Montessori style table set for children

Who I am
Philippe Gloaguen
Author and references
Source: Terre di mezzo Editore
"Never help a child do an activity he feels capable of doing on his own." Maria Montessori

And if the child has his own set,

meal times will be even more fun, but above all a pedagogical moment in which the child can prepare the table in complete autonomy.

Read also: Montessori: 20 activities to do in the kitchen with children

The Montessori inspired table set

Here is a chore to do at home inspired by Montessori pedagogy that makes the child participate in the daily activities of the family. With some simple tools we will explain how to pack this object useful for parents, but above all for the child.


The work is taken from the book just released in the bookstore "The Montessori DIY materials", written by Laurence Loiseau-David and published by Terre di Mezzo. A manual to create twenty-two useful and beautiful objects for the growth of each child, from 0 to 6 years.


"The child's intellect does not work alone but is, always and everywhere, intimately connected to the body, in particular to the nervous and muscular system." Maria Montessori

Why do it

As the author of the book, Laurence Loiseau-David explains, when a child does practical work "he feels even more included in family life, participating and making his own habits and customs of the surrounding environment.

This creates a sense of belonging to the community and satisfies the need to work. The child seeks his place in the group by imitating those around him and adapts from an early age thanks to the absorbent mind. ”And he soon feels attracted to the daily tasks that take place around him, such as setting the table.

Since when to propose it?

It is an activity that is proposed when the child is able to walk safely and move with an object in his hands feeling at ease.

Usually between 15 and 18 months the child does not use a knife, "but from about 2 years old he will certainly ask for it, and perhaps even sooner if he can do practical activities such as peeling fruit or cutting vegetables". So to be consistent, it will be necessary to represent the knife in the set if the child uses it.

In the example suggested in the book, the glass is positioned at the top right and not in the center, above the plate, because "taking it and placing it with both hands over the seated plate requires great coordination and above all quite long arms. child will acquire confidence, you have to give him time to coordinate his movements without putting him in a situation of discomfort ".

So feel free to customize the table set to your liking, so that it is realistic with respect to the habits and psychomotor development of the child, who needs concreteness and above all not to be faced with failure.

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How to present the table set to the child?

Rolled up and tied with a ribbon on which you can write the baby's name.

He will be the one to open it himself after washing his hands. After laying it out, he will place the cutlery and plate in the indicated places.

You will not need to explain to the child what to do because he will immediately understand what the figures represented are for.

The first time, however, it may be useful to swipe your finger on the outline of the shapes and name the objects:

“First I put the plate down, plate”. She repeats the name to herself, without article.

Then go on with the fork, spoon, knife (if any) and glass.

In this way we will repeat those daily gestures that we tend to take for granted but which make sense for the child and are useful for his formation and growth.

Materials to make the table set:

  • Oilcloth fabric: 50cm x 30cm
  • Back fabric (cotton or linen canvas): 50cm x 30cm

The set can also be made of thick cotton canvas, but it will be more difficult to wash, while the oilcloth can be cleaned quickly with a swipe of a sponge.

How the table set is made

  1. Cut a rectangle of oilcloth about 27cm x 42cm and a rectangle of fabric for the back of the same size.
  2. Trace the diameter of the plate and glass on the reverse of the oilcloth.
  3. It is advisable to do a test of the zigzag stitching on the tarpaulin to check how the stitch comes out. In fact, depending on the thickness and quality of the canvas, the result will be more or less defined. You can also sew straight stitch on two lines about 5mm apart.
  4. Sew the outline of the plate and glass with a dense zigzag stitch, satin stitch or straight stitch.
  5. After tracing the contours of the cutlery, follow them with a machine seam, always with a zigzag, cord or straight stitch.
  6. You can iron at a low temperature on the wrong side of the canvas with a slightly damp fabric to smooth out the seams.
  7. Overlap the back fabric over the front fabric right sides together and sew all the way around, 1 cm from the hem, leaving an opening of about 10 cm to turn inside out. If the corners are too thick, you can cut the excess fabric.
  8. Turn the table set over, making sure the corners come out well with a wooden stick.
  9. Iron on the back at a low temperature.
  10. Close the opening by topstitching at a distance between 5 and 7 mm from the hem, or, if you like, close the opening by hand.

To learn more:

  • Maria Montessori: life, method and books
  • Montessori school, principles or objectives
  • The 12 most beautiful phrases of Maria Montessori
  • Montessori, 10 principles to educate children about freedom
  • How to celebrate a Montessori birthday
  • The jar of Montessori calm
  • Montessori-style games: what to buy according to age

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