Montessori the Airbnb in 30 minutes


My family is visiting and have moved into an Airbnb, I couldn’t resist Montessori-ing the shelves in 45 minutes for my 6mo nephew,my 2.5yo and 4yo, using only items found in the Airbnb.

We’ve prepared the environment in a hotel room previously, but a whole apartment affords opportunity to maximise the space and items therein. We often think Montessori is about buying all the wooden toys, but that is partly a marketing ploy. Because Montessori is a lifestyle, it can be adapted for your own home, using whatever is in your own home, without spending more.


Before shot, perfectly pleasant, living room shelves dominated by puzzles including one scattered on floor. Puzzles on left, with three animals and oversized knobs, are too easy for my toddler and preschooler.


I flipped through the books in the Airbnb and moved some Montessori-friendly books (AMI tips for selecting Montessori books here) to the magazine rack, displaying their covers frontally. I also included a cookbook and B&B book because they have beautiful photographs that I think the children would be drawn to and might make nice conversation starters with their grandma.


I’m not anti-plastic, just anti-battery as the cause-and-effect is unclear e.g. You might press a button but unrelated music blares for 20 seconds, as opposed to pressing a microwave button and getting a clear result.

I found these farm animals and farmer and put them in a bag for small world play. It could be more realistic, but we make do!


A little Korean decorative box that the Airbnb owner had displayed on a top shelf. Perfect as an open and close activity with its latch and tiny drawers (holes in the back of the box to push the drawers out). If I find some tiny small objects (earrings? receipts?) to put in each drawer, it will reinforce the one to one correspondence.


Two more empty boxes lying around the Airbnb. I put maracas in one, and beads and ribbon from a pull-along train toy. The set itself was incomplete so instead of offering that, I just picked a few beads.


And finally an underwater theme in the top left corner, with a diving book, turtle print, finger puppet book and penguin puzzle.

The bead maze stayed but I kept the other puzzles for rotation, save for the transport one which Dylan likes, and isn’t as cartoony.

Done in 30 min!

If you liked this, you might enjoy my video on Montessori-ing the kitchen and snack/ water station! Do check out my Facebook page where we post updates and hacks regularly.

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