Letting Her Pour Her Own Tea

DH is a Montessori preschool alumnus and I have always liked the Montessori approach, not knowing very much about it. When it was time to sign Amie up for a preschool, I started reading up on it, because we wanted her to go a Montessori preschool

(She didn’t get in because of a stupid breakdown of communication. We visited the school in October and the director told us we could let her know as late as January, even February. Wen we called in December, she was already putting people on a waiting list! Bummer! No worries, we found a cozy little preschool just around the corner instead.)

In any case, long story short and all that, I love the approach and plan to implement a lot of it at home. Today we made a real breakthrough.

One of the tenets of Montessori is to let the child do as much for herself as possible, and she and her commentators suggest a wealth of activities that children might do themselves and feel good about.One of these is letting the child pour her own milk at breakfast and water and juice throughout the day.

I didn’t even finish the sentence suggesting this, but jumped up and asked Amie if she wanted some green juice (her only source of veggies, people!). We proceeded to the kitchen table where I gave her her glass and then poured some juice into a small pitcher. I could see she was intrigued. Then I asked: “Will you pour it yourself? Would you like that?”


She was surprised when I asked, fascinated when I showed her, very careful when she did it herself, and very proud when she succeeded.

Then I poured some water into her little (tiny!) porcelain teapot and showed her how to play Tea. Caution turned into confidence, concentration into glee. She got the hang of it so fast. Look how she used both hands, to hold the cup, and to steady the teapot.

Amie pours tea, 26 Jan 2008 (c) Katrien Vander StraetenAmie pours tea, 26 Jan 2008 (c) Katrien Vander Straeten

What a treat for all of us!

I’m currently reading Lynne Lawrence’s Montessori Read and Write and Elisabeth Hainstock’s Teaching Montessori at Home: The Preschool Years

cover of Montessori Read and Write, Lynne Lawrence    Elisabeth Hainstock’s Teaching Montessori at Home: The Preschool Years.

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