Science Series: The Life Cycle of Plants

Teaching children about the life cycle of plants is a great way to promote scientific learning and curiosity. By understanding how plants grow and develop, children can gain a deeper appreciation for the natural world and develop a sense of environmental responsibility.

 In this blog post, we will explore how nannies and caregivers can begin to teach children about the life cycle of plants.

Age-Appropriate Lessons for Teaching About the Life Cycle of Plants

Science Series: The Life Cycle of Plants

The life cycle of plants can be a complex concept, but there are many age-appropriate lessons that you can use to teach children about this process. Below are some examples of lessons and activities that can be tailored to different age groups:

Preschool (ages 3-5)

Preschool-aged children are just starting to develop their scientific understanding of the world around them. To introduce them to the life cycle of plants, you can use books, songs, and hands-on activities that focus on basic concepts such as growth, change, and nature. Examples of age-appropriate activities include:

  • Reading books about plants and nature, such as “The Tiny Seed” by Eric Carle or “Up, Down, and Around” by Katherine Ayres.
  • Singing songs about plants and nature, such as “The Green Grass Grows All Around” or “I’m a Little Seed.”
  • Planting seeds in pots or cups and watching them grow over time. This can help children understand the concept of growth and change.

Elementary School (ages 6-11)

Elementary school-aged children have a greater capacity for understanding scientific concepts. To teach them about the life cycle of plants, you can use more detailed lessons and hands-on activities that focus on specific stages of plant growth. Examples of age-appropriate activities include:

  • Creating a plant life cycle diagram or poster that shows the different stages of plant growth, from seed to mature plant.
  • Planting seeds and observing the growth process over time. This can help children understand the different stages of plant growth and the factors that affect plant growth, such as light and water.
  • Examining different parts of a plant, such as the roots, stem, leaves, and flowers. This can help children understand the functions of each part of the plant and how they contribute to the plant’s overall growth and development.
Science Series: The Life Cycle of Plants

Middle and High School (ages 12-18)

Middle and high school-aged children have a more advanced understanding of scientific concepts and are capable of conducting more complex experiments and investigations. To teach them about the life cycle of plants, you can use lessons and activities that focus on plant reproduction, genetics, and environmental factors that affect plant growth. Examples of age-appropriate activities include:

  • Conducting experiments to test the effects of different environmental factors, such as light, temperature, and soil composition, on plant growth.
  • Investigating different methods of plant reproduction, such as asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction, and comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
  • Examining the genetic factors that affect plant growth and development, such as inherited traits and genetic mutations.

Examples of Information to Teach Children About the Life Cycle of Plants

Science Series: The Life Cycle of Plants

When teaching children about the life cycle of plants, it’s important to provide them with accurate and age-appropriate information. Below are some examples of information that can be tailored to different age groups:

Preschool (ages 3-5)

Preschool-aged children can learn basic concepts about plant growth and development, such as:

  • Plants grow from seeds.
  • Plants need water, sunlight, and soil to grow.
  • Different plants have different shapes, colours, and sizes.
Science Series: The Life Cycle of Plants

Elementary School (ages 6-11)

Elementary school-aged children can learn more detailed information about the life cycle of plants, including:

  • The stages of plant growth, including seed germination, growth, reproduction, and death.
  • The functions of different parts of the plant, such as the roots, stem, leaves, and flowers.
  • The environmental factors that affect plant growth, such as light, water, temperature, and soil composition.
Science Series: The Life Cycle of Plants

Middle and High School (ages 12-18)

Middle and high school-aged children can learn more advanced information about the life cycle of plants, including:

  • The different methods of plant reproduction, including asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction.
  • The genetic factors that affect plant growth and development, such as inherited traits and genetic mutations.
  • The environmental factors that affect plant growth and development on a larger scale, such as climate change and pollution.

Teaching children about the life cycle of plants can help to support their scientific learning and complement their school curriculum. If you’re interested in how to educate children in line with or alongside a specific curriculum, our course on Working as a Governess will support you in doing this.

