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There’s a misconception that having a Montessori home has to be expensive. With its emphasis on natural materials like wood instead of plastic, this can be true, but stores like IKEA let you fill your home with beautiful Montessori-friendly things without the high price tag.

From child-sized furniture to open-ended toys, here are some Montessori-friendly picks!

Furniture

Montessori uses child-sized furniture to help children be independent and take ownership of their space. These IKEA options are the perfect size for little ones, made of wood rather than plastic, and affordable enough that you won’t be worried about your child ruining them with use.

1. Table and Chairs, $24.99

This table and chair set would be perfect for art projects or working on puzzles.

2. Child’s bench, $29.99

When children are first learning to dress themselves, it helps if they have a comfortable place to sit. This bench would be perfect by the back door for putting on and taking off shoes, or in a child’s room to sit on while dressing. The best part is that the height is adjustable, so you can make sure it’s just right for your little one.

3. Arm chair, $29.99

This tiny chair would be so cozy in a child’s reading nook, or as a comfy seating option in a family room. This rocking chair would be a great choice too, perhaps with a soft pillow added. $29.99

4. Outdoor chair, $14.99

We used these durable outdoor chairs in the Montessori class where I taught and the children loved their rainbow colors. They also easily stack to save space.

5. Step stool, $19.99

Sometimes all children need to do something independently is a little boost in height so they can reach the sink or counter. This smaller option would work for a child who just needs a little boost.

6. Low shelving, $45.99

Low shelves that a child can reach himself are a quintessential part of a Montessori bedroom or play space. Placing the shelf horizontally will allow babies or toddlers to reach their own toys and the shelf can be flipped vertically and uses as a bookshelf when the child is older. The other options in this line are great as well.

Montessori-friendly toys

Focus on engaging, rather than entertaining, children. They are generally open-ended and free of buttons, lights and batteries—things children can use to build and create encourage creativity, problem-solving and deep concentration. Whenever possible, it’s also great to find toys made from real materials (think wood, metal, and cloth) rather than plastic. These provide a greater range of sensorial experiences and encourage children to take care of their things.

7. Percussion set, $14.99

Along with this wooden tambourine, these simple instruments allow little ones to explore different sounds. This sort of thing is great to stash in a basket in the closet and bring out on rainy days.

8. Cloth fruit basket, $7.99

This would be a great option for a baby, as the pieces are made of soft cloth and would provide many interesting shapes and colors for baby to explore. As your baby becomes a toddler, this would be great for practicing vocabulary, and later for pretend play.

9. Birch wood paint brushes, $1.49

Giving a child a few beautiful paint brushes, rather than many plastic ones that break easily, encourages him to take care of them, to keep them beautiful. At less than two dollars, these are just as inexpensive as the plastic ones, but will likely last for much longer.

10. Wooden easel, $19.99

An easel is perfect for including gross motor, as well as fine motor, in your child’s painting experience. It lets her use her whole arm and make big movements while exercising her creativity. This option is lightweight and can easily be brought outside for some backyard fun.

Focus on engaging, rather than entertaining, children. They are generally open-ended and free of buttons, lights and batteries—things children can use to build and create encourage creativity, problem-solving and deep concentration. Whenever possible, it’s also great to find toys made from real materials (think wood, metal, and cloth) rather than plastic. These provide a greater range of sensorial experiences and encourage children to take care of their things.

11. Balance bench, $59.99

Giving little ones gross motor experiences, even inside, is so important. Kids have a lot of energy and they need to move big. This balance bench is small enough to fit in a playroom or child’s bedroom, and is a great option for practicing balance and coordination while using big muscles.

12. Walker wagon, $24.99

This little wagon provides a great way for young toddlers to practice their balance, all while carting around their favorite things.

Houseware

Montessori-friendly houseware is all about making the home calming to encourage concentration and accessible to encourage independence.

13. Metal flatware, $4.99

Montessori uses real dishes for even the smallest eaters, and this stainless steel set would be great for little ones.

14. Tiny glasses, $2.99

Montessori babies skip the sippy cups and go straight to learning to drink from glasses. These hold two ounces so are perfect for little hands, and the tempered glass makes them more durable and less likely to break when dropped (or, let’s be real, thrown) on the ground.

15. Apron, $6.99

In Montessori schools, aprons are used for art work, water work and food preparation exercises. This protects the children’s clothes of course, but it is also considered part of the work cycle, helping designate to the child that they’re beginning a new type of activity. This option would work for painting or water work.

16. Bathroom mirror, $9.99

This mirror is great because it has suction cups, so can be hung at the perfect height for your child. Along with this hanging basket, this would be great as part of a self-care station.

17. Ceiling lamp, $19.99

Natural light is best, but if that’s not possible in your child’s room or if you need extra light as it gets dark earlier, this type of lamp provides soft, soothing light.

Creating a beautiful, child-centered space in your home doesn’t have to mean a lot of money or trips to specialty stores. These IKEA finds will have you well on your way!

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