At the start of the New Year, the entryway feels like a good place to start with a refresh and a tidy-up! The entryway can be a key area in maintaining order and organisation of things like hats, coats and shoes, which otherwise might be a stressor. The entryway can be an important part of a smooth transition from the comfort of the home to the outside world. I've always found the more organised we are the smoother the transition. Children who are organised may feel calmer and more confident when leaving the home.
I also want to acknowledge the simple, often cost-free ways we can empower the children in our care. A little stool by the door and a basket for shoes instantly gives the child a space that is just for them. This tells the child they are valued, this is your home and we have considered how to best meet your needs. The child can then easily take care of their shoes and perhaps coats and bags too, knowing where to store them and put them away when they get home. We are showing the children how to care for their personal effects and how to care for their home.
"A low stool or bench is very useful by the front door or in the bathroom for removing clothing or shoes... Hooks hung at the child's level or a low closet bar will allow the child to take better care of his clothing... A mirror is used for the new baby and later for a child to look at himself to see if his clothing is on correctly, or if his face is clean. That way he does not have to depend on an adult to inform him of these things." - The Joyful Child: Montessori: Global Wisdom for Birth to Three.
Items to consider in the child's entryway:
- Hair brush / Hair Accessories like hair bands and clips
- Sunscreen / Insect repellant / Hand sanitiser
- Tissues / Handkerchief
- Shoes / Boots / Slippers, House Shoes
- Scarf / Earmuffs
- Perhaps a basket for your child's found things - like rocks or sticks or other random things they have bought home.
- Weather station or chart
- Low chair/stool
- Baskets/trays for shoes
- Hat/Coat Stand
- Water bottle
There is always some discussion about keeping these spaces real. I'm certain just like me, all of these families cleaned up the area before photographing it including removing unused or out of season items. There are a lot of ideas and examples here, I hope you find them useful!
"Getting out the door with two little ones can be one of the most stressful parts of our day. Providing a space for them to explore freedom in getting themselves ready has helped relieve stress off of me while also providing them with confidence and pride in their ability to dress themselves. Win win!" - Nursewise Nest.
Isn't this the cutest? A good use of the wall space keeping what is on the floor minimal.
Click through to the second picture. This family has photographed and laminated a picture of the children's shoes so they know exactly where they go!! This family also has sunscreen, insect repellant, and hand sanitiser in a neat container nearby.
"In this case, passing by our entryway and watching Layla use it brings me a smile in knowing that my devoted planning and work in our home is effectively providing a space for her development as a person. It is so simple yet very profound!" - growground. ❤️
"My boy is growing up and everyday I see his independence growing so we finally put together a Montessori - inspired entryway for him. We included a basic toddler bench that also converts into a stool and doubles as shoe storage, a small basket with items fitted for the season (gloves/hat/scarf for winter and sunscreen/sunglasses for the summer), a coat hook and a weather station." - Home with Zac.
"Before I set up this space - in the entry of our home, getting ready to go outside was very stressful and challenging! Now that A has her little corner with all her personal belongings, our daily routines of leaving the house and returning to it are becoming easier. The goal is to help her help herself, gain independence and become confident doing things on her own." - Precious MOMents.
Perhaps you have a wall/movement mirror your child has finished using? Turn it vertically and use it in your Montessori entryway!
"Montessori entryway has been one of our most loved corners at home. I set this up when Anika turned 1 and here are some ways it has benefited her...
- It has given our home and her a sense of order. Because there is a place for everything and everything is in its place.
- This is her special place to practice her dressing/ undressing skills, which is an important step towards independence.
- It helps us to get out of door on time every morning because we know where to find everything."
- Forest Montessori.
Also note this area is in the garage as this is where the family enters and exits the house. If you have a walk through garage this really might be the best spot for your children's things.
Mirror, coat hooks, a low stool, and shoes. I like the idea of having the shoes in a tray. We've often stored shoes in a basket but this is more orderly. The tray also helps to keep the mess in which is so helpful in the colder and muddier months.
"When it comes to setting up Montessori-style spaces, entryways are one of my favorites. It helps maintain order in the transition of leaving or arriving home. This space is also arranged to provide opportunity for independence." - Following My Child.
It also should be noted that creating an ordered entryway is easier with one child. The more children you have and the greater the age gaps the more difficult it can be to maintain order, especially in small spaces.
This is an example of a family dealing with snow!! ❄️I love the weather and season prints on the wall. The weather print is a nice alternative to a weather station which might be too complex for very young children.
This is an entryway in Melbourne. Click through and you can see the family have made a 'Going out visual routine' so the child is reminded of what they need to do (like potty, brush teeth, hat on, shoes on, sunscreen on) before going out. This also shows you don't need complicated routine cards, the family has made this visual prompt themselves.
"When it comes to creating spaces for our children, good design has little to do with style, trends, or expensive furniture. Rather, it is all about function and intention. A well designed space is one that allows the child to perform daily tasks independently and safely. It is also one that supports smooth transitions, such as the transition from playing at home to going on an outing." - The Playspace Designs.
This is a good example of not using the wall space, which can be important to those in rental or temporary spaces or where you don't want to hang hooks or potentially damage the walls.
This is one of the more simple examples to show that this area can work without a lot of things. Hooks on the wall, a low chair, and a basket for shoes! That's it. I love baskets so the texture of the baskets in this area makes me happy, it's organised and cozy.
If you would like more ideas and examples see my previous post about Montessori Entryways here.
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