In Montessori pedagogy, it is not so much the material that counts, but rather the way of transmitting knowledge and positioning oneself in relation to the child. If you both adopt the correct posture and apply the principles of Montessori thinking, you are already on the right path. You will see that it is possible to set up an operation, even without having all the desired supports available. But concretely, how to do Montessori workshops at home without materials ? Where to start and what activities can be offered with a limited budget? This is what we are going to study together through this article.
Preparing the environment for Montessori workshops at home
Before you start hunting for equipment, first think about the spaces and furniture available in your home.
Declutter the space dedicated to Montessori workshops
Before even thinking about the different workshops that you are going to set up with your child, start by declutter the space dedicated to learning.
The ideal is of course to have a specific room, but you can also provide a corner of the bedroom or living room, according to your possibilities.
Keep in mind that when doing his workshops, your child must be able to concentrate 100% on what he is doing. Avoid the immediate proximity of a television or games, or separate them from the workspace. Remove unnecessary decorative objects and posters. Finally, choose simple and neutral furniture. Indeed, the bright colors and the marked decoration will only distract your child’s attention instead of offering him a space conducive to work. In Montessori, the key is simplicity and minimalism.
Provide appropriate furniture for activities
If you are using a corner of a piece, provide a sufficiently large table or desk to be able to install a complete activity there. For example, your child should be able to put a puzzle box and all its pieces on the table without being hampered in their movements or having to put some of the material on the ground.
Use low shelves or remove furniture legs to lower them if necessary. The shelves dedicated to the storage of the Montessori workshops must not exceed the height of the eyes of the child.
In a small space, use plastic drawer lockers. They are inexpensive, they can be found everywhere and it is easy to show the child how to undo a bin and then place it directly in the desired place to work. To help your child find their way, stick labels with a color code by Montessori activity area and a photo on the front of each drawer. This avoids having to open everything to find what you are looking for.
Install Montessori workshops on the floor
If your child is still small and you don’t really have furniture adapted to his size, give him the opportunity toinstall Montessori workshops on the floor.
Use a mat to delimit the workspace, this will prevent it from taking over the whole room! Your toddler should be able to roll it up and unroll it on its own and without it becoming deformed. Otherwise he will have to ask you each time to install or store it. A soft mat and an umbrella holder for storage are enough to start with.
Create Montessori workshops using materials from home
To create Montessori workshops at home, think of all the material you already have, you can certainly already carry out a lot of activities without knowing it!
Create practical life and language workshops with materials from home
Now that you’ve decluttered and selected the furniture or floor space available for your child, let’s move on to activities. Even if Montessori pedagogy is largely based on the use of specific materials, you can absolutely start by create workshops using materials from home.
For everyone realm of practical life, you can use crockery that you no longer use or acquired cheaply at a garage sale. Think that there is a risk of breakage so no need to invest crazy sums no matter what. Likewise for language, you certainly have small objects or picture books available to begin the first vocabulary and sound discovery activities.
Think of dip into dinette, doll or Playmobil accessories to create your own Montessori-style workshops. For example, your child can practice buttoning a baby’s cardigan or sorting objects that start with a given sound.
Work on fine motor skills and logic at home without specific equipment
For work on fine motor skills, all you need is a bit of modeling clay which you can also make yourself. For apply the Montessori spirit, simply offer the child a tray or tray with a single color, a placemat and modeling tools. No need to laminate dozens of models to reproduce. Often, the simple act of adding accessories is enough to stimulate a child’s creativity. Offer small wooden sticks to make arms and legs or buttons to make eyes and vary the tools from time to time.
Gardening activities are also great for working on fine motor skills and many other areas, including science and math. Again, no need for specific or expensive equipment.
Use Montessori-style house games
Are your children’s cupboards overflowing? Use games and toys from home Montessori style ! Start by classifying them by field of activity (language, mathematics, logic, etc.) and arrange them in order of difficulty. Sort board games intended for multiple players and those that can be used alone.
Take the time to present each game in the Montessori way : name all the material, have the child repeat and check if he identifies the name of each element on his own. Then take the time to explain or re-explain how to play. With a puzzle for example, explain the strategy to adopt (start with the exteriors, sort the colors, etc.) then how to settle down and put everything away.
Avoid games that are too noisy if you have several children and those that are difficult to use independently.
Conducting Montessori workshops at home without materials is possible!
Eventually you see it, conducting Montessori workshops at home without materials, it is possible. Once the workspace has been defined, the activities arranged and ordered to be easily identifiable and usable by the child independently, you have all the keys to get started. You may not respect the pedagogy 100% but if you prepare the environment adequately it’s a start!
Beyond the equipment and furniture used, also consider adopt a Montessori posture. Do not interfere in your child’s activity, even if he is mistaken. As long as he doesn’t put himself in danger, he doesn’t damage the equipment and he doesn’t solicit you, stay back and take the opportunity to observe him. Note his progress and sticking points.
When your child is in a Montessori workshop at home, adopt the position of an educator more than that of a parent. Try to be as objective as possible, without judging or comparing with the results of possible siblings. The general idea is to be both caring in observing your child’s successes and progress, while being firm about how to install and use the equipment. How about starting now?