simple tips for playing the montessori way
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Here are some tips to help you meet your child’s developmental needs during playtime.
The toy timeline is just a guide
While the toy timeline on your Quick Start Guide recommends when to introduce toys to your baby, you can adapt it based on your child's interest.
There is no rush for your child to master one toy before moving onto the next. The process of mastering a toy can take many weeks or months. Sometimes she will lose interest in the toy altogether and not touch it for a week. You can put it in the closet and bring it out a week later, show it to her again, and that’s when she might master it. So keep moving through the program introducing new toys.
Check your baby’s needs before playtime
Introduce a new toy only when your child is well-rested, well-fed, and ready to play. Even a full diaper can interfere with your baby’s ability to learn.
It is through repeated use of the toys that your baby will learn and improve her skills. Your child will not perform the activity with 100% accuracy the first time. Challenges draw the child to repeat till perfected. Encourage her to use the materials repeatedly to increase their mastery.
Children learn most when they’re concentrating. As you present a new toy, remain mostly silent so your baby can focus on your movements. When she’s playing, give her the opportunity to concentrate without interruptions.
Only help when needed
When you notice your child is having difficulty with a toy, give her the opportunity to figure it out on her own. Your child may sometimes get frustrated of not overcoming the challenge, but you must learn to be patient and intervene only if necessary. We adults tend to offer help very quickly to our children. However, we must have faith in their capabilities and believe that they can do it themselves.
Role model to build good habits
Allow your child to see you getting her toy from the shelf and replacing it when she’s done. Your child observes this routine, helping her to develop a habit of cleaning up from an early age.
As you present each toy to your child, keep in mind that the goal is not for your child to repeat your actions or work in a specific way, but rather for her to explore, concentrate, make mistakes, and repeat. The learning is so much more powerful when she figures it out on her own.
Use alternatives to bribes, rewards and punishments
There are no rewards or punishment. Punishment promotes violence.