Maria Montessori says, “Play is the work of the child.” While I am working at home, I want my children to play. I want to create an environment with clear boundaries and loads of fun, great organization, and productivity.
While I love to make the most of early mornings and naptime, the reality is that some work must occur during that 9am-1pm and 3pm-5pm timeframe where the kids are awake and bursting with energy. So, I like to think Montessori style in my home organization and time management so my 3-5 year old can thrive right alongside my work activities.
Even simple things like the organization and accessibility of toys can make a big difference in helping your little one feel empowered to make great choices. And, a well-ordered environment goes a long way to creating a feeling of peace, comfort, and safety in the home.
Here are three of my top tips for successfully working alongside my preschooler:
- Love What You Do. Your kids will pick up your attitude about what you do. I really want my kids to be people who dream big, work hard, and trust God. I want to model that daily. I never want to set up a dynamic where my little one feels like they are competing against work for my attention OR where they delight when I experience missed appointments. Time invested in work at home is time well-spent and sometimes we explicitly talk about how my work at home pays for our food and our air conditioner and our lights and so on. What a blessing and privilege it is to get to work at home and be able to provide!
- Set Up Stations. Throughout my house, I have special areas tucked away in each room with activities that my preschooler loves. He knows just where to go in each room and loves to rotate through different rooms of the house for these different experiences. I am mobile as I am speaking with clients on the phone so we can rotate throughout the house during my work time to keep activities fresh for him. I am a big fan of cube storage systems so station clean up is a breeze. For sanity with stations, the current station has to be picked up before starting a new one.
- Offer Multi-Sensory Experiences. The lightbulb of learning really seems to turn on when the senses are fully engaged. We have some special activities to get those mental and sensory gears turning. In the kitchen, he has a dedicated cabinet for our “Pasta Game” with scoops and funnels for playing with dry macaroni like an indoor sandbox. The same cabinet has playdough tools, coloring and painting supplies, and our “Water Experiment” tray with flour, food coloring, spoons and different sized bowls for mixing things up like a true scientist. We also love making sound shakers out of old containers like water bottles or plastic Easter eggs, dry beans and tape.
For even more ideas for a fun, loving and effective work at home environment for your family, get all 7 success strategies for working alongside your preschooler here.