Floor Mat for Montessori Dogs
The Montessori 'floor mats' are an integral part of the classroom environment. They define a child's work space and contain the spread of materials, helping to promote organisation skills. The use of floor mats also helps to maintain a sense of order in the classroom or home as each activity has clearly defined physical boundaries.
The benefits of floor mats for a Montessori child are well known - now we can offer the same advantages to our Montessori dogs at dinner time! The Floor Mat for Montessori Dogs comes in four styles - Blue (reading 'Woof'), Black & White (with paw prints), Green (with paw prints) and Yellow (reading 'Spoiled Rotten'). The mats measure around 55cm wide and 27cm high.
A Montessori child who is caring for a pet dog will greatly enjoy the novelty of giving their furry friend a floor mat. It also has the practical purpose of helping to define the boundaries of the dog's space, keeping the food contained and off the floor.
The floor mat is also a useful tool when presenting 'Grace and Courtesy' lessons to your Montessori dog (also known as 'training'!). As my Montessori dog Ringo kindly demonstrates - the dog can learn to associate the presence of the floor mat with an impending meal. A child will take great pleasure in helping to reinforce this lesson, encouraging the dog to show the courtesy to 'sit' while the meal is poured.
The Floor Mat for Montessori Dogs can also act as a safety mechanism. If you would like your young child to participate in feeding the dog, but you are concerned about the safety of your child being close to a hungry canine, then the floor mat can be placed away from the dog while the child pours the meal. The child can learn to place the food at the mat, not close to the dog, and the dog can then be allowed to move to the mat once the child has stepped away. The mat can also act as a "Do not disturb" sign. If your dog is particularly protective while eating then the mat can be placed down only during meal times as a striking signal to your child that he/she cannot approach the dog. When the adult is satisfied that the dog has finished the meal then the mat can be collected so the child knows it is safe to interact with the dog again.