With just a few changes to your child’s play space at home, you can help your child benefit from the Montessori philosophy. These simple adjustments, which can be implemented in nearly any space at any time, can have an immediate impact on your child’s play.
As with any transition, be gentle with yourself and start with what you have. Over time, the space can become a beautiful reflection of your values and a welcoming place for your child to learn and play.
A Montessori play space promotes the following key elements:
Ideally, anything in your child’s play space promotes their natural desire for independence. When materials, toys, and books are easily accessible, your child can naturally gravitate towards their interests, giving them autonomy over their learning experience.
A few great additions might include:
- a low-height open toy shelf
- forward-facing bookshelf
- a child-height flat surface such as a table
- a chair that is low to the ground to promote learning, playing, and creating.
Freedom of Movement
Montessori spaces are often referred to as “yes” spaces because they respect the child’s natural need to freely move their bodies without restriction. Give your child plenty of uncluttered floor space and challenges that involve some risk. Opportunities to pull up, step up and down, climb, jump, push, pull, and throw all allow your child to develop these skills during their sensitive period for movement.
Bonus tip: Children love to see themselves as they move—adding a large mirror to your space can motivate and inspire them.
Children learn best in a clutter-free environment with a limited number of toys and materials available at a time. The best way to maintain the novelty and appeal of these materials is to rotate them out when your child is no longer showing interest. Order helps keep a sense of peace in your child’s environment and promotes focused attention. An easy way to encourage order in the space is to categorize materials into trays, baskets, or shallow containers to help your child conceptualize what goes where.
Just like adults, children gravitate towards what is beautiful. For this reason, you might see many objects in a Montessori space that promote natural beauty. Some examples might include baskets made out of natural elements, with toys sorted into them by category, and artwork hung at your child’s eye level. A simple way to adorn a room with natural elements is by adding a potted plant, which your child can also learn to water and take care of over time ❤️
The beautiful thing about bringing Montessori into your home environment is that you can cater it to your family’s values. Montessori emphasizes meaningful objects and artwork that tell a story or bring you joy. You can, for example, frame textiles and prints connected to your culture, choose art highlighting your travels, display your two-year-old’s favorite family photo, or hang a piece of artwork they recently created. These detailed elements will personalize the space while emphasizing what your family values most, giving it an extra special touch of beauty and meaning.
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