I have lived in four houses since having children. Each house has it's own challenges especially when it comes to Montessori spaces. Our new home in the UK is extra small and we are still working out where to put some of our things. As Otto's need to access practical life materials increases I'm looking back at where we have stored practical life materials like cleaning supplies including brooms and dustpans in our previous homes.
I can't stress enough how important it is for children to have access to cleaning supplies. It doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive. A cheap $2 broom and a few kitchen cloths would be the bare minimum, as children need to be able to clean up and take responsibility for their own spills and messes. If they can't reach a cleaning cloth how can we expect them to clean up, now or later as an adult? If they don't know how to or become familiar with cleaning up how can we expect them to care for, or take ownership over, their spaces or to not make a spill or mess in the first place?
Above is our cleaning station in Brisbane, it is in a little room under our stairs. Having supplies upstairs and downstairs can be difficult and in this house, we had a second children's dustpan and broom upstairs.
This is the upstairs space, it's all tile flooring so brooms where helpful. We've used the wooden wall hooks from Ikea.
You can see how accessible these are, the closer they are to the messy areas the better.
Low temporary hooks on the back of pantry doors are great for hanging children's aprons.
Cleaning caddies are fantastic and portable. Sometimes we have stored the caddy under our sink or on a low shelf in the pantry.
Above is our space in Canberra when Otis was a toddler, this is in our kitchen pantry. So many of these spaces have low temporary hooks!! So easy to put in place and so easy to remove.
If the cleaning cloths are nearby it's easier for the child to clean up!
Above is also our home in Canberra but this space was designed for Caspar as a preschooler, he was tall enough to reach all of these hooks. The brooms are hanging on the back of a door in our living/dining/kitchen area. It is accessible and when the door is closed it looks neat and tidy.
At the moment we have aprons and the dustpan on the side of the kitchen cupboards but there really isn't room for a broom, perhaps I can add a hook on the side of the fridge, I don't know, still thinking it over!!