Ever heard of the Montessori way to train your toddler?  A friend of mine takes her son to a Montessori school and has noticed huge improvements in him “taking ownership” around the house.  Here are some tips she said I can share with you!
The whole goal of all these little ideas is to make a home in which your toddler can be independent and feel pride in what they are doing. We are all so busy, but taking the extra time to empower them transforms kids.
Toddler Tasks in the Montessori HomeIMG_0448

  1. Sort Silverware
  2. Empty Dishwasher
  3. Slice bananas with a spreader
  4. Make juice
  5. Set the table
  6. Clear the table
  7. Tear lettuce
  8. Tong grapes or berries
  9. Wash fruits and veggies in sink
  10. Sweep area with dustpan and broom or swiffer under seat after a meal
  11. A spray bottle with water and a sponge to wipe down table

Laundry room

  1. Match socks
  2. Carefully carry folded items to drawers and put away
  3. Put clothes in hamper
  4. Fold towels and wash clothes


  1. Wipe their own nose
  2. Gather items for bath
  3. Assist in diaper changesScreen Shot 2013-03-06 at 10.46.07 AM
  4. Brush own teeth with assistance

Other House chores

  1. Feed pets
  2. Water plants
  3. A spray bottle and a squeegee for glass doors
  4. Hang up coat and backback
  5. Put shoes in basket/closet/etc
  6. Help make beds
  7. Help sort recyclables
  8. Water the lawn/garden
  9. Spray bottle with water and towel to wash the floor

Other ideas for you to try with them!

  • Have all of their cups and plates in a drawer in the kitchen where they can access items to set their own place at the table (her 17 month old does this).
  • Clear out the bottom shelf of the fridge or a drawer in the kitchen if they are too young to open the fridge to put individual sized servings of healthy snacks for them to access and eat in the kitchen when they are hungry.
  • Have a real glass and tiny pitcher of water or milk on their shelf in the fridge. They will be super careful to measure and pour and take great pride in it. Maybe it breaks once, but after that it won’t happen again.
  • Have a small basket with (soft) small balls in it. Any time your child throws anything, you replace their thrown object with a ball and put them somewhere they are allowed to throw it and say “I see you would like to work on your throwing skills, here is an appropriate way to work on those skills.” Stops you from saying no all the time and gives them an outlet for throwing in an appropriate way.
  • Have a small assortment of toys accessible at any one time and rotate toys from bags in storage so that they truly focus and learn from the toys vs being surrounded by a toy store and being overwhelmed.
  • No toys in the bedroom to avoid nighttime battles. Have a few books for reading before bed and the one or two animals/security blankets/whatever they like to sleep with.

Also here is a GREAT video describing a Montessori environment.  It’s called Trevor Eissler “Montessori Madness!” – 321 FastDraw
I hope this helps you!

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