Montessori Minute: Cleaning Up

Children’s House Student Preparing for Lunch

Does this sound familiar? In school your Columbus Montessori student finishes a work, puts it away and neatly rolls their mat placing it in its designated spot. At home? Not so much.

Amy Williams, Teacher Education Program Director and VeNessa DeCree Montessori Philosophy Administrator have a few tips to bring Montessori home.

“You have to set the child up for success,” Williams said. “That includes making sure you are encouraging the connection between home and school.”

Getting the “montessori clean” at home isn’t magic, the key is consistency DeCree said.

Three tips for making the clean-up process easier for kids:

    1. Ban the oversize toy bin. “The child looks for a specific toy and when they are all in one big bin what happens? All the toys get dumped. Then it’s overwhelming for the child to clean up,” DeCree said. “Give each type of toy a smaller bin and then instruct the child that only one bin can be used at a time. When they are finished with one, they put it away and get another.”
    2. Make it accessible. Give the child their own low shelf where they have access to cleaning tools including a hand broom and dust pan set. Adult sized cleaning supplies are too hard for them to use effectively.
    3. Break it down. Montessori Mama has a great post on helping a child understand each step involved with cleaning up.

“Ask your child to help you come up with a list of things that need to be done to make the room clean. Here are some (bed room) clean up ideas:

      • Return books to shelf
      • Put dirty laundry in hamper
      • Return blocks to block bin
      • Smooth comforter on bed
      • Arrange stuffed animals

Write or draw (with your child’s help) each job on a separate index card. Read the task aloud. When each task is done, ask your child to pick a new card.”

Cleaning doesn’t have to be a battle, just set kids up for success and watch them go and grow!