A concept initially devised by Maria Montessori, the purpose of a Montessori bedroom is to foster independence, creativity, learning, and play in young children. The movement takes a hands-on and experiential approach to learning, which is thought to lead to a deeper understanding among all subjects and at every level.
Read on to learn more ideas on how to incorporate this concept into your child’s living space as well as in their educational endeavors.
1. Make Everything Accessible to Them
In order to foster independence, everything in your child’s space should be accessible to them without them needing to come to you and ask for your help (which gives you more peace of mind as well!).
Opt for a mattress on the floor instead of a crib; low shelves within their reach; kid-sized furniture, such as rocking chairs or bean bags; and even low railing in their closets so they can pick out their own clothes. Design the room in such a way that your child feels in control of their own space.
Additionally, a few high-quality toys can provide more entertainment than an abundance of cheap ones. Some of the best toys also double as learning tools!
2. Organized by Station
Consider creating “playstations” within the bedroom. Have an art center, a reading center, or a play-kitchen center. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm other unique, fun ideas for learning centers as well, depending on your child’s interests. Do they love trains? A low-sitting train table in the center of the room might be appealing for them. Do they love plants, or gardening? Maybe have a center that simulates play gardening (or, if you dare, some real plants they can care for).
Not only does this make organization seem more reasonable and less overwhelming for both you and your child, but it will also help them to make connections between items and their purposes as they begin to associate each item with the activity it is attached to.
3. Replace the Crib with a Floor Bed
Many parents who follow the Montessori principles, are not using a crib, but instead a floor bed. The idea behind it is that if your baby or toddler sleeps in a crib, it’s dependent on their caregiver on when it should go to sleep or be waken up. On the other hand, if your child has a Montessori floor bed, they have own independence and freedom to move or go to bed whenever they feel their body is ready for sleep. This way they can follow their own body instinct on when it’s time to sleep or get up. Whatever bed you opt for your child, just make sure you follow the SIDS safe sleeping practices, especially during the first 6 months after they are born.
4. Decorate Your Kid’s Room Interior
While you should keep your kid’s room decluttered and organised, you can still hang a few pictures or posters on the wall. You can put some family photos or go for some animal close up pictures. They should be in bright colours and hung lower, so they can see them at their own eye level. Also, make sure you replace the glass panels with Plexiglass, for added safety.
5. Alter the Space as they Grow
In order to ensure that they can still effectively utilize the space to have full independence, you should be adjusting the living space constantly as they grow. Move up the height of art to stay at eye level, and swap out furniture as it becomes too small. Replace their toddler bed with a bigger bed, and replace the nursing area with the child’s own sitting space.
Consider adding and removing new stations as their interests change and grow. One fun thing you can do is rotate available books and toys so that they’re always stimulated by something new. It may take them a long time to even notice.
If your child is older you can consider setting up one of the walls in their room as a chalkboard wall. The easiest way to do this is by painting it with chalkboard paint. This way your child will have an empty canvas at their disposal for drawing, scribbling and writing. However, keep in mind that writing on a chalkboard does create dust which you’ll need to clean regularly, so if you’re not a fan of it, you might want skip this idea.
Ultimately, these are just some fun ideas. Only you know what designs you should implement in order to fully develop creativity, learning, and independent living in your child. However, making everything accessible and organized by station and altering the space regularly as they grow are some great first steps towards fully embracing the Montessori concept for your child.