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Nature Inspired Art: Leaf Rubbing

As a professional nanny, finding exciting new ways to engage and educate the children you look after is a big part of your role. Leaf rubbing is a fun and educational art activity that can help young children develop their fine motor skills and creativity, while also fostering an appreciation for the natural world. 

In this blog post, we will explore how nannies can organise and carry out this activity with young children, supporting them to make their own artwork, and we will also examine the benefits of this activity.

How to Collect Leaves for Leaf Rubbing Artwork

Before you can make leaf rubbing artwork with young children, you will need to collect leaves. This can be made into a part of the activity too, extending the process and building anticipation.

Choose a variety of leaves

When collecting leaves for leaf rubbing artwork, it’s important to choose a variety of leaves with different shapes and sizes. This will allow children to create a range of different designs and patterns.

Nature Inspired Art: Leaf Rubbing

Collect leaves in the fall

Fall is the best time to collect leaves for leaf rubbing artwork because the leaves are often brightly coloured and have fallen from the trees, making them easier to collect.

Look for leaves in different environments

Encourage children to collect leaves from different environments, such as parks, gardens, and nature trails. This will allow them to see the variety of leaves that can be found in different settings.

Handle leaves gently

When collecting leaves, it’s important to handle them gently to avoid damaging them. Encourage children to pick up leaves by the stem and handle them with care.

Identify leaves

Take the opportunity to identify the leaves that you collect with the children. You can use books or online resources to help identify the leaves and learn more about the trees that they come from.

How to Make Leaf Rubbing Artwork

Nature Inspired Art: Leaf Rubbing

Once you have collected leaves, it’s time to make leaf rubbing artwork. Here are the steps to follow:

Gather materials

To make leaf rubbing artwork, you will need:

  • Leaves
  • Paper
  • Crayons or coloured pencils
  • Tape

Tape the leaves to the paper

Place the leaves onto a piece of paper, with the veins facing up. Use tape to secure the leaves in place, masking tape is best to use for this as it can be removed easily without tearing the paper later on.

Rub the paper with crayons or coloured pencils

Using a crayon or coloured pencil, rub over the paper to create an imprint of the leaf. Encourage children to experiment with different colours and textures.

Remove the leaves

Once the rubbing is complete, carefully remove the leaves from the paper to reveal the leaf imprint.

Display the artwork

Display the leaf rubbing artwork in a prominent place where children can admire their creations.

Benefits of Leaf Rubbing Artwork for Young Children

Leaf rubbing artwork offers numerous benefits for young children, including:

Nature Inspired Art: Leaf Rubbing

Develops fine motor skills

Leaf rubbing artwork requires fine motor skills, such as hand-eye coordination, finger dexterity, and precision. By practising leaf rubbing, children can develop these skills and improve their overall motor control.

Enhances creativity

Leaf rubbing allows children to express their creativity and imagination through their designs. By choosing different colours and textures, children can create unique and personalised designs that reflect their personalities and interests.

Fosters an appreciation for nature

Leaf rubbing artwork encourages children to explore and appreciate the natural world. By collecting leaves and creating artwork with them, children can learn about the different types of leaves and the trees that they come from.

Improves concentration

Leaf rubbing requires a high level of concentration and focus, which can help children improve their attention span and concentration skills.

Boosts self-esteem

Completing a leaf rubbing design can provide children with a sense of accomplishment and boost their self-esteem. Seeing their finished design can give them a sense of pride and satisfaction, which can help build their self-confidence.

Additional Activities to Incorporate with Leaf Rubbing Artwork

Leaf rubbing artwork can be incorporated into a variety of other activities to help promote learning and creativity. Below are some additional activities that can be combined with leaf rubbing:

Nature Walks

Take children on a nature walk to collect leaves for leaf rubbing artwork. Encourage them to identify the different types of leaves and learn about the trees that they come from.

