The physical environment you create for your child is as important as the activities you offer. Empowering children to be independent means they are building their self-esteem and confidence, too. When we trust them, they trust themselves.
It's all about children's independence. A low, open shelf is a necessity. Ditch the toy chest for open shelving. There are some great Montessori-friendly options out there: a shoe rack like this is great for an infant space.
A cube shelving system like this works great for toddlers. The cubbies make it very obvious that one item should be returned to each space. Bonus: it helps keep toys minimal because only so much fits!
Cube shelving can work, but as children grow -- so does their work! Montessori materials like the Movable Alphabet and the Decimal System need a bit more space than a cube offers. Go with something like this and depending on how much you offer, you might want two units.
A low table makes all the difference. Your child needs to be able to sit comfortably. Child-sized furniture helps your child know their space was created for them.
The most important thing when choosing a chair is that your child should be able to sit back in the chair and still have their feet flat on the floor. If their toes aren't touching, the chair is too tall.
Montessori spaces have work rugs for the floor as an alternative to a table. Some people just use a bathmat! Whichever you choose, a work rug contains their work and all of their materials should stay on their rug.
Baskets are a great way to hold items for your child; especially your infant. They will be able to pull a basket off the shelf without injury. These are our favorites.
It's important to give your child access to areas of the home they can't yet reach. Offering a stool near sinks or even near the fridge is a good idea because it allows them to complete tasks without asking for help from you.
Light switch extenders are a small, but meaningful, change. Children will be able to travel about the house freely and learn to turn on (and off!) the lights with ease.
A small dust pan and brush allows for so much independence. From cleaning up after a meal, to cleaning up scraps of paper after using scissors, a dust pan and brush offers endless possibilities to care for the environment.
These promote further independence at the sink: for hand washing or even brushing their teeth.
A water source throughout the day is so great. Whether they use the water for paint projects, to clean a table or to pour a drink -- they'll be so excited to have the independence.
Because things spill and children need to know that's okay AND they need to know how to clean it up. By keeping towels (a lot of them) easily accessible you are helping your child's independence build.
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