Friday, 26 September 2014

Montessori my living room

When I started montessori, my living room was set up like that of anyone with a young child. It was set up for adults, with a bit of space for the child. Once my eyes were opened to this new world, I quickly started changing this. After many months, my living room is set up for my child, with a bit of space for me. And you know what, I'm much more comfortable this way! 

First thing I did was roll up the carpet and put it aside. The carpet was messy, noisy and distracting. I am now using it as a second shelve and that works well. It also reduced drafts, bonus! On it, I place the materials that get rotated most, although the music basket has always been there. 

Next, I tackled his shelves. These 6 shelves have always had his toys on them, but two shelve had the ikea baskets and all the other toys were crammed together. I bought some more shelves so I could separate the puzzles. I removed a lot of the toys and replaced them with materials, which I now rotate. 
3 months later, the shelves look like this. The books are moved to the play room and so are the baskets with cars and plastic animals.  Less is better. The fewer materials out, the more he plays with them. He still doesn't touch stuffed animals and dolls. The two empty spaces hold his train set and a marble run. 
Next step was to create a space to work. I bought a coffee table. This one is glass so I can, one day, turn it into a light table. The work bench isn't always there. We had a work theme for a couple of weeks and when the weather turned cold again, I moved it inside. Next to his work spot is my work spot. This way I can be close to him, observe him and not interrupt his concentration. I don't want to advocate being close to your child when he or she works, but this is what my child demands. I'm working on his independence. 

Here is an overview of our room. Yeah, it's messy after a day of play. Seb was a cat in his last life and he loves stealing my yarn. Usually, though, it's calm and inviting to play. I've got a couple of work mats that we get out. I move furniture every so often, to encourage creativity. At the moment the big table and little table have swapped sides. Every so often I move all furniture to the side so we can dance. There are hooks on the ceiling from which I can hang fabric, rings or ribbons, which we use in our dance. Sometimes I tape shapes on the floor. Right now I got an ellipse. I hoped to do the "walk the circle" activity, but it turned into "run the circle" and a spot to put the work mat in, like you can see in the first photo. 

I really like how our main room has become child centered. It's less work for me to keep it up, it's less work to entertain Seb and we're both happier. 


  1. It looks wonderful Maya! Great job, and I am so happy for you getting things settled in a way that is happy! Remember to enjoy it all and don't sweat the small stuff :)

  2. Thanks, Amy! I actually find the more montessori theory I implement, the easier life gets. My house is tidier, my routines flow better, my child behaves nicer.
    For example, today, seb came over with a 10 cm model of a human. Previously, this would have freaked me out completely! He interrupted my work, may have damaged or lost parts of my toy, and may have swallowed and killed himself with the tiny parts. I would have berated myself for leaving it out. But now, I welcomed the learning opportunity, marveled at his fine motor skills and concentration and persistence, took the opportunity to do a 3 part lesson teaching him the names of these organs and felt comfortable knowing he's careful and will put things away. AND I got to keep doing my work, sewing a knitted blanket, while he was inrekenen working on this model next to me! Amazing, isn't it!