April 21, 2020
A Quick Story
When visiting my nieces in Montclair, NJ, we have a Sunday morning ritual of walking to Watchung Booksellers all together, followed by a famous/delicious breakfast from Sunrise Bagels. The bookstore is a particular treat as my 3.5-year-old, Sloaney Boloney, gets to test her negotiation chops against our family mastermind, Uncle Ty.
Uncle Ty, intentional in all things, primes our little Sloane from the minute we arrive. “One book. We can read as many as you would like when we are in the store, but we will only be taking one book home.” Sloane, with her sweetest, angel face – without a tone or a tantrum (smart gal) – always tries her best to sneak at least a second treat up to the counter. She wisely raises the stakes by adding social pressure to Uncle Ty, denying the cherub-faced child in front of the sweet lady at the register.
They have a face-off, Uncle Ty has no issue gently shutting down a three-year-old in public, and we walk to the bagel store with our ONE book. Success!
Earn It, Spend It, Save It, GIVE IT!
For our past few visits, we have been captivated by a series. The negotiations have been on hold as just one of these books is enough to satiate even a three-year-old. Cinders McLeod’s books “Earn It,” “Spend It,” “Save It,” and “Give It” do a brilliant job introducing our kids to money. Making all four of these complex concepts digestible (and enjoyable!) to our young friends. What a wonderful time to introduce the idea of giving back—so many tangible examples of goodness to be shared and opportunities to understand the world we are living in at this very moment.
After reading “Spend It,” Sloane began to understand her contributions to the household would allow her to save for toys or things she desired. This series can be a helpful guide in encouraging our tiniest roommates to participate, and possibly even enjoy chores.
Project of the Day for All Ages: CHORES!
The Moneybunny Books can be found on Amazon or on the author’s website. If you are not able to order, you can find all four books read out loud on YouTube. I always enjoy pairing a book with the activity, to help with inspiration!
If this series is inaccessible, you can try a make your own chore-chart at home…perhaps this will be an activity of the day some other day!
Younger friends enjoy chores such as sorting clothes, watering plants, sweeping, or washing dishes. You will have the most success if the tools the kids are using for their chores are appropriate for their size. That being said, use what you have at your disposal!
Something to Keep in Mind
Sometimes, it may be more work to have a helper and “cleaning” could result in a bigger mess. This is all part of the learning process and patience is key above all.
Practical life or Daily Life activities are core to the Montessori Method and we certainly encourage these behaviors in our classrooms at SolBe. What a wonderful feeling it is to contribute to the family. Chores, though sometimes a real chore for parents, create connectedness and belonging within the family unit.
Most important direction, as always: HAVE FUN!
More resources to follow in the coming days. Feedback and more ideas welcome, as always!
Be well and stay healthy!