Montessori Basics 5: Essentials of a 3-6 Classroom

Welcome to the next installment of the Montessori Basics series! According to my visitor tracking program, the first four posts in this series have been extremely popular. I actually did a variation on this post a few months ago, but I’ve updated and expanded it for this series.

Many times people ask me what the very basic items are that are necessary for a 3-6 classroom. This can be a parent who is looking to homeschool with Montessori, or a teacher or director who is opening a new classroom. This list is flexible, and should be modified to fit the specific needs of a home or school. It’s just a starting point, and materials can always be added as needed.

So, here are the very basics of a 3-6 classroom setup:

Essential General Equipment:

1. Child-sized table and chair
2. Rug (flat, off-white) and table mat (cloth placemat)
3. Pencils and paper
4. Plants, animals (pets), and artwork
5. Age-appropriate books of all kinds
6. Shelves for holding materials

Essentials for Practical Life:

1. Pouring, spooning, tweezing, and tonging work
2. Cleaning equipment (child-sized broom, sponge, scrub brush, etc.)

Essentials for Sensorial:

1. Pink Tower
2. Red Rods
3. Brown Stair
4. Color Tablets – Box 1

Essentials for Math:

1. Spindle Boxes
2. Sandpaper Numerals
3. Cards & Counters
4. Golden Bead Set

Essentials for Language:

1. Matching Cards (like our Pre-Reading Sets)
2. Sandpaper Letters
3. Movable Alphabet
4. Pink Series Work (objects, cards, pictures)

Essentials for Cultural:

1. Globe and world map puzzle
2. Nomenclature Cards (plants, animals)
3. Land and Water Forms (cards, clay, and water)

Essentials for Art and Music:

1. Musical instruments (rhythm instruments)
2. Art supplies including paint, scissors, glue, crayons, etc.

Essential Teacher Tools:

1. Comprehensive List for 3-6
2. Montessori Play & Learn by Lesley Britton
3. Info Montessori – online 3-6 albums

Many thanks to Hanya, of My Montessori House, for the original list of 3-6 essentials.