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Montessori Monday: Chores.

"Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed." 

This is one of my favourite quotes from Maria Montessori and one that reflects the way we parent. In fact, nurturing independence is what I believe is the common link between Montessori philosophies and attachment parenting. 

We encourage Kale to practice independence by giving him as many opportunities as possible and we are rewarded by the joy he gets from achievement. Sure, it slows things down A LOT (have you see a two year old try to put his own shoes on??), but we also have a two year old that gets his own snacks when he's hungry and scrapes his dishes off and puts them in the sink when he's finished eating. 

One of the ways we try to nurture his independence is to involve him in daily chores around the house. Here's a few ways he helps out: 

Every afternoon when I get home from work, Kale and I start cooking dinner together. He likes to get the ingredients out of the fridge for me and then will pull a chair up to the counter to watch me cut and prepare. He likes measuring and pouring and mixing - all things he works on in his Montessori class! 

You all know about Kale's love of laundry. Well, not much as changed - except he's better at it! Not only does Kale know to put his clothes in the laundry when he takes them off, but he can sort them by colour (whites, darks, colours) and then when we're done, he sorts them in piles (mama, papa, Kale, kitchen, bathroom). 

Vacuuming. We can actually set Kale loose with a vacuum and take a nap and wake up to clean floors (don't worry, we don't actually nap...just sort of rest our eyes). We bought him a toy vacuum, which he thinks is pretty rad, but prefers the cleaning action of the real one. 

Dusting & polishing. Kale can empty a spray bottle full of water in a matter of minutes. The kid likes to clean stuff. He will spray down just about anything and then wipe it up with a cloth. This is helpful when he wants to wipe down the table after dinner - not so helpful when he decides the cat needs a good sparkle. 

More than any of those chores, Kale likes to "help fix." He literally loses his mind when there is any mention of tools or fixing. Kris and I don't even attempt to work on something without giving a Kale his own tool and a piece to work on. We couldn't ask for a better supervisor. 

Montessori Monday


  1. Reminded me of

    Tom definitely loves his independence as well, and it's pretty amazing to see what toddlers can do on their own if you let them. Tom can pour his own juice (if the container is half empty), brush his own teeth, feed the cats, and even climb in and buckle himself into his car seat!

    1. Haha, Tom is awesome! I love that picture. Kale LOVES feeding the cat too! I saw a great idea somewhere where someone put the cat's food in a plastic bin with a lid. Then they posted a picture on top of two scoops so the kids knew how much. I thought it was a great idea.

  2. E has a leopard print (yes, you read that right) broom and to help me sweep. We saw a play vacuum at a thrift store last week and I literally had to pry it out of his little hands. Sadly, it was not for sale. I cannot wait until he can cook with me.
    I like the new look around here, especially the archive by year/month. I don't think I saw one before and it was a pain in the bum to find your old posts from when Kale was Emmet's age. Score!

  3. I have to say that I totally admire your patience.. I mean, of course I also admire Kale's helping skills and I'm sure he's super handy.. but I also know that sometimes I find myself caught in a struggle between wanting to let Ollie be helpful and independent, and just wanting to get things done! You guys do such an awesome job of encouraging Kale's growth!

  4. I love this philosophy, and it's something that I'm trying to be very intentional about! I have to stop myself from taking over sometimes, when I know I can get the task done faster. It means so much to my son to be able to learn by doing the same things we do!

  5. I love this ... such sweet photos! What awesome practical life experiences and a great start to helping out at home. Thanks for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page:

  6. Where do you keep his chore stuff? I am struggling to find a place for the little broom, dustpan and spray bottle. They need a home!

    1. We keep all his mini stuff right beside the regular stuff, where he can reach it (in case he's inclined to do some solo cleaning!).

  7. ah! love! Johannes is just now starting to be interested in house hold tasks. I am starting to introduce him to sweeping as a start, although maybe laundry is a good one since he seems to love putting clothes into the washing machine :)