Children learn by doing, and this requires freedom of movement and spontaneous investigation - so a safe, baby proofed space is essential. Other core components of a Montessori room include low shelves, child sized furniture, natural materials where possible, and a strong emphasis on keeping the area beautiful and organized. In our room, we created three separate areas which we loosely modeled after prepared environments found in a Montessori classroom. As Bee grows past infancy, these prepared environments will evolve to incorporate more specific themes, such as language arts, geography, everyday living, music, art, and more. For now, I believe we're off to a great start!
We've called this first area our Creative Learning station. This station is the area that we took the most liberty with and is much more loosely modeled after a prepared environment than the next. Here's a closer look:
One of my favorite items on this shelf is this felt basket which holds several different fabrics. These fabrics are a great sensory experience for Bee's sweet little hands and a fabulous way to draw her attention to things like weight, size, color, shape, and texture. I gathered these on the cheap from a clearance bin of leftover remnants at a fabric store. All together, everything seen here, including the felt basket, was less than $2.00.
in such a way that every time Bee pulls one out, the next one pops up. The prints, colors, and textures of the fabrics vary and she's always quite impressed with her ability to remove each of them from the box!
This second area is our math and science station. While the name may sound like it places an intimidating amount of attention on infant academics, these toys are all age appropriate and all serve as an early introduction to mathematical concepts like geometric shapes, counting, and sorting!
While Bee doesn't stack these cups quite yet, she is certainly able to deconstruct them, and so fascinated when they come apart!
I bought his great wooden pathfinder from a local swap group. What an excellent way to boost coordination, fine tune small motor skills, and develop a sense of direction!
Finally, the beginnings of our reading station. After all of that exploration this comfortable arm chair provides a cozy retreat where I can grab a book and a soft blanket for story time before nursing sweet Bee to sleep. As she grows into toddlerhood we plan to provide her a child sized arm chair of her own where she can sit next to me while we each read our books.