Your toddler craves independence—and a Montessori toddler room can help.
The time has finally come: Your child has outgrown their nursery and is ready for a 'big kid' room! Never mind the countless hours you spent carefully researching and crafting this perfectly decorated space for your infant; they're now a toddler and that means they are ready for a room to explore, play, and call their own.
It's likely your child's nursery was set up more for the adults caring for them: A changing table at adult height, a dresser crammed with countless outfits, a crib meant to contain the baby. But when transitioning to a space for a toddler, it's important to set up the space for their specific developmental needs, including items at their height and age appropriate choices within their reach. Those already living with a toddler know they crave the ability to explore things on their own, and on their own schedule—does the phrase "I can do it!" ring a bell?
In order to meet this need, many families are turning to Montessori at home, and a child's bedroom is a great place to put some of Dr. Maria Montessori's methods into practice. Dr. Montessori found that a thoughtfully prepared environment can provide curious toddlers a safe space to explore and develop independence and self motivation.
Here are six Montessori-inspired ways to help turn your child's nursery into a space for toddler exploration and play.
Isabelle & Max Leder canopy floor bed
This is such a quintessential Montessori at home item that you will often find it marketed as a "Montessori Floor Bed." Maria Montessori did not believe that children, even young infants, should be sleeping in cribs, but instead should be placed on a small mattress on the floor. This allows the child independence and freedom of movement from a young age, two important Montessori principles. In order to capture the benefits of a floor bed it does not have to be used in place of a crib—the floor bed can also be a great option when transitioning out of a crib and into a toddler bed. Like any space where your child will be left unsupervised, it is important to ensure their sleep environment is safe for some middle of the night or early morning exploring.
Allowing independence around clothing and dressing isn't always easy. It would be nearly impossible to allow a toddler freerange on a dresser full of clothes and expect them to not only be able to pick from that many options, but to also choose something weather appropriate. This wardrobe by Sprout has adjustable shelves and dowels to be able to customize to your child's growing needs. The size of the wardrobe is self-limiting which allows you to select a small number of items for it, and your child can then choose from there (you will likely still need a dresser or closet space to store additional clothing).
You may have used a Hatch as a sound machine for your infant, or for light for those middle of the night feeds, but it is also a great toddler tool! Having the Hatch in a space that is accessible for your child will allow them to use the machine to select lighting to suit their activity. The new Hatch Rest + also has a digital clock on the display, which may be of interest to some toddlers. Many parents have also found toddlerhood a great time to begin using the "Time To Rise" feature.
Depending on the space available in your toddler's room, a small reading nook can be a great option. Having a place to relax and reset away from their typical play space is helpful and gives them another reason to spend time in their room. A comfortable place to cozy up will likely make this independent activity more desirable. Although the Nugget has infinitely more uses than a place to snuggle up with a good book, the simple design and beautiful color options make it a great choice for a bedroom.
These sturdy fabric baskets are ideal for keeping your child's room organized. They can be used for storing books, clothes, or toys. Having a place for your child to put their things away when they are done playing helps keep the space tidy, and is likely to encourage deeper and more engaged play.
This simple and clean design from IKEA is a perfect bookshelf to add to your toddler's bedroom. Having a simple reading area set up in their bedroom can help with the transition from active play, to the calmer activity of reading independently or with an adult. The size of the shelf limits the amount of books that can be displayed at a time which will help your toddler to pick out a book on their own, since it can be overwhelming at this age if there are too many options. Having the cover of the book showing, versus the spine, also makes this a more inviting activity for your child. Just like the toys and games throughout the house, rotating the books displayed on the bookshelf regularly will keep your child interested and attracted to this space.
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