Here’s a new series to address that commonly asked question, “where did you get….?” that I often get asked in class.
Now let me state up front that I am not actually a big advocate of buying stuff. Even more so since Marie Kondo came on the scene and I love her idea to only have things in your home that are useful and spark joy (well, we can dream right!).
But if you are going to have activities in the home, then let’s make them beautiful, let’s make them well designed, from natural materials (where possible), and let’s choose activities that allow our children to be curious learners.
So I thought where better to start than where to find Montessori baskets and trays.
Why do we recommend Montessori trays and baskets?
I always advocate having less activities available, set out on low shelves so your child can easily see what is available to choose. Each activity is set out in a tray or basket with everything at the ready.
- This helps the child be independent – they can carry the tray or basket for themselves
- It keeps things together – one tray or basket per activity
- It makes it easier for the child to pack away – who wouldn’t want to encourage that; and
- It nurtures the young child’s sensitive period for order – a place for everything and everything in it’s place
What to look for in a Montessori tray/basket?
Some things to look out for when buying trays and baskets:
- for many activities having a lip or edge on the tray can help prevent things falling off
- look for natural materials where possible – my favourites are wooden trays and baskets from natural fibres
- the size of the tray or basket – can they manage by themselves?
- does the tray or basket allow enough room for the activity to be attractively displayed?
Where to find Montessori baskets and trays
For those of you in the Netherlands, here are my favourite go to places when hunting for new baskets and trays:
- Dille & Kamille
- Sostrene Grene
- Cooking shops
- Second hand stores – for example, on the Overtoom in Amsterdam
- Zara Home
- De Peperbol, Albertcuypstraat
- Sostrene Grene
- Flying Tiger
- Nienhuis via Heutink
- Ikea – check this useful list by Free and Unfettered with IKEA basket and tray options
I also have ordered trays from Absorbent Minds in the UK and Montessori Services in the US. I’ve also spotted some here at Max and Naoli and here at Manine Montessori.
For those of you in Australia, the US and the UK, there is a great list on How We Montessori here, here and here.
The stock changes all the time so it’s worth keeping an eye out and dropping back from time to time.
If you want to see some trays in action, check out this video where I show you how to set up some activities.
So now, tell me, which things are you hunting for? Let me know and I’ll work on some more “where can I find” posts for you soon.