All of us parents have been there – It’s time to feed our children and they aren’t interested. It can be difficult to get a picky eater excited for mealtime. And, mealtimes play an important role in a child’s development. Montessori placemats can improve your little one’s eating experience by promoting independence, coordination, and concentration. This guide explores how Montessori placemats enrich mealtime routines for kids.
What Are Montessori Placemats?
Montessori placemats are designed to make mealtimes engaging while allowing a child to practice important practical life skills. They are crafted to appeal to young children with features like:
- Bright, inviting colors and patterns can set the table for your child’s next meal.
- Designated spaces to hold plates and utensils so kids can learn where utensils go.
- Divided sections for utensils, plates, and cups will also teach kids shapes.
- Labeled colors to teach kids different colors.
- Words on the placemats to help aid with reading single words.
Montessori placemats transform mealtimes into an opportunity for independence, fine motor development, and early learning concepts beyond just eating.
Best Montessori Placemats
The placemat’s simple table setting outlines promote independence and self-feeding, helping your child learn the proper placement of cups and silverware, and gradually allowing them to set the table on their own.
Crafted from high-quality food-grade silicone, this durable and reusable placemat is a breeze to clean. The mat is cleverly designed with a double-sided feature: one side illustrates proper dinnerware placement for young ones, while the other side offers etiquette and social manners tips for older children, featuring insights from the Mannered Monster Olly.
These luxurious placemats are designed to encourage independence in young children and help them learn table-setting etiquette in a fun and interactive way. The graphics on the placemat outline where plates and utensils should be placed, promoting hands-on learning.
These Montessori-inspired placemats encourage independence and learning by letting kids place their plates and utensils themselves. Crafted from 100% safe food-grade silicone, these BPA-free and non-toxic mats are easy to clean – just wipe away stains with a wet rag or even toss them in the dishwasher.
Make mealtime an engaging and educational experience with the merka Silicone Placemat Montessori Set. These colorful placemats are designed to teach children manners and etiquette while they set the table. Crafted from durable silicone, they are easy to clean, making them suitable for all meals.
Enhance your child’s learning experience with the Kids Silicone Placemat for Dining Table featuring a Montessori-inspired design. This unique placemat introduces basic colors and figures in a way that helps kids recognize and name them, while also promoting independent eating skills and self-reliance.
These educational placemats follow Montessori principles, making learning table manners enjoyable for kids. Encourage them to independently place their plates and utensils with KVK’s Montessori placemat, fostering both independent eating skills and word recognition.
Make mealtimes mess-free and engaging with the IYYI Silicone Baby Placemat. This placemat is designed to keep spills and crumbs contained with its raised edge and anti-slip properties. Featuring clear and easy-to-understand illustrations of table settings, it aids in practicing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills while teaching utensil handling.
This 2-pack of durable silicone placemats is easy to clean – simply wipe or put in the dishwasher. Measuring 18″ x 13″, these large placemats accommodate most standard place settings. The easy-to-read printing features a clear and clean design that won’t chip or fade, ensuring readability for all ages.
With their vibrant colors and Montessori-inspired designs, they not only add flair to your home decor but also educate on table setting etiquette. These placemats offer both decoration and protection for your dining table, preventing scratches from hard objects and enhancing holiday aesthetics.
Introduce practical learning with the Generic Montessori placemat. It empowers your child to set up their own table using outlined guides for plate, spoon, fork, and cup placement. Personalize the placemat by adding your child’s name. Measuring 18″ by 12″ and made of 100% cotton, it’s a great tool to enhance Montessori life skills practice.
Enhance learning with the Kiddison Silicone Placemat Montessori Style 2pcs Set, available in White and Blue colors. These placemats are designed with Montessori education in mind and measure 12.6 x 9.1 inches. They provide a great way to learn table setting for meals, whether at home or in classrooms.
6 Bonus Educational Placemats
While the placemats below aren’t technically Montessori-style, they are still educational. Using placemats while children eat is a great way to teach them valuable skills. They can learn about the calendar, the solar system, numbers, colors, shapes, seasons, and even the human body. We decided to list 6 additional top-rated educational placemats for preschoolers and kids.
These placemats feature various educational themes like Time, Money, Calendar, Numbers, Season, and Feeling, making mealtime a chance for learning. Crafted from high-quality plastic, these placemats are waterproof, heatproof, odorless, and non-toxic, ensuring safety for children. They’re also easy to clean, simplifying mealtime cleanup.
Elevate learning during mealtimes with the merka Sight Word Placemats for Kids Set of 5. Created by teachers, these wipeable silicone placemats feature frequently used sight words from Dr. Fry’s list, making them perfect for teaching early reading skills. The mats engage your child’s curiosity with fun designs like breakfast and president-themed mats, fostering a love for learning.
These reusable chalkboard mats provide hours of creative entertainment with washable coloring crayons, encouraging artistic expression and enhancing fine motor skills. Measuring 17″ wide x 11″ tall, they offer ample activity space for both kids and adults.
