Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thinning The Herd

Something else we took away from the seminar was focusing a child's attention during times of play by reducing the number of stimuli (in the form of toys). When you walk through the classrooms of the Montessori Academy of Chicago you notice all the shelves are open and on each are only a handful of toys.

For the home, they recommend no more than 1-2 toys per shelf. Crazy? Maybe, at first. But it is hard to argue with the results when you see the kids as well as the philosophy. Because our space is tight we naturally do not have room for a lot of bulky toys, but we do have bins loaded with small stuff. Gilbert is notorious for dumping the baskets and wildly playing with everything. That is not to say he will, at times, spend long periods of time playing with a single toy or reading his books.

Testing another concept, we have thinned out his shelves. The idea is only a few toys are available and the child will be more focused. Rotating the toys and books every few weeks keeps the inventory fresh when the child's interest wanes. We shall see!


Evenson Family said...

Wow...Haven't been on in awhile...my goodness, I had a lot to catch up to. Your little guy is growing up. Sad but true...pretty soon he'll be sassing back to you!! I am happy to have caught up with your family and your side of the world. Keep up with the experiments! Hi to the family...Skype soon!

Sarah said...

I'm enjoying following your "experiment" since Sully is in a Montessori school. He really likes it, however, we have not done any of the home stuff.