One of the many goals we hope to achieve when working with these amazing children is to develop independence. If you have lived with a toddler, one of their favorite things to say is "I do it myself!" Dr. Montessori felt children need to be independent and are mostly so by the age of three. Without independence, we cannot feel dignity. In The Discovery of the Child (1967, pg. 67), Dr. Montessori wrote, "If teaching is to be effective with young children, it must assist them to advance on the way to independence. It must initiate them into those kids of activities which they can perform themselves... We must help them to learn how to walk without assistance, to run, to go up and down stairs, to pick up fallen objects, to dress and undress, to wash themselves, to express their needs in a way that is clearly understood, and to attempt to satisify their desires through their own efforts. All this is part of an education to independence."
If you have extra time, try to let your child zip their own coat, put on their own shoes (even if on the wrong feet!), carry their own bag etc... In our busy lives it is often difficult to do this but try to give yourself 5, or okay, maybe 10 extra minutes. If your child spills something on the floor, show them how to clean it up, and let them do it. They could even help make lunch! The child will feel such a sense of pride and dignity!