Because our little ones are inherently motivated to participate adopt the behaviors they see us doing, they actually like to get things out and put them away in the right place (once they develop beyond the dumping phase!).
The key to engaging their internal sense of order is to prevent the amount of stuff from being overwhelming.
Related: Why Montessorians Rotate Toys
Just like we recommend having a limited number of toys displayed at once, the same is true for clothing. Providing your toddler access to their clothing, within limits, will empower them to make choices. Too many choices, however can overwhelm and cause conflict.
Once your child can identify the difference between tops and bottoms that means they are ready to participate in choosing their clothes.
For a child who can identify a shirt among a pile of laundry, you can select 2-3 shirts for them to choose from.
For a child who can independently put their shirt on or collaborate with you by putting it over their head, a few more choices may be comfortable. Notice your little one’s reaction to choice.
Introducing shelf labels
Depending on your child’s readiness, you might include them in placing the labels to show where you already keep these items. Then show them how the labels will help identify where to put things away.
When you sort clean laundry, help your child match the category of clothing with the shelf label.
We have created labels for clothing and toys. Other areas you might like to label could include the bathroom and your kitchen and dining materials.
Read more about implementing the Montessori approach around your house.