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September 16, 2013

Montessori Inspired Tot School Classroom

A couple of months ago, I made the decision to move tot school upstairs after it became apparent that we would no longer need a nursery and Henry had moved to his Montessori toddler bedroom. Since then, the move has become permanent and I've slowly been working on creating a Montessori inspired home school classroom for our tot school activities.

The room itself is pretty simple. It's broken into two main areas -- the weekly activities and the more traditional Montessori activities.

tot school, montessori at home, pink tower

The weekly activities are the ones that are highlighted in my weekly tot school posts, and the shelf is in the center of the room. The main trays are located on top of the shelf and the extra activities are on the bottom shelves. The shelf itself is an Expedit shelf from Ikea that I found at Goodwill for $10!

gallery wall, toddler art, homeschool classroom

To the left of the shelf is a gallery wall. The wall is made from a couple Dr. Seuss prints that used to be in Henry's old old nursery, a couple of paintings I made, some empty frames, and some Washi tape frames. With the extra frames, I can easily rotate Henry's artwork in and out. This wall also features the felt board. Below the felt board is the a basket containing the the felt movable alphabet.

Another basket contains floor mats that Henry and the other children in our co-op can use.

tot school, montessori, room tour, pink tower
alphabet, DIY, montessori

To the left of the room, are the more traditional Montessori activities. Since I don't have a ton of these activities, I will only rotate these out every couple of months. Slowly, I hope to be able to purchase or more of these work, but we will make do with what we have for now. Above these activities is a large alphabet set I made. Below the activities are my storage bins, where I keep many of my supplies -- these shelves are from the Trofast line at Ikea.

Montessori, tot school, homeschool classroom

Eventually, I hope to make a small area for books, and an area to create art. But, the room is only so big, so for now, I'm going to see how this works out before adding anything else.

For behind-the-scenes pictures, make sure you follow me on Instagram. For more Montessori inspiration, check out my Montessori Home Pinterest Board!

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Kristina said…
LOVE it all! Simple and engaging! And I might say the Washi Tape "Frames" are a brilliant idea! Just might have to buy some now : ) And what a steal to have gotten the Ikea shelf for $10!! That is awesome.
Kaysha said…
Absolutely beautiful! Was a nice open, inviting space!
Amy G
Amy G said…
This is beautiful. I'm very jealous- especially of the art!
Steph @ The Kat Almanac
Looks awesome! I wsh I could send AJ to your coop!
Ing said…
Found your site through Tues Tots linky. I'm inspired by the beautiful Montessori room you've created for your child! I'm in the process of trying (very hard!) to revamp our rather cluttered study room. Thanks for the inspiration!
Montessori Messy
Oooh, I love it! When you made your paintings did you have to use a special kind of tape to make the lines? I really like the Ikea low shelves with the storage.
Nicole @ The Kavanaugh Report
I used Frog Tape to create the paintings. I think it does a pretty good job stopping bleeding.
Amy @ No Greater Honors
I LOVE your room! I think it looks absolutely wonderful, Nicole! :) Great Job!
Airamty said…
I am in love with the room! And thanks so much for the beautiful idea of creating frames with the washi tape.
Allyson said…
Nicole, it looks great! You've clearly put a lot of thought and elbow-grease into this space for your tot-school program! I'd love to hear your thoughts on why tot-school themes/letters/etc are good for this age! Just interested!

Also, can I just ask.. where are the letters L & V (and the ampersand!)? :) It's annoying me that they're missing from some of the photos! haha!
Nicole @ The Kavanaugh Report
Hahah! I should have explained the letters, I have been collecting these wooden letters for MONTHS when I find them on sale. I was down to the the final three (L, V, and the ampersand) when I took the pictures, but got annoyed that it wasn't just done and went and bough the final three for full price.

And, you're other question probably warrants a post of its own. But, bottom line, why I think it's good is that it gives us something to do together that fulfills a toddler's natural desire to learn. Everything that we do at tot school, I strive for it to be fun. So we are still playing -- which is what is most important at this age -- but we are doing it an a way that rewards Henry. He lights up when he completes a tray, I think it speaks to his natural drive to accomplish a task and be treated like an individual capable of learning and discovering. These are just my observations -- I have zero teaching/early childhood background, so scientifically I have no idea if/why its good. It just works for us.
Nicole @ The Kavanaugh Report
I guess, bottom line, its not necessarily the information that I think is important, because he will learn that eventually. But its the process, the confidence, and the respect for himself that I see him gaining. If that makes sense?
Allyson said…
I was just interested to hear your opinion. It seems that tot-school is a pretty popular thing right now- I keep hearing about it from various people. I think it's great that you're getting the children together- I think what's most important at this age is learning how to socialize and work together. I work with older children (4 & 5), and so many of them have missed out on basic social skills and have to be taught through modeling and lots of practice! :) My daughter (who is 2) has been working very hard on learning to share & strengthening those self-help skills!
Here's an interesting article I thought you may like to read! It's just some food for thought!
Kudos to you for getting families together to participate in tot-school! It's such a great way to connect with others!
Allyson said…
It makes perfect sense! :)
Unknown said…
Washi tape frames! Genius! Love it and the room looks fantastic :) Stopping by from Kids Co-Op on Triple T Mum.
Unknown said…
Love the use of color very attractive to my eyes. You are one organized gal. Thank you for sharing.
Faye said…
Hi, where did you purchase the white low shelving units?? They would be PERFECT for my "messy room" in my home daycare. Thanks.
Nicole @ The Kavanaugh Report
They are from IKEA -- expedit collection, it is the large bookcase just placed on its side (which it is designed to do!)
Unknown said…
Hi, what is the material of the white board and the letters? How do you stick the letters to the board? Thank you