THE MONTESSORI ENVIRONMENT: BEGINNING WITH WHAT WE HAVE

*This post was inspired by this one and this one.* I’m the kind of person who often waits until I have everything I need before starting something. I lay out ingredients before cooking/baking and organizing my materials before beginning a project. When I don’t have everything lined up, it’s an opportunity for me to put something off.

E and V’s bedroom was put together only when we had all the items it required, not one part at a time. This was understandable, due to safety. But when I started to put together a front entryway for them, I noticed that the need to have everything, for it to be perfect, has changed. In part that is because their environment is always changing, evolving as E and V’s needs and skills do so I find myself constantly making little changes.

When I first put a little area together for them by the side door–the door we use for entry–only a chair and their shoes were required. Now, especially with the change in seasons, we have a shelf of cubbies for their walking shoes, boots, and knitted goods. They also each have a set of hooks for the hanging of their snow pants, jackets, and hats.

We have recently added a new addition. While not required at this location, it’s in the area we keep ours, so it made sense to have theirs near, a trash bin!

The girls, since infants, have handed us little items that they have found on the ground that doesn’t belong. We have always, enthusiastically and gratefully, thanked them for their observation and wisdom in knowing when something shouldn’t be in their environment and then thrown the item, usually a crumb, away. Once they started walking, they would carry the item to the trash.

The main trash is locked up, the main reason being Kaida, our dog. Although, as we discovered a few months ago, the girls greatly enjoyed putting anything and everything in the recycling bin that used to be indoors but has now been placed just outside. We have been unable to locate a Schleich dog and grape puzzle piece that we believe has met its fate in this bin unnoticed. So it’s best to keep the trash locked so all its contents remain only trash and free from toys.

My husband mentioned that they needed their own trash. Of course, so they wouldn’t have to ask and could be even more independent.

Who holds onto items that they just know will come in handy at some point in time? I know I can’t be the only one, haha. Thankfully I had a canister that would be used for storing dry baking goods. I removed the flip lid and, tada, a perfect toddler-sized trash can.

While they love finding trash and throwing it away, I would be lying if I said that the contents haven’t been removed or material hasn’t been thrown away that doesn’t belong. Thankfully, both those scenarios are occurring less and less as time goes on and it’s no longer a ‘new thing.

So don’t wait until everything is “perfect” to start incorporating Montessori principles. Or believe that you have a need for all the “right” things as it’s bound to change a bit here and there. Start small and build. Is their area near the door complete now? For the time being, but I assure you there are bound to be changes that will occur inorder to fit the needs that arise.

What have you been putting of until you can make it “perfect”?

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