“The hand is the instrument of intelligence. The child needs to manipulate objects and to gain experience by touching and handling”. — Maria Montessori, The 1946 London Lectures
When it comes to creating art with children in a Montessori environment, the focus is on the process rather than the product. It’s about giving them the space and materials to allow their imaginations to wander. The best way to do this at home, is to provide an accessible art & craft area where everything a child might need is to hand – requiring little or no help from an adult.
This ‘accessible area’ should me kitted age appropriately. A smaller child might require some paper and crayons, whilst slightly older children would enjoy things like:
- pens, pencils, crayons, markers
- paints and paintbrushes (and sponges or other items that could be used to paint with)
- a stack of paper in various colours, sizes and textures
- recycled items for “junk modelling” (loo rolls, boxes, empty cartons and plastic containers)
- random graft bits (glitter, crepe paper, string etc.)
- glue sticks, scissors, ruler, sticky tape and other appropriate stationary items.
Tailor your area to the amount of space you have, and importantly; show your child how to take care of the materials – how to clean them and pack them away beautifully. Montessori learning is all about independence and your child will enjoy the freedom to create and the responsibility of packing away. Lead by example, and if your little one is unsure be ready to explain the ‘tidy-up’ process again. The power of creation is an inspiring, wonderful thing. Revel in all the treasures your child will dream up in your home (and post some on to granny and grandpa when shelves and fridge space are overloaded).
Photo by Dragos Gontariu on Unsplash