Seedlings: Toddlers and Purposeful Work
“The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self. Adults work to finish a task, but the child works in order to grow, and is working to create the adult, the person that is to be. Such experience is not just play....it is work he must do in order to grow up.”
- Maria Montessori
The Seedlings have begun to enjoy helping out with tasks around the classroom. Our young friends are feeling proud of their accomplishments. We will often hear, “I did it!” from a child after completing a job like sweeping up sand or rolling up napkins. It is common to see a child return to a work repeatedly. This is a great way for children to build concentration while gaining mastery over a skill.
The task of washing dishes involves a sequence of steps that the children will need to repeat several times in order to learn. While washing dishes a child learns how to keep the water contained in the dish bin, uses a scrub brush, and moves the soapy dishes from the left bin to right bin for rinsing.
Work is not forced but freely chosen in the classroom. In this way children choose an activity that is engaging for them. Whether rolling up work mats or sorting laundry the child is taking ownership of their classroom.