What is a Montessori Education and What are Montessori Activities for Children?

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Last Update Date: 05 November 2019

As soon as we hear the word “Montessori”, what usually comes to mind are wooden game sets, jigsaws, tangram or similar game materials. Although the first association is most likely “game sets”, Montessori education has a much broader definition.

What is Montessori?

Montessori is an independent educational science that recognises each child has a different learning speed in line with the child's individual skills and interests. It is named after the pedagogue Maria Montessori, Italy's first gynaecologist. Today, Montessori education is recognised worldwide and has been applied in child education for over 100 years.

Montessori Activities for Children

What does independent educational science mean for children with different learning speeds?

The most important outcome of the Montessori educational method is that the child learns how to be self-sufficient according to their unique personality traits. To achieve this, accurate observations of the child should be made and the right materials should be selected.

The Right Process for Montessori Education

There are many educational materials that suit the individual needs of each child. Everything appears to be planned for the child to see themselves as an individual, to make mistakes freely, and to educate themselves by finding the right way on their own. If a supervisor is added to this process, the right conditions for Montessori education can be created.

Montessori materials generally consist of educational toys. This can be a single pen or even a pine cone. The important thing is to categorise these materials correctly and position them for the child to reach any time they want.

Montessori eğitimi

In Montessori training institutions, all details are planned around free movement and free choice. For a home-based Montessori education, you need to create the same free space. Observation of the child by a good supervisor – this supervisor may also be a parent – and supporting them with appropriate materials is an essential part of the Montessori education.

For this reason, we discuss how to design a nursery suitable for a Montessori education at home later in this article.

  • Does your child have strong visual skills? Then you should focus on visual materials.
  • Does your child learn digital skills quickly? Then you should focus on logic-based games and toys.
  • Does your child have a talent for design? Then you can provide spatial and/or visual games like jigsaws.

Of course, do not forget that you have to offer your child with choices. You should introduce the material and place it in a suitable place in their room. Since they will already be naturally interested, they will want to use the material. In this way, children can make their own choices in the free space offered to them and develop their creativity with the materials of their choosing.

NOTE: You can use the MentalUP app to help your child discover and develop strengths. MentalUP is a certified pedagogical app developed by child development specialists, doctors and academics. With MentalUP, performance reports are generated as your child completes their daily 25-minute brain game. These reports will summarise your child's strongest skills and help them discover their full potential. The app is suitable for all children aged 4 and older.

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It has been observed that children who grow up with Montessori activities learn to read and write at an earlier age. In addition, their mathematical, creativity and language skills are generally superior to their peers. The world’s most well-known creative people were often raised with Montessori education as a child. For example:

  • Katharina Graham, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for her biography
  • Google founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin
  • Nobel Laureate Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Markuez
  • Winner of Best Actress for As Good as It Gets, Helen Hunt
  • Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon (اe created his own Montessori space at a young age)

According to Maria Montessori's observations and research, children don’t like:

  • Reward-punishment method
  • Generic educational programs
  • Standardised student desks

The standard curriculum with restrictive rules is not attractive to children. This leads to a decrease in productivity, as well as their mental and physical development. The solution is to offer children with educational methods and activities that they like. So, what do kids actually like?

  • Freedom to make their own choices and mistakes
  • Calm environments
  • Freedom of movement
  • Tidy environments
  • Self-governing social relationships
  • Reading and writing outside of textbooks

Montessori education was developed as a result of this pedagogical research.

To summarise, children enjoy playful and independent educational activities. As a result, the next issue to be examined are their educational activities.

What are the Montessori Educational Materials and Activities?

Conscious parents and educators are constantly searching for new Montessori activities, toys and materials. There are so many alternatives that it is possible to discover something new every day. Moreover, there are materials suitable for every child, no matter their age. Although the Montessori educational method is generally applied to preschool and primary school children, this method is also used with toddlers, secondary and high school levels.

The important thing is:

You should consider what your child wants to focus on as opposed to the activity you want them to choose. Remember, one of the most important aspects of this method is to give your childfree choice.

Please note that Montessori activities could include:

  • Paper-based activities with cutting, folding, painting, and drawing.
  • Catamino, hanoi towers, or similar wooden toys.
  • Materials such as rings, wires or beads.
  • Puzzles like jigsaws and number blocks.
  • Cards or game sets.
  • Books.
  • Mechanical devices.
montessori materials

The Benefits of Montessori Activities For Children

Montessori activities accelerate children's mental development and enable them to develop their unique skills. When children develop a talent for a certain skill, they begin to express themselves better, discover their full potential, and achieve higher self-confidence. At the same time, children will acquire the crucial skills of self-education and self-development. This type of learning is the core of Montessori activities.

Remember to include MentalUP Mind Games among the Montessori alternatives to support your child's attention span, memory, and development of visual, verbal and digital intelligence. The MentalUP app is accessible via tablet, phone and computer. Educational games are a useful solution for parents to fulfil their child's desire to use technology and have fun at the same time.

Remember: Child development experts do not recommend completely prohibiting technology for children. Instead, they recommend allowing the use of technology for a certain amount of time per day.

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How to Design A Montessori Child’s Room

It is not difficult to establish a child's room in accordance with Montessori philosophy. The first issue is accessibility.

Categorise Montessori toys, materials, books and tools separately for your child. Each category must have a specific place in the room. These places should be accessible to the child at any time without assistance. This means you shouldn't place objects up high, under heavy plinth or inside lockers.

The child’s bed should be a child-friendly height. The wardrobe and hanging clothes should also be high enough for them to reach without parental assistance. If it is necessary to use a stool, the possible risks should be considered in advance.

Bookshelves and other shelves should also be within easy reach of the child.

montessori kid room

Other areas of the house can also be planned in accordance with the Montessori philosophy. For example, a children’s toilet can be added to the bathroom. Of course, not everyone's conditions are appropriate. A stool or apparatus to narrow the toilet bowl mouth can also be provided for the child to give them the ability to use the toilet alone.

In the refrigerator, there should be a lower shelf specifically for the child to use.

To sum up, the Montessori method aims to make the child self-sufficient.

Who is Maria Montessori?

  • Born in Chiaravalle, Italy (1870)
  • Italy's first gynaecologist (1896)
  • Founder of the Montessori Method (1870-1952)
  • Director of the school in Rome that educated children with mental retardation (1899)
  • Founded the first children's house “Casa dei Banbini” (1907)
  • Published first book, The Montessori Method, in 1909
Montessori eğitimi