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May 13, 2021

Adding a Montessori Chowki to Our Outdoor Space

Last weekend for the first time in way over a year, I went to IKEA by myself to just look around. It was really a slice of normal that I needed. While I was there I saw a tray that I have been contemplating online for awhile because it looked like it was going to be the perfect chowki! 

A chowki is a small table or stool that can be used for a child's work. Dr. Montessori first saw them used while she was living in India and incorporated the concept into her schools. A chowki provides a distinct work space for the child slightly above the ground. Children can work at them on their knees or while sitting, depending on their own comfort and their height. 

My kids love working at a chowki and often choose a chowki at school or other Montessori spaces. I've been wanting to add one to our home for a long time, so I decided to buy this IKEA tray to try outdoors as a chowki. It is perfect. Over the last week, all of my kids have constantly pulled it out to use it. It gives the the opportunity to bring work from inside to the outside on beautiful weather days. They can also do outdoor art projects. Examine nature findings. They can even eat a meal. 

Teddy insists on using his stool with the chowki! His sense of order is that you sit on something at a table. It ends up being good maximum effort work to carry it outside. I'm sure he will figure out that he can kneel once he sees the other kids a little longer. 

While often Montessori environments would often prefer natural materials, I love that this is plastic. It can be easily stay outside without being ruined. It can get wet in all sorts of weather. It can also fold pretty flat and be placed out of the way for those times we aren't using our outdoor work space. Downside, it's not the most sturdy table in the world. It's not going to withstand someone standing on it, or something like that. But for a $13 table it will work great for our needs. 

Create a Montessori outdoor space with a chowki. This perfect, easy to use IKEA is the perfect Montessori tip for an outdoor kids space.

Do you have a chowki? Have you ever brought one outside? 

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Brit- Wild Child Consulting
This is great! I am currently working on my outdoor environment for my Nido this summer. I’m going to add a couple chowkis now! Can you tell me where you sourced Teddy’s stool choice as well?
Cristiana said…
We’ve had the exact one for a long time! I think it’s great. Living in a small space, I love that it folds. I also sometimes prepare activities on it and than put it on top of the kitchen cupboard until it’s time to present the said activity. Oh, and it’s a bonus that it has a rim, because we also use it for messy play :)
Nicole @ The Kavanaugh Report
Brit, a woodworking friend made it for us. But they were modeled off of the ones sold by RAD Kids Furniture, a RIE furniture company.