A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A MONTESSORI TODDLER
by Simone Davies
It is so fun to be back guest blogging here for Trillium Montessori. Thanks for having me visit, Seemi.
I always say that Montessori is not just an educational philosophy but a way of life. So I thought it would be fun to delve into the photo archives to show you what a day in the life of a Montessori toddler was like in my house.
My children are now 13 and 12 years old so it has been really fun to put this together for you!
The timings are just approximates. The timing changed from day to day but we had the same basic routine almost every day – toddlers like to know what is happening next! But it also gives you an idea how slowly everything happened. The other thing you will notice is the children are invited to join in all our daily activities. My favourite part is still just hanging out with these two!
6:30am/7:00am Wake up time
The children shared a room until they were in their teens so if one of them woke up it wasn’t long before there were two wakeful children. I’d often find them chatting in bed or out of bed playing with the few toys in their room or reading books.
Emma is sleeping here in a junior toddler bed from Ikea that she could climb out of by herself.
8:00am Breakfast time
Toddlers eat a lot. We would make a 3 course breakfast together starting with some cereal like Weetbix, then some fruit, followed by yogurt. The children would help me set the table and we always put out a small jug so they could pour their own milk.
I like to eat main meals at the family dining table so the children would just kneel on their chairs to reach the table. We would chat about what we were planning to do that day, watch what was going on out the window, and inevitably there were spills which the children would help wipe up.
8:30am Get dressed
The children enjoyed choosing their own clothes. I would sit on the floor to help Emma while Oliver would mostly get himself dressed. Some days this took a very long time. Ideally there is no hurry with toddlers in the house.
9:00am Feed the fish
A fish is a great first pet. We kept the tank on the shelf at child-height so the children could watch it. At feeding time, we would put a small amount of food into an egg cup for them to pour into the tank. A custom glass lid stopped little fingers playing in the water.
9:15am Head out for a morning activity
Shoes on! In the entrance we had some small chairs where the children could sit to put on their shoes. Velcro is perfect for little ones trying to dress themselves.
9:30am Montessori playgroup (or other activity)
Once a week we would attend a Montessori playgroup for toddlers and parents. Here is Oliver setting the table for snack time.
Other days we would attend a music class, visit the grandparents, head to the beach or the park or playground.
12:00pm Make lunch
We would mostly have a simple lunch of sandwiches or cheese on toast. The children like to take turns on the step ladder to make their own (clothing optional!).
The children would carry their lunch to the table and sit with me to eat together. I still love meal times to talk about everything and anything. These two are such sweet company.
There was generally a quiet time in our house for around an hour and a half. When Oliver got older, he would just read quietly in bed while Emma napped. There was even a time when I practised tai-chi while they were resting to get enough energy to get through the afternoon.
2:30pm Out and about again
Some days we would stay at home in the afternoon, but many days we would head out and about again.
On sunny days, some of things we did were: exploring the park (including blowing dandelions), watering the plants, or taking some duplo and a blanket outside.
Or if we were feeling like going further afield, we went for a short bush walk or went to the local train station to wave at the train drivers.
Some inside options we enjoyed were heading to the art gallery or, once a week, visiting two ladies in a nursing home as part of a volunteer program.
And if we didn’t even leave the house, we would get busy baking or get out some paints for an afternoon of craft.
Thechildren would eat their snack at a small child-sized table by the window. Here is Emma enjoying some apple. We always used regular plates and glasses – I don’t like eating off plastic and the children learn to take care and carry the plate with two hands.
Sometimes we had some visitors wanting to join us for a snack. Feeding birds with young toddlers is so much fun.
4:30pm Help mum
In a family with young children there is always a lot of washing. So Montessori children get to help. Here Oliver has emptied the bucket of pegs and is trying on Dad’s t-shirt. It takes longer, requires some more patience, but involves them in our daily life.
5:30pm Dinner time
Dinner time can be a messy affair. Cloths are at the ready for meal time clean up.
6:00pm Bath time
And the best part about getting dirty at dinner, is getting clean in the bath. Such special times. Squeaky toys, small watering cans and sponges added to the fun.
6:30pm Story time
Our favourite part of the bed time ritual was jumping into the big bed to read books together. It wasn’t always such a peaceful scene though – often a lot of trampolining on the bed too.
7:00pm Bed time
It’s been another busy day. Good night all. It’s not long before they are both asleep and softly snoring.
About Simone Davies
Simone Davies loves putting Montessori into practice. She is a qualified 0-3 Montessori teacher through the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and mother of two children who attended Montessori preschool and primary school. She is from Australia and lives in the Netherlands where she runs a Montessori playgroup for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Amsterdam. Visit her website here: www.jacarandatreemontessori.nl/blog.
Where to Find Supplies
Many of the things you will need to make your home more Montessori and child friendly can be found easily at places like the Dollar Store, Target, and Walmart. You can also find a great selection of tools at For Small Hands, a company founded by a Montessori teacher.