The Power Dr. Maria Montessori once remarked, “Play is the work of the child.” In a world where structured learning and academic pressures often overshadow the joy and spontaneity of childhood, Montessori education stands as a beacon, emphasizing the significance of play and child-led activities. Let’s dive into the Montessori perspective on play and discover its unparalleled impact on a child’s development.

Play as a Natural Learning Mechanism

Children are born explorers. Their innate curiosity drives them to interact, experiment, and understand the world around them. In the Montessori paradigm, this natural exploration is recognized and celebrated as a powerful learning tool.

Characteristics of Montessori Play

  1. Purposeful and Meaningful: In a Montessori setting, play isn’t aimless. Whether a child is sorting colored beads or arranging wooden blocks, each activity has a developmental goal—be it fine motor skills, cognitive development, or sensory discrimination.
  2. Self-directed: Montessori play is rooted in choice. Children choose what they want to engage with, how they wish to approach it, and the duration of their engagement. This autonomy fosters independence and decision-making skills.
  3. Integrated Learning: Play in Montessori classrooms often merges various learning domains. A simple activity like pouring water not only teaches practical life skills but also instills concepts of volume, gravity, and cause-effect relationships.

Role of the Environment

A hallmark of Montessori education is the ‘prepared environment’. Classrooms are meticulously organized with child-sized furniture and a plethora of learning materials, encouraging self-directed play. Everything is accessible, inviting children to choose, use, and return materials autonomously.

Benefits of Montessori Play

  1. Holistic Development: Beyond academic learning, play nurtures socio-emotional skills, problem-solving abilities, and physical development.
  2. Boosting Creativity: With minimal adult interference, children have the freedom to think out-of-the-box and approach tasks innovatively.
  3. Building Resilience: Through trial and error, children learn to cope with failures and celebrate successes, fostering resilience and determination.

Embracing Montessori Play: Events and Resources

For educators and parents keen on understanding and embracing Montessori play, attending professional gatherings can be enlightening. One such notable event is the Children Change The World Montessori Conference in Canada. Renowned as the best Montessori conference in the region, it offers insights, workshops, and hands-on experiences. For detailed schedules and sessions, visit


Montessori’s perspective on play is a testament to the profound understanding of childhood and its needs. By embracing and facilitating purposeful play, we not only cater to children’s immediate joys but also sow the seeds for lifelong learning and well-being.

The Power

Montessori School in Calgary