This collection includes captivating placemats featuring the United States of America map, world map, human body, and solar system. Designed with vibrant colors and graphic elements, these placemats easily grab your child’s attention while making learning engaging and fun.
Make mealtime educational and engaging with the Hapinest 6 Pack Reusable Non-Slip Educational Placemats for Toddlers and Kids. This set includes six placemats, each measuring 11.75’’ x 17.5’’, featuring a variety of educational themes such as the United States map, alphabet, space, numbers, colors, and shapes. These sturdy placemats have a non-slip backing and are easy to wash by hand.
Give your children a head start in learning with the Simply Magic 5 Placemats for Kids. Designed by teachers, these educational placemats are perfect for sparking curiosity and supporting learning. The set includes 5 learning placemats featuring Numbers, USA Money, Weather and Seasons, Calendar, and Time themes, providing a comprehensive foundation for your child’s education.
Why Use Montessori Placemats for Kids?
Montessori placemats provide many benefits that enhance your child’s mealtime routine:
You can encourage your child to take their plate and their utensils and place them on their placemat. In addition, you can encourage them to clean up crumbs, put their dirty dishes and utensils in the sink, and clean their Montessori placemat.
Some Montessori placemats feature different labeled shapes and colors to help children learn.
Teach Place Setting
Each of the placemats can teach kids where they are supposed to put everything when they eat. After doing it a few times, children will learn how to do it themselves without the key.
Engage the Child During Mealtime
Textures, colors, and even the materials of their Montessori placemats can help with curiosity. In addition, the placemats can be a reminder that it’s time to eat their meal.
If you take out the Montessori placemats when it’s time for a meal, then kids will associate the placemat with a meal. Some children struggle to concentrate during mealtime, so the placemat can hopefully help with that.
Montessori Placemat Materials
Montessori placements often use materials that are safe, durable, and engaging for children’s learning. The placemats are generally made with non-toxic silicone, which is easy to clean and reusable. They may also be made with soft fabrics or they may be made out of plastic. These materials are chosen because the silicone can withstand spills and crumbs. In addition, they usually stick to the table much better when they are made out of silicone.
What Ages are Best for Montessori Placemats and Why?
Montessori placemats are most beneficial for children between the ages of 6 months to around 6 years old. During this time, children are in the critical stages of developing their motor skills, coordination, and independence. As they grow, these placemats aid in activities like setting the table, cleaning up, and organizing, fostering a sense of responsibility and self-sufficiency in the child’s daily routines. You can incorporate other educational placemats along with Montessori placemats, especially as kids get older. From the age of 6 months to 3 years, Montessori placemats are perfect for teaching kids place settings and responsibilities. From 4-6 years, you can test other educational placemats that can teach children concepts like Math, Science, History, and Language.
Montessori Placemat Safety Tips
To ensure the safe use of placemats:
- Select BPA-free, non-toxic materials if the food goes directly on the placemat.
- Spot clean after meals and sanitize regularly to prevent germ buildup in crevices.
- Avoid small, loose objects that could become choking hazards for infants and younger toddlers.
- Supervise carefully during use to guide proper handling of materials and utensils.
- For older toddlers and preschoolers, teach them to keep food on the plate and tidy the placemat after eating.
- Store placemats out of reach when not in use.
Making Montessori Placemats at Home
You can easily create DIY Montessori placemats at home on a budget. Add backing grips to homemade placemats to hold plates in place.
No-Sew Felt – Use colorful felt sheets and liquid fuse binding adhesive to craft a simple placemat.
Vinyl Activity Mat – Adhere letter and number stickers or fabric shapes onto a vinyl tablecloth.
Fleece & Flannel – Sew together flannel print and anti-pill fleece to make a cozy soft placemat.
Laminated Paper – Laminate hand-drawn placemat designs or printable activities for durability. Use wipeable dry-erase markers.
Frame Puzzles – Insert letter or shape puzzles between two sheets of acrylic within a picture frame.
Quilted – Create a quilted placemat by stitching together fabric patches in fun patterns.
Wood – Use a flat piece of wood and make sure there are backing grips on it. Paint a design on the wood. Make sure the wood contains no splinters.
Add cork backing grips or fabric pockets to homemade placemats to hold plates in place.
Set the Montessori Table
Here are tips for creating a complete Montessori dining space:
- Child-sized furniture allows independent access and movement.
- Placemat positioned at the table edge secures dishes and aids coordination.
- Small porcelain or stainless steel plates and cups suit little hands.
- Child-safe utensils promote self-feeding.
- An unbreakable water pitcher enables pouring practice.
- Napkin folded simply within reach.
- Healthy, visually appealing foods are prepped for self-serving.
- Fresh flowers invite conversation about nature.
- A table near a window for sensory enrichment.
Crafting a warm, welcoming setting tailored to your child’s abilities makes for calm and engaging mealtimes that build essential life skills. While Montessori placemats are simple for the most part, they can be an important part of building a mealtime routine.
From practicing practical skills to exploring shapes and colors, Montessori placemats transform daily meals into enriching moments. Designed to match each stage of development, they enable children to actively participate in the eating experience.