What Is The Purpose Of A Montessori Work Mat?

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What Is The Purpose Of A Montessori Work Mat?

18 February 2016
 Categories: Education & Development, Blog

If your child attends a Montessori preschool, you've probably noticed that the students at your child's school use Montessori work mats in the course of their daily activities. If you're thinking about following the Montessori method at your home, knowing the purpose of the work mat can help you decide whether or not you should provide your child with a work mat at the house.

What is the purpose of a Montessori work mat?

Montessori work mats have many purposes, including:

  • Providing a defined work space for your child. This helps your child to sort their thoughts and keep work organized while completing projects and tasks.
  • Containing messes. Work mats keep projects contained and also limit how many materials can be in use at one time. This makes projects more manageable for both parent and child.
  • Giving your child their own work space, which reduces conflicts. Materials that are in use on one child's work mat cannot be taken or used by another child. This reduces chances of conflict.
  • Makes cleaning up materials easier for children to do on their own. Enabling children to clean up their own messes can foster independence and give children self-confidence.

If you wish to follow the Montessori method at home, should you have a work mat for your child?

Some Montessori schools with younger students do not use work mats. However, if your child's school uses Montessori work mats, having a work mat at home reinforces continuity between school and home. This can make the transition between work and home easier for your child, and can deepen your child's Montessori experience.

What can be used as a Montessori work mat?

A standard rug can easily be converted into a Montessori work mat, as can a large place mat. Whatever you choose for the purpose, it should be light and flimsy so your child can easily roll it up when it's time to put the mat away, and the mat should not be longer than your child is tall, so the size of the mat will be manageable for your child.

How should your child use the work mat?

Very likely your child will know what to do with the work mat if he or she uses mats at school. When a project is about to begin, your child will retrieve his or her mat. All materials for your child's project will stay on the mat while work is being done. When the job is finished, your child will put away the materials and then put away the mat.

For more information about using Montessori work mats, talk to teachers at a school like Franciscan Montessori Earth School and Saint Francis Academy