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#1 of 37 Old 04-14-2013, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I wanted to start a thread for those who are using or are interested in using Montessori methods in their home with a toddler. Lets share our experiences, tips, questions...

My DD is 14.5 months and her interest in care for the environment is really picking up. She does well with cleaning her table and trying to sweep/vacuum and help cook. She's a bit rambunctious so we struggle a little with a calm orderly environment, lol!

How about you??

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#2 of 37 Old 04-14-2013, 05:45 PM
 
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Well we have a 17mo DD and I learned about Montessori schools before I got pregnant, but didn't realize until recently (like few mos ago) that there was more to it than school.  I guess it's a good thing that much of what I was doing fell in line with the methods.  DD has her own vacuum (although she prefers mine), and I've always encouraged her to help with day to day things like unloading the dishwasher, grooming the dogs - I recently gave her a bottom drawer in the kitchen with all of her utencils and some rags for the constant water she spills (mostly on purpose bc she enjoys the act of wiping them up!) .  The more I read, the more I love!

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#3 of 37 Old 04-15-2013, 10:39 PM
 
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Joining this thread as I have a 19mo who'll be starting at a Montessori pre-school in 4 months. I went to a Monte school as a child, and will start working at the same pre-school as my son when he starts.

 

How are you all organising your houses re: Montessori? I've just given the living room an overhaul to make all toys and books more accessible.
 

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#4 of 37 Old 04-16-2013, 05:06 PM
 
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I have a twenty month old... I love a lot of the Montessori ideas, and am really enjoying learning about it. DD has a floor bed, a bookshelf and light down low for her to turn on and off, and her PJs on a hook hanging at her level. I also moved all of her clothes to the bottom drawer of her dresser so she can pick out her own clothes each morning. In the living room, all of DD's toys and books are within her reach. She has access to a few snacks in the kitchen to eat when she pleases, and a small broom/dustpan/rag/squirt bottle to clean up messes. I think having this amount of independence really works for her personality.
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#5 of 37 Old 04-17-2013, 03:11 PM
 
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so glad to see this. not sure how I missed it, but I just posted a question about montessori and implementing it at home.  should have checked this first!  What resources do you all use to learn more?  I'm not very familiar with montessori as a method or philosophy, but I think it's really intuitive to help little ones to help themselves.  I see just how much my son wants to help and do, and how much he is capable of.  so much more than we often give them credit for!

 

Any book or blog or website recommendations?  

 

Kanani, thank you for those great ideas you mentioned.  Oh, my son would love a squirt bottle and a rag. Definitely doing that one. 

 

what else do you all have set up at home?

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#6 of 37 Old 04-17-2013, 06:31 PM
 
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I found this site while browsing pinterest: http://www.howwemontessori.com/ , very cute ideas on how to set up areas.  Although if I gave my DD access to water she'd be soaking wet and naked 24/7 so there will be no water pitcher for her any time soon :-P 

 

In general I've found LOADS of great stuff on pinterest, like cute but simplistic ways to set up a"dress up " area for kids' costumes - just search montessori or a particular set up (montessori kitchen, montessori bedroom, etc) and you can find awesome stuff

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#7 of 37 Old 04-17-2013, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Opti-miss: I haven't really set up like I'd like, but I have this page : http://thefreechild.blogspot.com/p/prepared-environment.html?m=1 bookmarked as a model for the set up. Like sassyfirechick, my DD will probably have a low drawer in the kitchen with her supplies for now.

I really need to get her own broom, mop, bucket because she gets sooooo upset if she cqn't mop or sweep with me. Does anyone know if you can get tyke sized brooms etc from a store you can walk into, or only online?

HannahJ I just ordered and read:

How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Wqy
Teach Me to Do it Myself
Montessori Activities for the Home Preschool Years (I think that was what it was called??)
These were a great starting point and give you a bit of solid footing when you do start looking at blogs, pinterest etc.

Like sassyfirechick the more I read the more I love! And like Kanai said too I think this early independence is soooo important!

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#8 of 37 Old 04-18-2013, 06:33 PM
 
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I really need to get her own broom, mop, bucket because she gets sooooo upset if she cqn't mop or sweep with me. Does anyone know if you can get tyke sized brooms etc from a store you can walk into, or only online?
 

