Grace and Courtesy lessons from the Montessori classroom help a child understand “what to do – when.” For example, what do I do when I get to school? What do I do when I want to invite guests to the house?
Personal hygiene is also a Grace and Courtesy lesson, and we’d like to look at ways to establish the routine of washing your hands before you eat.
This type of lesson was inherent in the first Montessori classroom in Italy. Many of the children came to the school rather dirty, and Maria Montessori instilled some basic hygiene lessons to help them learn about taking care of their bodies.
Here are ways to help your child make a habit out of washing their hands before lunch or dinner!
At home, make it routine: “It’s lunchtime, what do we need to do to get ready for lunch?” Help a child think through the steps they need to take before eating, including washing hands and getting out plates and cutlery.
Fostering logical processes like “What do we do before bed” or “What do we do to get ready for school” will help your child establish habits. They will become more confident and independent individuals over time!
Out and about: In summertime, you might be spending more time outside, including picnics or snack time. Carry some hand sanitizer with you as an on-the-go option. That way, you’re continuing the routine from home. Alternatively, locate a public restroom to wash your hands before enjoying lunch in the park.
By creating routines and following through with them, your child will only need gentle reminders such as “It seems we forgot one thing before lunchtime” rather than stronger admonitions.
Once your child has a routine well-established, they will most-likely remind YOU in the case that you forget!
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