Like most Montessori families, we have children's spaces in all of our rooms, we don't have a specific 'Montessori' area. We have a space for our children in our entry way, outdoors, on our decks, bathroom etc.
Our children's areas have evolved naturally over the years. Due to the children's ages (Otis is six and Caspar is nine) the focus really isn't on independence as it was in the toddler years. Our home areas are designed to:
- Support the child's natural development and growth.
- Be respectful of the child's individual needs.
- Be comfortable, welcoming and warm.
- Follow the child's interests.
- Maintain a healthy, family environment where everyone is capable of making a contribution.
Order is still really important however there are times I find it's best to allow the children to maintain (as much as possible) their own work areas. There is something to be said about respecting the child and their natural tendencies (some children just tidier than others!). However, we ensure a base level of order is maintained and having clear work spaces is key to this.
Practical life - Otis has spilled some paint so he sweeps then washes the floor. All of those earlier practical life skills are being put to good use. Teach a three-year-old to use a dustpan and you'll have a six-year-old who is capable of caring for their environment. Practical life is always with a purpose!
Below is the boys' food preparation area. Small fridge and toaster oven. Otis will spend hours here baking, while Caspar will simply reheat or cook a premade pizza. They use the same spaces but often in different ways. All of the boys' (refrigerated) snack foods and drinks are in the children's fridge. The boys have drawers in the kitchen for their things and the lower shelf in our pantry also contains lots of snack foods (unrefrigerated) and kitchen tools.
The boys' shelves in their room reflect their interests. Some of the materials are rotated frequently while others are permanent fixtures.
Otis has a nature shelf with a nature box, microscope, and other interesting items.
A special collection of rocks and minerals.
Nature items (including dead bugs!).
There is a science shelf which is rotated frequently, it currently has some books, a light exploration tray and a tray for their Little Bits (electronic/circuit projects). The bottom shelf has construction/building materials. Caspar's novels are in the top cupboard. The boys' most used puzzles and board games are in the bottom cupboard.
Each child has a work table and underneath Caspar's table are tubs full of Lego technic.
I haven't shown many of our areas such as the light table, boys' reading area, wardrobe and art table. We have Judo mats and a Table Tennis table downstairs and some gross movement materials (ladder, swings, hammock) outside. However, I hope you've enjoyed this brief look around!