Skip to main content

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? 


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 :)
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.

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2021

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! 2021 UPDATE: Please be patient with links this year, with supply chain issues things are selling out faster and restocking slower. I anticipate some of the specialty toys will not restock once they are gone. Puzzles, in particular, have been difficult to find in stock. 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 toys, bu

Montessori Toddler: Favorite Toys and Activities 18 to 20 months

I've been putting off this post for a little while because I felt a little disappointed that I didn't have more to share. See, Teddy just isn't that into materials, especially those on the shelf. He tends to return to a couple of favorites over and over again and ignore all other attempts at shelf work. But, really that's my own adult feelings getting in the way of Teddy's own interests, and developmental path.  It's also me subconsciously valuing fine motor skills and stillness as more important than gross motor play and movement. I working hard not to do that, and want to normalize that all toddlers are different. All children have different interests and that concentration doesn't have to mean sitting still for long stretches of time.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. With all that said, here are some of Teddy's favorites over the last couple of months. Favorite Montessori Toys 18 to 20 Months I'm listing the toys that have be

Our Family's Montessori Christmas Gift Lists 2021

It's hard to believe another holiday season is upon us again. Every year I enjoy putting together my kids' Christmas gift lists. It's really a good time to observe them, see what they are interested in and what they might be ready for during this coming year. It's one of the few times a year that I purchase new materials for our home so it's always really exciting. IF YOU NEED MORE IDEAS DON'T MISS MY ULTIMATE MONTESSORI TOY LIST OR MY 2021 DEALS PAGE ! When considering these lists, please remember that these were curated based on my own children. Use them for inspiration but they are heavily influenced by what my children are into and interested in. And for my older second plane children, what they have asked for!  Here's a look at our family's Montessori Christmas lists for 2021!  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Theodore (Toddler) Teddy is just over 2-years-old. Being our fourth baby, he is really hard for me to think of unique