7 keys to present a Montessori activity to your child

1) Demonstration needs to be individual (only one child at the time) : Why? Because before 3 years old, his inhibitor control and working memory is not that developed. Hence, if the presentation took place with 2 or 3 children, the child would forget the gestures shown by the adult, while the others perform the gestures in turn; he would also not be able to wait while 2 or 3 other of his friends practice. The individual demonstration, on the other hand, offers an interesting but not discouraging one: the child can memorize and learn to control him/herself the time of the presentation.

2) if you right hand, place urself at the child’s right (or left if you left hand) to allow the child to observe properly the demonstration.

3) Explicit the goal: ‘ I am going to show you how to poor seeds’ The adult states the goal clearly to the child. This is a key point. Without an objective, they don’t need to retain information, plan steps or remain flexible in their strategies, because without a defined goal it doesn’t matter what they do.

4) The adult shows how to do, movement and gesture must be clear, slow and precise. For example for the ‘pouring rice’ from a jug to another, pour the rice very slowly on purpose, put the jug very slowly back on the tray. The precision of the demonstration affords the child great pleasure because it challenges their executive functions. To do things properly, they will have to memorize better the order and the exact nature of the movements, control their movements more and also review their strategies in order to achieve the precision which they have been shown. To ensure optimal transmission of the movements, we encourage you to perform the demonstration in silence. It would seem that speaking during a demonstration interferes with the child’s ability to absorb the movements. If we want to provide children with items of vocabulary, we can do it before or after the demonstration.

5) Invite the child to try it after you demonstrated it : if he is not interested, there is no purpose to carry on, just say that he can do it whenever he wants. More a child is attracted to an activity more he will focus.

6) While the child is working on the activity we do not interrupt him even if we know she/he made a ‘mistake’ : interrupting a child during an activity stop the cild to reach his optimal concentration and his experimentation.

7) When the child has finished, ask if he wants to do it again, if not invite him to tidy the activity on the shelf.

If you want to have a better idea, check out this video of the presentation of  the ‘pouring beans’ activity with Sofia 2 ½ years:

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