Wednesday 20 May 2009

Our Montessori Home

I did a post like this a good while ago but looking back I realised that since then we have bought a lot more Montessori equipment and so I though I would do an update. 
Grab yourself a cuppa, it might be another long one...

This is the small shelf in the living I talked about in this post. We used to have books on the bottom and 2 or 3 toys on the top, now the big books have taken over... he tends to keep a couple of smaller toys on the top and it does get used as a dumping ground. To the right are his jigsaw puzzles and to the left the wooden band activity I made.

He also has a small desk (Ikea) I am trying to get him to keep all his papers and stickers in the tray but as a mad crazy artist it is usually overflowing. The little buckets were from the ¥100 store and he has one for crayons, pens, pencils and then a general stationary one. They usually live on the art shelf and he takes out the one he wants to work with.

OK, this is the guest room come Montessori room. We have 2 shelves like this, they are actually CD shelves so a bit narrow, I have to juggle quite a bit to get things on there. I will list what is on the shelf an add links to posts I have done with more info rather than try and fit it all in one post.

So, starting bottom left, we have the geometric solids, in the box is also the 3 part cards and shape cards. The binominal cube, smelling bottles, which are basically always on the shelf because he often works with them and the sewing basket are on the next shelf. Third shelf up has a pincer exercise, picking up pom-poms with pincers and putting them into an ice-cube tray. Next shelf up is a spooning exercise, spooning small glass beads into a narrow necked bottle. Above that we have the balance game, another permanent fixture; the days of the week activity and the touch boards which I keep hoping he will show an interest in. On the top we have the sensory balls (I have a post planned for making them); the colour tablets - set 3 and the wooden scales with weighs (made out of salt dough and baked)

Down the left side we have maths materials the wooden number cards and a counting activity - count the dino eggs and match clip the peg on it to match the number. Under that are some more number cards and the thousand cubes. Below them are the decimal gold beads tray and on the bottom is the number stair and and addition activity (new one that he hasn't tried yet). 
To the left of the shelf we have the knobbled cylinders, just in front are the red rods (he never gets these out) and to the right the pink tower, it is kind of hidden round the corner but it means it never gets knocked over, especially when we have friends to play.

The next section is the desk, which doesn't really get used as a desk and underneath are storage boxes on casters which also have some handy little shelves. So we have the seguins boards on the desk and on the shelves a chopsticks activity to help him learn to use them correctly, the marbles and golf tees, he loves this one, then the nuts and bolts. The next set of shelves have the knobless cylinders and the pattern cards to go with them and the bottom shelf has the mini number rods.

OK, on the end of the desk are the metal insets, the drawing board to go with it plus the paper and pencils. We have the world maps under the desk, there isn't quite enough room to build a rack to hold them so they are still in their boxes and I have to pull out the one he wants. He still can't carry one of these by himself so I suppose it is just as well that I have to take them out. On the next storage unit we have the continent folders, then the continent cards and next to that the picture matching cards and on the bottom animals to match with the continents.

This is the final shelf. The botany and animal puzzles are to the left. The starting from the bottom again, we have the moveable alphabet, the land form trays and cards, his 3D torso puzzle and human organ cards. The next shelf has colour word cards and objects to match, obviously matching colours is too easy now but he is now matching the words, next to that is a basket of natural objects and a magnifying glass, I try and mix this up every now and then (read - when I remember). The next shelf is a mixture of little objects collected from around the world, he loves to pick one and then ask me to show him on the globe where it is from, the same with our postcard collection on the top shelf. Then we have the globes and a box that I haven't used yet, it has little models on the life cycles of various insects/animals. What is left is basically the language section, sandpaper letters and sound pouches and then various activities to compliment where he is up to.

That is about it, the only other shelf is the art shelf which I forgot to take a photograph of!

I try and keep everything in some kind of order, the language activities together etc. but it is difficult with such a small space, sometimes I just have to go where there is space. I am also quite torn about how much to put out on the shelves. In a classroom most of the equipment is out all year and  so the child can work on whatever calls to them but when you have a small space to work with and only one child it is impossible but then I am always second guessing myself about what I should have out. What if the work I choose is not what is calling to him - hmm, how do you decide what to put out?


  1. thanks so much for sharing... I have even less space than you, so I am constantly confused as to what to do... thanks for showing us, this helps me think through some things for next year!

  2. I, too, struggle with what to put out. Sometimes I am right on and sometimes I am not, and I have yet to make sense of it. My struggle is finding shelves for our room. We have a good amount of space but trying to find used (inexpensive), low shelving can be difficult. Thanks for sharing your environment. I always like to see how other's set things up.

  3. Great post! I always love your blog and get some wonderful ideas for it. We just started doing Montessori lessons with my 3.5 year old last month and I'm having such a hard time finding the right set-up. We don't have space to leave things out all the time, so currently I set up 4 different lessons each day for him on our kitchen counter. It's a lot of work, though, and I worry that he doesn't get the repetition that he needs.

  4. I love your prepared environment at home. So hard for me to keep it up with what you have. I wish I have as many materials as you do.


Thank you!
I love hearing from you and if you haven't joined us in Moms That Rock, come on over!

Pin It button on image hover