Imagine a beautiful Montessori space. You might imagine shelves lined with colorful, attractive materials set up on trays. In your mind, it’s clear what an ideal Montessori environment might include.
But, when it comes to doing Montessori in your own home, you may wonder how to get started? It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the task at hand. However, don’t let those feelings keep you from setting up your space. Follow these tips to get started:
In your home, you get to choose the design and look of your space! But, the key to making a great Montessori space for your materials is to keep things simple. The idea is that you don’t distract from the materials with too many décor items or accessories.
For example, in Yannis’ space, we have a few simple, natural wood shelves for materials and a large carpet for him to work on. We also have a table and chair, also made of natural wood. I’ve placed a few plants on the shelves as décor in addition to his materials. We’re also lucky to have plenty of natural light in his workspace.
However, pick shelves and décor items that work well in your home. Just remember, simple is better!
Because you’re doing Montessori in your home, you need to think about more than just the workspace. Young children also need some tools so they can complete certain tasks independently.
As Montessori famously said, “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” That means that even as toddlers, children should be allowed to dress, wash their hands, change their shoes and make snacks on their own.
So, add a stool to your bathroom so that your child can easily brush their teeth and wash their hands as independently as possible. Use a lower cabinet in your kitchen to keep bowls, cutlery, and simple snack items for your child as well. Place a stool in the kitchen as well. Or, add a child-sized table and chair where they can prepare snacks and eat.
These small changes will make a big difference in allowing your little one to do things on their own!
Another important aspect of the Montessori philosophy is following the child. When children choose their own work, Montessori discovered that children were more motivated and learned even more quickly than if they were forced to do a task.So, notice what your child is interested in! Does your child love animals? Put animal books and animal matching activities on your shelves. Or, if your child likes picking up tiny objects, it might be time for some transfer work.
Simply make these activities available on your shelves, or invite your child to try them. Then, if your child says “no!”, listen. You can always offer the activity another time.
Now, you’re ready to set up your home to be Montessori-friendly!
Tell me about your experience in the comments below.