Leaf Identification

Use books or online resources to help identify the leaves that you collect with the children. This can help children learn about the different types of trees and the ecosystems that they support.


Encourage children to create leaf rubbing artwork based on their favourite stories or books. This can help them develop their creativity and imagination while also promoting literacy and reading skills.

Leaf rubbing artwork is a fun and engaging activity that can help young children develop a range of skills, including fine motor skills, creativity, and an appreciation for nature. By collecting leaves and creating artwork with them, nannies can provide children with a fun and rewarding activity that can promote learning and development. 

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of teaching children about nature, or how to do this in a meaningful way, our Alternative Approaches course has a session on the Forest School approach.

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Chores for Children

Chores are an essential aspect of childhood that can aid in the development of many important life skills. For children, chores provide a sense of responsibility, teach important life skills, and promote self-confidence. When working as a nanny, you will often work with the whole family, and may be asked to introduce or implement a chores’ rota.

 Parents and caregivers can use age-appropriate chore lists to ensure that children of all ages are contributing to the household in a meaningful way. Here are some of the ways that chores can aid in child development, as well as age-appropriate chore lists for children from 2 years old to 18 years old.

How chores can aid in child development:

Being given chores to complete can help to support children across a range of different developmental areas and promote a variety of different skills. Here we take an overview of some of the ways in which chores can aid children’s development.

Chores for Children


Assigning chores to children helps to instil a sense of responsibility in them. It gives children an opportunity to learn how to be accountable for their actions, develop self-discipline and learn how to prioritise tasks effectively. Moreover, it teaches them that they are part of a larger family unit, and they have a role to play in maintain the family’s environment and standard of living

Life Skills

Chores teach children valuable life skills. These skills can include cooking simple meals or snacks, doing laundry, basic house cleaning, and other daily household tasks. Learning to perform these tasks at a young age will prepare them for the future and make them self-sufficient, independent adults. It’s never too early to start developing life skills, and chores can provide this opportunity.


Sharing household chores helps children develop a sense of teamwork. It teaches them that working together towards a common goal can be rewarding and enjoyable. They learn cooperation, negotiation, and communication skills, which will be invaluable in their future interactions. By working on common household chores, children understand that helping each other and complementing each other’s work is important in achieving a shared goal.

Time Management

Kids learn how to manage their time effectively when they have chores. Chores teach children how to prioritise daily tasks, organise, and plan their day effectively. This skill will help them manage their future workloads and schedules, set priorities, and make the most of their time. By developing strong time management skills early, children learn to avoid procrastination and understand punctuality.

Chores for Children

Sense of Accomplishment

Chores allow children to take pride in their accomplishments, no matter how small. When children complete their chores, they feel a sense of accomplishment and pride, which boosts their self-esteem and confidence. It helps children understand that their contributions are important and valuable to the family. This sense of achievement helps to reinforce positive behaviours and encourages children to take on new challenges.


When children are assigned chores, it teaches them respect towards their environment and surroundings. Cleaning up after themselves and completing assigned tasks helps children understand and appreciate the value of hard work and dedication. Children learn that keeping their living area clean and tidy creates a more healthy, comfortable living environment for themselves and others.

Financial Literacy

Some chores can be tied to earning an allowance or pocket money. For example, you could pay your kids for washing dishes or completing household laundry tasks. By linking chores to a financial reward, children learn the value of earning money and how to budget and save.

Age-Appropriate Chore Lists:

Of course, when it comes to chores it is never going to be one-size-fits-all, and we can’t expect children of different ages, stages and abilities to simply jump in and complete the same chores. Below we have some suggested chores suitable to different age ranges, but it is important that parents and caregivers select the chores they assign based on their own knowledge of each individual child to set them up for success.

