwasher and more specifically the cutlery rack. I realised that when Lacy & Aniya (2yrs) empties the cutlery rack we were doing matching and discussing concepts such as big and little as well as shapes and the names of various cutlery items.
e.g. Big spoon (dessert/soup)
little spoon (teaspoon)
round spoon (soup)
oval spoon (dessert)
sharp knife (do NOT touch these as they are Mummy’s job)
When we put plates away we also discuss size and shape as well as what they’re made of e.g. ‘Large”, “small”, “plastic”, “bowl” & “plate”.
Does it take longer to have my children help unload the dishwasher? yes but as it teachers family responsibility as well as matching and I need to do this anyway I may as well make it an activity we all do rather than come up with something else for them to do while I’m doing this.
Do I always get them to help? No sometimes I just want it done quickly but if I have time and am in a patient mood I try to get them involved too.
How do they reach? I have some plastic step stools or they drag a chair over to stand on.
Taught: Family responsibility, basic concepts/opposites, nouns, sorting
Age: 2 years+ (the younger the child the more support they will require to do this)