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Slicing A Banana

Slicing A Banana by Jeanne Marie Paynel from voilamontessori.com

THE FIVE KEYS TO MAKING MONTESSORI MATERIALS

Last week we talked about preparing our home to help our children be successful. This week, let’s focus on Montessori materials. How hard is it to make them? What should you keep in mind?

The easiest Montessori materials to make at home are the ones in the Practical Life area. These include materials for food preparation, self-care, and care of the home. Trays and baskets can be prepared with items you already have around your house or with inexpensive objects you find at thrift stores.

Regardless of the activity, you’re planning for your child, keep certain qualities in mind when putting the material together to provide a genuine Montessori experience:

1. Natural materials: Whenever possible, choose materials like wood, glass, or ceramic over plastic. These materials are more fragile and encourage careful and respectful use.

2. Real objects: Choose real fruit, real child-sized cooking utensils, and real (non-toxic) polish for activities. Real objects help children feel that they’re really contributing and not just playing.

3. Make it attractive: Children are drawn to pretty things, and they are more careful with them. Try to find or make materials with interesting details or decorations, like a colorful rim or a floral motif.

4. Coordinate colors: If all the items on a tray have the same color scheme, the child knows they belong together. This makes independent cleanup easier and helps your child associate a material with an activity (for example, if it’s red, it must be the apple-cutting activity!). Use ribbon, acrylic paint, or even colored electric tape to color-coordinate your sets.

5. Child-sized: Every item in your tray or basket should fit comfortably within your child’s hands. Consider travel-sized items (like a small lotion bottle or hand soap), rummage through thrift stores for small vases and baskets, and think outside the box (a coffee saucer makes a great snack plate).

Try to spot these concepts while you watch this week’s video, and then have fun making your own materials!

If you’d like help coming up with – and preparing – materials for your home that support your child’s independence, then you’ll love my Montessori Parenting Mastermind!
Contact me using the “Looking for more?” tab below and find out if my group program is right for you!


With some carefully selected child-sized materials, it’s easy for a young toddler to prepare his own snack.

For more tips on how to introduce Montessori activities, read The Nine Key Points to Sharing a New Activity with Your Child.

P.S. Would you like my support and guidance setting-up your Montessori home? If, yes then go ahead and schedule a ‘Discovery Session’ with me. It’s free and you’ll know if we are a good fit. 😉

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