Toddler in yellow duck floatie

Creating a Montessori-Inspired Summer Rhythm for Babies and Toddlers

Summer is a delightful time for families to bond, explore, and create lasting memories with their little ones. At Monti Kids we understand the importance of providing structure and engaging experiences for babies and toddlers during their time at home. In this blog post, we guide you through the process of designing a Montessori-inspired summer routine that supports a harmonious family life. We will also provide example schedules and rhythms to cater to different family dynamics, helping you find a routine that suits your unique needs.

Routines are fundamental for children's overall well-being, offering a sense of security and predictability. They provide a framework within which children can explore and learn, promoting self-discipline and independence. A well-designed routine allows for a balance between structured activities and free play, ensuring that your child's developmental needs are met while fostering a peaceful day to day. 

Designing a Montessori-Inspired Summer Rhythm:

Morning Rituals:

Start your day with calming morning rituals that set a peaceful tone for the rest of the day. Encourage your child's participation in activities such as washing hands, getting dressed, and brushing teeth. Involve them in simple tasks like setting the breakfast table, fostering a sense of responsibility and independence.

Outdoor Exploration:

Spend time outdoors, immersing your child in the wonders of nature. Visit local parks, go for nature walks, and explore playgrounds. Encourage your child to observe the environment, touch leaves and flowers, and engage in sensory experiences. These activities promote physical development, coordination, and an appreciation for the natural world.

Montessori-Inspired Work Periods:

Create dedicated work periods where your child can engage in purposeful activities. Set up a prepared environment with carefully chosen Montessori-inspired materials that cater to your child's age and developmental stage. Offer activities that promote fine motor skills, cognitive development, language acquisition, and sensorial exploration. Examples include puzzles, sorting and stacking toys, art supplies, and practical life activities like pouring water or transferring objects.

Rhythms for Mealtime:

Mealtime is an opportunity to engage your child in practical life activities and foster healthy eating habits. Involve them in meal preparation, such as washing fruits and vegetables or stirring ingredients. Create a calm and inviting atmosphere at the dining table, emphasizing family togetherness and conversation. Encourage your child to practice self-feeding, gradually promoting independence and fine motor skills.

Rest and Nap Periods:

Integrate rest and nap periods into your daily routine to ensure that your child gets enough sleep. Maintain a consistent naptime schedule based on your child's age and individual needs. Provide a quiet and comfortable space for relaxation, equipped with soft pillows, cozy blankets, and perhaps soothing music. Encourage independent rest time for older toddlers, allowing them to choose a book or engage in quiet activities.

Meaningful Free Play:

Balance structured activities with unstructured free playtime. Create an environment that encourages imaginative play, exploration, and creativity. Offer open-ended toys and materials that promote problem-solving, role-playing, and social interactions. Examples include building blocks, dolls, art supplies, and natural loose parts like shells or pebbles. Allow your child the freedom to choose activities and explore their interests at their own pace.

Summer routines feel distinctly different for parents compared to the structured school year routines. As the academic year comes to a close, parents often experience a sense of relief and anticipation for the upcoming summer break. The absence of early morning alarms, the rush to get children ready for school, and the constant coordination of schedules create a noticeable shift in the daily rhythm. Instead, the summer months offer a more relaxed atmosphere, granting parents the freedom to set their own pace.

However, summer routines also present unique challenges for parents. With children at home for extended periods, there is a need for constant entertainment, engagement, and supervision. Balancing work responsibilities and family time can become a juggling act, necessitating creative solutions and adjustments to accommodate everyone's needs.

Overall, the shift from school year routines to summer routines offers parents an opportunity to enjoy a more relaxed and flexible schedule while navigating the demands of keeping children entertained and engaged during the break.

Sample Summer Rhythms and Schedules

Parenting during the summer can be a joyful and exciting time as families embrace the freedom and opportunities that the season brings. While a structured schedule can provide a sense of routine and stability, it is essential to remember that these schedules are just examples and can be adapted to fit individual daily lives and values. A schedule for a working parent family will look different as they prepare to leave the house each day while a schedule for a stay at home parent will need to build in breaks for everyone throughout the day to offer variety and stimulation throughout the week. A flexible routine allows parents to tailor their summer parenting schedules to suit their unique circumstances and the needs of their children.

Schedule for a Working Parent:

  • 7:00 AM: Morning rituals and breakfast

  • 8:00 AM: Drop-off at a trusted caregiver or daycare

  • 8:30 AM: Work

  • 5:00PM: Pick up child and engage in quality one-on-one time

  • 5:30 PM: Outdoor play or park visit

  • 6:00 PM: Prepare dinner together

  • 6:30 PM: Family dinner

  • 7:00 PM: Bath time and wind-down routine (e.g., reading, calming activities)

  • 7:30 PM: Bedtime routine (brushing teeth, pajamas)

  • 8:00 PM: Bedtime

Schedule for a Stay-at-Home Parent:

  • 7:30 AM: Morning rituals and breakfast
  • 8:30 AM: Outdoor exploration (e.g., nature walk, park visit)

  • 9:30 AM: Montessori-inspired work period

  • 10:30 AM: Snack time

  • 11:00 AM: Free play

  • 12:00 PM: Lunchtime and involvement in meal preparation

  • 1:00 PM: Rest or nap time

  • 3:00 PM: Afternoon outdoor play

  • 4:00 PM: Montessori-inspired work period or sensory play

  • 5:00 PM: Dinner preparation together

  • 6:00 PM: Family dinner

  • 6:30 PM: Wind-down activities (e.g., reading, puzzles)

  • 7:00 PM: Bedtime routine

  • 7:30 PM: Bedtime

Baby at the beach

Schedule for a Flexible Routine:

**This schedule allows for flexibility and adaptability, accommodating various activities and outings.**

  • 8:00 AM: Morning rituals and breakfast

  • 9:00 AM: Outdoor exploration or playdate

  • 10:30 AM: Snack time

  • 11:00 AM: Montessori-inspired work period or outing to a museum or library

  • 12:30 PM: Lunchtime and involvement in meal preparation

  • 1:30 PM: Rest or nap time (if needed)

  • 3:00 PM: Free play or sensory activities

  • 4:30 PM: Outdoor play or park visit

  • 6:00 PM: Family dinner

  • 6:30 PM: Wind-down activities (e.g., storytelling, art)

  • 7:00 PM: Bedtime routine

  • 7:30 PM: Bedtime

Toddler outside inspecting his hand
A toddler playing with his mom
Baby playing with Dolio

Designing a Montessori-inspired summer routine for your baby or toddler can contribute to their overall development and create a harmonious family environment. By incorporating outdoor exploration, purposeful activities, rhythms for mealtime and rest, and meaningful free play, you can provide a balanced and enriching experience for your child. Remember to tailor the routine to your family's unique circumstances and be flexible to accommodate spontaneous adventures and special moments. Embrace the summer season with open arms, and enjoy the precious time spent nurturing your child's growth and curiosity in a Montessori-inspired way.