Orleans mom packs fun and learning into every Montessori Box
Dupe Michiels is a married 40-year-old ‘mompreneur’ with four kids between the ages of five and 14. The trilingual Orleans resident (she was born in Belgium and is fluent in Dutch, as well as English and French) is the woman behind The Montessori Box, a highly-crafted box packed with toys and games that will, she promises, take learning to the next level for any child.
“I work as a civil servant, a job (that) gives me financial security,” says Michiels, “(and) my side hustle allows me to challenge myself outside of my office job. I am definitely a go-getter and I like to develop my creativity.” Michiels received her Montessori certification in Paris and subsequently owned and operated a daycare in Belgium. Her idea was to use the concept of a subscription boxes and add Montessori toys. “My objective (is) to allow parents and children to benefit from Montessori-style materials in the comfort of their own homes, regardless of social status and monetary means.”
Parenting Times: How and when did you come up with the idea for The Montessori Box?
Dupe Michiels: This idea caught my attention when I had my children. I wanted my children to be independent above all and The Montessori Box promotes a child’s independence. I feel learning the most precious gift we can give to our children. So while attending a Montessori school may be inaccessible to many, this box helps bring the learning experience to every household. It took me a long time to have a clear idea of what I wanted to offer. Once I had the vision, the rest was history.
PT: How did your background in childcare influence your product?
DM: As the (former) owner of a daycare in Belgium, I wanted to implement the Montessori method (of learning) into my daycare program curriculum. It was really a great experience to see the children being stimulated to become autonomous. It was very rewarding. My idea was to provide every child with the opportunity to have access to the Montessori method regardless of the background or the social status. My aim is to make this method accessible and affordable for every household.
PT: Why is The Montessori Box successful?
DM: The early years represent a very crucial stage where children are growing and learning. My boxes provide additional support to parents wanting to use creative learning methods that can be implemented into their child’s everyday life. Why? Because education starts at home.
PT: How do you source the contents for The Montessori Box?
DM: The main items in all my boxes are sourced both locally and across Canada. For example, a Quebec craftsman makes wooden toys for me. I wanted Canadian-made products, when available, to ensure quality, reliability and availability. All toys are certified to meet very stringent European, American and/or Canadian toy standards.
PT: What’s in The Montessori Box?
DM: There are four different boxes (all age related). Each box contains four to five educational items, including eco-friendly wooden toys, in line with each developmental stage of a child within the following themes: sensory skills, mathematics, practical life, music and science and arts.
PT: What boxes do you currently offer and how much do they cost?
DM: I have four boxes. Each box is a curated cardboard box with wooden Montessori toys that have a lifespan that is significantly longer than plastic ones. Instead of having to keep buying the same plastic toy because it breaks easily (or keep buying new batteries), my wooden toys can survive decades. The Montessori boxes are categorized by age. Montessori items can be very expensive. I want my prices to be affordable to every household. These boxes are really good educational item to have in your home and also are an excellent gift for your child, niece, nephew or a grandchild.
- The Nido Box (0-12 months): The prepared environment – coordination, movement and stimulation. This box has special handmade materials that will engage and satisfy your child’s need for developing individuality and mastery of the environment at a very early age ($106).
- Young Learners’ Box (12-18 months): Coordination, movement and stimulation. This box allows children to absorb endless amounts of knowledge during a fertile period of their cognitive development ($96).
- Practical Life Box (18-24 months): Building independence and routine. This box encourages independence and prepares your child for future growth, as learning becomes more self-directed ($86).
- Milestones Box (2-3 years old): Exploration into the adult world. This box introduces children to practical life activities and routine as your child is exploring and testing the adult world ($76).
What is The Montessori Box?
The Montessori Box is a selectively-arranged package providing quality, safe, bilingual and eco-friendly Montessori-style learning materials that trace a child’s developmental stages.
“Our goal as a box company,” says Orleans ‘mompreneur’ Dupe Michiels, “is to share this method in a Montessori curated box and allow every household to experience creative learning and give the opportunity for each child to experience this unique approach.”
The Montessori Box encourages life preparation, concentration and independence from and early age. Each box provides “a solid foundation for autonomy and self-growth of your child,” adds Michiels, “giving your child to explore activities and concepts at their own pace.”
The materials are environmentally friendly and comply with all International and Canadian toy safety standards.
For more information, check out The Montessori Box Facebook page www.facebook.com/The-Montessori-Box-102036887824371/ or visit montessoribox.store/subscribe/