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Friday, 30 October 2020

Our Montessori Space!

How we Montessori! 

Setting up a Montessori Inspired space.   

This is the first of a series of posts I will be creating to show you the Montessori spaces in our home. This first one is the 'reading nook' in our Montessori inspired playroom. 

                                               

I should start of by reiterating my approach to Montessori life. We do not follow, religiously, every strand of the principles. For example, there are many who would argue that the stuffed animals you can see in the photos below are not Montessori aligned. They fulfill no specific educational purpose, unless you were using them do demonstrate colour or texture for example. Despite this, I find they are necessary in our home. Firstly, most were bought for us by beloved family members. Secondly, Arlo enjoys snuggling with them, particularly when he is reading stories independently or when feeling tired and finally, they look cute, comforting and enhance the space. Therefore, I feel perfectly comfortable to include them in our 'Montessori' space. Similarly, it would be a lie for me to tell you that we own no plastic toys. Of course we do. I don't believe there's a child's playroom in the country that has managed to avoid plastic entirely! But as long as it is uses effectively and has it's correct purpose and place, I see no issue with that. 

I believe you have to make Montessori principles work for you and your family. After all, if it starts to become all-consuming and unmanageable, you are unlikely to stick to it. Instead, I prefer to be aware of the principles and mould them to suit my family. 


So, let me walk you through our 'reading nook' first of all. I am so in love with this space! Anyone who knows me will know that interior design is not my forte! I am a mathematically minded person who favours organisation and concrete concepts, but my Montessori journey has definitely helped to enhance my creativity and for the first time in my life I am genuinely proud of a space I have created!

The first thing I did was hang this gorgeous canopy from the ceiling. It offers a sense of privacy when Arlo is in his own little reading world, but it also helps to signify a separation in space between his reading corner and play area. You may see all these amazing homes, particularly american homes, where space is ample and every Montessori need has it's own space. While I would love an enormous house with room aplenty, my typical British home just doesn't allow for that. So, we have made the best use of the space we have available. 

After hanging our canopy, we added a Verbaudet Floor Cushion as somewhere comfy to snuggle and a selection of different cushions, too. On top we placed a few lovely items that we know Arlo enjoys such as the JellyCat Donkey. There's actually a lovely story behind 'Devon' our beloved donkey. We were off on holiday to Devon for a week and left a few days after I found out we'd had yet another failed month trying to conceive. I was bummed and fed up with my years of infertility, so my husband bought Devon when we stopped at a service station. He was so cute and I felt comfort in the hope that one day our child would run around carrying him. I thank my lucky stars every day that the dream came true! Anyway, after that little detour, we put down a faux fur rug to take the chill off the ceramic tiles and add a nice aesthetic to the room. 

                                                    

Of course no reading nook would be complete without some books! Rather than use up yet more precious floor space, I added these two wall shelves (although Ikea spice racks work great, too). As part of our helping around the home, I added got a few plants too. Some are fake, like this one on the book shelf, but others, like the one on the windowsill, are real so we can water it every few days. Since I wanted this to be a 'yes' space, I put the real plant where it couldn't be reached. Books and wet soil do not mix! The gorgeous Read Sign you can see is from Little Stories (use Kimberley15 for 15% off) and the cute inspirational print in the photo is from Etsy. It pulls at my heart strings every time I read it. Better still, I got the digital version and printed it myself - it was so cheap! 


I think that pretty much covers everything! It turned out so well and Arlo absolutely loves it. He is used to sharing a story before bed and having books on his activity shelves, but I wasn't sure if he would make use of the 'comfy' set up. I didn't have to wait long to find out! After I set all this up, he marched straight in and plonked himself down on the floor cushion with a book! Perfect! Next up, I will be adding a walk through of our activity shelves and all of the activities we have on show this week! 

Here is a list of the items you can see in our photographs. Click the links to see each item for sale: 

Read Sign (Use code Kimberley15 for 15% off)
Book shelves (we loved these ones, too)

If you want to see more about our Montessori shelf and the toys shown in each compartment, click this link to visit a separate blog post. 

 Don't forget, you can also find us via our Facebook group and on our Instagram account. 

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