Couldn't tell you the store name but I have seen entire cleaning sets at toy stores, not the big box ones but some of the smaller no name places at our local mall, I was pretty surprised and may have to take a trip and see if they still have them.  DD was still an infant when I went there last and I didn't know about all of this then!  My inlaws got her a toy vaccum for xmas but I also let her play with my dustbuster and recently showed her how to use a dust pan although I don't have those where she can get to them on her own.

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#9 of 37 Old 04-18-2013, 09:58 PM
 
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Opti-miss: I haven't really set up like I'd like, but I have this page : http://thefreechild.blogspot.com/p/prepared-environment.html?m=1 bookmarked as a model for the set up. Like sassyfirechick, my DD will probably have a low drawer in the kitchen with her supplies for now.

I really need to get her own broom, mop, bucket because she gets sooooo upset if she cqn't mop or sweep with me. Does anyone know if you can get tyke sized brooms etc from a store you can walk into, or only online?

HannahJ I just ordered and read:

How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Wqy
Teach Me to Do it Myself
Montessori Activities for the Home Preschool Years (I think that was what it was called??)
These were a great starting point and give you a bit of solid footing when you do start looking at blogs, pinterest etc.

Like sassyfirechick the more I read the more I love! And like Kanai said too I think this early independence is soooo important!

You always have great book suggestions!!!!!

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#10 of 37 Old 04-18-2013, 10:06 PM
 
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Can I join??

I have a 23 month old. I am going to check out all the website suggestions and leave one by a french mama that i like a lot.

We have a room just for ds's things. A table for writing and drawing/painting with drawers underneath with label supplies. Shelves for musical instruments and puzzles. On our wall we have the alphabet written and a number line. he has one corner with rotated toys...mainly trucks.

And we do have a small broom...we got it online. And, a mini rake,hoe and shovel for ds when we are all gardening.

http://thefreechild.blogspot.com/search/label/Montessori%20toddler?updated-max=2012-03-09T17:10:00-08:00&max-results=20&start=12&by-date=false

We did end up getting the wooden TAG box with numbered plates and wooden pegs and he love it.

.ETA I just realized I have the same website as element2012 but it looks a little different.

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#11 of 37 Old 04-20-2013, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Are there any Montessori principles you would like to implement but are struggling with? For us it's meal time. DD has yet to take to solids in any significant way, and will often prefer to roam the house while eating, or lately eating food that should be eaten with a spoon or fork with her fingers. If I try to stop this she will through a fit and stop eating, and at this point I'm more interested in her getting interested in eating than her table manners. Am I setting myself up for failure? She can learn table manners later right?

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#12 of 37 Old 04-21-2013, 08:03 AM
 
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I think it is okay to have you dd eat with you as a family but yes she can learn table manners later. Our ds goes between using a fork and spoon to using his fingers all the ime. I think it is good for them to feel the different textures and temperatures and all that that comes with eating with our hands. I know know when I use my hands only sometimes my food taste better..lol

And I think active parenting is never a failure mama. sometimes it's trial and error but not failure.

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#13 of 37 Old 04-21-2013, 08:03 AM
 
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Are there any Montessori principles you would like to implement but are struggling with? 

I will get back to this question........

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#14 of 37 Old 04-21-2013, 01:06 PM
 
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Should this thread be in the "montessori" education section of Mothering? I think I can move the thread. I Just came from there and though it seems most people have their children in montessori school of sorts I think there is some who are just trying to incorporate the montessori thought in their homes with their children.

http://www.mothering.com/community/f/284/montessori

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#15 of 37 Old 04-22-2013, 06:55 AM
 
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Our table expectations are pretty low.  I just converted DD's keekaroo high chair - took away the booster insert and tray - and showed her how to climb up and down herself, and she was pretty thrilled.  I never used the "seat belt" before but am now bc it keeps her in one place while we eat, which she's ok with.  It's after she finishes that she wants down immediately so we're working slowly on that increasing how long she has to wait ther for DH and I since she  usually finishes eating first.  Our biggest struggle is patience and being gentle.  She is SUCH a bruiser!! More when I get into work on this topic!