Chores for Children


  • Putting toys away in their storage space
  • Helping to put away groceries or items around the home
  • Assisting with putting laundry in the hamper
  • Simple dusting with child-size swifter


  • Making their own bed
  • Helping with setting and clearing the table
  • Assisting with folding clothes and putting them away
  • Watering plants
  • Cleaning up spills or messes they may create
Chores for Children


  • More complex cleaning tasks such as vacuuming, sweeping or cleaning the floors
  • Taking out the rubbish
  • Cleaning the washbasin or toilet
  • Assisting with food preparation, like making salads or setting the table for dinner
  • Sorting laundry by colour or type, washing, and folding it.


  • Dusting and polishing furniture and fixtures
  • Washing dishes and loading/unloading the dishwasher
  • Preparing simple meals independently
  • Mopping, sweeping, or vacuuming floors
  • Doing laundry independently of start to finish


  • Taking care of pets, such as walking dogs or cleaning litter boxes
  • Learning how to perform deep cleaning tasks
  •  Assisting with grocery shopping and meal planning (some families assign a teen one night in the week to cook dinner)
  • Ironing clothes, including dresses, shirts and pants (a good way to get started with this is ironing school uniforms)

In conclusion, chores can be an excellent way for children to learn vital life skills and help promote their overall development. By using age-appropriate chore lists, parents and caregivers can ensure that children of all ages are learning responsibility, time management, work ethic, self-confidence and useful life skills.

Chores become especially important when working with teenagers, as they help to prepare them for adult life. Transitioning into adulthood is an important part of life, and nannies can help prepare teenagers for. You can learn more about this topic in our Navigating Adolescence course that delves into the responsibilities and nannies carry when helping adolescents transition into adulthood. If you’d like to learn more about how to make this time in a young person’s life as smooth as possible, visit us at to learn about how you can train being a highly skilled and sought after professional nanny.

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Nature Inspired Art: Painting Seashells

As a professional nanny, you have a unique opportunity to teach children about the beauty of nature and how it can inspire art. One way to do this is by painting seashells. Seashells are a wonderful natural resource that can be found on beaches all around the world. By painting seashells, children can develop their artistic abilities, learn about colours and patterns, and gain a deeper appreciation for the natural world. 

Materials Needed for Painting Seashells

Painting Seashells

Before you begin painting seashells with children, you will need to gather some materials. These materials include:

  • Seashells: You can collect seashells from the beach or purchase them from a craft store if you do not currently live close enough to a beach
  • Paint: Choose acrylic or tempera paint in a variety of colours.
  • Paintbrushes: Use a variety of paintbrushes to create different effects.
  • Water: Use water to clean the paintbrushes and thin the paint if necessary.
  • Newspaper: Use newspaper to protect your work surface from spills and drips.

Instructions for Painting Seashells

Once you have gathered your materials, you can begin painting seashells with children. Follow these instructions:

Clean the seashells

Before painting seashells, it’s important to clean them thoroughly. Use warm soapy water and a soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt or debris from the seashells. Rinse them under running water and allow them to dry completely before painting.

Choose colours and patterns

Encourage children to choose their colours and patterns for their seashells. You can provide examples of different colour combinations and patterns, such as stripes, polka dots, and swirls.

Paint the seashells

Use paintbrushes to apply the paint to the seashells. Encourage children to experiment with different brush strokes and techniques to create different effects. They can layer colours, blend colours, or create patterns with different brushstrokes.

Allow the paint to dry

Once the seashells are painted, allow the paint to dry completely. This may take several hours depending on the thickness of the paint.

Display the seashells

Once the seashells are dry, display them in a prominent place where children can admire their artwork.

Painting Seashells

Benefits of Painting Seashells with Children

Painting seashells with children can have numerous benefits for their development and learning. Below are some examples of the benefits of this activity:

Develops artistic skills

Painting seashells can help children develop their artistic skills, such as colour mixing, brush control, and pattern making.

Encourages creativity

Encouraging children to choose their own colours and patterns for their seashells can help foster their creativity and imagination.

