Practical life in the laundry

The great thing about following a Montessori lifestyle is that often Havvie will show a new skill she has gained completely out of the blue. I usually realise after the fact, that her ability to do these things are built on a foundation of careful observation and modelling by the community around her.

I had one of these moments with her recently. I invited her to participate in unloading a load of laundry and hanging it out on our washing line. I haven’t done this with Havvie in earnest in over 6 months, but I know she has seen her dad and grandmother do this multiple times a week. Still, I had no real expectation that she would be interested.

To set her up for success, I gave her a little bit of assistance by opening the washing machine door and placing the laundry basket on the floor. To my surprise she crawled over and proceeded to unload each item of clothing one by one until the washing machine was empty. Some items did end up on the floor in the process but she didn’t stop until everything ended up in the laundry basket.


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As a next step, we took the washing outside and while I hung it on the washing line, she handed me a clip each time. This experience reminded me to keep involving her in practical life where I can. You never know when you’ll be surprised with what your toddler can do when they set their mind you it.


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