So . . . we had our clean slate, and we added a brush of fresh paint to refresh some old shelves and furniture. What next? It was time to obsess over details. It took several days to decide on the area rug. We measured and remeasured the space available. We considered color and texture, and decided on a rug that was mostly plain and flat in texture. This was important, as this was the area the children will use for building the pink tower and other structures. So many rugs available were just too busy. We were glad to find a rug that was mostly plain. The squares around the outside of the rug help children find their personal space for listening to stories and joining in songs – not too close to your neighbor! When the rug arrived we realized that it has a built in black line for practicing ‘walking on the line’ and that the colors could be used for lots of games.
On to another decision – seating! On a recommendation from a friend we chose these cubes. They are strong, lightweight, stable, durable and flexible. The chairs can be flipped over to lower or raise the height of the seat. They have backrests and armrests for comfort and safety. The chairs can be flipped over to provide a small desk or table, or a stool for an adult. And, our color theme was definitely developing into ‘brights.’ We also have some small wooden chairs, a couple of rocking chairs, and a mattress on the floor – choice is always important.
Adding a portable sink with hot water was a really expensive decision for us, but we know that two year olds love water and we want to encourage handwashing, and so we added this handwashing area to the snack area of the classroom.
Even choosing plates, bowls, silverware and glasses can take a long time. For example, the glasses we chose were advertised as very sturdy (a plus, when considering safety). The sides of the glasses are dimpled to provide a better grip. The glasses are stubby, not top heavy, and weighty – so they are less likely to be knocked over or broken. We had a child test these glasses for us, as far as size and comfort for small hands – perfect! These glasses, like the pitchers we will use, come from the Montessori Services Company. They are an excellent resource for families, as well as schools. The plates, bowls and serving dishes we chose are so small and so pretty – mostly white, with bands of blue, purple and green. Having a very distinctive and matching look for our new classroom was important as we will be sharing a dishwasher with an adjacent classroom. When it is time to empty the dishwasher, we’ll know what belongs to our room.