10 Tips on Montessori-Inspired Independence at Home

 Here are our top 10 suggestions for practicing independence at home with young children.

We recommend practicing them a few at a time. It takes time and consistency to implement change, both for the parent and for the child.


  1.  Foster independence: Don’t do for a child what they can do for themselves.
  2.  Allow the child to speak for their self. Don’t speak for them to others.
  3.  Build a vocabulary for emotions and feelings and practice expressing them. Use virtues language: patience, cooperativeness, courage, kindness, etc.
  4.  Teach grace and courtesy in the home: How to interrupt politely; how to wait; how to say excuse me; how to cough and blow their nose, etc.
  5.  Allow sufficient time for your child to dress their self. Provide a wardrobe that gives freedom of movement, independence, and no distractions (sparkles, lights, sounds).
  6.  Provide a place to just dig. Allow your child to get totally dirty with no inhibitions, and time to “just be,” to play, explore, and create.
  7.  Limit quantity of toys by storing and rotating them periodically. Organize them in containers on low shelves and give a workspace with aprons, mats, sponges, cloths, etc. for art activities that need clean up.
  8.  From the earliest age give your child the responsibility to pick up after them selves: Put toys to away, put dirty clothes in hamper, clear dishes from the table, etc.
  9.  Do food preparation together. Make snacks accessible: A small pitcher of water on a low shelf in the refrigerator, cut up fruit and veggies; glasses, plates and cutlery in a low cupboard.
  10.  Eliminate or strictly limit TV watching– replace with activities that are not passive.