Set Up & Lesson Ideas — The Montessori-Minded Mom

If you’ve at any time had the opportunity to see within a Montessori classroom, you could have seen a compact table or a big tray protected in products from character – a nature desk.

What is it, however? What intent does it serve?

Currently, you will learn what a Montessori character desk is, what its reason is, and how you can established one particular up in your house or classroom.

You are going to also get some pleasurable nature desk lesson concepts for each season, as effectively as some concepts for mother nature table themes.

Image of child making sand impressions at a Montessori nature table.

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What is a nature table?

The character desk is an significant element of Montessori classrooms. It’s building its way into mainstream classrooms, as very well, as specialists concur on the relevance of educating little ones about nature.

It’s an simply accessed location exactly where small children can take a look at merchandise from mother nature in the classroom.

Generally talking, character tables are picket, durable, and lower to the ground for protected and quick access.

Trays can be used as a substitute of tables, as well.

Some Montessori guides forgo trays and tables altogether and produce a nature display along the major of a minimal shelf.

Little ones remaining equipped to explore the resources quickly is the most essential factor when you’re picking whether or not to established up a table vs a tray, ect.

The goal of the nature desk in Montessori is to give kids a area to discover character sensorially.

The mother nature table provides young children a concrete illustration of products identified in nature that are frequently passed by throughout walks or only seen in photographs.

This encourages a child’s adore of nature, their being familiar with of interconnectedness, and their need for exploration and inquiry.

How do you established up a Montessori character table?

If you are interested in environment up your personal nature desk, you will begin with, as we mentioned above, the method of screen.

Right here are some alternatives that I recommend.

Character tables

Youngster-sizing tables, as properly as sensory bins, make great nature tables. Here are a pair of selections that work effectively.


If you strategy on using trays or baskets for your classroom or property-primarily based nature exploration, these are great alternatives.

In addition to the choices under, you can verify out my tray & basket tutorial to help you find the right one.

The test instantly below is extremely pleasant for exhibiting mother nature things in distinct classes.

This is a great preference for the reason that it has compartments, as nicely as some bowls and resources young children can use for checking out.


Montessori-design and style shelving models, like the one particular under, are well-known for character shows.

Some people today put trayed character goods on best of a shelf, as properly as some loose goods and the equipment wanted for exploration.

Exploration tools

In addition to the system of show, you will also want resources to assistance the little one(ren) discover.

Obviously, the instruments you will need to have rely on what goods you are environment out for exploration.

Listed here, however, are some prevalent character exploration equipment.

Organic objects

Now that you know the essentials of how to set up a character desk, let us go above some merchandise from nature you could possibly use.

This is nowhere near a thorough listing, of course. These ideas should get you started off, although, and prompt you to appear up with some of your possess.

  • pine cones
  • feathers
  • cicada “skins”
  • stones
  • shells
  • flower petals
  • leaves
  • pine needles
  • twigs
  • spices
  • gords
  • coral
  • snake skins
  • animal bones
  • empty birds nests


Many instructors pick to show guides on or close to the nature desk that coincide with the goods on the table, the time, or the concept of the table.

Montessori-aligned character desk lesson suggestions

Figuring out what to include on your mother nature table isn’t as tough as it may well look at 1st.

In this article are some concepts to get you started out.


If you are placing up your character table in the winter season, you can include evergreen sprigs and holly berries.

You can have the baby make tracks with animal figurines in clay or sand, like tracks they may see from animals strolling as a result of the snow.

A e-book about hibernation would go together with a winter-themed nature desk rather well.


Spring is a exciting time to set up a nature desk. Flower petals, dandelions in their numerous stages, and blades of grass are a whole lot of fun for small children to check out.

A ebook about pollination is wonderful to accompany a spring-themed character table.


Summer months is a superb time for a beach and ocean-life character table. You can set out sea shells, sea glass, coral, or everything else you come across at the beach front.

A reserve about marine life and preserving our oceans is perfect for this season’s nature desk.


Slide is my preferred season for our nature desk. Pine cones, leaves in different stages of decomposition, pine needles, and spices linked with drop are best for character tables throughout this year.

A guide about why leaves change hues is fantastic to accompany a drop-themed character table.

There’s no need to adhere to a period-themed mother nature table. These are all just concepts to get you started out.

You can pick out things for your desk based on what your youngster is fascinated in, the device or discovery you are centered on, or even the letter seem they are mastering.

The limit is your creativeness – your mother nature desk could concentrate on unique sorts of stones, leaves, shells, ect.

The alternatives are just about limitless.

If you discover your youngster is excluding the character table in their rotation of things to do, it could be that you need to trade the goods with some others or adjust the theme altogether.

Bear in mind, it’s most effective to usually observe the kid in their understanding endeavors.

It’s also significant to bear in mind that lessons at the mother nature desk are good, but a good deal of unbiased exploration must be allowed, as perfectly.

If you have a nature table in your dwelling or classroom, what objects do your youngsters enjoy?

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