“On Saturday, he ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice-cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake, and one slice of watermelon.

That night he had a stomach ache.” 🐛🍫🍰🍦🧀🍕🍭🍒🌭🍉

✨I watched as she explored the pages of the much loved story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. The book already had me thinking about the abundance of toys children are often left to consume in their well-intentioned play spaces. Brimming bins and baskets, sensory stimulating and stacked shelves, cabinets and closets filled with toys often leave parents feeling anxious and overspent. How many children and parents must feel these “stomach aches” of sorts? 

In a Montessori environment, less really is more. Activities are thoughtfully chosen to isolate specific learning. Books are reality based and relatable. Surfaces are clean and curated with minimal objects that inspire wonder. The careful editing of the environment and the conscious preparation of the adult are woven together. Finding this balance will best serve the child. Below are a few examples of the differences in each:

Adult 

• less language 👉more modeling

• less interruptions 👉 more observation

• less judgement 👉 more reflection

• less complicated 👉 more targeted learning

Child

• less sitting 👉more movement 

• less distraction 👉 more concentration 

• less general 👉more specific 

• less dependency 👉more independence 

Environment 

• less clutter 👉 more engagement 

• less stimulation 👉 more appreciation 

• less adult furnishings 👉 more child-sized furnishings for independence

• less restrictive 👉more respectful

A thoughtfully prepared environment and mindfully prepared adult will be able to provide the child with all the nourishment necessary to develop. The result is less pain more gain. If only caterpillars knew this, too! 😉

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