10 steps to creating a Montessori-style kids' bedroom

Private Property South Africa
Carmel Woodman

How to decorate your toddler’s bedroom in line with the Montessori philosophy of promoting their unique development and therefore self-respect.

Decorating your child’s bedroom goes beyond simply making it fun and bright. There are great ways to make your toddler’s room a space that promotes their unique development and their independence using certain Montessori philosophies. Here are a few ways to make your child’s bedroom Montessori style:

1. Keep it simple: Make sure your child’s room isn’t cluttered, store toys and clothes in cupboards and don’t have an excessive amount of toys in the room. The idea behind keeping your child’s room simplistic is to encourage a sense of order and a clearer mind.

2. Create the mood: Make sure that the colour scheme is not too overwhelming or stimulating for the child over long periods of time – for example bright red. When choosing a wall colour, keep in mind that colours can affect moods so choose something that will be calm not overly stimulating to your little one.

3. Keep things at the right height: Toys need to be low enough for your toddler to reach without adult assistance - this encourages independence through easy access to toys, and being able to put them back. Some good ideas to use are baskets, low tables and bookshelves where toys are stored on the lower shelves. Your child could also have a mattress on the floor, which they can get in and out of by themselves to further instill independence, in a secure way.

Children's bedroom

4. Use fun décor elements: Fun knobs on dressers, a night light, a hanging mobile or your child’s own artwork, are a few ideas to add to their room. These elements add life to the bedroom and make it fun and entertaining. Safety is important to keep in mind if your child is going to be playing independently for any length of time. Make sure that all decorations and toys are age appropriate, plug points are covered etc.

5. Life activities: It’s important to give your child practical life activities to perform early on, to promote their development. This can be done in their bedroom by such things as placing certain clothing in drawers that your toddler can reach, so that they can choose an outfit. Another idea is to keep a small laundry basket in their room where they can put dirty clothes.

6. Toddler-friendly workspace: Creating a workspace for your child is a great way to cater to their size, and give them a space to draw, look through books and play. A small desk and chair, in the corner of the bedroom, is an ideal way to create this workspace.

Kids bedroom

7. Nappy changing station: Depending on which your child prefers, either use a plastic changing mattress on the floor, or make sure you have a nappy changing table. The floor method could be much easier as you don’t have to lift your child onto a table, and your child can fetch the plastic changing pad, and be involved in the nappy changing process.

8. Quiet toys near the bed: The idea behind having a floor bed is that when your child wakes up, they can entertain themselves quietly without assistance. A good idea to help promote this is to place a few toys in a basket at the head or foot of your child’s bed. These toys should not be noise causing, for example a teddy bear, a book and an extra blanket could be stored in the basket.

9. High shelf: There will be items that your little one shouldn’t get their hands on, so ideally there should be a high shelf of sorts to store anything like this. The top shelf of a bookcase could also work, or a higher table which your child cannot reach.

10. Mirror: It’s good to have a mirror at your child’s eye level, perhaps in the area of the bedroom where they get dressed. This allows them to see themselves performing tasks, and helps them with getting clothes on or off. For girls, a small table can be added next to the mirror with headbands, a hairbrush or some accessories.

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