Before I was a mama, I was a preschool teacher. The school I worked at focused a lot on Emergent Curriculum and Reggio with a dash of Montessori thrown in here and there and I always knew that I would be pulling from many of the things I used in my classroom when it came to teaching my own children one day. A big part of the learning philosophy we employed was creating little spaces throughout the classroom that would foster learning and I always loved that, so this past weekend I decided to create a little space just for Fern. Her room is already very much geared toward her exploration (see her Montessori inspired room tour here), but I thought a special little space in the main part of the house would be a great addition.
There are a variety of learning spaces I would like to create in the future, but for now I started with a writing space (although, really she can do whatever other activities she would like in the space as well). I got this table for a song during a shopping trip and we happened to have an antique chair at home and once I had those, I had to decide what supplies I wanted to put out for Fern.
You will notice that in the photo of the desk there are pens and pencils, but after taking the photo, I decided to ditch them and stick with “safer” writing utensils. I knew that Fern would be able to use pencils and pens, but only with supervision since she’s not super coordinated yet and I wouldn’t put it past her to run around with these sharp objects – not safe. I decided to put out chalk and a little chalkboard, because those are both items she can access freely without having to wait for my guidance and she loves them. I also included little pads of paper for her to write on once I add crayons and some colored chalk to the mix (somehow I lost ours!). As she gets older I will rotate out some of the supplies add to it. Eventually I would include items like scissors, scrap paper, glue, even recycled materials (milk jugs, paper bags, cardboard boxes, etc.)…basically anything that she could use to create with.
And here is her new space in use. This little set-up has quickly become Fern’s favorite place to be in the entire house and she races to draw here when she wakes up in the morning or from a nap. I think it has been empowering for her to have a special space that is all hers to do with as she pleases – and she definitely changes it up bringing over snacks to eat at the table or books to read. That’s the beauty – it is open ended and she can use it in a variety of ways!