The Montessori Toddler: A Parent's Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being

The Montessori Toddler: A Parent's Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being


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Turn your home into a Montessori home—and become a more mindful, attentive, and easygoing parent.

It’s time to change the way we see toddlers. Using the principles developed by the educator Dr. Maria Montessori, Simone Davies shows how to turn life with a “terrible two” into a mutually rich and rewarding time of curiosity, learning, respect, and discovery.

With hundreds of practical ideas for every aspect of living with a toddler, here are five principles for feeding your child’s natural curiosity, from “Trust in the child” to “Fostering a sense of wonder.” Step-by-step ways to cultivate daily routines with ease, like brushing teeth, toilet-training, dealing with siblings, losing the pacifier. Plus learn how to:
  • Stay composed when your toddler is not and set limits with love and respect—without resorting to bribes or punishment
  • Set up your home and get rid of the chaos
  • Create Montessori activities that are just right for your one-to-three-year-old
  • Raise an inquisitive learner who loves exploring the world around them
  • See the world through your toddler’s eyes and be surprised and delighted by their perspective
  • Be your child’s guide—and truly celebrate every stage

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781523506897
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/19/2019
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 22,302
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Simone Davies is an AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) Montessori teacher. Born in Australia, she lives in Amsterdam where she runs parent-child Montessori classes at Jacaranda Tree Montessori. Simone is author of the popular blog and Instagram, The Montessori Notebook, where she gives tips, answers questions, and provides online workshops for parents around the world.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction

Let's change the way we see toddlers 02

Why I love toddlers 04

What we need to know about toddlers 06

Parenting the Montessori toddler 08

Getting the most out of this book 10

Chapter 2 Introduction To Montessori

A brief history of Montessori 12

Traditional education vs Montessori education 13

Some Montessori principles 14

Chapter 3 Montessori Activities For Toddlers

Montessori activities for the whole child 24

What makes an activity Montessori? 25

How to show the child an activity 26

General principles to keep in mind 27

How to set up an activity 31

Types of activities 34

Eye-hand coordination 34

Music and movement 37

Practical life 39

Arts and crafts 44

Language 46

An extra note on the outdoors and nature 60

What about non-Montessori toys? 62

Chapter 4 Setting Up The Home

Setting up Montessori-style spaces 66

Room by room 67

Entrance 67

Living room 67

Kitchen 68

Eating area 69

Bedroom 69

Bathroom 70

Arts and crafts area 70

Cozy place for reading 71

Outside 71

General principles to keep in mind 73

Tackling the clutter 73

Making it cozy 74

Setting up our home to save us work 74

Sharing spaces 75

Small spaces 75

The importance of the home environment 76

Home tour 78

Chapter 5 Raising A Curious Child Who Feels Seen And Heard

Part 1 Encouraging Curiosity In Our Child

Five ingredients for curiosity 86

Trust in the child 86

A rich learning environment 87

Time 87

A safe and secure base 87

Fostering a sense of wonder 88

Seven principles for curious humans 88

Follow the child 88

Encourage hands-on learning 89

Include the child in daily life 90

Go slow 91

Help me to help myself 92

Encourage creativity 94

Observation 96

Part 2 Accepting Our Child For Who They Are

Give toddlers significance, belonging, and acceptance for who they are 99

Be their translator 100

Allow all feelings, but not all behavior 101

Give our child feedback instead of praise 102

Roles and labels 104

Chapter 6 Nurturing Cooperation And Responsibility In Our Child

Part 1 Cultivating Cooperation

Why the Montessori approach does not use threats, bribes, or punishments 108

Problem solving with our toddlers 110

Ways to involve our child 113

How we can talk to help them listen 114

Managing expectations 116

Bonus-write a note 118

Part 2 Setting Limits

It's okay to set limits 120

Be clear on the limits 121

Follow through with kind and clear action 122

Acknowledge negative feelings 125

Dealing with tantrums 126

Reconnecting once they are calm 128

Helping them make amends 128

Tips for setting limits 130

A handy checklist for limits 133

Chapter 7 Putting It Into Practice

Part 1 Daily Care

Daily rhythm 136

Rituals 138

Getting dressed and leaving the house 139

Eating 143

Sleeping 147

Brushing teeth 150

Part 2 Dealing With Changes

Toileting 151

Saying goodbye to pacifiers 154

Siblings 155

Part 3 Useful Skills For Our Toddlers To Learn

Sharing 161

Learning how to interrupt an adult 162

Skills for introverted toddlers 163

A hitting/biting/pushing/throwing phase 165

Building concentration 168

Dealing with frustration 169

When our child is clingy 170

Screen time 172

Bilingualism 173

Chapter 8 Being The Adult

Preparation of the adult 178

Physical self-care 179

Cultivate a learning mind-set 180

Start and end the day right 180

Practice presence 182

Observation 183

Fill our emotional bucket and our child's 183

Slow down 184

Be the child's guide 186

Use our home as a helper 187

Be honest 188

Take responsibility for our life and choices 188

Learn from our mistakes 189

Celebrate where we are 190

Self-awareness 190

Keep practicing 191

Chapter 9 Working Together

What about everyone else? 194

Parents are people, too 195

Referring one parent 195

The key to working together as a family 196

Getting family on board 197

Grandparents and caregivers 199

When there is conflict in the family 200

Divorce does not have to be a dirty word 201

Chapter 10 What's Next

Getting ready for preschool/school 204

The coming years 205

It's time for a change in education 209

It's time for peace 209

Real Stories

Home Tours And Quotes From Montessori Families

Australia 212

Kylie, Aaron, Caspar, Otis, and Otto How We Montessori

Mongolia 213

Enerel, Bayanaa, Nimo, and Odi Mininimoo

Canada 214

Beth, Anthony, and Quentin Our Montessori Life


Amy, James, Charlotte, and Simon Midwest Montessori

My family 216

Simone, Oliver, and Emma Australia and the Netherlands

My classroom 217

Jacaranda Tree Montessori

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Further Reading 218

Thank-Yous 220


Instead of this, say that 224

Where to find Montessori materials and furniture 226

About Montessori schools 228

What to look for in a Montessori school 228

What does a typical day at a Montessori school look like? 229

Is Montessori suitable for every child? 230

How does a child transition to a traditional school after being at Montessori? 231

Feeling and needs 232

Play-dough recipe 234

List of Montessori activities for toddlers 235

Index 246

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