Children are constantly collecting information and knowledge from their environment, the Montessori method of education not only takes the educational, sensorial, psychological, and physical aspects into consideration but also stresses the importance of creating a Prepared environment for young minds.
Teaching a child to become self-dependent and self-sufficient is essential for the child’s adult life. The Montessori Method of education is not only limited to the classroom. Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy is more than just an educational tool instead it is a way of life.
A Montessori classroom Environment should be:
The Environment of a Montessori classroom includes-
- Naturally sourced Sensorial Materials
- Open Space for the child to move around freely
- Appropriate Curriculum apparatus
- Montessori Furniture
One of the Montessori method’s salient features is the incorporation of child-sized furniture in the classroom.
These child-sized furniture pieces are a unique part of the Montessori curriculum that encourages freedom of movement and choice for children.
Montessori Furniture should inspire and encourage the child to venture out of their comfort zone and discover their inner potential.
Designing a Montessori classroom can be extremely confusing if one does not know where to start and what to choose.
Montessori Furniture incorporates pieces of home items that are based on basic Montessori principles.
This unique aspect of child-sized furniture at home or in a classroom does not intimidate the child as well as helps the child to adjust and move around freely.
The Montessori furniture is a mere tool to empower the child. The Montessori includes common furniture like:
- beds, closets
- tables, chairs
- bedroom items
- bathroom items
- kitchen items in a miniature form
The Montessori Furniture mentioned above helps children adjust as well as adapt.
It can get confusing at first to pick the right furniture for at-home use or classroom use, the parents and teachers should keep the following points in mind before investing in Montessori furniture.
Key Points to keep in Mind before choosing Montessori Furniture:
The Montessori Method of Education allows the child to take initiative and ownership of their development in a well-structured environment.
Parents and Teachers when incorporating the Montessori furniture either at home or in a classroom should keep the cognitive, emotional, social, and physical needs of the child in mind.
To find the Montessori Furniture that best facilitates the development of a child one should first understand the Montessori Key Principles:
- Cognitive functioning:
The furniture must facilitate the cognitive development of the child. The Funiture should Bring out the child’s inner personality as well as develop a sense of curiosity to seek knowledge in the child.
The Furniture should be customized according to the child’s build and the child’s needs.
The child-sized furniture is easy to reach and makes the child feel comfortable. The furniture should promote independence, self-awareness, and self-dependency.
- Confidence and Self-care:
The Montessori furniture caters to the needs and requirements of the child.
The Furniture should be easy to reach and easy to use.
The Furniture should promote the child to perform simple tasks of self-care on their own like brushing their teeth, dressing up, or organizing their belongings.
- Physical development:
The Furniture Must Promote the child to do daily chores that help in the development of both fine motor skills and gross motor skills.
Repetition of tasks and chores develop the child’s larger motor skills that are concerned with movement, These movements are responsible for running, jumping, throwing, and other physical activities.
The Montessori Method of education facilitates the autonomous development of the child to achieve optimum excellence.
Montessori Furniture just like the Montessori Method was developed keeping every need and requirement of the child in mind.
Montessori Furniture plays an important role in fostering independence in children. If Montessori furniture is incorporated at home, not only the child develops cognitively, but also becomes an active participant in at-home chores along with the rest of the family.
Must-Have Montessori Furniture For Home:
The Montessori Furniture should be: easy to use, easy to reach, and easy to operate. Parents should always keep the “Child-Sized” in mind while shopping for Montessori Furniture.
It should be a Parent’s goal to look for Furniture that enables and enhances the child’s learning experiences as well as cater to their curiosity.
The Montessori Furniture should be simple in design and neutral in color.
There are multiple furniture pieces for different parts of the home with distinct functions and benefits.
Montessori Furniture for Living Room
The Living room furniture comprises:
- Low shelves: to bring order and structure. The shelves should be easily accessible to the child. The child is promoted to organize all the Montessori materials on the shelves.
- Child-Sized table and chair: both table and chair should be next to a window. A personal table and chair promote independence and instill proper etiquette and manners in the child. The child should be able to easily plant feet on the floor when sitting on the table and chair.
- A basket: should be kept in the corner of the living room where the child can keep the mat used for activities.
Montessori Furniture for Bedroom
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The Bedroom furniture comprises:
- A child-sized bed: Montessori beds or cribs are child-sized beds that are easily reachable to the child, so the child can crawl up inside the bed unassisted.
- Shelves: The bedroom should have 1 or 2 shelves where the child can organize and keep their toys, books, and other belongings. The shelves should be easy to reach.
- Closet: The Closet should be child-sized with low racks. The child should be able to easily hang clothes inside the closet even without the parent’s assistance.
- Mirror: The mirror should be child-length. Acrylic Mirrors are shatter-proof and child-friendly. The Mirror should be able to easily access the mirror and engage in self-care activities.
