A Montessori Toddler Room - A Refuge and Safe Space.
The first room I set up when we moved into this new house was Otto's bedroom. We had spent almost four weeks in hotel rooms and apartments. I knew that Otto needed his own space. Space to be himself, to play, to roll around on the floor. To learn, grown and concentrate. To play uninterrupted. He needed his very own refuge and safe space.
He needs minimal supervision in his room as we've made it a 'yes' space. There are no toys with small parts. There are no large pieces of furniture. We have three puzzles on his shelves that came on the journey with us. I don't want to rotate the materials so that all of them are new. I was some familiarity, some comfort, some sameness and I know these three still hold his interest.
Today was the first day since we arrived in Australia that my older two children (Caspar and Otis) have both been to school. The house is quiet again and Otto can choose where he works and if he wants to work alone or with others. No pressure.
Montessori bedrooms can almost be defined by what is not present, by what is not in the space rather than by what is. They are simple, clean and un-fussed. They are cozy and comforting. They are age and stage appropriate, emotionally and spiritually satisfying. The space is calming.
We also consider colour, light and any scent in the room. This room is light filled and I adjust the curtains so it's not too bright. A night light allows some warmth and light late in the evenings. I personally like a lot of colour but try not to make it overwhelming for the child. Some fresh lavender in a vase attempts to bring some freshness to a new house with new house smells. Our large leafy plant helps to purify the air. My personal take is that Montessori rooms are also modest and unpretentious. Hopefully this one hits the mark.
Note this room set-up is temporary, we have our sea freight including toddler furniture arriving in March and I still need to add artwork to the walls. But for now I am very much enjoying the simplicity of a newly moved into home.