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How to Create a Montessori Binder

There are times when families want or need to provide a Montessori education for their children in the home, but they don't have shelves, trays, and traditional materials.

At times there's no room for these things.  Other times finances don't permit these luxuries.  And then there are times, like with the coronavirus where families hadn't planned on homeschooling and now find themselves in that situation.

I am here to say a Montessori education at home is possible without shelves, trays and traditional materials.  All you need to do is learn how to create a Montessori Binder!

How to Create a Montessori Binder when Shelves, Trays, and Materials Are Not Available


The Montessori Binder is not a new concept for our family.  We've used it multiple times over the years in different circumstances.

When we go on longer vacations we bring our Montessori Binder along to make sure we're still learning and no one regresses.

There was a time when we could not afford a new set of shelves, and so we created a Montessori Binder for Sunshine to store all of her activities.

Currently, we are in the process of creating a Montessori Binder for Sunshine to use in residential.  It will be filled with fun activities we can do with her during visits.

Basically, the Montessori Binder allows for a Montessori education no matter where you are or plan to go.

Here's how it works!

4 Steps to Creating a Montessori Binder

How to Create a Montessori Binder from Every Star Is Different

1. Grab a 4'' Three Ring Binder.  

You'll want a binder that's larger in order to fit as many activities as possible.  Depending on how many children you have or how many subjects you're trying to cover you may want more than one.

I like using a binder that's really strong and also has a cover on the front so I can make it more personalized and beautiful.

How to Create a Montessori Binder

2. Find Cloth Zipper Pouches for a three ring binder.

Cloth zipper pouches make the perfect tray substitutes.  I say cloth, because the plastic ones usually aren't durable enough.  Match the number of zipper pouches to the number of activities you want in the binder.

I like using color coded pouches as they add more beauty to the Montessori experience and you can color code subjects or unit themes.

How to Create a Montessori Binder

3. Obtain Sheet Protectors with Zippers.

Just like in the Montessori classroom, not all activities fit on smaller trays. For bigger activities or those that include a full sheet of paper, use sheet protectors with zippers.  Those without zippers tend to be quite frustrating as items fall out.

The sheet protectors with zippers also are a great way to "laminate" sheets of paper to make them more durable and reusable.  Just think of all the possibilities when you add a few dry erase markers!

4. Prepare Montessori Activities

Using our bundles, individual products, and free printables, create your Montessori activities, placing one in each pouch or sheet protector.

Pioneer Busy Bags for Tots & Preschoolers w/ Free Printables

You can see an example of how we did this for Sunshine in the post: Pioneer Busy Bags for Tots & Preschoolers with Free Printables.  We even used one for a snack option as these were used in church each week.

5. Arrange Montessori Activities in Binder

This is where busy bags meet Maria Montessori's orderly environment.  Whether you organize by subject, theme, or whatever, you will want to organize the pouches and sheet protectors in the binder.

Using a binder to store work helps the child be able to look through the activities in an organized manner.

If the pouches and sheet protectors are just thrown into a drawer or container, they are much more difficult to look through.

See how easy it is to create a Montessori learning environment anywhere, when you don't have shelves, trays, or materials!

It may not be as fabulous as a Montessori classroom at home or at school, but sometimes that's just not possible.  When it's not, this is the next best thing.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the posts below.
The Best Tips for Montessori Homeschooling Montessori Is More Than Shelves and Materials Montessori Homeschooling Support and Resources

How to Create a Montessori Binder when Shelves, Trays, and Materials Aren't Available

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate this idea. As a parent you feel sometimes you can not progress in Montessori education without all the bells and whistles. This inspires me to keep going with what we have.

    ReplyDelete