Seeing the school environment leaves many parents to wonder, what should our play space look like at home? The good news is you should not be going out and purchasing the classroom Montessori materials like the knobbed cylinders, math beads & sandpaper letters. That would be costly, redundant and a huge space waste in your home.
“Daily life encourages thought by means of ordinary work.”
Your student’s environment should however work with their school environment, as a nurturing space where they can work on their practical life skills, be an active member in their home community, and explore the world around them!
Some components to keep in mind in your child’s indoor environment include:
Practical life development is key! This includes allowing children to help prepare dinner, do laundry, brush their teeth, zip their coat & clean up after themselves and be a part of their home community.
Have a routine! A visual of the order can be a huge help for younger children. When children know what to expect it makes transitioning into each task much easier.
Accessibility = Responsibility. All items children need access to should be at their height to them independence and responsibility.
Less is more! Studies show that children with less toys actually play with each toy longer. In our house we use decluttering as an opportunity to talk about how we are helping others & keeping toys out of the landfills.
Simple toys are best. Think puzzles, coloring books, magnetic blocks and parts and pieces. Toys that have lights and sounds and shoot laser darts may be fun but leave little to discover past those elements.
No screen time, or monitored & limited time. There are so many skills your child can develop away from screens! Screen time should not include violence and parents should talk through any questions that children may have when watching movies.
Outdoor exploration & assisting with tasks not only within the home but outside are crucial as well! There is so much to learn by just digging in the dirt or breaking off a stick. “Why is the inside of a stick green, why does it get colder as I dig, why do trees have pinecones?” These are are all questions that help them to learn about the world around them and retain what they learn. Not to mention the benefits of digging in the dirt or breathing fresh air. More on that can be found in our article “Dirt”.