Surrounding children with real and often breakable items may seem like a recipe for disaster although with proper care it creates a rich and rewarding learning experience!
My son got a little microscope for his birthday and although he often talked about how he was going to look at this leaf or that hair with it we found it was not being used much. Why?
It was stored in a plastic case near William’s desk. It was safe there. It was also not inviting! One afternoon (after I had made a little space!) I got it out and sat it in our dining area and Hey Presto it is being used and used often! The thing that surprised me most about it being used was that Sage (my 5 year old) was using it as much or more than Will.
If you want your children to use an item have it out and on display!
Make equipment accessible to your children.
- Place it at their level.
- Have everything needed to use it on display too.
- Teach them how to use it and look after it.
Let them use BREAKABLES!
Allowing children real and breakable equipment is a philosophy that is shared by Unschooling and Montessori both philosophies ask that children be given responsibility and freedom. I understand that it can be hard as a parent to allow your children to use something that is easily broken although if children are taught from a very young age about using things with care you will be surprised at how well they will look after things. A Montessori preschool will use glass and china plates, bowls and cups instead of a plastic so children are taught to care and be careful from the beginning — of course there will be some breakages although the Montessori philosophy uses a breakage as a teaching experience.
Shared on Montessori Monday