The Prepared Environment is an important part of the triad that makes up the Montessori Method. The resources included here are intended to provide you with ideas for creating and/or expanding your space to help optimize learning outcomes by thinking in new ways about what a classroom is and what it can be. When thinking about the “prepared environment” consider how its elements reflect the learning process as developed by Dr. Montessori, for example the significance of of nature, the importance of movement, classroom management, materials and their use and storage, etc. Don’t miss our other Online Resources pages that cover areas such as Teaching and Instruction, Childhood Health and Safety, Educational Technology, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Educational Technology, and Curriculum.

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Montessori Architectural Patterns is a recent project performed in association with AMI in which two architects visited and reviewed a number of “children’s houses” from around the world to identify patterns of design and their relationship to Montessori pedagogical practices. The resulting list of elements were collected into this article, which contains images of some of the schools. The article can be downloaded and used for considering the design of schools.

This study resulted in a book titled Montessori Architecture: A Design Instrument by Steve Lawrence, Benjamin Stæhli

There also slides from a lecture about this paper that capture the list of patterns along with school images.

Design Guidelines for Montessori Schools is a paper by Raquel De Jesus that is intended to be used when considering design requirements for Montessori schools that will enhance their mission of delivering a Montessori education. The list of guidelines was derived from Montessori’s writings, interviews with Montessori schools, and more general criteria for early childhood education facilities. This paper can be downloaded.

Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds is a leading provider in the design and development of nature-based playspaces. They are committed and passionate about their mission to create play areas that are innovative, physically challenging and that support children’s development through immersive experiences with nature. Their website contains a variety of resources that can assist you in the design and funding of the prepared environment that is your school’s playground.

The Wild Network strives to focus attention on ways to overcome the profound barriers that prevent kids and their families from getting and providing enough time in outdoor, natural settings – what they refer to as Wild Time. There is a a growing understanding that children need more of it in their lives and that if family life, communities and schools can be restructured so that they provide more of it then everyone can thrive. This site offers teachers a range of resources specifically designed to promote Wild Time.

Playground Ideas – Playground Ideas is a non-profit organization that supports anyone, anywhere to build a stimulating space for play using only local materials, tools, and skills. Playground DIY projects are the core of our work. We were founded with a goal to provide free designs, how-to handbooks, and online support to empower communities around the world to build beautiful spaces for their children to play using only resources they can easily find locally.

Life Lab is a national leader in the garden-based learning movement with over thirty-five years of work with young people in gardens. Their site provides a wealth of resources for teachers and parents interested in using gardening and food cultivation as a curriculum to teach children a variety of subjects. Through workshops and consultations, they provide tens of thousands of educators across the country with the inspiration and information necessary to engage young people in gardens and on farms to promote experiential learning for people of all ages. Their award-winning publications are the go-to resource for educators and families interested in engaging young people in gardens and gardening.