Skip to main content

Preparing an Environment on Vacation -- Montessori Baby Week 35

Having a prepared environment is so important for children. Montessori recognizes the importance of the environment for children of all ages. She knew that it was through experience in the environment that children are able to blossom most naturally and reach their fullest potential.

Montessori baby on vacation! Here are some tips and ideas to consider when preparing an environment while away from home.

And, when you're at home or school, this works great. You can take the time and make changes to make your environment meet the needs of your child. This isn't so easy when you're traveling! This past week, we have been on vacation along the North Shore of Lake Superior with my entire family. During our vacation we've made some special considerations for Augustus to prepare the environment as best as possible, to allow him the freedom of movement to explore while also keeping him safe {and keeping our own sanity.} 

Playtime 

  • Bring a few toys from home to help occupy your baby if you spending lots of time indoors 
  • Pack a small basket or two to help contain and organize the materials
  • A large blanket helps to define the baby's play space -- and remind others to keep small objects away from this area 
  • Bring outlet plugs because hotels and rentals often don't have them and this way your baby can still play on the floor 
  • Remove any knick-knacks from the space and don't be afraid to push some of the furniture around to create a safe play space
  • Organize the toys as if you had a shelf, along a wall or the blanket 

Sleeping

  • Consider if a floor bed is the safest option for the space, crawling around the room can sometimes let you see hazards in a new light 
  • Consider if a portable crib or pack 'n play {this is personally what we do} is safer for a couple of nights 
  • Use crib/container only for sleep and allow freedom of movement and exploration for play 
  • Again, consider safety, access to the bathroom and open plugs were the biggest considerations for us
  • Include common reference items that you use at home in your temporary sleep space, for us this meant Gus' topponcino (which yes, he is still using) 
"Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment." Maria Montessori 

Weaning/Eating

  • Bring familiar weaning objects -- a cup, a bowl, a spoon, etc. -- with you on your trip to allow similar self-feeding
  • Be flexible about where feeding has to occur -- maybe in your lap, in a highchair, booster seat or other chair
  • Placing a towel on the floor under the seat -- I wish we would have done this -- can make clean up a lot easier {especially if like me you're used to having dogs come along and clean for you!} 
Doing these things made our vacation so much more enjoyable for everyone. Gus easily adjusted to the new environment and was still able to play and move independently. We could sit back and let everyone just soak up the fun.

Montessori baby on vacation! Here are some tips and ideas to consider when preparing an environment while away from home.

Have you taken your baby on vacation? Have you made any special Montessori considerations along the way? 

Comments

This is so helpful! We're taking our ten month old on his first vacation next week and are busy packing this weekend, so this came at the perfect time for us :)

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2019

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure!

2019 UPDATE: This post has been updated to include a variety of brands and new product finds! Just a reminder that no one child will be interested in all of this or needs all of this. These toys are just here to spark ideas and give you a feeling for some Montessori-friendly options available! 


So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. 


First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created to…

Which Open-Ended Toys are "Worth it?"

As a Montessori parent, I try to provide a mix of materials in our home to engage my kids! That work that will spark joy, concentration, and repetition. It's not always an easy task, as Maria Montessori said, "Life is mysterious...only the choice of life can choose the work that the child truly needs. Therefore, the teacher respects this mysterious process and knows to wait with faith." So, there does sometimes feel like there is a bit of trial and error when it comes to choosing materials that your children need. 

For us, the right balance is easier to find when I spend time deeply observing my children. Watching their interests, sitting on my hands if I have to, letting them struggle a little with things, and letting them get bored. And what I have personally found is that here at home, a combination of open ended materials and more structured work have been the right balance. Open ended toys wouldn't necessarily be found in a Montessori classroom, but they are perf…

A Montessori Approach to Purging Your Toys

Becoming a Montessori family has been life changing in so many ways, most obviously with the amount and type of materials we use in our home. Once you see why having so many toys is a problem, or when you make the decision to move towards Montessori, it can be completely overwhelming. But, taking a Montessori approach to purging your toys is possible! And, it doesn't exactly mean that you have to throw away everything you have and start over with only expensive wooden toys. It will mean taking a hard look at what you have and whether it really fits with Montessori.


One note, however, Montessori is at its core about following your child's own path and respecting your child as a whole person. So, if your child has a toy, lovey, book, or whatever that your child super loves or is super attached to, but it doesn't fit Montessori ideals, don't take it away. Follow your child, that is more Montessori than whether or not you own some specific consumer product. 
How to Purge You…