Welcome to 'A Montessori Home'.
With so many of our friends and family living in far-off lands, I hope that this blog might help our loved-ones get to know our gorgeous Finlay as he grows up. I also hope that these posts may provide inspiration, provoke thought and conversation about creating beautiful Montessori environments for infants and toddlers at home. I'm always happy to hear your comments, thoughts and suggestions. Feel free to pop in now and then to see what we're up to!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A cutting frenzy

So many 'blog-able' moments have come and gone over the past few months, with no time to sit down and document them, but this series of photographs were too sweet not to share.

A few weeks before Finlay's 2nd birthday, I commented to my new co-teacher Carol that perhaps we would need some 'toddler' scissors for the few younger ones who were starting in our class (you know, the handle-free scissors that spring open by themselves?).  I had been observing Finlay with a little pair of plastic scissors which we had been using along with playdough, and so far it seemed beyond him to hold them in one hand....  there was a lot of two-handed opening and closing going on.  

Carol's look of horror made me think twice.  We had already committed ourselves to putting only the most beautiful, functional, real objects in our environment - toddler scissors were not an option.  So I prepared myself for some tantrums, imagining Finlay wanting desperately to use the real scissors that were not yet suitable for him.

Simultaneously, I started doing a lot of cutting at home while preparing materials for the classroom... fabric, cardboard, paper... hours and hours of it.  And of course, Finlay insisted that he wanted to try them too.  He was so insistent that we took a special trip out to the shops to get him his own pair of scissors.  The moment we got home I gave him a brief presentation.... and he was off on a cutting frenzy!

Cutting tiny snippets from strips of coloured card
Picking up the snippets and placing them in the dish
This work was left on the shelf for him to take and work with any time of the day, which led to lots and lots of repetition.  
Once he had spent hours and days cutting strips of paper into tiny snippets, he moved on to cutting fringes along the edges of larger pieces of paper, and then on to cutting fabric (just like Mummy)....

Another huge lesson was learned from this series of events.  I was sure that he was not ready for real scissors, and yet Finlay showed me not only that he was ready, but that it was precisely the activity to meet his inner developmental needs at that moment in time.  When repetition and concentration occur around a particular activity, you can be sure that it has just the right balance of challenge along with satisfaction.  Plus, a new skill has been learned.  This has really opened up a new opportunity for us both to work side-by-side, each concentrating on our own task.

Such a lovely way to spend our time together :)


  1. Welcome back, i really enjoy your posts! I love the image of you working side by side, and this is a timely reminder for me to dig B's scissors out of the cupboard. I am surprised he can use them already. It is true they do as you do.
    Really looking forward to seeing your new space.

  2. Thanks Rach, happy cutting! :)

  3. Great timing. I just ordered a bunch of art supplies, including a pair of scissors for my 21 month old. I did get her the toddler scissors but when the box arrived and said for kids 3+, I balked. I felt like she was ready for them and I normally ignore age recommendations on things, but I was suddenly envisioning her cutting her fingers off - not that I would just give them to her and walk away or anything :-)

    Anyway, crazy mommy moment but now I'm feeling better knowing that this is probably something that she is ready for, or will be soon.

  4. I'm so pleased this post has been reassuring, MacKenzie. 'Follow the child' has taken on so much more meaning now that I have my own child who insists that I follow his lead!

  5. Welcome back, indeed! Thanks for sharing this inspiring revelation and the sweet photographs of work in progress.
    Take care!

  6. This is an old post but thank you for sharing. My daughter has been wanting to use my scissors for a while now and I wouldn't let her. I decided after reading your post to buy her a pair. Looking forward to seeing how she responds to it!