Safe Water Sources
Dr. Montessori recommended that children be allowed to perform the daily care of self and care of environment activities that the adults are engaged in around them. We call this area of the Montessori classroom “practical life.” You might see very young children serving themselves water to drink, washing their hands, and watering plants. Using water for entertainment and sensory experiences is also beneficial to the development of young children, but Maria Montessori felt that those purposes could be fulfilled through the normal use of water in daily, purposeful activities such as bathing or handwashing. In Montessori 101, we encourage parents to create their own child-friendly water stations to allow for independence in the home environment.
Recently, it has come to our attention that a popular store is selling a toy sink for children called the “Spark Sink”. While we originally were excited about the possibilities that this product offers Montessori families, we soon learned that the water that the water is continually recycled from the faucet into the drain and then back up again. This is a safety concern because it seems likely that this product will too easily harbor bacteria, mildew, and mold when used as a water source by a Montessori child.
If you do choose to use this sink, please do *not* allow your child to drink the water from it. In our experience with young children, it is highly likely that they will try to sneak a drink of water from it anyway (water and drinking is very enticing!), so always always supervise when in use and disinfect frequently. Because of the possible complications, we do not recommend it as a solution for a family looking for a child’s independent source of water, and any positive commentary or photos you see inside the group of this product do not reflect the opinions of the admins or moderators.
Resources for your own research:
Germs Found Growing in Kids’ Sippy Cups
EPA: Green Cleaning/Sanitizing
Choosing a Sanitizer
Thank you for taking the time to read these safety considerations. This document will be located in the Files section of our group if you see a water situation in our group you feel might be unsafe. Feel free to direct new members toward this document for their own further research on safety. Simply copy the permalink (click on the date/time of this post) and copy and paste the url into the comments.