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#16 of 37 Old 04-22-2013, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Tracy I feel like this thread is better in the Toddlers forum as these toddlers are toddlers first... with maybe a touch of montessori on a good day! lol.gif

 

Sassyfirechick that's the hardest part of montessori now I feel, like our young toddlers should be able to have better "manners", but I am not sure how much manners and correction of manners is really possible at this young age.  Raising an Amazing Child the Montessori Way listed grace and manners as something that they are sensitive to at 2 years old, so maybe we are getting ahead of ourselves? Or at least that's what I tell myself as my girl tries to snort the yogurt she just smeared on the table.


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#17 of 37 Old 04-22-2013, 04:49 PM
 
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Tracy I feel like this thread is better in the Toddlers forum as these toddlers are toddlers first... with maybe a touch of montessori on a good day! lol.gif

 

Sassyfirechick that's the hardest part of montessori now I feel, like our young toddlers should be able to have better "manners", but I am not sure how much manners and correction of manners is really possible at this young age.  Raising an Amazing Child the Montessori Way listed grace and manners as something that they are sensitive to at 2 years old, so maybe we are getting ahead of ourselves? Or at least that's what I tell myself as my girl tries to snort the yogurt she just smeared on the table.

That's fine. I was just wondering if this thread would get more notice else where. I like it and wish more people were commentingsmile.gif. I am planning on checking out a couple of the books you recommended on our library trip next week.

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#18 of 37 Old 04-22-2013, 05:24 PM
 
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Ok, so on to patience...or lack- there-of!  DH is NOT a patient person, I don't think he ever was, and his coping skills are horrible when he is frustrated.  I know for a fact as a kid, he would get flustered, start to tantrum and break things, bite people, etc - and his parents would jump in to fix everything for him rather than help him to help himself. 

 

So my problem is, DD, much to my horror, tends to lean towards those behaviors - biting and all.  On weekends or long stretches of time with me, she is super managable, incredibly independent, and she problem solves quite well.  During the week I work 4 hours a day and my FIL watches her at our house.  The first sign of a struggle and he jumps in to "save" her - for example, Sunday night they stopped by while we were finishing dinner.  DD tossed her fork to the floor and told me 'all done', and so I asked her to wait for me to finish.  Well in rushed FIL saying "oh, you dropped your fork, that's ok, papa do" as he proceeded to load it up and shovel food into her mouth.  She's 17mos, and I'm sorry but she's been fully capable for self feeding from 8mos old, so I kind of wigged out!  My IL's drive me nuts bc I see all the hard work I do trying to raise a self aware, confident, independent kiddo going straight out the window.  Super frustrating for me, and more so for DD bc I see her starting to fall behind at times always asking for someone else to do things for her.  I was so flustered when they left Sunday that after DD went to sleep I was in her room re-arranging her toys and books and putting things in baskets and gathering up the excess stuffed critters to donate since she's already acquired more than she knows what to do with. 

 

Right now she's in ISR classes and 3wks in she still cries for me during lessons, but I'm totally capable of pulling of a poker face (being a dog trainer is a great background for that!) and she's been doing well in the water and I've noticed that outside the water she's een taking more risks, something I associate with the confidence boost of learning something new.  But I do wonder if my FIL wasn't waiting on her hand and foot in between if she'd cry less or be more advanced in the lesssons.   Sorry, that diverted a bit from our original topic!  Anywho, clearly our biggest hurdle is teaching gentle behaviors and patience when learning new things.  I know the style overall is suposed to lead to gentle kids but I find myself wondring when we will get there!

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#19 of 37 Old 04-23-2013, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes it's so hard when there are multiple care givers!  We just moved my MIL in with us and we are having to work on a few things with her too.  Grandparents can't help but coddle I'm sure, but it's good you have no problem telling your FIL what you are ok with him doing for YOUR child.  Does your FIL know what you expect of your DD, and know that you expect him to be consitent? I have to tell my MIL daily what is expected with DD, with respect of course.  What's funny is even a very young toddler knows what they can and can't get away with with each caregiver.  My MIL has said before that she feels like my DD tries not to give her a hard time because she's old, and I do notice that DD is more gentle and easy going with her Grandma.  It's so cute. With me, she's a mess, lol!


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#20 of 37 Old 04-26-2013, 05:36 PM
 
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How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Wqy
Teach Me to Do it Myself
Montessori Activities for the Home Preschool Years (I think that was what it was called??)
These were a great starting point and give you a bit of solid footing when you do start looking at blogs, pinterest etc.

