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Montessori In the Home {Play & Learning Space}


Montessori play space

This post describes the beginning of our evolution to bring Montessori into our home with a dedicated play and learning space for our boys (age 3 years and 16 months old). So, consider this post Phase I of this creation. We moved into a new home a week ago so expect several more phases introducing you to our space.

We do our best to adhere to the Montessori philosophy. So what does that mean? What is Montessori? What does it mean to bring the philosophy into home?

Montessori Place Space

To us it means simplifying the space (e.g. rotating materials in and out), creating a space in which the boys can access whatever they need to work and play, including shelves with sensory exploration (e.g. discovery bottles), language and writing (e.g. first words puzzles, alphabet blocks, tons of books and a writing center), culture (e.g. a world map), basic reasoning and logic (e.g. building blocks and matching/sorting materials) and pretend play (e.g. kitchen and puppets in their reading corner). There is also a music basket and nature brought into the room via a basket and plant.

{The first image above is a view from the doorway. The mirror is going up on the wall. The bench is officially the “Writing Center” but will serve as a coloring area too. You can’t see but there are flowers in a small vase in the window in front of the bench and mini galvanized bucket for holding crayons. All very simple to the eye.}

Philosophically, we’d like out children to lead their learning by creating a simple and serene environment in which they will thrive both in intellectual and character (e.g. independent and confident).  There are many wonderful Montessori play and learning spaces to explore on the internet. I did plenty of research but then stepped back away from it all (erh…Pinterest) to attempt to create a space that is truly their own.

montessori place space at home

We use ClosetMaid shelves. I had these shelves previously so it was easy to integrate into the room. ClosetMaid also has shoe racks that you could stack on top of one another to create true Montessori shelves rather than these cubes. These shelves work for us.

On the shelves right now we have under the world map, a National Geographic Wonders of the World Special Edition magazine (love the photos), Melissa & Doug’s USA puzzle with a separate basket holding the pieces of the puzzle for my 3 year old to discover on his own, two matching sets (animal tracks ABC cards with animal figurines and Rand McNally World Monument Cards, a toolbox, a hex bolt board, Melissa & Doug Pound-a-Peg, P’kolino Nesting Birds, Melissa & Doug Shape Sequence set, Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Box and a basket of Hape Maple blocks.

montessori play space learning at home

I am really happy with how the Reading Corner is turning out. It is a cozy and inviting space for our boys. As you can see we have a bookcase, a puzzle beneath the bookcase and a basket of books that is sitting next to a kids’ sized arm chair. My goal was to make books easy access (everywhere in the house actually) in a variety of different ways. The rocking chair is a sweet addition. The Melissa & Doug tiger makes for great snuggling, a perfect seat for my 16 month old.


This corner is dedicated to puzzles. We can’t get enough of puzzles. They are great for hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, problem solving, memory, shape recognition and basic reasoning skills. I am trying out the wall mounting puzzle. If it is well received I may add one or two more puzzles to the wall. In the same corner not in view in this image is our music basket filled with Melissa & Doug’s Band in a Box and various items picked up along the way including a mini African drum that I scored at a consignment shop for crazy cheap! This basket is a fixture in the room. On the opposite corner is the kids’ play kitchen to give you a sense of the lay out.

We bought all the rugs at IKEA. The materials have been collected over the last few years from consignment stores and, well, grandparents.

Next on the list to add:

I wrote a Montessori at Home eBook that you might like to check out!

Wish us luck!

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