The Montessori method encourages the fostering of independence from an early age. This is achieved by creating an environment that is age-appropriate and accessible for the child, and that grows with them. With Bean. this meant finding ways for her to gain personal autonomy through her daily routine and beginning with basic chores so that she felt more included in the day-to-day of our household. For this post, I have shared five ways in which we have made our house easier to access for our pint-sized human.
Bean’s age: 23 months
1. Stepping Stool and Meal Prep
This handy wooden stool from IKEA was initially bought to be a multi-purpose tool around the house. It turned out to be the perfect height for Bean to use, and is extremely stable due to its wide base. It is placed in the kitchen during meal preparation so that Bean can help out.
2. Stepping Stool and Bathroom
The same stepping stool is also used in our bathroom. The sink is just the right height above the stool, and Bean can reach for her toothbrush when it’s time to brush her teeth, or wash her hands using the soap dispenser and tap. We also added a small mirror over the sink so that she can see herself.
3. Low Coat Hooks
Bean has two low hooks beside her drawer of the shoe cabinet in the hallway. She can easily hang her coats, hats or scarves here after placing her shoes into the lowest shoe drawer.
4. Toddler Wardrobe and Mirror
IKEA Trofast shelves are very versatile, doubling as clothing and toy storage in Bean’s room. Her clothes are sorted in four main drawers that she can pull out and take clothes from. The mirror was mounted on one of the shelves at toddler height so that she see her outfit or groom herself – it swings out on a hinge to reveal a section of clothes on hangers.
5. Toy Storage
The easiest way to clean up with a toddler, we’ve discovered, is to have designated boxes to pile everything back into at the end of the day. Larger boxes hold toys that have many pieces (Lego Duplo and her train set) whereas the smaller boxes are rotated with activities such as Play-Doh, puzzles and Kinetic Sand. At the end of the day before bedtime, Bean stores everything back into its proper box (most of the time).