Jun 30 , 2023
Do you have a young child who refuses to engage in the Montessori-friendly tasks and games you have placed on his shelf?
I'll tell you right now that it's normal.
The Montessori classroom is where the idea for the shelf first emerged.
It originates more specifically from the classroom for children aged 3 to 6.
Although it's advantageous for newborns and toddlers to have their toys out in the open, it doesn't necessarily follow that they would use the items on the shelf in the same manner a preschooler would.
Children ages 3 to 6 make deliberate decisions. Depending on their present interests, they decide what toys to play with and what subjects to learn. You will see, for instance, that your 3-year-old is quite interested in "insects." As a result, you'll organise a variety of events around that passion. These shelf works will draw their attention, and they might ask for more!
Infants and young children are "unconscious" at this time. They enquire. They stumble upon chances. They'll look at their toys and go exploring. Some of those games and toys will be cherished by your youngster because they let him or her practise a particular activity, like pouring or posting. But if it's not the skill they are currently honing, they won't be interested in that particular job at all.
Young children explore in more free-form ways. They attempt to understand how the world functions and continually make connections. Because they are still learning how to use their bodies, little scientists usually mix up their activities and are more physically active.
A 3-year-old has mastered the skills of climbing, grasping, and walking. He is able to communicate and make decisions. He is now prepared to govern the planet. He wants to categorise and categorise. He desires a name for everything. He is in the process of learning more.
Therefore, if your child shows little interest in shelf job, you can be sure it is not your fault. It is not the case that Montessori is ineffective or unsuitable for your child.
So what should you do if the job on the shelf is unfinished?
Reduce the amount of shelf work you do; as parents, we can have expectations. Despite our best efforts, our kids will "feel" the weight of these demands and hence show even less interest in the activities.
Any toys you have can be displayed on the shelf. Perhaps it's time to put more of an emphasis on open-ended toys, which are great for use at home and work well with Montessori.
Focus on being active, which is what young children like best! Increase the number of physical activities. Send them away with a blow-up tunnel, some soft balls, and a juggling scarf!
Develop your child's language: Toddlers are developing their speech. Instead of matching photos to toy animals, it's more vital to talk with them, read literature, and sing.
Encourage everyday tasks like cleaning the house, doing laundry, and baking and cooking together! Doing "chores" with your child will satisfy several of their requirements, including time with you, fine motor skills, language development, and sensory exploration.
As a play prompt, place a fresh activity on their table. On my child's table, I used to set either a finished art project or a fresh shelf project. She would sleep during the day while I set everything up. She was losing interest if it was there, therefore it wasn't always on the shelf.
However, all I see on social media is children concentrating on shelf job!
You definitely come across a lot of "shelfies" and accounts on social media that post images of particular "shelf works."
It is true that toddlers like activities like pouring, stringing beads, and matching pictures. But it doesn't last all day!
A toddler may select a "Montessori-friendly toy," finish the activity, and then leave the toy on the floor after use. The toddler then may opt to run around the living room, climb up onto the couch and jump off, join you in the kitchen, tug at your legs, and request that you read them a book.
A toddler has a hectic life!
A piece that was inspired by Montessori is simple to photograph. You may view it on social media, too! But a toddler doesn't spend their entire day doing that.
My two kids were active during the toddler stage, therefore I personally enjoyed it!
Even though "shelf work" wasn't their primary occupation, they were continuously engaged in something.
On our indoor IKEA slide, we used to slide for extended periods of time before jumping off onto the floor bed. I can still picture spending the entire afternoon going up and down the stairs. I can still picture myself softly pursuing the cat all over the neighbourhood. I have vivid memories of blowing and catching bubbles. I recall wearing wellies while painting. I recall applying stickers. I can still picture dividing noodles into two bowls and donning them with hats. I have vivid memories of spending hours reading books and memorising their plots.
I could continue forever! However, I don't have a tonne of images of their shelving or shelf work to show you what wonderful toddler years they had.
This blog post should reassure you, I hope. Enjoy your toddler's brisk development!