"Help me to do it myself" is the basic idea in Montessori pedagogy.
The educational concept developed by Maria Montessori sees the child as the "master builder of himself" - autonomy, individuality and independence are the top priorities here. This visionary approach is still followed in day-care centers and schools today - but what makes Montessori so valuable in children's rooms and in everyday life? We have all the information and tips at a glance.
Montessori rooms: the basics at a glance
Montessori pedagogy regards the child as the designer of its own development. It is therefore the task of adults to promote independence from an early age, to observe talents and talents and to create an environment in which a child can develop all its senses. In addition to creativity, the focus is on imparting academic knowledge through playful learning. Paying attention to your own needs as well as those of others and recognizing them is also one of the guidelines.
Applying the Montessori children's room
The environment must be appropriate for the child. The height of the furniture depends on the size of your child. It should be able to achieve everything well and independently at all times. "Your child is not too small for anything," is the credo. As an adult, it is a good idea to sit on the floor and look at the room from the child's perspective: is everything at the right height and can my child reach everything?
Being able to switch the light on and off independently also plays a major role. A step stool can be used for small children until they are tall enough to reach the light switch. An easily accessible floor lamp is also a great alternative.
The environment is clear and tidy. This has little to do with clinical discomfort or perfect Instagram aesthetics, rather the external order serves as orientation for the child's mind and leads to inner peace.
Accordingly, the Montessori children's room is not flooded with toys. Six to eight objects to play with are considered appropriate - the favorites can of course be swapped out regularly. Toys that are currently not chosen move from the free play shelf into a closed cupboard or basket.
The toys consist primarily of natural materials. Building blocks, wooden or stuffed animals, dolls or marbles - nothing is forced on the child here either. Instead, parents observe which toys interest is shown.
Did you know? Playful learning posters are always a great choice. These are also placed in a Montessori children's room from the point of view of the child and not at the eye level of the adults. In addition to a canopy, homemade four-poster beds are very popular.
Design the sleeping area according to Montessori
The floor bed is characteristic of a Montessori children's room. A bed that the baby or toddler can climb on without any help. A height of 15 to 20 centimeters is ideal here. This is implemented with a mattress on the floor, which is often supplemented with decorative elements - a canopy or bed canopy provides security. If your child gets older and from the age of around two years, the children's mattress can be supplemented with a slatted frame or bed frame close to the floor.
Here, too, it is important to make the decoration around the bed calm, aesthetic and simple. After all, this is the area where your child can rest and sleep.
Create toy storage space in the Montessori children's room
Another centerpiece in a Montessori children's room is the free play shelf. This is an open shelf, which covers two principles of the Montessori teachings in the children's room: On an open shelf, your child can see what toys are in it at all times - and can take them out to play on their own.
Furthermore, each item has a fixed place on the open shelf, which makes "learning to tidy up" a playful, easy-to-solve task for children. Basically, there are only six to eight toys on the shelf so that it is not overloaded and the children are overwhelmed as a result. Baskets or chests also convey a calm overall picture.
The ideal height of the shelf? Depending on the size of the child, the shelf should be filled to around shoulder height or be high - if you start with a high shelf, you simply let the child grow with it and fill the lower shelves accordingly.
Montessori Book corner
Reading plays a major role, after all it stimulates individual imagination and curiosity. According to the educator Maria Montessori, calm and serenity prevail here too: depending on interest, the books are regularly exchanged. A bookshelf is ideal, here the books can be arranged with the cover to the front and the interest of the kids - especially if they can't read yet - can be aroused individually.
If you have enough space in the room for the little ones, you can of course also use another open shelf. A cuddly floor cushion is also suitable for the reading area in the children's room.
The creative seating area in the children's room
According to the Montessori teacher, even small children need a table and a chair in their room. Here you can let off steam creatively, experiment, do handicrafts and paint. Good prerequisites for a healthy mind and pursuing your own individual interests. Small chairs, the seat of which is about 25 centimeters above the ground, are ideal and are already suitable for one-year-olds.
For a healthy sitting posture, the children's furniture should of course also be adjusted and replaced according to age.
As insane as the combinations can sometimes be, getting dressed yourself also plays an important role - after all, this also gives the kids a good deal of independence and self-confidence.
The keywords peace, order and structure also run through this area of the room. Important here: your child must be able to find his clothes as easily as possible - the clothes are therefore sorted by type and placed in boxes or drawers. For smaller children, the respective crates or boxes can be painted with labels - so they are guaranteed to learn quickly where the T-shirts are.
Good to know: Only sort the clothes that are appropriate for the season in the wardrobe - this saves space, discussions and provides even more clarity. Another nice option is to hang up or place a clothes rail.