 

Just checked these out from the library....excited!!!

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#21 of 37 Old 04-26-2013, 07:48 PM
 
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I picked up both of these books and have been reading. Getting ready to set up the kitchen where he has access to his things. Starting with some of the activities, I'm very excited!
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#22 of 37 Old 04-27-2013, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yay! Hey I have an idea, if you have your LO's kitchen area set up, take a pic and share! I have a drawer for DD but trying to figure out how to organize it...


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#23 of 37 Old 04-28-2013, 07:11 PM
 
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I will! That will give some motivation also!
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#24 of 37 Old 05-07-2013, 12:45 PM
 
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I have some questions that maybe someone can answer for me or at least point me in the right direction.

 

Our library (in Belgium) doesn't have any Montessori books and I don't really have any budget for any at the moment so I'm going to check out the websites mentioned.

 

I understand that the basics are about helping your child to be independent and help themselves.  I was always very independent because I HAD to be, DH wasn't because he had a kind of stepford mum that even at age 21 would leap up from dinner to fetch him a drink, cleaned his room, managed his bank account etc so ideally I would love my DD to be somewhere in the middle!

 

She has her own cupboard in the kitchen which has everything non dangerous and precious, Tupperware, towels etc.  I love the idea of low shelving where in the future she can have her own plates on there and be in charge of napkins etc but most of the toys I have seen are wooden, is plastic a big no no then?  And I guess anything electrical?  she has a vtech talking book and walking frame.  Cuddly toys are OK though?

 

I have also seen a lot of people using floor beds but I'm not quite sure what the benefit would be?  DD doesn't sleep through the night and when she wakes up fully (we co-sleep after that in a single in her room) she stands and holds onto the bars so I can't imagine what she would do if she weren't in her crib.  She isn't quite walking so I imagine her crawling around getting knotted up in her sleeping bag.  It would also be very hard to completely baby proof her room.  The cabinets are safe and there are no toys or anything lying around but our sockets are floor level and although I have protectors I have to be able to plug the monitor in and she is CRAZY about getting cables.

 

I'm going to save up and hopefully get her an expedit shelving unit from Ikea in the next month or so...off to visit the links now shy.gif
 


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#25 of 37 Old 05-07-2013, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Clairebear, for me when it comes to your home and implementing Montessori, it's really just whatever works for you and your family.  The floor bed, and not constraining a child in general in high chairs, strollers, etc, was something that resonated with me and my husband. So we implemented those things.  However, my DD has hardly taken to solids so table manners are something we are not implementing *yet*.  If she is actually eating something, she can and does run around the house eating so as to not put her off from eating (or using her fingers in yogurt, or just in general hooligan-ness that Montessori would surely not approve of!). So if a floor bed is too much for you or just not where your family is at right now, that's fine! I think there are many who use cribs and still use other Montessori approaches.  With the toys I think the general idea is too avoid the ones that are over-stimulating with many lights and noises and focus on quality toys which encourage development of imagination and concentration.


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#26 of 37 Old 05-07-2013, 05:29 PM
 
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Clairebear, for me when it comes to your home and implementing Montessori, it's really just whatever works for you and your family.  The floor bed, and not constraining a child in general in high chairs, strollers, etc, was something that resonated with me and my husband. So we implemented those things.  However, my DD has hardly taken to solids so table manners are something we are not implementing *yet*.  If she is actually eating something, she can and does run around the house eating so as to not put her off from eating (or using her fingers in yogurt, or just in general hooligan-ness that Montessori would surely not approve of!). So if a floor bed is too much for you or just not where your family is at right now, that's fine! I think there are many who use cribs and still use other Montessori approaches.  With the toys I think the general idea is too avoid the ones that are over-stimulating with many lights and noises and focus on quality toys which encourage development of imagination and concentration.

Yes, I agree like my son loves tonka trucks and I would never take those away. He love loading them up with rocks then finding a cool spot to throw the rocks...lol.

And as far as eating I would look at as she looking through touch. Yogurt feels good on the fingers. Do you guys ever finger paint with it? We do and my son loves it and maybe this is way he eats it with his spoon during lunch. And I think you are implementing the montessori method because when she's ready to eat sitting at the table she will. You are allowing her to lead. Right? smile.gif I know that you stress the eating part. You rock mama!

