Whether it’s because of the KonMari Method or minimalism, it’s exciting to see people around the world getting excited about decluttering and organizing their homes. After watching the NetFlix series on Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, my daughter, Christina, and I decided to join in the fun.
I was always able to keep my Montessori shelves organized (because there was a place for everything!), but I needed to KonMari my closets and storage areas. I want to share my excitement today by integrating KonMari with Montessori (a natural mix). There aren’t really KonMari printables available for kids yet, so I’m mainly focusing on age-appropriate chores for kids, cleaning-themed activities, and a bit of KonMari-style folding.
Here I’ll have cleaning and tidying activities for care of the environment (Montessori practical life) and free cleaning and tidying printables, including my new Montessori-inspired cleaning and tidying pack (subscriber freebie)! The activities should be appropriate for families and classrooms whether or not you use the KonMari method.
The links are for free cleaning and tidying printables for preschoolers through early elementary. Some of the printables are for families rather than kids. To keep my list manageable, I don’t share coloring pages unless a page has a specific educational purpose related to cleaning and tidying.
At PreK + K Sharing, I have lots and lots of themed activities and presentation ideas.
Free Printables + Materials Used in the Pictured Cleaning and Tidying Activities for Preschoolers-First Graders
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).
Montessori Shelves with Cleaning and Tidying Themed Activities
You’ll find Montessori-inspired cleaning and tidying numbers, letters, and and more (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
I always have related books available throughout a unit. On my top shelf, I have Grace and Courtesy: A Picture Guide for Children and Adults open to the page that says, “I put my work away and make it beautiful for the next person.” On the right side of the shelf, I have This Is How We Do It (a wonderful book about children from around the world) open to the 2-page spread on “This is how I help” ( book on a wooden cookbook holder). I’ve added the Montessori continents globe to go with the book on the right.
On the middle shelf, I have Dust Everywhere, and on the bottom shelf, I have Henry Helps With Laundry. (The author, Beth Bracken, has written a number of Henry Helps books.) These books are all Montessori friendly. I have a book basket beside the shelf with Montessori-friendly non-fiction books and some fun fiction books that aren’t Montessori-style books.
You could mix your cleaning and tidying themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special cleaning and tidying-themed area something like the one pictured. My shelves this month have a mixture of skill levels. Many of the activities can be adapted for a variety of levels. If you’re a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child’s interests and ability levels. If you don’t have room for all the activities you’d like to do, simply rotate them.
English and Spanish Chore Cards
Free Printables: English and Spanish Chore Cards from Spanish Mama
These are really versatile. There are also activity cards included, but I just used the cleaning chore cards in both English and Spanish. I’d have the child match them to learn the Spanish words. The child could also choose a chore to do for the day.
Behavior charts for chores aren’t recommended in Montessori, and I didn’t use them with my own kids. They just helped out as being part of our family. If they wanted to earn money, they could choose an extra job to do for that. (They were also great entrepreneurs and created their own jobs in the community while still being homeschooled.) I like the idea of chore cards as a way for children to choose chores to do or to choose extra chores to do to earn money.
B is for Broom and D is for Dustpan Sand Writing Tray
Free Printables: Broom letters for letter b writing tray and dustpan letters for letter d writing tray (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
For the tray, I used the wooden tray from the Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Shapes. You can use whatever tray or container work best for you, though. This is made extra fun by using the miniature broom from the Montessori Services language objects to write the letters in the sand.
If you would like help with introducing phonetic sounds, introducing objects with sounds, or beginning phonics in general, check out my DIY Beginning Montessori Phonics with Preschoolers.
Mop and Bucket Movable Alphabet, ER Phonogram Cards, and OO Phonogram Cards
For the movable alphabet work, I used a traditional small wooden movable alphabet. You can just use the mop and bucket movable alphabet for word building, or you can match letters from the two sets.
You can’t see all the letters in the Montessori Services basket from this angle, but those are the mop and bucket movable alphabet letters from my subscriber pack.
These are the materials you can see on the right side of my middle shelf. I’ll add the “oo” broom phonogram work to the shelf in a week or so.
Montessori-Style Sweeping Paper Scraps Number or Addition Game
Free Printable: Dustpan and Brush Numbers 1-19 (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
Free Printable: 1-10 Spinner (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
Young preschoolers could just spin the spinner, count out the correct number of scraps from 1-10 and drop them on the tray to sweep up.
My 5-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, is already learning her addition facts, so we used it to reinforce those. She loved the game and asked to do it a number of times.
Zoey would spin the spinner, drop that number of scraps on the tray, spin again to find the next number for the equation, and sweep all scraps into the rectangle made with electrical tape.
Then she would sweep them into the dustpan before pouring them from the dustpan into the small bowl.
I loved watching the way Zoey spontaneously put everything away each time before starting the next equation!
Note: On the shelf behind Zoey, you’ll see the books Clean-Up Time/ Momento de arreglar (Toddler Tools) (English and Spanish Edition), Henry Helps Clean His Room, and Cleaning Day. These books are especially good for toddlers, young preschoolers, and beginning readers.
Henry Helps with Laundry Book with KonMari-style Pants and Jeans Folding Activity
Free Printable: How to Fold Clothes Like Marie Kondo from ModernCastle
This was a fun activity to put together! I simply used my printer set at “Fit to Page” to make the printable larger. Than I used only the pants and jeans part of the printable, since pants are one of the easier items to fold using the KonMari Method. I used children’s leggings and jeans to fit in a basket I had.
Free Cleaning and Tidying Printables for Preschoolers-First Graders
Montessori-Inspired Cleaning and Tidying Pack for DIY Cards and Counters, Number or Letter Matching, Number or Letter Basket, Bead Bar Work, Hands-on Math Operations, Number or Letter Salt/Sand Writing Tray, Letter Tracing, DIY Movable Alphabet, and Creative Writing (subscriber freebie, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password – or check your inbox if you’re already a subscriber)
- Weekly Cleaning Checklist for Kids’ Rooms from Housewife How-To’s
- Printable Cleaning Checklist Cards (subscriber freebie) from Somewhat Simple
- Chore Charts and Cards from Homeschool Creations
- Chore Charts by Age from Moritz Fine Design
- Age Appropriate Chores and Free Printable Chore Cards from Listening in the Litany
- Chore Cards from Sidetracked Sarah
- Chore Cards (subscriber freebie) from The Natural Homeschool
- Chore Chart Cards from Confessions of a Homeschooler (you can just use the cards without incentives)
- Chore Kits with Free Printables from Joyful Homemaking
- Bathroom Cleaning Checklist for Kids from Happy Brown House (for kids who are old enough to safely clean bathrooms)
- Chore Cards from Teachers Pay Teachers (for Montessori-friendly chore cards, use ones without behavioral rewards)
Free KonMari Printables for Families
- KonMari Method Checklist from Thirty Handmade Days
- KonMari Checklist from Jersha & Dup
- Decluttering Checklist for the KonMari Method from Making Lemonade
- How to Fold Clothes Like Marie Kondo from ModernCastle
More Cleaning and Tidying Resources
- How Montessori and Fly Lady Help Me Keep My House Clean
- Helping Hands Practical Life Activities + Free Printable from Montessori By Mom
- Montessori Practical Life Cleaning Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Fun with Cleaning, Movement, and Music Appreciation
- My Family’s Favorite Clean Up Song
- Free Clean Up Songs (Tidy Up Songs) and Rhymes
Please join me at PreK + K Sharing to see all my posts there over the years: Deb Chitwood at PreK + K Sharing.
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to. Teach Grace and Courtesy!
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