Creative Ways to Engage with Montessori Materials

In a Montessori classroom or homeschool environment, there will be times when your child appears to have no interest in the works on the shelf whatsoever. Maybe they’ll work with the pink tower one time, and then never choose it again. Maybe they’re complaining that they’re bored and have nothing to do. It’s time to get creative!!!

Sometimes the traditional Montessori materials like the pink tower or brown stair can be kind of… boring! BUT *you* know that they also include some important learning objectives. So it’s time to introduce some extensions to get your child interested in them again! Here are some fun extensions to try:

You can also try adding more movement to your shelf work! Getting that whole body moving around the classroom can spark interest as well as help the brain make more connections. Here are some ways to infuse movement into your work:

You can also get your child interested in the work on the shelf by asking for her help putting out new work. Bring her over to your work storage and say, “I need to put out two new works on the Language shelf. Which ones do you think we should put out?” It can even be as simple as letting your child choose the specific work tray, basket, or utensil for a certain work. You can also get your child’s help with preparing printable materials! Just remember that it won’t look very good at first — but it is purposeful work!

To bring interest to the works that are already on the shelf, declare a cleaning day. Take everything off the shelf and put it on the floor so you can thoroughly dust the shelf, then put it all back where it belongs. Sometimes that reminds your child of just what works are available that she may have forgotten about!

Sit down with a work that you’ve been hoping your child will choose and do that work yourself. Try doing it blindfolded. Try doing an extension. She’ll see you doing it and may want to try it herself.

Once you find something that sparks interest, tuck that method into your Montessori toolbelt so you don’t forget to try it the next time this happens!