What kind of activities can a child do in the kitchen? You may have observed…
Free Garden birds 3-part cards!
Subscribe to our newsletter to get this amazing set of birds 3-part cards
By signing up you agree to our terms
Do you have a toddler who ignores the Montessori friendly work and activities you have set up on his shelf?
Let me tell you that it is normal!
The concept of the Montessori shelf comes from the Montessori classroom.
More precisely, it comes from the 3 to 6 years old classroom.
Although babies and toddlers benefit from having their toys on view, it doesn’t mean they will use the works on the shelf in the same way that a preschooler would.
Children from 3 to 6 make conscious choices. They choose what to play with, what to learn about based on their current interests. You will observe your 3 years old being deeply interested in “insects” for example. So you will set up various activities based on that interest. They will be attracted by those shelf works and they may ask for more!
Babies and toddlers are in an “unconscious” stage. They explore! They come upon opportunities. They will see their toys and explore. Some of those toys and activities will be well-loved because they allow your child to practice a specific skill such as pouring or posting. But if it’s not the skill they are working on, right now, they will have zero interest in that specific work.
Children under 3 explore in more open-ended ways. They constantly make connections and try to figure out how the world works! They are little scientists so they tend to mix up their activities, they tend to be more physically active because they are still learning to move their bodies!
A 3 years old has mastered walking, climbing, and grasping. He can talk and he can make a decision. So he is ready to organize the world. He wants to sort and classify. He wants to name everything. He is in a stage of accumulating knowledge.
So if your toddler is not interested in shelf work, rest assured that it’s not your fault. It is not because Montessori is not working or because Montessori is not suitable for your child.
Discover 10 Montessori Principles for parents -
Subscribe to my newsletter and receive information about my courses, this blog and freebies including the First Lesson of the Montessori Parenting course!
Carine Robin has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, specialising in child psychology. She worked for various social services in her home country of Belgium, before moving to Ireland in 2006. It was there that she started working in a nursery and discovered Montessori education. After having her first child, her passion for the philosophy grew and she qualified as a Montessori teacher and managed a preschool. Carine has been running a Montessori based parents and toddler group and coaching families for 9 years. She now also runs an online group for over 14000 parents, sharing her knowledge and passion with people from around the world. In 2018, Carine realised families needed more support and launched her popular online parenting courses and monthly subscription boxes, full of personally designed Montessori materials.
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.