Montessori Ideas: Building an Outdoor Environment

We are in the midst of selling our current home and closing on our new home. If you have been through this you know it can be stressful and exciting all at the same time. I particularly love to think about all the cool stuff we will do with our new house. I am particularly excited about our new, huge backyard. It is about three times as large as our current backyard! All of the open-ended space has got me and my 5 year old thinking about the fabulous possibilities!

The new home is also situated across the street from a park so I do not feel it necessary to buy or build a playground since their is an awesome one fifty yards away. I decided instead to focus on creating an outdoor Montessori environment. I came across

Awesome example of natural climbing materials from

Awesome example of natural climbing materials from

this great description of the Montessori idea of “natural playgrounds” from Montessori Print Shop.

Natural Playgrounds allow for open-ended, multi-age, sensorial play. It allows for children to explore nature (watch birds and bugs build homes), as well as plant, nurture and harvest living things (flowers and vegetable gardens) – how Montessori!

Natural playgrounds offer settings that encourage children to explore their imagination! These natural playgrounds allow both gross and fine motor skills to be engaged. They increase cognitive skills, attention span, collaborative play, and allow creativity to flourish.  

With this in mind, my daughter and I brainstormed the following possibilities for our new yard:

  • At least one kid-sized table (we will take our current kid picnic table from our current house to our new house)
  • Something to climb on and jump off of like a balance beam or climbing wall
  • Both vegetable and flower gardens
  • A weather station with thermometer, barometer, and rain gauge
  • A nature station with magnifying glasses and bug catchers to observe our backyard ecosystem
  • A sand table (again, we currently have this and it will move with us)
  • An outdoor chalkboard for outdoor art (we have one now, but we will make a new one for the new house)
  • A rope swing on one of the big trees
  • A sturdy structure to act as a kid retreat like a tree- or play-house.


I am excited to see it come to life over the next few months!

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