We really want to offer all kinds of activities to stimulate our child… And if Montessori is a rich pedagogy, it is based above all on everyday objects. We can buy all the boxes of manual activities stamped Montessori, but the house is full of treasure to stimulate the concentration, creativity or fine motor skills of our dear toddlers …
The buttons on my favorite skirt just fell off? Too bad or great ?! What if we took the opportunity to teach our children to “sew”? Here is a Montessori activity that all children will love, boys and girls alike! Fun, practical and essential at the same time: sewing! In addition, a priori, we already have all the equipment at home …
In the end, there is a sum of many small “sub-activities” all very educational. Here are 6 tips to turn these Montessori activities into educational success!
- “Joy, what do you prefer to do after lunch: sewing or repairing your damaged books?”
- Both, mom! “
Tip # 1: always make sure that our child is motivated!
As always, the first key to success, with our children as with the older ones, is to make sure that they want to. Of course, we can stimulate, but if the interest is not there, it does not matter, we do another activity 😉.
- There, I take out my sewing box and show it to Joy (a real treasure chest for her!).
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Tip n ° 2: have time to spare …
The idea is to offer an activity and to do it with our child. So no need to believe that it will go as fast as if we did it alone. So let’s take the time and try to give our child the opportunity to complete each of the MANY steps that constitute the sewing activity.
Step 1: choose the right button
- “So, which button do you think we’re going to choose?”
- One that looks like the others to match! “
We let our child search, and select.
- “Is he the same size as the others?” Is it going to be practical to button this one? “
Tip 3: let him find the solution or the error himself
Ideally (I admit that I did not have the courage!), We go to the end of the choice of the child and we even sew a button that will not suit in the end, so that the child realizes for himself that he is too small, too big or not the right shape. In the simplified version, you can at least try to pass the button through the slit before sewing it to see if it goes through and if it “blocks” …
Step 2: choose the wire and cut it
- “Now we need a wire of about this length. Which yarn do we choose to make it go well together? “
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Tip 4: at each step, give them the opportunity to do it themselves
Of course, sewing is a new activity for our child. So when you learn, everything takes time! So we let him do it, even if it takes 5 times longer, and even if we think that he will not succeed! It’s about getting him to do an activity, not “showing” him how to sew a button 😉.
She unwinds the thread. I let her find the solution to cut the thread on her own: “Here mom, can you hold the other end?”
Step 3: tie the knot
- “How do you think we’re going to get the thread stuck in the fabric?” “
She knows how to tie a knot, I can ask her to tie the knot first and then cut the thread in the right place.
Step 4: choose the needle
- “Now we’re going to pass the thread through the needle. Which needle do you think we choose? What is the difference between all these needles? Come on, let’s make it easier: I suggest you choose the one with the biggest hole. Which one has the biggest hole? “
Tip 5: show the gesture well by breaking it down
Before leaving the needle to him, we start by doing it ourselves, breaking down the gesture well to make the child observe it. Then we let him do it.
So I show him how I thread the thread through the eye of the needle. Damn, I can’t do it the first time: it’s unraveling. I cut my thread diagonally, I start again, it’s not easy … And here we go, I plunge the needle into the fabric: “You saw, luckily there is the knot, like that. thread holds! I pierce the fabric, go through the hole in the button, I plunge back… As soon as the needle head appears, I grab it to block the thread and prevent it from going away. Yours !”
Step 5: let the manipulation understand
- “Can I dive back into the same hole?”
- What do you think could happen? Try, you will see what it will do ”(cf.
tip n ° 2)
- What if I dive back but on the other side?
- What do you think could happen? Try, you’ll see what it does.
- No need to scrutinize what our child is doing: it is never pleasant to feel watched, and this pressure risks to make it miss. Trust him!
- Ouch! I pricked myself mom! Naughty needle! “
Given the low danger of this needle, I let Joy experiment for herself. No need to be on her back to guide her.
- ” Oh ! Look at mom: the needle is gone!
- What do we do then?
- We put it back!
- Do you want to try to do it yourself? “
Tip # 6: let it go
Step 6: let him experiment (and be wrong)
Considering the trouble this needle gave me, I don’t think my daughter can succeed in rethreading it. But I still let her try. And surprise:
- “MOM I DONE IT !!!
- How? ‘Or’ What ??? You succeed ?? But you are much more agile than me!
What pride for my little Joy! What satisfaction, for her and for me: I now know who to call for threading the needles! It’s crazy all the false assumptions that one can have about her children… Finally, with her little thin fingers, she is super meticulous!
Step 7: the knot at the end
- “I’ll show you and you will on the next button.” Thank you sweetie ! Thanks to you I will be able to put my skirt back on! ”
And what is great about this activity is that our child if you feel useful! Isn’t it much more satisfying to think that you’ve fixed the skirt that mom wears all the time, than having sewn up a piece of fabric found in a box?
Step 8: Want to start over?
- “Here, if you want I offer you this fabric bag, and you can decorate it with lots of buttons! “
Precaution for use
The goal is to give our child the opportunity to do what he wants. If your child is reluctant, that’s okay: we team up. We have the right to help him or to take a small step to make his task easier. And if he finds the time long, we accelerate the pace. The motivation of the child is the key driver for learning. If he is not motivated, there is no point in forcing him, there is a risk of focusing him on this activity. Furthermore, it is essential to trust him: being on his back risks blocking him and demotivating him. Better let him do it, even if he realizes for himself that he was wrong.
This article is not a manual, but simply an example of an activity and how you can support your child in it. It’s up to you to choose your own activities by repeating the same type of process, step by step, showing everything and letting it happen.
If you are interested in setting up Montessori activities at the House, find our other articles: