Thoughts on a “Prepared Environment”

When I think of the term “Prepared Environment,” I always think about my Great  Grandmother reminding us that “everything has a place and there’s a place for  everything.” I enjoy when there is order and things have a home. I cannot cook in a dirty  kitchen and if I go into a room and things are thrown about, before I can focus on the  task at hand, it needs to be tidied or prepared. Children need to have access to things  such as cups they can physically reach, water pitchers that are small enough if filled that  they can pour from independently. Maria Montessori discovered that children will sit up  straight and eat with manners if modeled for and also if they are able to sit in chairs  their size and at tables in which they can sit up to eat from with ease.

Fostering independence requires a bit of upfront preparation work from the adult but  the gains will be proven over time through consistency and observation.