Setting up a Montessori environment for your toddler at home may seem overwhelming at first. I find that the biggest misconception that many parents have is that in order to provide your child with proper environment that will support the child's desire to be independent and meet their sensitive period for details and order means you have to spend lots of money on expensive Montessori furniture and materials. However, I believe it is not the case. I am going to share how we managed to arrange our child's environment in Montessori style with minimum expanses.
1) Bed - to avoid buying expansive floor bed we got wooden frame from IKEA, cut legs of it to place on the floor to allow our daughter to get in and out on her own. We also attached a bed safety rail (it is not on a photo) to stop her from rolling of it.
2) Wardrobe . Hanging shelves are a great way to assist your child's independence. Placing their clothes on lower shelves will allow them to reach it when necessary. Wardrobe is also a storage space for toys and books. There is one shelf for DIY activities, eg pouring, sorting and printable cards, a container to store trays and boxes for activities, and an area for books and toys storage.
3) Activity Shelves. We use low shelving for easy access. We found our shelves in IKEA. Montessori inspired activities are there for her to work at any time of the day, whenever she is interested. I make sure to present her new activities before placing them on the shelves. There are certain rules I aim to reinforce, such as placing work back on the shelf after using it. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I replace activities she lost interest in and hasn't touch for a while. I find these two shelves is all she needs. This is what is usually there:
stacking/ building blocks ala Pink Tower
a pull toy
language materials such as printables, cards
taking care of self (hair brush, mirror)
fine motor activity
In order for her to be able to define her working space while doing an activity I keep plastic table mats under the shelf. Each time she gets something of the shelf I encourage her to place it on a mat and keep it there while working.
4) Sensory / Science Mat. A sensory tray with loose parts and natural materials, small play toys and a book that accompanies the theme. For example,
5) Reading corner. I believe this is one of the most important aspects of child's room/ space area since this is where life long love for books begins. I placed a few pillow and covered them with a quilt (one of the kids in my previous classroom requested her grandma to make for my daughter when I was still pregnant.. aww, what a beautiful treasure) and a couple of pillows for back support. Books are being replaced once a week. Here are my standard guidelines for books:
board cover when possible (for babies and toddlers)
beautiful large pictures
Beautiful large pictures, like paintings, cross stitching pictures and photos of the family members are a very important part of our daughter's environment.
One thing that is missing in the bedroom/activity room is a table due to lack of space.
1) Table and a chair. guess where we got it from.... yep, IKEA. It has a plastic table mat, a picture and a tray with pitcher, cup and sponge. I try to make sure there is always drinking water in the pitcher. She knows she can access it at any time she wants to have a drink. The sponge is there to help clean any spills.
We allocated low drawer that she can access easily. There are things like cloths for her to wipe her face, hands, her cutlery, an extra glass and plates.
In order for her to be able to wash her hands we attach a plastic shoe horn to the tap using an elastic band. When she needs to wash hands she bring her stool, stands on it, gets soap, I turn the tap and she washes, hands, gets down, dries her hands and carries away her stool.
The Living Room
We set a corner in the living room for play with an activity center, doll house, Lego and and a couple of dolls. These activities are there to encourage free open-ended play. It also has a display of her art work and a sun catcher.
There is also a tunnel, couple of balls and a CD player for gross motor activities. There are usually three disks available for her to choose from - with relaxing music, dance music and children's songs. I plan to add a disks with audio stories once she is a bit older. She knows how to turn CD player on and off, change volume and swap disks.
There is a craft box available for her at any time. She takes it to her kitchen table or outside when she wants to do a craft and draw.
Outside area is for sandpit play, painting, crafts and water play. We turned a wooden garden bed into a sandpit.
I covered most of the areas I believe. I left aside bathroom because there is not much to mention there since we are not doing toilet training until she turns three. If you would like to know why, this article covers it very well.
Feel free to ask any questions and let me know if you need any assistance to help you organize a Montessori space for your child. You can leave a message using Contact form or message me on Montessori Nature Facebook page.
Make sure to follow me on TpT, Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin, Twitter for more printables and Montessori inspired ideas.
I invite to to continue reading about a Montessori Set up at home:
Montessori Inspired: Practical Life for Every Day
Essential of Montessori Toddler Classroom
How to Set Up a Montessori Space at Home
Setting Up a Montessori Environment
A Montessori Infant and Toddler Home Environment
To Crib or Not to Crib