1st Edition

Incorporating Montessori Principles into Your Early Years Environments A Guide to Following the Child

By Sarah Cummins Copyright 2025
    176 Pages 51 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    176 Pages 51 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Incorporating Montessori Principles into Your Early Years Environments will allow readers to understand the developing child in their early years setting and how to adapt a Montessori approach to meet their pupils’ needs.

    This book shares an insight into Maria Montessori’s extensive research, observations, and findings about child development and education, enabling them to transfer these to their own setting. Based on the scientific observation of the child and the stages of development they go through, Montessori pedagogy can be successfully applied in any setting and is well-known for its child-centered, holistic and individualized approach to education. By addressing its key principles such as respect for the child, prepared environment, and the role of the adult, chapters highlight the overarching vision Montessori’s approach had and explore how and why it can still be so meaningful in today’s early years classrooms. This book will allow the reader to reflect on the framework they work with and offer examples of adapted practice as well as highlighting the importance of knowing the children, observing their work and planning suitable resources and activities that will nurture their development.

    This is an essential reading for trainee Montessori teachers, trainee educators, early childhood professionals and childminders, empowering them to enhance learning and development for their pupils, whilst instilling love and respect throughout their interactions with them.

    1. The Montessori Approach
    2. Montessori Early Years: The Child; The Adult and The Prepared Environment
    3. Observation
    4. The Planes of Development & The Absorbent Mind
    5. The Sensitive Periods
    6. The prepared Environment
    7. Play is Work
    8. Freedom within Limits
    9. Hands on Learning
    10. Independence
    11. Respect
    12. Language
    13. Mathematics
    14. Movement and Wellbeing
    15. Social and Emotional Development
    16. Making it work in your Environment


    Sarah Cummins is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, Leeds Trinity University, UK.

    “I am pleased to endorse this new contribution to early years libraries on working in early childhood education with Montessori principles. The book expertly explains key concepts from Montessori’s approach and their relevance in contemporary early childhood contexts. 

    This text supports educators to understand the developing child in their early years setting and how to adapt a Montessori approach to meet the child’s needs at that time. Starting with the importance of observation and knowing the child, the book offers practical suggestions to help plan appropriate resources and activities.

     The author has used their extensive knowledge and experience, bringing together theory and practice to create a text which is rooted in theory and yet is highly practical.

    This is a modern, up to date, well-researched and easy-to-follow guide for students, educators, and leaders alike. It reminds us to reconnect with our purpose – to follow the child.”

    Nathan Archer, Director, International Montessori Institute, Leeds Beckett University, UK

    “Interest in Montessori pedagogy is increasing as practitioners look for approaches to support young children’s holistic development in their early years environments. This is a must have book for education and early years students and practitioners, internationally, who want to develop their knowledge and practice through a Montessori lens.  Sarah’s intuitive understanding of both the early years child and the Montessori method will enable the reader to understand and reflect through their own cultural lens to create learning environments in which children will flourish and reach their full potential.”

    Michelle Wisbey, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader, MA Montessori Education, School of Education and Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University, UK