The prepared environment in the casita
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The prepared environment is an essential aspect in Montessori education. It is designed so that the child can move safely and freely and invites the child to engage in constructive activities.
An environment for the child
The objects he finds here are meant for his use. They are real objects, e.g. glasses made of glass and cups made of porcelain, because after all the child wants to explore the real world - not a fantasy world. He observes the parents and adults around him and wants to follow their example. It is therefore not satisfied with toys, no matter how wonderfully designed they may be. Rather, it wants to use its maximum strength to do what the adults do: cleaning, cooking, cutting, sweeping, sewing....
Freedom with limits
But it also has to be prepared for this, because it has to learn many things first. Its freedom therefore has very clear limits - it cannot simply do what it wants and when it wants to; rather, it is prepared for this in small manageable exercises - the exercises of practical life - and then has the opportunity to practise and try things out for itself.
Order gives security
The prepared environment is homely and cosy. It is adapted to the size and abilities of the children who live and work in it. It is bright and friendly, clearly structured. All things have their place and the child learns early on to put back the materials it has worked with. This order and clarity helps the child to orientate itself and to act independently of the adult.