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A Matching Game of Locks and Keys Builds Your Child’s Resilience

Last summer I shared a useful travel activity to entertain your young child on a road trip or an airplane ride while simultaneously developing their motor skills and self-esteem: play with a padlock and key.

Well, today I’m back with the next evolution of this purposeful play, which also happens to be another favorite of mine to share with my coaching clients: a matching game of differently sized locks and keys. This time, the activity may cause a little more frustrating when your child struggles to match the correct key with its corresponding lock.

The good news is, by overcoming the challenge through their own process of trial and error, your child is developing not only the practical life skill of how to use various locks and keys but is also finding the independence and resilience to work through a struggle diligently.

In the Montessori approach to parenting, we understand this is a natural part of learning any new technique. It is a foundation that will serve them for the rest of their lives, in any new endeavor they may take on. By mastering something difficult, the child will find a newfound confidence in themselves.

The toughest part for you as a parent? Standing back and not “helping” while they struggle. You may use encouraging words to guide them, but allowing them to sit in their frustration is the greatest gift you can offer.

Locks & Keys by Jeanne Marie Paynel from voilamontessori.com


Find out how a simple matching game with differently-sized locks and their corresponding keys is one such way for your child to become a more resilient individual. You’ll find everything you need at the hardware store.

For more tips on how to introduce Montessori activities, read The Nine Key Points to Sharing a New Activity with Your Child.

*The appropriate age will depend on the child’s individual development and abilities as well as interest. These are all approximate ages; it is essential to follow your child’s needs by learning to observe them.


P.S. Would you like my support and guidance setting-up your Montessori home? If, yes then go ahead and schedule a ‘Discovery Session’ with me. It’s free and you’ll know if we are a good fit. 😉

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