Montessori at home

The easiest place to start with bringing Montessori into the home is to start with activities, based on developing the whole child. Begin by observing your little one to see what their needs & interests are & then setup activities to meet those needs.

For examples of Montessori aligned activities to create at home, see our article Montessori Activities For Home to see our Ultimate Series Of Activities, where the emphasis is on providing a prepared environment and allowing the child to actively engage in self-directed learning.

Some tips for setting up Montessori spaces at home:

    • Small spaces. It’s easy to imagine that we could utilise the Montessori principles if we had a larger space, however, it is possible, & arguably even essential, to use the Montessori ideas if our home is smaller. Whatever size home we have, we want to make the best use of the space we have available, avoiding clutter & an overwhelming sensation.
    • Create a ‘Yes’ space in the home. This doesn’t have to be an entire room if one isn’t available, utilising baby gates to portion off a section of a room is a great idea – we do want to avoid playpens here as they will limit tiny’s movement & we want them to be able to move around in their ‘yes’ space. A ‘Yes’ space is more than a baby-proofed room, it is essentially a space where we don’t need to keep telling our little one “no, don’t touch that!”. It is a place where they can have freedom to explore without interruption, where anything that we don’t want our child to be able to manipulate has been removed & where they can play and investigate freely. To make the space as safe as possible, be sure to secure any large furniture to the wall, cover plugs, & move any loose wires. As your little one grows, physically & developmentally, be sure to re-evaluate their ‘yes’ space to keep an eye on any new dangers that may arise. A balance of independent play & interaction with a caregiver is also really important, so we try not to overuse this ‘yes’ space.
    • A place for everything and everything in its place. Our little ones have a particularly strong sense of order & when we have a place for everything & everything is in its place, this is not only pleasing to the eye, but helps them to learn where everything belongs.

      “The child in the postnatal (or psychological) period of his embryonic life, absorbs from the world about him the distinctive patterns to which the social life of his group conforms…the little child’s need for order is one of the most powerful incentives to dominate his early life.” – Dr. Montessori

    • Activities. Rather than using a tox box, displaying your little ones’ activities, beautifully arranged on shelves at easy reach for your tiny to help themselves, is inviting for them & actively encourages them to partake, as well as promotes independence. Displaying only a few activities at a time will help their concentration & prevent them from feeling overwhelmed, choosing those that they are currently interested in & working to master. A huge number of Montessori activities can be made from things we already have around the home, or that we collect during a typical week. For some examples of Montessori aligned activities to create at home, see our article Montessori activities for home. For recommendations of some Montessori aligned toys for under 12 months old, see our article Our top picks for Montessori toys for babies 1st year. For recommendations of some Montessori aligned toys for 1-year-olds, see our article Our top picks for Montessori toys for 1-year-olds. For recommendations of some Montessori aligned toys for under 2-year-olds, see our article Our top picks for Montessori toys for 2-year-olds. For recommendations of some Montessori aligned toys for under 3-year-olds, see our article Our top picks for Montessori toys for 3-year-olds.
    • Rotate. Find or create some storage to hide away most of your activities & rotate a small selection of the materials on their shelves periodically or when they are looking for new challenges.
    • Child height. Kneel down and look at the space at your child’s height, we may see plugs that need covering, wires that need hiding or even clutter that may feel overwhelming.
    • Beauty. Montessori pays particular attention to beauty of the child’s environment, for example placing those activities in trays & baskets made from natural materials & easy for the child to hold with two hands. Displaying art & plants at your little ones height promotes a beautiful environment for them to enjoy.
    • Size matters. Finding furniture that is child-sized, that toddlers can manage themselves without help, and so their feet can sit flat on the floor & can get up when then choose. Small cups that can be held by two tiny hands, small pitchers, child apron & other kitchen equipment.
    • If we have more than one child in the home, can we set-up spaces for different ages? For example low shelves for the little one, and higher shelves for activities more suitable for the older babe, storing small parts in containers that are difficult for younger children to open. Creating a place where each little one can be by themselves such as making a blanket fort with chairs and blanket. We can stick a note outside that says ‘Busy’ and show this to the sibling when they come close, saying “It says busy. It looks like they want to be on their own at the moment. Let’s go and find something else do to.”
  • For smaller spaces. Finding multifunctional furniture, e.g., this chair that’s also a table, or using wall space for hooks (command hooks can hang almost anything!), pegboards to hand craft materials, disguised cupboards near the ceiling can be great for creating extra storage.

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