Although many parents have general knowledge of the Montessori learning style in the classroom, very few realize how valuable this teaching method is within the home. Key Montessori principles offer a positive, wholesome lifestyle choice for our children, particularly toddlers. Although Montessori learning activities and projects provide plenty of active learning, as parents we can also invest in a natural, uplifting atmosphere by creating a Montessori bedroom for our toddlers. A Montessori-themed bedroom is the perfect opportunity to launch your toddler into future years of growth and maturity while also encouraging their unique creativity.
Montessori bedrooms prioritize open space and organization. Although these bedrooms use minimal furniture, they still implement smart storage options to keep the room mess-free. The furniture you pick should have more than one use to help minimize the number of furniture pieces you need. Clutter is overwhelming to toddler. Your child’s bedroom should feel like a safe, relaxing haven. Work to create plenty of space inside to offer them ample room to move around and play.
“I can do it myself!” Every toddler feels this way at some point, some more than others. Although we want to encourage our children’s independence, finding safe, toddler-friendly ways is often a challenge. As you create a Montessori-themed bedroom, look for toddler-specific features that encourage independence. Miniature desks, chairs, and shelves are great for keeping favorite toys and items within easy reach. Create a selection of clothes, toys, or other objects for your child to pick from each day. However, avoid creating too many options to choose from. Your child is better off practicing their independence with an organized, smaller group of choices.
Decorations and Interests
Montessori bedrooms don’t have to be overly-minimalistic. Although these rooms are clutter-free and open, artwork and unique designs are still important features for capturing your child’s interest. Walls murals, pictures, and mobiles are great ways to build a creative atmosphere without bulky, traditional decorations. Be sure at least some of this art and design in within eye-level of your toddler. Include plenty of their own crafts and creations into your decoration scheme to personalize their space.
Key Room Sections:
Rather than using your child’s crib or purchasing a new “toddler bed,” consider investing in a Montessori-themed “floor-bed” instead. These non-traditional beds are cozy mattresses, created specifically for young children. They can be placed nearly anywhere with ease. Although it may seem strange to allow your child to sleep on the floor, this bed option allows them plenty of safe freedom and independence. Children can safely move around and get up on their own without the risk of falls. For extra protection, use a baby monitor or install a safety gate in their bedroom doorway to prevent nighttime wandering.
Learning to dress themselves is a huge milestone for toddlers. Nothing makes them feel more “grown-up” than the ability to help pick their clothes and prepare for the day. Set aside a specific place in their room with easy access to at least several pairs of shoes or changes of clothes. A cubby-hole shelf or miniature clothing rack is a great way to give them freedom of choice without creating too many confusing options. Place a small bench or toddler chair in the space so they can sit while putting on their shoes or dressing. Personalize the space with options such as a toddler-sized mirror or miniature coat hooks. Also, include a dirty-clothes hamper and help them learn the importance of responsibility by keeping their dirty clothes put away.
- Reading/Quiet Time
Reading and early exposure to books is a major theme for Montessori learning. Books and stories offer fun, creative ways to learn and grow your child’s imagination. Create a “reading space” in their room where they can go to enjoy their picture books or your story time together. Curtains and canopies are perfect make-shift “tents.” Include plenty of pillows and cozy blankets inside. Even if your child isn’t a bookworm, this space can double as a “quiet spot” where they can go to nap, calm down or relax during the day.
- Play and Learning
Because Montessori bedrooms minimize the amount of needed furniture, most provide plenty of open space for play and exploration. To eliminate possible clutter, only set out certain groups of toys at a time. You child still has the freedom to choose, but only from a specific group of options. In addition to toys, consider investing in a sensory table and similar Montessori-themed learning toys. These educational toys have many uses; they are perfect for preparing your child for their school years ahead.
Designing a Montessori bedroom is an important investment. Although it’s not a traditional toddler bedroom, it offers a wealth of resources for your child as they grow. By creating an organized, creative atmosphere perfect for both rest and play, you help them safely develop their independence and freedom of expression.