Montessori Toddler Bedroom (18 months - 3 Years) - An Overview
My friend Gina recently drew this Montessori toddler room for me. It looks fantastic! Are you looking for ideas for a Montessori toddler bedroom or perhaps it's something to think about for the future? With all of my Montessori spaces, I keep these principles in mind;
- Do what works for you! Only do what is going to work for you, your family situation, your home. Sometimes this means children sharing a bedroom or utilising small spaces.
- Beauty. What decor do you consider beautiful (colours, fixtures, textures, floor rugs, bed covers, artwork, furniture)? Is the room calm, is it aesthetically pleasing?
- Order and Independence. How can you instill a sense or order and independence (think storage and display options for toys, personal care items). Can toys, materials, and personal items be easily reached by the child? Is the room uncluttered? Is it easy for the child to see where everything is kept and where items belong?
- Comfort. Can you use natural fibres and materials (cotton, wool). Does the room have suitable temperature control? Is the room suitably warm (consider blankets, floor rugs, draft stoppers). Does the room receive natural light, can the room be darkened (for daytime naps)?
- Safety. Safety is so important as the idea is the child (whatever their age - from birth) can be left alone to sleep and play independently in their room. Are all the toys/materials in the room age appropriate (no small pieces, no pull apart pieces). Do you need a door gate or other safety provisions? Are there any dangers in the room (heating appliances, power points, unstable furniture/shelving)?
"A beautiful, organized, and uncluttered environment can help in many ways: dressing and undressing is simplified; the favourite book and toy is always within reach; the child can participate in the life of the family and feels needed; challenging work that focuses the child's attention and fulfils his needs is always available; a more fun, creative, and peaceful life comes into being for the whole family." - The Joyful Child: Montessori Global Wisdom for Birth to Three.
The child is in the period of the absorbent mind. They are absorbing and getting impressions from everything in their environment. They are working on building their coordination (they may enjoy posting, threading, stacking activities) and concentration. A lot of change occurs during this period and it is important to observe the child in their environment and make necessary changes. Work with their hands is more defined and gross motor developments are significant. The need to "Help me to do it myself" is more pronounced and therefore the increased focus on providing opportunities for independence.
A floor bed, simple bedding, beautiful books, low shelving, developmentally appropriate materials and toys, low hanging artwork, low chair, child size work table. Additional ideas not shown include low hanging clothing or easily accessible clothing such as in baskets, low mirror for care of self area. Toys and materials can vary greatly as at this age children are developing their own interests, I suggest observing what toys meet your child's specific developmental needs and rotating toys to keep interest. Here we have shown puzzles, a stacking toy, nesting dolls, a CD player, small drum and barn with model animals. A small bookshelf would work well in this environment. I always like to have fresh flowers in our home, a small vase can help bring some nature into the room, a small indoor plant could work well on a high shelf or with an older child. Some photographs of friends or family in a small frame can add a personal touch. My boys always had a small bear they kept on their bed and most children have one or more favourite soft toys.
My suggestion if you are in the initial stages of changing, making over or converting to a Montessori room is to take it easy. Most children's rooms could start with a good declutter. Changes can be made gradually. I've never seen a perfect Montessori room, take what works for you! Keep in mind this is only the bedroom environment and other activities such as practical life and art activities can be prepared in other areas of the home.
If you have a younger child or are expecting a new infant, you might like my previous articles;
Montessori Infant Room Newborn (Birth to Three Months) - An Overview.
Montessori Infant Room (Three to Six Months) - An Overview.
If you want to find out more about Montessori toddlers you can read about our experiences at Otis 18-23 months and at 2 Years.