Montessori classroom at Home for Toddlers
When Kenisha was 14-15 months old I slowly adapted the Montessori space for a toddler. What I was trying to achieve and still aim at is an independent child who wants help to do everything herself. Creating the Montessori environment aids this development.
What I was trying to achieve and still aim at is an independent child who wants help to do everything herself. If you missed, you must read my last post about How homeschooling can make the transition to a preschool easy
Creating an environment goes a long way to support your child’s early development needs.
And it can be done really easily and quickly. Trust me, you don’t need to be supremely creative or have a huge space or spend thousands on materials and equipment to get started. Lastly, don’t worry about the materials. Use available resources, up-cycle, recycle but just maintain the order.
Easy ideas to set up a Montessori classroom at home
Be the child – crawl on your fours if need be but look at the space from their perspective. How does everything around look? Is there open space? Easy to navigate? Can you reach for your favourite books and toys?
Open space – All we need is either an empty small room or just move the furniture around so you can create some floor space. Don’t be afraid to arrange and rearrange till it feels attractive, welcoming and conducive to learning
Montessori Shelf – The most basic requirement is to have low shelves that allow young children to reach and access the material without adult intervention. As a parent (moderator) you must ensure to explain that these materials are special and need to be handled carefully and put back once used. The items you put on the shelf will vary as per your child’s age and development progress.
Boxes and Trays – Each material/activity must be a separate identity. First plan your week ahead and then choose an age appropriate activity in each development section such as – motor skills, language, maths etc. You may mix and match to suit your child’s learning curve
Child size it all – Invest in child sized furniture like table chair, small spoons, bowls, child-friendly small glasses. Basically, an environment that feels comfortable and accessible. Also, invest in functional and actual material like wooden than plastic. Children learn to appreciate the materials when introduced early on. Support practical like to encourage order, concentration, coordination, and independence
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Don’t worry about mats – ideally, mats are the workspace in a Montessori environment but for an infant or a toddler mats don’t mean anything. Best is to have one large carpet in the center of the room and slowly build the habit for mats
Keep it organized –Blocks go on one shelve/box, toys in another, books go on bookshelves so on. Keep ample space and let each material “breathe” so as to avoid confusing the child. Don’t let it cram and be overwhelming for the child or rather confusing.
Do not control the child but the environment – Your purpose is to support your child’s eagerness to do everything themselves. Support them by providing the right material and environment. when you see them disinterested in the material – remove it, if they have succeeded at a puzzle and no longer find it challenging the move to the next level. Kids feel disheartened if they ask to play with materials that you do not wish them to enjoy yet. Keep them away instead, till you find them ready.
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