The Way to Montessori Play
Updated: Jul 8, 2020
Many parents have fond memories of their childhoods and exploring the neighborhood with friends or playing at home with our siblings. We can recreate this by allowing time for simple, non-parent-directed play.
Parents Aren’t Needed All the Time
Just as you schedule playdates and structured play time, creating times and places for your child to be independent from you can help you relax as they play. Montessori teachers carefully prepare the classroom to be a safe, interesting environment that encourages play and exploring, so too can you.
Keep in mind your child’s age and abilities as you create this environment
Provide items to encourage movement as well as imagination, such as blocks, dollhouses, toy vehicles, puzzles, and art supplies
Display the items in an organized and attractive way that allows for easy reach. Be sure to switch out toys from time to time.
Introduce new toys to your child and show them how to use the toys. Then leave them free to make new discoveries.
Designed to Learn
While playing and exploring, your child is learning without being directly taught, since play is a time of discovery without self-consciousness. This is the time when intelligence and creativity develop, and your child will flourish because of it. Allow them to follow an impulse and create something unique. It’s also fun to listen to the “rules” your child might come up with during their play.
Different Play at Different Stages
Younger children might prefer to play by themselves, while older children might seek a playmate. There is no right or wrong when it comes to this, and so you should allow your child to take the lead. When your child asks you to be their playmate, make it fun! Let your child pick the activity and make the rules.
Relax and Keep Playing
Free times gives everyone a chance to refuel, think, and figure things out. Set aside at least one or two days of free time, even if that means scheduled lessons or practices may have to be set aside. This is a time for your child to discovery more of the world and for you to discover more of your child.