We are rotating, decluttering, and revamping our boys' space. Their areas are in need of some refreshing change. Here are a few of the particularly exciting changes and items new in our Montessori space.
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New in Our Montessori Space
Lego Patent Print – The thing to remember about artwork in a child's space is to place it at the child's eye level (as much as you can). We added a really cool Lego Patent Print. I had the matted frame leftover from another photograph that we had yet to hang in our new home (almost a year and half the frame sat in our closet!). The print was inexpensive and delivered quickly to our home. We found it on this amazing Etsy Patent Prints Store. You will get lost in examining all the cool patents. The BEST part about this cool print is the conversation and dialogue it is bound to create between you and the child.
Book Cover Frames – In addition to the Lego Patent Print, I unearthed several colorful frames holding a few favorite children's book covers. My original post on book cover frames is called Simple Things to Do with Book Covers.
Seasons Prints – I bought these adorable 5 x 7 prints of the seasons from Etsy. I matched the color frame to the season and placed them on the boys' wall. I placed a Bit of Intelligence Card of Vivaldi next to them. I introduced my boys to Vivaldi's music by playing his beautiful Four Seasons piece.
Calendar – I put out our calendar again. I bought this calendar two years ago when arguably even my oldest son wasn't ready for it. Still, they enjoyed the ritual. Then I couldn't figure out a way to make the calendar seamlessly a part of our day. So, I put it away. After several months, I decided that not only are my sons showing a great interest in learning the duration and passage of time, I found a more central location to place our calendar. Here is an affiliate link to the pocket Calendar we adore for our play & learning space.
Analog Clock – My older son is showing an interest in telling time. So, what better way to make the learning an organic part of our day than by including a good old clock in their space? I chose analog because digital is everywhere. Analog makes more sense with their brain development and actually learning what it means to tell time (the passage and the duration of time). We placed the clock above the calendar, still low enough to meet their vision. I love this clock because of the simplicity and the classic tick-tock sound emanating from the display. The sound adds a bit of calm to the room. I didn't expect that result. Here is a link to the Clock we bought from Amazon.
Maybe I am projecting a bit but I want my children to have a space where they can gaze out the window, at a piece of artwork, or more closely examine an interest simply by being silent and pondering. Slowing down in that way abets us emotionally but also aids in learning. We added a few things that I hope will bring this idea home to them.
Wonder Board – In the lower left hand corner you see a close up. This board is a magnetic dry erase board from IKEA. We have a dry erase marker attached to it ready for use. This board is used to capture all those questions and wonders that come up during the day. For instance, recently my sons were wondering about Goose Bumps and How a Floating Bridge Floats. If anything, this board serves as a reminder to me to help guide them to finding the answers and to continue wondering about these interests.
Dry Erase Basket – Tinkerlab ignited this idea. Place a basket of dry erase markers near a window. The markers easily wipe off. Children love to draw and doodle with dry erase markers and on windows. This basket invites them to draw and to observe what they see out the window.
Child's Artwork – I framed a beautiful painting my son did a few years ago. We like to look closely at it. He tells me what he sees. I enjoy these moments on many levels.
Examination Basket – You can place whatever you want in this basket depending on the child's interest at the time. Provide a comfortable space for the child to sit and fill a basket with items he can more closely and deeply examine. In this case, we have rocks and minerals, a magnifying glass, and a small rocks & minerals book.
Detailed Prints – These Bit of Intelligence Prints could be used as art work or in an observational space. I love the detail. The prints are a beautiful and simple addition to a child's space. Here I place two old bicycle drawings in the space. On the back of these cards is great information on the image. The cards cover history, vehicles, science, music, and many other topics.
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