Promotes appreciation for nature

Using seashells as a canvas for painting can help children develop a deeper appreciation for the beauty of nature and the natural world around them.

Provides a sensory experience

Painting seashells can provide a sensory experience for children, allowing them to explore different textures and materials.

Fosters self-expression

Painting seashells can provide children with a means of self-expression, allowing them to express their emotions, thoughts, and ideas through art.

Additional Activities to Incorporate with Painting Seashells

Painting seashells is just one of many activities that can be used to teach children about the beauty of nature and how it can inspire art. Below are some additional activities that can be linked with painting seashells to extend and enhance the activity:

Nature Walks

Take children on a nature walk to collect natural materials, such as leaves, flowers, and rocks, that can be used to create art. Encourage children to observe the colours, textures, and patterns of the natural materials.

Nature Sketching

Let's go on a nature walk

Encourage children to sketch or draw the natural materials they have collected. This can help them develop their observational skills and their ability to represent what they see in their artwork.

Collage Making

Provide children with a variety of natural materials, such as leaves, flowers, and seashells, and encourage them to create a collage. This encourages children to develop their composition skills and their ability to arrange different materials in a visually pleasing way.

Painting seashells is a wonderful activity that can help children develop their artistic skills, encourage creativity, and foster a deeper appreciation for the natural world. By providing children with the opportunity to explore the beauty of nature through art, nannies can help them develop a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them. 

Many of the Alternative Approaches to Early Years Education and Care that we look at in our course focus on nature, and the natural world, so this course is ideal for nannies looking to find out more about how to support children with this kind of learning.

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How nannies can encourage children’s independence

Maria Montessori encouraged adults to “never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed” as she had observed that often adults stifle children’s emerging independence by jumping in to ‘save the day’.

Unfortunately, not only does this rob children of the chance to try and to persevere, but it also gives children the message that they can’t do things and they need adults to help them with everything.

Whether the family you are working with has explicitly stated that they want you to use a Montessori-style approach with the children, or you just see value in promoting independence, there is plenty that you can do as a nanny that can help children to develop these self-help skills.

So, if you would like to encourage children’s independence at home, here are some good starting points;

Acknowledge children’s attempts at independence

encourage children's independence

Often we are in a hurry to get out of the door, and see the child having a tantrum about wanting to put on their own shoes as being “difficult” but if we step back and consider what is going on a little more carefully we will realise that the child is expressing a sense of frustration that we are preventing their attempt at independence.

Taking a step back, and acknowledging that this is what is going on is a great place to start thinking about how you can set up the home, and your routines with the children to allow for this growing sense of independence.

It is also worth noting here that most tantrums are a toddler or child’s manner of expressing frustration at boundaries, and lack of independence. This does not necessarily mean you should remove or reduce your boundaries; just that you should consider how you are acknowledging children’s feelings for what they are.

Creating a ‘yes’ space

Often we limit what children are allowed to do based on safety concerns, or worries about the mess and tidying up.

For example, you may tell a 3-year-old that no, they can’t play with their dolls in the lounge as it will make a mess, and no they can’t throw the frisbee inside the house as they may break something, and no they can’t jump around the house like a power ranger or a fairy or a superhero because they may hurt themselves.

Before you know it you’ve spent the morning telling them ‘no’, and if anything will frustrate a growing sense of independence it’s the word ‘no’.

As a nanny this can be a difficult line to tread when working with parents, as ultimately the house belongs to them, however, it is certainly something that could be discussed tactfully if you feel that too many rules are starting to affect a child’s growing sense of independence.

To combat this it may be a good idea to negotiate being able to set up a ‘yes’ space in the home; this might be a playroom, the child’s bedroom, or a play area.

The idea is to set the space up to be safe enough that you, as the caregiver, do not need to constantly say no. Montessori classrooms are largely yes spaces; somewhere that you can trust children to play independently and stay safe.

Encourage children’s independence with words 

encourage children's independence

What we say and how we say it can make a huge difference to children.

