Our Montessori Inspired Toddler Home Environment in Pictures.

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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.


The Bedroom/Activity room.
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, such as 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:
puzzles
threading activity
stacking/ building blocks 
rattles
musical instruments
a pull toy
language materials such as printables, cards
taking care of self (hair brush, mirror)
pouring activity
sorting activity
fine motor activity 
etc.
In order for her to be able to define her working space while doing an activity I keep working mats near  sheves. 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 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)
realistic
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. You can download great visuals –  free wall art prints here, here and here.
Craft Table for drawing, crafts and play dough activities..
The Kitchen.

 

1) Table and a chair. guess where we got it from…. yep, IKEA.  It has a plastic table mat, 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.
She also has practical life shelves to allow her practice practical life skills such as window cleaning, dusting, also to clean the flour and table after her meal.
 
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.
The Outside Area
Outside area is for sandpit play, painting, crafts and water play. We turned a wooden garden bed into a sandpit.

 

 

 

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

 

Keep on reading

Thank you for visiting. I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave your comment below. Please note that this post may contain affiliate links to products I use or recommend.

10 thoughts on “Our Montessori Inspired Toddler Home Environment in Pictures.”

  1. Spasibo bolshoe! Your blog is so inspirational! I love all of these spaces that you have created. We recently bought a house and, well, after some fixing up and remodeling, we are going to be setting up as many Montessori inspired spaces as possible for our Toddler. Pinned this post!

    Now, for another slightly more random question – do you speak Russian at home? I live in the Netherlands and my husband speaks his language (a regional one) and I speak Russian to our son, but I'm a bit worried about his speech. I've been trying to work quite a lot on it in our montessori tot school, but I'm curious if you are also a bilingual household and how others are working on it 🙂

    Thanks!

    1. thank you so much for your kind feedback and pinning! I wish you all the best with organising your environment for your child and congratulations with buying a house!
      to answer your question, yes, I speak only Russian to our 2-year-old, my husband speaks Spanish to her and we speak English with each other. May I ask you why you are worried about his speech? I am quite happy to see how it is going since she can understand in all three languages. She is saying in Russian things like "papa. mashina,rabota" I ask her to repeat after me and connect these words togther "papa poehal na mashine na raboty". At times she combines two languages in one sentence but I do not worry about it. please let me know if I can help with anything.

    2. That actually sounds pretty similar to what we do, except swap the Spanish for Frisian. My son is 20 months old, but I feel like he isn't saying too many words yet, but we know he understands us as he takes direction well in both of the languages we speak to him in.

      I'm a bit worried about it because a family member that works in day care in the US told me that some kids in her daycare that were raised in bilingual homes basically had speech delays. I think now, I'm a bit scared that my son is lagging hah, but it does seem like a lot to me – three languages as opposed to the two I was raised in.

      It also seems that other kids his age were more advanced language wise, so I've been wondering if we are trying to do too much instead of just using English or something even though it seems like quite a shame not to teach him our roots.

    3. Speech delays do not necessary mean they are going to have for problems with speech for the rest of their lives. I have seen many children who grew up bilingual and it might be the case at the beginning, but later they usually catch up and do even better at school than children with one language! I have the same reasons, I want my child to have something that attaches her back to where we came from, this is super important to us. The thing is that children have so many different languages to communicate and you should not feel pressure to give up teaching them your language I think. It is awesome for their brain development as well. At the end of the day when they grow up they will choose which language they prefer to communicate in. My husband managed to keep Spanish because of his father who always spoke only Spanish to him.As soon as you have someone around who can help you and guide you, you will be fine. I suggest to keep reading, speaking, use pictures every day. Because we live in English speaking country and we are planning to homeschool I plan to do formal homeschooling in English once she turns 5-6. Outside of that I will be speaking only Russian.

      You are doing an amazing job! All the best!

  2. Your approach sounds pretty similar to what we do, except that I won't be able to homeschool full time (system is different here in the Netherlands). For now, we plan on supplementing public school with home school activities, which will be in Russian (mostly focused on Russian language Montessori style activities). We'll see how it goes, but for now our tot school activities fun if nothing else 🙂 Anyway, I really appreciate your very kind comments here, you gave me quite a bit of encouragement!

  3. Hello,

    My name is Adina and I have a little girl. She is 2 y and 9 m.
    Our shelves are full, literaly, of books. She doesn’t seem very interested in toys, but likes books a lot. I saw many Montessori rooms (online) with toys and very few books and I was wondering if I should put away some of the books and replace them with more Montessori toys. Still, it doesn’t fell like a good idea. My little girl spends hours looking in books and “reading” (she invents the story after viewing the pictures), but spends only a few minutes, maximum 10-15, playing with toys, or doing an activity like cutting with scissors, glueing.
    What do you reccomend?

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