Montessori Room Guide
A Montessori inspired playroom adopts a minimalist approach, using few carefully selected toys and activities to spark a child's interest. This style playroom is a more sustainable and economic choice while also giving children a prepared learning environment. (Which is also good news for parents looking to streamline their homes and cut down on toys!)
A Montessori inspired playroom is a carefully designed environment for the child that encourages independence and concentration. Nothing is set in stone, but in general, a Montessori inspired playroom:
- is simple with a few carefully selected number of toys/activities
- includes space to move freely
- oriented at child’s level
- includes developmentally appropriate toys and activities to engage the child
- creates routine/structure
- mixes in a variety of activities
- is a cozy space that your child will love
Within Montessori classrooms you will find everything at the child's height. Child-sized furniture such as low shelves hold materials for children to freely access. Keeping items at child height promotes independence - especially for those toddlers who want to "do it myself"! A low open shelf gives children as young as 6 months the freedom to select and choose their own activities. Babies and toddlers can use a low table and chair for snacks and activities. The open space of the playroom allows children the choice to work on the floor or table.
Open Space for Movement
Leave some open space for free play, movement and exploration. Or all your DOVA building!
Activities to Encourage Learning and Engagement
The best toys and activities are ones that pull your child into deep concentration. What draws your child in will change over time, so it's important to observe what they're working with and how they're interacting with it.
What toys and activities are they choosing in the playroom? How long are they spending with a toy? How are they holding an object? What are they repeating? What are they trying to master?
Depending on what you're observing you might want to look out for toys or activities that develop a particular fine motor or gross motor skill. You may have observed a developing interest and decide to add more books or activities to explore.
Keeping toys and activities to a minimum will help keep their novelty and enhance engagement and concentration. Children quickly learn that every activity has its place and how to return items to their place on the shelf. This is where toy rotation comes in handy to keep things interesting - they will notice when something new has arrived! This also limits the clutter and clean-up of your room (a big perk for mum and dad!).
You might want to look out for toys that develop fine motor, gross motor, art and music, books, and open ended items for creative play. It’s also important to include toys that offer a varying degree of difficulty. You want a mix of challenging toys, like maybe a puzzle with more pieces than your child usually works with, and things that are easy and familiar for your her to play with when she needs a mental break.
A Place to Create Routine and Structure
Kids seek out routine and structure. Having set places in your playroom is not just helpful for keeping a tidy house, it help create this routine and structure kids love as well as fulfilling their sense of order. The DOVA is great addition to your child's daily routine, such as providing a cozy spot for daily meditation or a quiet space for daily or bed-time reading. This is particularity useful when children drop their afternoon nap but still require some afternoon downtime.
Cozy Space Your Child Will Love
Plants and books, soft blankets and pillows, and of course, your cozy DOVA- a corner in the playroom is perfect for unwinding and relaxing (for kids and adults!).