Real life not fantasy

Montessori believes if we keep fantasy out of our children’s world until this age when they are able to understand the difference, they will naturally engage in pretend play that replicates things they see in their everyday lives; which, more than just fun, helps them create a solid foundation of understanding their world.

Montessori is in favour of real life as opposed to fantasy (a cat flying a plane for example) before the age of six, during what is called the First Plane of Development. Under 6 years of age, your little one’s understanding of the world is based solely on what they see around them – they will embrace a fantasy world but will not understand that it is pretend. For this reason, Montessori philosophy is to reflect activities, books, art & any form of entertainment from reality & things they know from their daily life such as books with gorgeous illustrations of going shopping, getting dressed, brushing teeth, seasons, colours, visiting family, trips into town. Realistic art or photos of plants & animals as opposed to cartoon/fantasy art are loved by little ones & they will absorb the beauty of the artwork. If a child reads a book about a dragon, it’s almost certain that they will think that dragons are real & scary.

When they are over six years old, they are at an age that they can begin to understand the difference in reality & fantasy, which is when Montessori would wait to introduce fantasy (particularly scary fantasy). Dr. Maria Montessori discussed fantasy & reality in great depth & believed that fantasy was an adult imagination imposed onto the child.

This is one of the Montessori practices that we at SensorStory don’t love.

Occasionally we as a Montessori family may want to have a book in our collection that is not based in reality. This is certainly true of our Lory the Lemur book collection which is based on our class mascot; Lory the Lemur, & while we have tried to keep our stories as close to real life as possible; such as going to the seaside or going to a birthday party, & have included gorgeous artwork on each turn of the page, the artwork is not based in reality & we do have a book in our collection about Lory who takes adventures around Lemur Island in hot air balloon! In instances such as this we would recommend pointing this out in a fun way; “Do Lemurs really fly in hot air balloons? Noooo. How Interesting. This is pretend. Let’s take a look & see what happens”. There are even one or two exceptions to this, for at SensorStory, such as Father Christmas & the Tooth Fairy, who all of us at SensorStory love celebrating in our classes & in our family homes!

For these reasons, this is one of the Montessori practices that we don’t enjoy following to the letter.

To see more of the Montessori practices we do & don’t enjoy, see our article Why we love Montessori & some things we don’t.

To see our collection of Lory the Lemur books on Amazon click here.

[vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”sidebar”]