Thursday, February 28, 2013
Our New Montessori-Inspired Playroom
For anyone who's read through my previous posts on our Montessori-inspired home environment and thought "I don't have enough room for that!", this one's for you! If you've missed the others, this was our recent Montessori Preschool environment as well as our original Montessori Home.
Since moving in with relatives two months ago, we've had (as expected) much less space to work with. I can't say that I'm unhappy as we've been given our own bedroom, bathroom and this room to use as a playroom (and they're all conveniently right next to each other), but it was a challenge nonetheless to fit what usually sprawled all over the house into mostly one room! This is what I've done and I have to say I'm much more pleased that I imagined I would be (plus a free place to stay while we get back on our feet is a blessing no matter what)!
I was able to fit three shelves against one wall, currently holding geography, literacy, science, math (okay the whole middle shelf is math as that's still his main focus), puzzles, sensorial items, blocks and some pretend play (which he isn't that into these days, showing imagination with verbal stories etc).
This window makes the entire room for me. Natural light makes me feel so alive! I of course didn't wish to block the windows with furniture, so I lined his book baskets underneath. One basket is for books I know for sure he can read completely on his own, and another is full of math related books. The rest are a mix though I'd like to make one full of books by the same author or illustrator. There are also some three and five pound weights pictured there. Both his father and I do cross fit (me just as home for now) so he's definitely imitating that and wanting to be "strong" like us and enjoys lifting weights.
I've set-up our Weather Center here in this window with an outdoor thermometer, and indoor thermometer as well as our old cards and laminated weather board printed free from Montessori Print Shop.
I'm pretty sure I'll never get rid of this overstuffed chair. We spend so much time here snuggled under blankets and reading. Yet another basket of books is pictured here as well and is where we keep our library books.
Another view...plus a little boy with bed head doing some early morning reading.
This corner holds his favorite games (rotated often as everything is), musical instruments, his old journals from last year which he enjoys reading, and a cd player with books on cd from the library and music cd's. The cd player gets a tremendous amount of use.
Ty isn't one to do work at a table very often, but his play doh gets a lot of use here. It was originally on a shelf downstairs for use at this other table, but he insisted the play doh come up to the playroom where we spend the majority of our time. He still enjoys his chalkboard and reading the date and any other messages or pictures I've left him here. A basket with softer balls and scarves is available for large motor play, though he often prefers doing headstands in the chair or jumping and somersaulting off of it for his indoor physical activity (yes, I'm rather liberal with such things...he's way too active to deny him).
Another view of the room. I created the number wall cards myself with cardstock and number templates found online (this was a while ago so forgive me for not having a link). This morning he wanted to work in a numbers workbook I bought him for fun for his birthday. I'm not too into workbooks for learning, but this is just fun practice working with what he already knows and helps him practice writing small and on lines, something he could work on (though I'm not too concerned about this at age three unless he is).
Another view. Here Ty is putting some cling-on decorations onto the window. I recently bought some Crayola window crayons for him that crystallize in the sun and can't wait to try them out!
Downstairs in the dining room there are shelves with toys that are best used on the kitchen floor (the rest of the house is carpeting other than the small bathrooms) such as cars and floor puzzles and the game Twister, as there's simply more room to play it in the living and dining room areas.
On his larger table, which sits in the kitchen, there are several mediums for drawing, writing and art as well as paper and a chalkboard/wipeboard. I am soon putting together all of his craft supplies in a nearby storage container. He isn't too into art other than paining these days, but his morning nanny (I've recently needed to return to work of course, being a single mom now) is an art major so she may be able to come up with some neat ideas that he's interested in!
We will likely be moving to our own place by the summer so look forward to yet another post on our Montessori-inspired environment coming soon. I have to say I enjoy creating these spaces!