The Montessori philosophy is about nourishing a child’s ability to be self-motivated and maintain a desire to learn throughout their lives. This child-centered approach was first created by Dr. Maria Montessori to develop learning in cognitive, emotional, social, and physical areas. To quote Dr. Montessori “When a child is given a little leeway, he will at once shout, ’I want to do it!’ But in our schools, which have an environment adapted to children’s needs, they say, ‘Help me to do it alone.’”
These Montessori ideals have been put into practice in schools all over the world. Montessori toddler daycare is highly sought after by parents to enrich their children from a young age. Developing Montessori routines early in life will give your child the tools he or she needs to succeed throughout their entire lives.
One of the areas where this early development is so essential is in teaching toddlers clean-up routines. Dr. Montessori felt children could focus better, and therefore learn more effectively if they had a tidy work space. Also, teaching a child how to keep a clean and safe learning environment not only for themselves but also those around them will help teach them an understanding of helping in their community.
Below are just five of the many different clean-up ideas to teach your toddler.
Give everything its own designated space and keep that space consistent.
Children will learn where they can find something and know how to put it away when they are done. It will not be long before they remember where things belong on their own and do not need a reminder.
Be a good role model
Children, especially toddlers, are like sponges and are constantly learning from our actions. If your child sees you cleaning up after yourself they will be more likely to mimic that behavior.
Be consistent with cleaning up
If you make clean up part of the daily routine children will fall in step with the practice and it will simply become second nature.
Keep the reminders positive
As parents it is easy to move to negative reactions to get your child to do something. Instead, try to turn it around and encourage rewards for good behavior rather than punishments for not doing what is asked.
Let your child decide
If they have started to play with too many things at once and your space is starting to become too cluttered, give them two options of things to clean up at a time and let them feel like they are leading the way. Children like to exercise their ability to control a situation. When possible, try to keep it simple and only play with one toy at a time.