- Storage Bins: Storage bins should be kept on the ground for the child to store toys, blankets, towels, and other belongings.
Montessori Furniture for Kitchen
Learn more about Montessori Kitchen:
- Montessori Kitchen
- Montessori Play Kitchen
- Montessori Kitchen Tools
- Montessori Weaning Tables
- Montessori High Chair
The kitchen Furniture comprises:
- Step stool: The child should be provided with a step stool in the kitchen. A step stool or a Learning Tower will promote the child to participate in daily kitchen chores, as well as help the child reach the sink to wash their hands.
- Utensils: The kitchen utensils should be child-friendly as well as safe and easy to use. The child will be exhilarated to participate in the cooking activities with help of child-safe utensils.
- Tableware: The Tableware for the child should be shatterproof and child-safe. The child should be provided with an individual plate, glass, bowl, cup, and cutlery. The Tableware should be stored on the bottom shelves of the kitchen.
- Dining Table and chair: The child should be provided with a Montessori Table and Chair to promote independence. The Parents should create a separate snaking station.
Montessori Furniture for Bathroom
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The Bathroom Furniture comprises:
- Hooks: The child should be provided with hooks mounted according to the child’s height on the bathroom wall. The hooks are a simple and easy-to-access tool that can be used to hang bathroom items.
- Step stool: Parents should provide the child with a step stool in the bathroom. A child with the help of a step stool a child can independently perform self-care tasks like brushing teeth, washing hands, and looking in the mirror unassisted.
- Potty Seat: Depending on the child’s age parents should provide the child with a potty seat with a detachable ladder to train the child in using a normal toilet seat.
- Shelves and Racks: Racks and shelves promote order and structure. The parents should provide the child with designated shelves and racks within the reach to store towels, washcloths, and robes.
Must-Have Montessori Furniture for School
Montessori Schools unlike Traditional schools do not have flashy colored walls, plastic toys, distracting posters on the walls, and bright decorations.
A Montessori Method of education promotes a peaceful, aesthetically pleasing, and minimal classroom environment when it comes to decorations.
The Montessori classroom Furniture incorporates Montessori Philosophy that harmonizes and summarizes Montessori classroom spatial setup.
The main goal of a Montessori classroom is to facilitate cognitive, sensorial, physical, emotional, and social development.
It is important to note that, The Montessori Method prohibits the use of plastic and synthetic materials. The Montessori Furniture in schools is mostly made of naturally sourced materials.
The School should keep on updating the Montessori Furniture as the children grow and develop.
Here is a List of Must-Have Montessori Furniture that facilitates holistic education in Montessori Institutions.
A Montessori Classroom must have multiple shelves.
The shelves in a Montessori classroom are “child-sized” and easily accessible to children.
The shelves are used to store Montessori activity materials, which instill a sense of order and structure in children.
Montessori shelves come in different styles to complement the classroom aesthetic.
Montessori shelves also include Wall Mounted shelves and racks used to place markers, tools, brushes, and other creative art tools.
A Montessori Bookshelf is essentially a traditional bookshelf that aligns with the Montessori Philosophy and the Montessori Principles.
Montessori classrooms consist of child-size tables that can be used as working stations for children.
Montessori Tables bring order, develop independence, and helps children learn how to use a surface as a multipurpose space.
Montessori Chairs should be child-sized so the children are able to easily plant their feet on the floor when sitting on the chair.
Along with chairs and tables, a Montessori Classroom should also comprise benches.
Benches in a classroom are used to promote interaction among the children, hence promoting the children to socialize.
Benches also help the children in the classroom to work on projects and activities together.
- Materials for Practical Knowledge:
Practical knowledge is one of the key principles of Montessori Philosophy.
A Montessori School should provide the children with practical life materials in the classroom, which includes the following furniture, for imparting practical knowledge.
- Dishwashing station
- Handwashing Station
Another Must-Have for a Montessori classroom is Multiple Cabinets.
The Cabinets are used to store and organize Montessori Materials.
Once children complete the activities, they are encouraged to store the Materials and Apparatus back inside the Cabinets.
- Wooden Baskets:
The Use of Multiple wooden baskets and trays in a Montessori classroom is essential.
These wooden baskets are used to store toys, Montessori materials as well as mats.
Is Montessori Furniture Really Important?
Montessori Furniture is often the common naturally furnished item that aligns with the Montessori philosophy.
The Montessori Method of education promotes children to become confident, independent, and self-reliant. This characteristic of the Montessori Method is incorporated in almost every material, activity, and furniture.
Montessori Furniture allows your child to independently perform tasks involving self-care, and hygiene and heightens their interest in performing daily chores or participating in educational activities.
Montessori Furniture is an integral aspect of the Montessori Prepared Environment that not helps children with their physical development but allows the child to independently as well as safely explore new horizons.