Once your child has observed the ways of the home and community in relation to practical life,
they will acquire more confidence and control to complete these care of self tasks.
Some examples of how an infant can care for themselves include:
❖ Wiping nose: At first, the adult wipes the baby's nose, then eventually, the baby will be
able to do this skill by themselves. You can set up an easily accessible area in the home
environment where the baby can find tissues or cloths at the child's level.
❖ Handwashing at the sink: The adult can introduce the sink in many ways. Specifically,
the sink is used to wash their hands. The adult can have a step stool at the sink or create a
handwashing station within the environment using a bowl, water pitcher, and a towel
rack. This area can be near or in the bathroom.
❖ Dressing and Undressing: The adult will begin dressing and undressing the infants but
this process can be talked through. For example, you can tell the baby, “I am going to
take your shirt off/put it on”.
How to set up a care of self station within the environment:
❖ Start by having a mirror at the child’s height so they can see the process.
❖ Put the table and materials at a height that is accessible to the children.
❖ Provide a basket for dirty clothes or tissues.
❖ Consistency and order is key! Always have things in the same area where the child can
❖ At the infant age, non verbal communication goes a long way. You can set out two
choices of clothing and the baby can choose.
❖ When dressing and undressing, talk the child through the process. For example, “I am
going to put your arm through the hole of your shirt”.
“Children acquire knowledge through experience in [their] environment”
The Montessori philosophy capitalizes on five areas of study within children’s environments: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, and Cultural Studies, which include: Geography, Physical and Life Science, History, Music, and Art. In our previous guide we discussed ways to create the Montessori environment through the implementation of works, beauty, and child-sized materials and furniture. As our Montessori inspired homes transformed to include these foundational building blocks, we are now pivoting to learn about and incorporate materials within each of the areas of study that are developmentally appropriate for your child that you can incorporate in your own Montessori inspired home.
Each month our posts will be separated into four parts:
Sean Michael Diana M.A.Ed.