There is no question Montessori materials are expensive. It would be nice if we could bring every piece of Montessori material into our homes, but let us be realistic. Most of us are on a budget, and this Montessori stuff, while we quickly fall in love, can also quickly make us broke. We have to remember, though, that one of Maria Montessori’s key tenets was beauty and quality of materials.
Care of the environment is a big deal in Montessori environments for a few reasons not the least of which is preserving the longevity of materials.
So, to try and reconcile this situation, below are a few examples of ways to bring Montessori into your home without breaking the bank.
Five Montessori on a Budget Ideas
#1 – Local Library
Some of the greatest resources in life are right in front of our eyes. The library is a gold mine and a great starting point to gather Montessori books for educating yourself on the philosophy and for gathering more specific activity ideas.
#2 – Join Facebook Groups
Many private Facebook groups exist to help spread Montessori word. Most of these groups are private. So, the environment is safe and supportive. Montessori 101 and Montessori Materials for Sale are two groups worth checking out. I’m in the process of developing a Montessori at Home private Facebook group. Feel free to join as some of my passionate founding members!
#3 – Follow Montessori Blogs
These blogs not only give great background and insight into Montessori teaching, homeschooling, and parenting, the authors give you access into their homes and classrooms for ideas and inspiration. Blogs are a perfect place to research DIY Montessori Materials.
#4 – Follow Montessori Feeds on Instagram
I know, yet another social media. Trust me. There is something magical happening on Instagram. Ordinary people – parents and teachers – are sharing unique and creative Montessori ideas to use at home and in the classroom. Use the hashtags #Montessori, #MontessoriarHome, and #VirtualSharingFair for feeds to follow and ideas to inspire.
#5 – Inexpensive Montessori Materials
One of the best aspects to Montessori on a budget is that you can find great materials inexpensively more often than not.
- Consignment Shops won my heart a long time ago when I began noticing beautiful glassware and dishes perfectly sized for my sons at a fraction of the cost. The best part about this approach is that if there is a break (which does indeed happen), the financial pain is not really there. A win, win all around! Eating is only the beginning. There are second hand books, unique pouring items, festive dishes, and, my favorite, old appliances and electronics for tinkering.
- Your Kitchen is pretty darn convenient. Often, especially with Practical Life works, we can find the perfect work right under our noses. Rice pouring, tonging, sponging, washing, peeling, chopping, sifting, squeezing, and so on. You can even work Sensorial in with sorting, examining textures, distinguishing smells of spices, and experiencing tastes like sweet and sour, to name a few ideas. Math is a given with baking and mixing recipes. Grace & Courtesy works its way in at mealtime.
- The Hardware Store is one of my all time favorite go to shops for learning materials. Nuts, bolts, seeds, paint sample cards, PVC piping, tools, brushes, and the list goes on.
- Craigslist rocks my world. I have a daily habit of searching “Montessori” to see what goodies have come up. Often schools that are closing will post on Craigslist for a steal. I purchased loads of geography and sensorial works on Craigslist a few years back.
- Ebay is a good resource for Montessori materials. Honestly, though, it has been hit or miss in my experience in terms of quality, authenticity, and price. Still worth perusing and doing a bit of research.
What about you? How do you make Montessori financially possible?