What makes an activity Montessori?

What makes an activity Montessori?⁠⁠

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What is the difference between a Montessori activity and any other children's activity?
When you respect the Montessori principles, you choose activities
- that are child-led⁠⁠
- that explore the 5 senses⁠⁠
- that are hands-on⁠⁠
- that have a control of error⁠⁠
- that teach one concept at a time⁠⁠
- that help your child to be independent⁠⁠
- that help your child to focus⁠⁠
Those are, in my opinion, the main aspects to be mindful of when you create or present a Montessori inspired activity!⁠.

While you may choose a topic, offer a presentation, introduce some new toys, ultimately, children will choose to work/play with it. Observe your child and based on those observations, suggest and let your child lead!

Children under 6 are very attuned to their 5 senses and explore sensorially. Montessori activities are based on this sensibility.

Montessori said "The hands are the instruments of man's intelligence". Children need to manipulate in order to understand.

Within each "original" Montessori material, there is a control of error, a way for the child to check his own work. You can often add a control of error to any activity/toy you present to your child.

Each material teaches only one concept, such as length, weight, colour, or refinement of smell... With mainstream toys, you generally have many skills introduced, find ways to simplify each toy to focus on one or two skills at a time.

The material is presented in such a way that your child should be able to complete it by himself. The activities are presented in an orderly way, the tray/basket contains everything the child needs to complete the activity.

As the Montessori activities are leading the child to repeat. With repetition, comes concentration.

Maria Montessori said, "The child who concentrates is immensely happy."

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About the Author Carine Robin

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.