The Purpose of Work Rugs

The work rug performs an important function in the Montessori classroom. It is a tool children use to define their work space; it gives them freedom within limits. It also is one of the very first classroom objects they are taught to care for with independence.
In the classroom children choose a rug and a space to work before choosing the work itself. They are taught to respect their work by carrying the rug with both hands, finding an appropriate space where their rug will fit and still allow their classmates freedom of movement, walking around the rug rather than over it when moving in the classroom, as well as rolling and unrolling the rug with great care.
While not technically a Montessori work themselves, the rugs are a part of the classroom environment that teaches responsibility and respect.