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  • Writer's pictureSarah

A Play-Based, Child-Led Home Tour: Amber of The Playful Learner

Updated: Apr 11, 2022


This week I interviewed Amber of The Playful Learner. I've admired Amber's approach to setting up her home and her creative activities that she posts on Instagram. The thing that stands out for me is how thoughtful and authentic she seems. I love that she takes what works best for her and her family, including a minimalist approach to toys and activities, and ignores what doesn't work. Her suggestions for a child-friendly home for the whole family are realistic and attainable. I really hope you enjoy this play-based, child-led (with a sprinkle of Montessori inspiration) home tour and interview!

Tell me about yourself...

Hello! I’m Amber! I’m a former preschool teacher, current part-time elementary art teacher currently staying home with my little guys. I blog at / @ThePlayfulLearner on IG. How old are your children?

Solomon is 3 and Apollo is 1

outside toys

What is your experience with Montessori and has the philosophy influenced your parenting at all?

I spent about 8 of my 10 years as a preschool teacher in Montessori classrooms! Although I am not Montessori trained, and I’m not 100% on the Montessori bandwagon, I think Maria Montessori was a genius and I completely respect her methods. I have taken quite a bit of the Montessori method into how I am as a teacher and mom. How have you created a Prepared Environment in your home?

Not completely, but in some areas I have. Our toy shelves are definitely set up more like a Montessori classroom than some homes, and we have floor beds for our boys (we never had cribs). I try to make most of the home safe and accessible to them in a way that I believe to be Montessorian.

shared bedroom with floor beds

What are your top 3 activities to do with your children or to watch your children do?

We love baking together. My older son loves anything reading or trucks, and my younger son loves anything musical. My favorite is when they play together! My 1 year old is starting to talk a little more, so my 3 year old is more interested in letting him in on play.

How do you deal with toy/activity/material storage and rotation?

We have a couple shelves that have their current selection of toys, set up in an accessible way. I switch it up once or twice a month depending on their interests. I find that if it’s starting to get messier, it probably means that they’re bored and need a refresher. The toys not out are in the dresser that our TV sits on, and the arts and sensory materials are in a cupboard in the laundry room (Just in case one of the little ones figures out how to open that dresser, I don’t want glitter and moon sand scattered everywhere!)