Saturday, July 10, 2010

Montessori Style in Our Home

My little one just turned 2!  He is very busy and loves to "help" my 5 year old, Mason, with everything he is doing, the problem is his "Helping" usually ends up with Mason in tears! 

 One of the methods that I love about Montessori is the use of rugs to define space! Slowly James is learning that if Mason is working on his rug than that is his space and he is not to touch it!  He too LOVES to work on his own rug (like Mason).  We keep rolled up rugs in a basket near the toy shelf.

Another method that I love about Montessori is the Prepared Environment.  I have done my best to implement this method around the house, but it is very effective with their toys (not just Montessori learning materials).  I set up a limited amount of toys a shelf for them to choose from. (these get rotated often as needed)  Each toy is taken out of its container or box and placed on a tray.  This helps the boys to actually see the toys instead of them shoved on a shelf or in a toy box/ basket filled with toys.  To often I found that some toys NEVER got touched !  When they are prepared and set out for play they become inviting and  intriguing to the boys.  I find that they play more on their own this way  ( not all the time of course!)

I have used this method around the house in other ways...

I have placed a low peg rack on the wall near the front door for their jackets,  They hang them up on the pegs when they come in.  This is way better then them throwing them on the ground like before!!! ( it takes practice!)

I have been tring to teach them to put their shoes together with a clothes pin when they take them off so they are together and ready when it is time to leave again and we are not searching for the other shoe all the time (anymore!)  This one has been harder since I tend to kick my shoes off into a pile instead of neatly putting them together where they belong, but we are ALL working on this one!

In the kitchen...
I have made them their own cabinet/ drawer....
when they need a glass,bowl,plate,fork,or spoon (mostly glassware) they are able to get it them selves (even James) This has been the best!  Mason says to me "I'm thirsty"...I say "Go get a drink"... and he can!  The snack cabinet is the same way only James can not open the pantry door (yet) which is not a bad thing right now!  James also has a stool next to his booster seat so he can climb up and sit at the table by "himseffff"

In the bathroom....
Each person (including Mama & Dada) has a glass with toothbrush, toothpaste, & hair brush in it.  This helps at bed time and in the morning.  Mason is able to get to everything by himself!  which means in the morning I can ask him to go brush his teeth and hair, and he does!

In the bedroom (for Mason)....
I took all of his clothes out of the dresser draws they were in, and rearranged his closet.  The whole bottom shelf now has all is clothes folded so he can get to them.  His underwear (he would giggle) and socks are in a shallow basket for him to reach too.  Now I ask him to please go get dressed.  I usually prompt him on appropriate choices for the weather..." try to find shorts and a no sleeve shirt"  and he does!

we do have a toy box, but I made two small shelves inside to sit two shallow plastic bins so they can reach small items that usually get lost on the bottom and James could not reach.  Now I don't hear "Mama, could you get the chalk,truck,bubbles,toy etc"...anymore!

These are the Montessori methods that I have tried in my house, I would love to hear what others have done too!


  1. I wanted to share that if you purchase a low end dresser they're much easier to open/close. We looked all over trying to find something for Sunshine's clothes. I kept trying to find something that would enough for little ones needs to be CHEAP! We found an almost all wood unfinished for only 50ish. Took the feet off of it and it's low enough she can use the bottom 2 drawers. Since she's moved into the room with her big sissy I found that the plastic (I know...don't get me started...but at least they were bought at a garage sale...) 7 drawer towers work really well. We used the bottoms for her stuff & the top holds special clothes or out o' season.

    I love your closet idea! That wouldn't work for us since Ben, I & Sunshine shared a room & closet. Our single closet already has 2 peoples stuff!

  2. Our home is set up similarly. Thanks for visiting my blog (
    You are welcome to post my recipe, as long as it is linked back to my blog somehow. Thanks!