According to Montessori, the prepared environment should be simple and aesthetically pleasing for the child - no loud colours, giant posters or cluttered toys. Instead the colours should be neutral, only a few materials should be displayed at a time, and everything should be proportionate to the child's size. The idea here is to minimize things that may overstimulate or distract so the child can concentrate.
Montessori believed that a child must be free to explore and follow his own natural impulses, thus developing his potential and increasing his knowledge of the world around him. Within the prepared environment, children have the freedom of movement and exploration. By making the materials accessible, Kale can choose what to work on and can also put things back when he's finished.
I divided the bins into music, art and blocks. The sense of order helps Kale know where he can find things and where to put them away. It's amazing to watch him tidy up after he completes each activity!
Almost everything in the room is from Ikea - including the picture ledge that we use as a book shelf. Kale loves having the lamp at his level so that he can turn it off and on as much as his heart desires (which is a lot). The little chair is from KidKraft and when it's not being used by Kale, it's a favourite spot for the cat to curl up.
This is by far my favourite space in our house. We are so lucky to have the room in our house to create this environment for Kale. We've done our best to create a montessori home in other rooms of the house, but having this special space for him is really amazing.
If you want to learn more about the prepared environment, I suggest checking out these links: