Friday, November 16, 2012

DIY Toddler Apron

I've been meaning to share this apron for a while now. It took me forever to get around to making it, but I'm glad I finally did. One of the things Kylie wrote about in her sections of Kids in the Kitchen: Simple Recipes That Build Independence and Confidence the Montessori Way was the importance of having aprons for separate tasks. They help define the task, and they provide another opportunity to practice independence.

Meg of Sew Liberated shared an awesome apron pattern for young children in a Montessori environment. It's specifically designed to honor the young child's need for independence. The neck has elastic built into it, so it can stretch over their (big) heads and then automatically tighten up around their necks without any adult intervention. The strap around the waist fastens with velcro on the front of the apron--again so the child can manage it themselves with minimal adult support. Being able to do things for themselves cultivates their confidence, and it's exactly what they need developmentally. Many of the tantrums that toddlers throw stem from their desire to assert their own will. The more opportunities we give them to be independent and do things for themselves, the more they fulfill their own needs and exhibit contentment. 

I didn't follow Meg's pattern exactly; I studied it and just improvised it (I was too lazy to print it and make the adjustments to Henry's size). Henry and I had more fun sewing together this time. I slowed down and lowered my expectations related to how quickly I could get the project done. We stretched it over several days. The project replaced our park time because all of us were under the weather for a while. Henry had the most fun picking the fabric out of our stash and putting the pins back into the container very carefully (and picking them up off the ground when he spilled them).

If you're looking for a holiday present for a young child or someone with a young child, I highly recommend pairing Kids in the Kitchen with something from Montessori Services. For example, the following gifts would be about $25:
Henry has and uses the wooden spoon, whisk, and vegetable chopper. We highly recommend all of them! As a reminder, all proceeds from this book go to the non-profit organization, Montessori For All

REMINDER: The next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy starts Monday. Register today! We'd love to have you join us!

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