Earthside Clothing Montessori Principles
Choice, Comfort, Success – Considerations for a Montessori-inspired clothing range.
“The child’s nature is to aim directly and energetically at functional independence”
Maria Montessori Who knew I would set out to create a Montessori-inspired clothing range? I certainly didn’t!
Having three young boys of my own, I couldn’t find clothing that would enable my children to independently dress themselves, and yet tick all the other boxes needed when dressing active boys.
As with my toy range, I felt inspired by the Montessori principles and knew from experience that my boys are particularly motivated to be independent when they are given the time, space and resources to do so.
“Who does not know that to teach a child to feed himself, to wash and dress himself, is a much more tedious and difficult work, calling for infinitely greater patience?”
Yes, allowing your kids to dress themselves might sound like torture to some of you. But the resulting skill-set far outweighs this. You can unlock skills such as concentration, perseverance, self-discipline, self-reliance, independence, body awareness, not to mention a sense of satisfaction.
How to set your child up for success:
• Make their clothes accessible to them – on a low shelf or bottom drawer.
• Buy clothes that mix and match well so you’ll be happy with any choice they make – your children will love seeing you appreciate their choices.
• Praise and nurture their individuality.
• Make it part of your daily routine, take a big step back and if your child feels they
can succeed, give them the time and space to do so. Try not to constantly interrupt or jump in to help.
“Needless help is an actual hindrance to the development of natural forces.”
So what went into my Montessori-inspired clothing range?
• Simple mix & match opportunities allow children to make choice but without the
overwhelm or bold logos.
• Designed with comfort in mind – soft, breathable cotton with elasticated waists.
• Easy for children to put on and take off – matched to their skill level, resulting in
success. Children are motivated when they feel a sense of accomplishment.
• Natural child movements are considered – sitting, running, jumping, laying, climbing
trees, as well as toileting.
“Many parents overpower their children with too much enthusiasm and overdirection.
Others are tense, anxious parents who expect too much of their children and themselves. Parents might best concentrate on relaxing with their children and enjoying them.”
I don’t know if I’m ready to let them dress themselves. What should I expect as a parent?
• Your child might find enjoyment in repetitively dressing and undressing. Allow this to
occur without pressure or negativity as it is encouraging practice, mastery and
exploration of the skill.
• It will take time, take it step by step and don’t expect perfection right away. They
might be able to do it one day and not the next.
• They might put their clothes on back to front or inside out. Choose your teaching
moments – are you better off praising them for their success? You could wait for
another time to explain that the tags go at the back.
You can do it beautiful mamas, see your children flourish.
I am so excited to share my new Earthside Clothing Collection with you all.
My challenge to you is to take this as your opportunity to give your child the time, freedom and opportunity to dress themselves, and see the other skills that come with it.
Co-written by - Meg Scanlan & Alexandria Trichilo