As we already discussed most children want to be independent and become frustrated when they are not allowed to be.

When we verbally permit, encourage and celebrate children’s attempts at being independent we validate them, and when children feel validated in their attempts at independence, they are more likely to persevere with what they’re trying and eventually succeed. 

As a nanny, you can try saying things like “You have a go” or “keep trying” to children.

You can praise the effort by saying “You’re working so hard at that” or “great trying” and acknowledge success with “well done, I knew you could do it!”

Use mealtimes as an opportunity

Meal times with little ones are a common source of stress, but they can be a great opportunity to build independence and self-help skills.

Even young babies (so long as they are over 6 months) can feed themselves at the table and using a baby-led weaning approach is a great way to promote that early independence, as a nanny this is something that can be discussed with parents.

encourage children's independence

For older children, encouraging children to serve or even help prepare their food, and pour water from a jug enhances their balance, dexterity and hand-eye coordination.

This also helps to divide responsibility at mealtimes which are perfect for promoting independence.

As a bonus, children tend to eat a wider variety of food when they select it themselves.

Avoid wardrobe battles

encourage children's independence

Children are often keen to select their own clothing and dress themselves, although their fashion choices can be questionable at times, allowing them to make attempts at dressing will pay off in the long run.

If a child’s choices are likely to be unsuitable for the day’s activities or the weather you could decide on an outfit together perhaps the night before and lay it out for them to put on themselves in the morning.

Younger toddlers and babies can be encouraged to lift their arms to put on a shirt or raise their feet to put on shoes and socks.

Use your best judgment as to when a child may be able to attempt dressing alone and remember, that wearing a tutu over a raincoat is not the end of the world.

Make sure children contribute

Involving children in running the household from a young age is great for promoting independence and also demonstrates their role in the family and enhances their sense of belonging.

It builds an understanding of working as a collective and is something that is highly emphasised in educational approaches like Montessori.

encourage children's independence

This is not to say that children need to be doing housework all day long, but small contributions add up and will help promote children’s independence too;

Little babies can be encouraged to help put their toys away in a box when they have finished playing, or wipe the highchair tray when they are done eating.

Toddlers generally love to help around the home and can use a small dustpan and brush or a handheld vacuum to clear up.

Matching socks and sorting laundry are also valuable learning opportunities for preschoolers and will help children to feel involved in the running of the home.

Encourage risk-taking

As nannies, it’s our job to keep children safe, but sometimes we can become overly worried about this responsibility and as a result, we can become very overprotective of our charges and actually hold their development back by doing so.

Healthy risk-taking is vital for children’s emerging sense of self because where there is a risk of failure, success is more valuable.

Allowing children to climb, run and jump and explore their limits is essential for the growth and development of independence, so we can consider ways to allow for healthy risk-taking that promotes children’s physical skills and sense of independence.

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We hope that some of these ideas will help you consider how to approach encouraging children’s independence.

To find out more about the natural pattern of Children’s development and how and when to support their growing independence sign up for our Child Development course.

Not only will this boost your confidence in working with children in an age-appropriate manner, but it will reassure families that you have the expertise in childhood and early years.

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All about….Montessori

“Montessori” is a word that often gets connected to childcare and it can be used in a range of ways to express underlying ideas about childcare and education.

Nannies might hear it in the context of the kind of school that their charge, or potential charge, goes to, in the way that parents express their own ideas about child-rearing or the way that they explain the kind of approach they are looking for from a nanny. The term is also often used as a selling point, or descriptor for toys or educational resources. 

It is important to note that “Montessori” is not a protected term so it can be used by any company, school or person in a way that suits them; they do not have to prove that they subscribe to any particular set of principles or ideas in order to use the title “Montessori”.

Here we look at what the term means and some of the frequently asked questions about this approach.

What is Montessori?

Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori

‘Montessori’ is an approach to Early Years Education based upon the work of Maria Montessori.

