"We must support as much as possible the child’s desires for activity; not wait on him, but educate him to be independent."
– Dr. Montessori
Possibly you have heard of Montessori from this blog or another resource, and perhaps done some research or observed a Montessori classroom, or maybe your child even goes to a Montessori school. Have you ever thought about what would take to create a Montessori environment in your own home? To do so successfully, it is important to have a well-prepared environment.
How to Create a Prepared Home Montessori Environment
- The environment is attractive, orderly and clean.
- It has a place where children can store and organize personal items, as well as keep finished and in-progress projects.
- Simplifying, too much stuff can cause confusion and the child doesn’t learn to respect and appreciate what they have.
- There is adequate open space for children to easily move around, and for everyone to sit together during circle time.
- Children can independently access their Montessori materials from low shelves. They can also help keep the order on these shelves. It is also important to have proper-sized tables and chairs so the children can move and sit with ease.
- Provide adult materials at a children's size for the child to use and imitate you with.
- Art work should also be at a child's eye-level, their own and that of the great masters.
- In order that the child doesn't frequently hear "no" you should childproof everything.
The room can be organized by the 5 primary subject zones (practical life, sensorial, culture/science, math, language arts) and the secondary areas (circle or ellipse for circle time, art, library). The main area of the room should have a general use table, low shelves to define the areas stated above, and an area to store children’s projects. The library area should have comfy chairs. The bathroom should have a stool or steps and towels hung at the children’s height. In the art area it is essential to have a work table, a shelf for supplies, an easel, a flat area for paintings to dry and hooks for aprons. The practical life area needs a rack for drying cloths and dishes.
Ideas for the practical life, language, and cultural area:
- A globe.
- Seashells and Starfishes.
- awindow washing tray that contains a window spray cleaner and a rug.
- Pouring activity; two small jugs or cups in a tray with one containing liquid or solid items such as beans. The child is supposed to exercise pouring from one jug to the other.
- A basket with alphabet cardsandcolor and shape cards.
- Writing and drawing materials.
Ideas for the Sensorial, Math, and Movement Area
- Stacking Cups toy.
- A tray with two bowels, one has different types of locks, and the other has the matching keys.
- A wooden clock toy.
- Open and close basketwith various sizes of jars and boxes in them.
- Glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs or stars.
- Playdough traywith homemade playdough and cookies cutter and number stamps.
You can make your Montessori space as simple or as elaborate as you wish. Try to keep it as attractive and organized as possible; emphasize Montessori principles for natural learning; and enjoy following your child!
By Noora Khalifa Albinkhalil
Founder and Principal of Al Shorooq Preschool