Since having children, I have discovered the Montessori approach and love reading blogs about how people incorporate it at home. I have started to introduce some of the principals at home but I don’t follow it strictly. We have recently set up a Montessori inspired self service snack station in the kitchen and a tooth brushing station in our bathroom – I will blog about these when I get chance!
I have tried to set up our playroom up with fewer toys and in a way that Sophie can access them independently. Below is a photo of our playroom when we first set it up for Sophie. I added the mirror at a low level so that Sophie could see herself once she started to crawl. As she got older, we fixed it to the wall so that she had a full length mirror in her dressing up area.
Over the years, I have rearranged the furniture and rotated the toys so many times, which annoys my husband alot! Now Benji is starting to notice the world around him, I wanted to create a space for him in the playroom. So I shuffled it all around again and finally convinced Craig to move the mirror, leaving yet another set of holes in the wall! Here is our new layout. I have tried to create an area for Benjamin that is loosely based on the ‘Montessori Movement Area.’
I wanted to create a large, defined area for Benjamin to be able to lay down and play in. We had been using Sophie’s old activity gym but she often wanted to lie next to Benji and there wasn’t much room! I also wanted to create a visual barrier and mark out a space where Sophie needs to slow down and be careful in when she plays, as she likes to dance and jump around. For now, I have used a large IKEA blanket, but I am hoping to use a patchwork quilt – if I ever manage to get it finished… I think I started it in 2009!
We bought the mirror from B&Q a few years and have fixed it so that is sits on the floor. The idea of having a mirrors placed low down is so that the baby can see themselves and the movements they make. Benjamin has already started to look in the mirror. He can see our reflections and can also watch what is going on in the playroom around him.
From reading blogs and looking on Pinterest, I have noticed that Montessori Movement Areas also have mobiles. There are lots of different mobiles and from what I can gather you use them in a certain order to help their development. We have just used a play gym from IKEA that we picked up really cheaply on a local Facebook selling site. My daughter discovered that the hanging toys can be removed (I had no idea!) so I think I will change the toys every so often so we have different objects and items for Benjamin to focus on.
He likes to move his arms around a lot. Even though he doesn’t have any control over his hands at the moment, he has managed to hit the hanging toys a few times as he waves his fists around.
Sophie seems to like this area of the playroom too. She is enjoying playing with all her old toys that we have got out for Benjamin. Today she was using the blocks and said “I’m going to make Benji into a BIG house!” I’m not sure that he was so keen on her idea!
For now, we have just put a couple of baskets out with some toys and board books for Benjamin.
Eventually, I would like to set a few toys out for Benji to access himself. We have done this ever since setting up the playroom and it has worked really well. Sophie will happily select toys and play independently.
Sophie and I made some DIY high contrast cards to use in the movement area. I will add a link to the post when I write it.
Have you set up a Movement Area? If so, leave me a link below, I would love to see it.
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