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Sunday, June 19, 2022

Starting Practical Life with Babies - A Simple Activity

Babies, like all children, are people of their time and place. They are quietly absorbing everything around them - from what we are saying to them, to what we are doing, to what we see, they are soaking it all in. From the extraordinary to the mundane, our babies learn by being with us, connecting with us, and participating where they can. 


For me, this is an important reminder that I don't need to "hide" parts of our lives from our baby because we deem them too young to participate. Their incredible mind will be at work soaking up our language, our movements, and our love. That connection doesn't have to come only through physical work, but being together in the work that we, as adults, have to do. 

"In many ways, our babies seed the world through our eyes in their early years. They come to define safe and unsafe, good and bad, and other qualities by watching us and listening to us. They reflect what they see and hear from us." - The Montessori Baby, p 101

This week with Penelope I've been taking one simple step to introduce her to practical participation in our home. I know that the toddler years will be filled with practical life work, but that doesn't mean we can start now.


A Simple Montessori Baby Practical Life Activity


And the simple change I made? Simply doing some of my laundry on the floor next to Penelope. I have just been doing it with a small section of our laundry - usually as I match socks, or fold kitchen towels. These are both small enough for her to safely explore (and not a huge problem if she mouths them or ends up spitting up on them or something.) 

And as I do it, I just talk with her. "Oh, look it's Gus' big, yellow baseball socks. Remember when we went to see his baseball game? I had fun with everyone." I let her touch the items and mouth them. I might talk about how they feel, what they look like, or what we do with them. Or I just fold them quietly as she watches. 



It's not about teaching her how to do these things, but connecting with her through practical tasks. Practical work isn't work we do alone, it's not just my job; it's a part of being in our family. We are working together to run the house and live our lives. It's a point of connection, and we can start making those connections from babyhood - and a simple, free way to bring a little Montessori to your baby's day.

An easy and quick Montessori baby activity to introduce your baby to practical life work through connection and everyday tasks.

This post is week 19 of my Montessori baby series focusing on Penelope. 

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