How to Set up a Montessroi Environment at Home


I am no longer working after being involved in Montessori for over 35 years. What do I do now? I have a mortgage, a baby, a husband and bills to pay. I am terrified! The only positive in all of this is that I get to spend time with my 16-month-old daughter and take everything I have ever learned in Montessori and practice it with her at home.

I am sitting here on my first day of being unemployed, a little lost, and still trying to process everything. So I decided that I am going to put all of my energy into giving my daughter a solid foundation for learning and the best Montessori education based on my many years of experience.  I have seen hundreds of children do amazing things through Montessori, and now is my chance to provide the same quality education for my daughter. I will give her all of the experiences I have given so many children over the years. The first thing I need to do is set up a nice area so she can see all of her toys and activities, I need to come up with a schedule of the day, and a small curriculum to get started.

I have so many years of experience in Montessori and I have a little girl who is ready to soak up all the information like a sponge. I am so excited to have this opportunity to teach her and share our experiences.

Setting up shelves

Unfortunately, one of the only negatives of living in gorgeous San Diego is that you don’t get a lot of house. So my space is limited to set up her work area. I will set up a few different activities (materials) for her to work with. Items that will help develop motor skills, sensory development, basic language, objects for counting and introduction to numbers, and some manipulative items.

One of the most important things to think about is to keep all of the materials simple. Simple items so my little one will be able to pick up the items, use them without any or very minimal help, and clean them up on her own.

Schedule of the day

I will keep most activities short since she is so young. Approximately 15 – 30 minutes for each activity based on her interest level. Our schedule will look something like this:

Breakfast – We usually use this time to do flash cards are sing songs

Morning Work time (30 minutes) – This is the time when she can choose any of her activities to play with.  I will also demonstrate a new activity and allow her to practice on her own.

Art work (15-30 min) -We will either do a project (like pumpkin decorating, painting, gluing, color mixing, etc) or I will just allow her to be creative with some art supplies and paper.

Morning Snack

Outdoor play time – Either in our backyard or I will take her out to the beach or a playground to let her run around.

Lunch/Nap time

Reading time – I will let her read on her own or I will sit with her and read to her.  Some days we will just point to pictures or word in the book and sounds out some of the works.

Afternoon Snack

Manipulative – This is a time where she can play with her blocks, lego, puzzles or her other activities.  This is more of a free play and not as structured as the morning to allow her time to be creative.


Since she has never had any official schooling this is all a new experience of her. I will start off with practical life and sensorial work while helping her to increase her concentration. Showing her how to stack objects, sorting, and matching. Much of the practical life skills and math skills she will learn from helping me around the house while I do laundry or wash the dishes, counting and matching socks, she will learn to cut bananas or wash lettuce. She will learn what she observes.

Any opportunity to introduce letters or numbers is also very helpful, but mostly I will sing many songs with repetitive words, phonetic sounds, letters, numbers, counting, opposites, etc. Children learn so much through songs and singing. Once she begins to repeat these sounds I will incorporate them more into our daily routines.


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