Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Montessori Mornings!

Today is the one year anniversary of my first blog post!  A lot has happened in the past several weeks, most notably our playgroup that was running strong for about 2 years has morphed into what I call "Montessori Mornings."  

Twice per week mommies and their toddlers come for 90 minutes of Montessori instruction.  Babies are welcome, lessons provided, and all is free of charge.  Some of the children had never been to so much as a story time at the library, while others have been in part-time daycare since they were infants.

This mommy came soon before baby #2 was born, so in subsequent photos below you'll see her holding a little one.
I mostly want to just share photos of the work we've been doing, but please leave questions in the comment section if you have any!

I start and end the Montessori Mornings with a lot of music.
The children range in age from 18 months to 39 months.
Here "Fuego" is matching lowercase and uppercase letters.  This is not a traditional Montessori work, but I am using many materials I've recently made from Pinterest that are "Montessori-ish."
I try to teach "Alleluia" on other days during the week, but she is more motivated when she has an audience!

Painting water over chalk letters

The Open-Close basket

The Pink Tower is a good warmer-upper and classic Montessori.

Learning to sweep...

...and here's another Pinterest idea (I think it's called a Button Snake?).
Since my kitchen is part of the classroom, it's easy to have plenty of Food Prep works!

It was nice when this dad was able to come so that he could understand what Fuego and her mommy meant by "Montessori Mornings."

I've run out of daffodils now, so I'll ask mommies to take turns bringing flowers for the Flower Arranging work.

Pouring works are easier practiced when there is a place with the perfect toddler-sized table!

I think all of us moms love the works (like the Broad Stair) that involve physical effort for the toddlers and may even tire them out!

The children have learned to use mats just as in a normal Montessori classroom.
Taking it all in!

Every so often Alleluia needs a cuddle and a book.

I have seen DIY versions of this clothes washing stand, too.

One of the moms told me that, after seeing Alleluia cleaning our doors, her daughter had to do it at home!

The children have become comfortable with other moms helping, too.

Fuego's mommy is a great story reader!

This mommy is a trained Montessori directress.  Here she is helping Alleluia with the Limited Moveable Alphabet.
This little boy is working with the Long Red Rods....

... and here he's squeezing fresh orange juice.
When my older children are home from school on a break they sometimes help in the classroom.
The oranges were popular that day!
This was one blissful moment when everyone was working nicely!
The little girl in the pink sweater is much younger than the other children and this is only her second visit, yet she is comfortable and curious.
Alleluia has been pretty good about sharing her house and work with her little friends.  Here I am giving her and this little boy a lesson on Clothes Washing.

Montessori Trays
2-Sided Easel
Juicer Top
Small Wooden Cutting Board
Small Plastic Cutting Board
Apple Slicer
Vegetable Peeler
Bamboo Placemats
Toddler Aprons
Pink Tower
Toddler Table
Long Red Rods
Small Glass Vase Set
Small Moveable Alphabet Set
Tactile Letters Set


  1. This is amazing! I love this idea. Do you just have and share the materials? I have a Montessori inspired tot school that I do with my son and have had other little children join us from time to time, and he loves when people join us and I've often wondered about doing something like this on a more permanent basis.

    1. Yes, I used to have a Montessori preschool in my home (closed it about 4.5 years ago), so I've had all of the materials. But I've also made many things recently, as I've tried to show parents that they can do a lot at home without expensive equipment. Some things (like the toddler table and wash stand) ARE expensive, so I share what I have.

  2. This is amazing! Thank you for sharing!

    1. I hope this post was helpful. I have learned a lot of little tweaks along the way, not just with this group but with other groups I've been involved in, too.

  3. Your Montessori Mornings are absolutely lovely. I may incorporate this into my school year in 2013-14. Where did you find your playgroup members? I have a wonderful parish community but live one hour away. Also, how do you manage older siblings? Many families I know have 5+ children. Lastly, is there an optimum number for children to participate in Montessori Mornings?
    Pax, Lena

    1. Lena,
      I started the playgroup 2.5 years ago (mostly friends from church and neighborhood). I am slowly inviting other moms who are specifically interested in the Montessori approach. So far I have been the only one who sometimes has my older children present (they attend school during the week). I ask them to be as helpful to the moms as possible, and I've trained them on how to give a few presentations. As far as the maximum number, that is a very good question! When too few attend you lose the group dynamic, but when too many come there isn't enough space. It's really pretty specific to the layout of my house--I think 5 other mom-toddlers is a nice dynamic, and 4 is easily comfortable (because that's in addition to me and my daughter).

  4. Thank you *so much* for sharing the flow of your day. :) I am on the look-out for simple rugs for "work space," and I like the simple ones you have chosen. Do you have any suggestions of where to find something similar? Thank you!

  5. I think an Old Time Pottery or even one of the dollar stores might have these kind of mats. Most schools use woven mats, but I found these large bamboo place mats (I think from Old Time Pottery?) and they work nicely. Target also has something similar from time to time in their cheapo dollar bins near the front of the store. Their surface isn't totally flat and smooth, so when we use the Knobless Cylinders we use a Breakfast in Bed Tray (I think that was a Mother's Day gift one year from Bed, Bath & Beyond.).

  6. What a wonderful Montessori playgroup, Sarah! What you're providing is awesome! I featured your post and photo in my post on starting a Montessori playgroup or Montessori homeschool co-op at http://livingmontessorinow.com/2013/07/29/montessori-monday-starting-a-montessori-playgroup-or-montessori-homeschool-coop/