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#27 of 37 Old 05-09-2013, 06:27 AM
 
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Oh dear, the more I look into this the more I feel I might of missed the boat with some things.

 

I was looking through some fab blogs like http://www.howwemontessori.com/how-we-montessori/ looking at how other 12 month olds are using glasses and spoons but DD doesn't seem anywhere near ready for that.  She eats a ton of solids so one thing I would worry about if she feeds herself is if she is getting enough.  She eats little blocks of cheese and sandwich herself but spoons get played with and chucked on the floor, she understands that she can use it to bring food to her mouth but I tried today giving her a bowl with a small amount of food and everything just ends up on the floor.  She drinks water from a sippy with a straw but if I leave her to it this will also end up on the floor.  If she drinks out of a plastic beaker I have to hold it really tight.

 

Do you think it's too late for me to change over now?  We had a Tripp Trapp chair that we hadn't used yet so we started today with her being right at the table.  What size glasses would be best to try.

 

Thanks for your help!
 


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#28 of 37 Old 05-09-2013, 06:14 PM
 
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My 18mo is a beast with tableware, so we avoided glasss for a long time, and even now when she's playing I give her a plastic, non-leak sippy cup to avoid the mess.  But, she can use a regular glass if we watch her and put only a little bit in (otherwise she tends to spill since she sort of bites at the liquid in a cup) and I've let her use a shot glass alone before since we have some *acquired* bar shot glasses that are super duper thick so no way she can break it even if she chucks it!  Only one broken pie plate thus far, and she's been much better with not tossing her plate to the ground now that I give her a real one and not a plastic plate.  Utensils took her a long time, but she's pretty good now and I honestly don't care if she tosses them aside to eat with her hands, whatever works.

 

As for toys, I prefer less flashy ones in general (who wants to keep buying batteries!?) and I've made that pretty cear to friends and family and I've already given away stuff that I felt was just way too over the top for me.  We do have "noisy" toys, like a guitar and keyboard that she loves to play with, one of her ride on cars sings tolerable songs, but we also have lots of good old fashion wood toys, I like the melissa and doug brand bc they are easy to find and the company was/is based in CT where we are so it's a local thing.  Target also has a nice line of wooden toys made in canada that we have a few of.  Stuffies....we have far more than she needs so a bunch are stuffed in the closet, I'll rotate through them, and anything she doesn't care for will get donated.  I like to have less clutter and we have a small ranch so minimal works well here!

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#29 of 37 Old 05-14-2013, 06:23 PM
 
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Can I join this thread too. We are trying our best to find better, fun, interesting and more "challeging" activities for our little man since he could crawl. The Montessori style seems to speak to our values but we're not strictly doing this style as our 18 month old has his own ideas on how the day should go.
Rotating baskets wit toys or objects with similar themes, theme boards and an orderly but simple arts and crafts are what we like to do on rainy days. I needed more ideas so from one awesome Montessori family blog (sewliberated.com) I found another perspective at Soulemama's blog and got her Creative Family book.
My son loves to dump his food and drink as much as setting it up so we do this only on days where momma is energetic:) Here is a pic of a pre meal behaved boy!
Best of luck to you all and please share ideas for activities.
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Originally Posted by clairebear3 View Post

Oh dear, the more I look into this the more I feel I might of missed the boat with some things.

 

I was looking through some fab blogs like http://www.howwemontessori.com/how-we-montessori/ looking at how other 12 month olds are using glasses and spoons but DD doesn't seem anywhere near ready for that.  She eats a ton of solids so one thing I would worry about if she feeds herself is if she is getting enough.  She eats little blocks of cheese and sandwich herself but spoons get played with and chucked on the floor, she understands that she can use it to bring food to her mouth but I tried today giving her a bowl with a small amount of food and everything just ends up on the floor.  She drinks water from a sippy with a straw but if I leave her to it this will also end up on the floor.  If she drinks out of a plastic beaker I have to hold it really tight.

 

Do you think it's too late for me to change over now?  We had a Tripp Trapp chair that we hadn't used yet so we started today with her being right at the table.  What size glasses would be best to try.

 

Thanks for your help!
 

It really took my son ages before he wanted to use his fork and spoon. He would always use his hands. I think this is okay. I look at it as "hands on" and you are following her lead. Maybe she just isn't ready to be "proper" LOL I wouldn't stress it.

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