Maria was an Italian medical doctor who set up schools for disadvantaged children and observed how young children learn best. From this, she devised an approach to Early Years Education that is now used all over the world.

Most of Maria Montessori’s work was with children of a preschool age (3 years and up) but her followers have advocated applying these principles to under 3s too, and Montessori childcare and education is becoming quite a popular choice.

How is Montessori education different?

Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori

The Montessori approach is quite distinct from ‘traditional’ or ‘mainstream’ education in most countries. It is a holistic approach to education, so it seeks to develop each child as a whole. 

Freedom is a highly valued principle and children are encouraged to develop independence from a very young age. As such, the role of the teacher is very different and teachers in Montessori programmes are often described as ‘guides’ demonstrating that they have a significantly different role.

Often in ‘traditional’ or ‘mainstream’ settings teachers are seen as a more knowledgeable other who builds children’s knowledge through teaching a series of information.


Children’s knowledge is then tested and work judged against an external set of guidelines.

In contrast, in the Montessori classroom learning occurs through all five senses, and is largely self-directed, auto-education is one of Montessori’s key ideas; that is, that children can educate themselves when given the tools, environment and support needed.

On the whole teachers do not grade or correct work but value it in and of itself and use their knowledge of each child and development to gently steer them to the next learning opportunity.

In Montessori, discipline is approached very differently; Rewards and punishments are not used, instead the focus is on helping children to develop social and emotional skills, and the ability to regulate their behaviour themselves.

What are the benefits of Montessori?


One of the most important benefits of Montessori education is that children learn how to learn.

When Montessori is practiced in line with its own principles children become independent and self-motivated learners.

This is important when we consider that the jobs that the children we look after today will end up doing have probably not even been invented yet!

In light of this, training children to retain a set of information is not enough, we need to equip our children with transferable skills and most importantly, being able to learn; knowing how to find out something they don’t know and how to attempt something new. Montessori aims to build exactly these skills. 

What is a Montessori school or classroom like?

The main thing that people notice when they visit a Montessori classroom is the volume has been turned down, we might expect a classroom full of young children to be noisy and a bit chaotic but this is rarely the case in a Montessori setting.

The environment is carefully prepared to meet the age, stage and needs of the children and children will on the whole pursue their own activities, or “work”, within that classroom.

A Montessori classroom is set up for children; all the furniture and equipment is the right size for the child to be able to use it in the way it is intended.


There is no focal point of the classroom; no teachers desk or interactive whiteboard, instead there are plenty of “work areas” which children can use in a variety of ways. 

In Montessori classrooms there are extended periods of self-directed activity, or ‘work cycles’ and Within these work cycles children are free to move about the classroom selecting the activities that interest them.

In the Montessori classroom, learning is hands-on and some specific Montessori equipment is used, though often in conjunction with other resources selected by the teacher.

The areas of learning in the Montessori approach are; practical life skills, sensorial activities, mathematics, language and cultural studies.

How can a nanny incorporate Montessori’s ideas into their work?


So, if you are working as a nanny and parents say that they would like a Montessori approach what might this mean in practice? 

First and foremost it is likely that parents would want you to promote children’s independence and encourage their self-directed activity.

This may be in small things like allowing them time and space to play in their own way, teaching them to put on and do up their clothes from a young age or allowing them to use tools safely, under supervision.

Montessori was also very keen that children contributed to keeping the environment clean, safe and orderly, so children could be encouraged to take part in daily chores around the house whether that’s sweeping the floor after breakfast, sorting the laundry or putting toys away.

A Nanny could help to select appropriate resources and prepare the environment in such a way as to allow children to engage in the self-directed learning that is characteristic of Montessori education.

Finding out more about the Montessori approach to childcare can help nannies to reflect on their own practice, explore new ideas and incorporate aspects that they find beneficial. It is also a good way to understand more about parents’ expectations and desires when it comes to finding the perfect care for their children. 

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