Designing A Montessori Playroom: 8 Things To Include
Montessori playroom design
Inspired by the Montessori Method, an educational philosophy which prioritises children’s learning and development, a Montessori playroom is a space for children which promotes learning, creativity and mental development.
A classic Montessori playroom is spacious, simple and clean, with a selection of carefully chosen toys and activities made available through use of accessible, childsized furniture. Everything in the room should be selected for its ability to either inspire the imagination, or help develop motor/mental skills.
“To assist a child we must provide him with an environment which will enable him to
– Maria Montessori
Below, we discuss 8 key aspects to consider when planning a Montessori playroom design for your child…
Undoubtedly, the most important aspect of a Montessori playroom is whether it is a safe environment for your child. It is imperative that the room be childproofed and equipped properly to allow for safe exploration and play. This means avoiding sharp edges and instead opting for furniture with rounded corners, such as our hinoki wood Montessori shelves. Toys and books should be stored in accessible places such as low shelves or baskets, so as to avoid items falling onto your child from a height. The idea is that your child should be able to roam the room freely and independently without encountering any health and safety risks.
Successful Montessori playroom design will consider the natural development of a child, and should be able to be adapted alongside them as they grow and their needs change. It should not be a fixed design, but rather a flexible, fluid space that takes into account both the physical and mental growth of a child. Furniture should be sized appropriately to encourage children’s independence. Our Montessori Growing Shelves or Table and Chair Set would be an ideal addition as they can be adapted as your child grows.
Wellbeing, like safety, is an extremely important consideration for Montessori playroom design. Furniture and toys should be not only non-toxic and safe for children, but, where possible, actively promoting of overall health and wellness. Elements of nature such as plants and flowers have been scientifically proven to help soothe children, as well as emit pure, clean air. It is best to opt for natural materials where possible – cotton, linen or silk for soft furnishings, and pure, untreated wood for toys and furniture. Hinoki is an ideal choice, as its fresh aroma is known for relaxing the body as well as purifying the air, and absorbing harmful toxins such as formaldehyde.
A well planned Montessori playroom will consider not only which furniture and toys will be displayed in the room, but also the space within it. The playroom should be as uncluttered and spacious as possible to create a peaceful environment which will help foster concentration, calmness and clarity. Cluttered spaces can lead to cluttered minds, after all! A spacious room is also beneficial in that it allows plentiful space for free play and activities, and can even help stimulate the imagination.
Simplicity is key when it comes to Montessori playroom design. This means lack of general clutter, as we previously described, but also not too much choice when it comes to toys and books. It is important that a child does not feel overwhelmed by the range of activities available to them, so a good idea is to limit the toys on display. Many Montessori guides suggest that approximately 8-10 activities available at any one time is a good amount. This way, children can engage properly with the toys and games present, rather than darting hastily between lots of different activities. Toys and games can be rotated to keep things interesting and encourage them to work on different skills each week.
“The child should love everything he learns. Whatever is presented to him must be
made beautiful and clear. Once this love has been kindled, all problems confronting
the educationalist will disappear.”
– Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori, founder of the Montessori Method, stressed the importance of beauty when it comes to a child’s surroundings. Whilst a Montessori playroom is primarily a safe and functional space, aesthetics must not be overlooked when considering the design of it. Filling the room with plants, beautiful wooden furniture, and artwork positioned at an appropriate eye level will help to create an environment which is both comfortable and pleasing for your child.
7. Stimulating the senses
Sensory play is a significant aspect of the Montessori Method as it helps children to develop and refine their senses, and accelerates their understanding of the world around them. It is important, then, that a Montessori playroom provides a safe, secure base for this sensory exploration through its careful curation of activities and objects which stimulate the senses. When choosing toys and furniture, consider how they may appeal to the different senses. Hinoki wood, for example, is soft and warm to the touch and has a fresh, uplifting aroma, which is why we use it to create our range of Montessori furniture.
8. Connection with nature
As we mentioned previously, plants make a wonderful addition to a Montessori playroom. Not only can they help to create a more beautiful space, their presence in a room can provide various health and wellness benefits, such as reducing stress levels and purifying the air. They can also help a child to cultivate respect and gratitude for nature. A room with a large window that your child can look out of is an ideal choice, and you can also include artwork of plants or animals, and nature related toys and games. A surface for foraged outdoor treasures can also make a lovely nature-inspired playroom feature.
We hope you enjoyed reading about the different ways you can create a Montessori playroom of your own. For further reading, please see our other blog on 5 ways you can set up a Montessori home environment.