In a Montessori classroom, when a child chooses work on the floor a work mat is used.
A Montessori work mat or rug is a small carpet that is used to help define a child's work space and speak to a child's sense of order.
It gives a child a defined place to set up and use work, helps reduce the distraction from an area rug and provides a thicker and more solid working surface.
Wondering how to start using work mats?
As with many things in Montessori, the answer is modeling. Show your child 'new work' (a new Montessori item) on a work mat.
Start by slowly unrolling the mat and then getting the item. Over and over, bring materials to a mat. At first, they may continue to work on the floor or at the shelf. But over time, many parents and teachers have seen the children start using the work mat.