I don’t know about you, but I am very excited about this 3 day weekend. We just moved into our house about 3 months ago and I haven’t really had an opportunity to start personalizing it. I won’t mention any names (ahem) but SOMEONE even still has some unpacking to do.
As for me, I’ve been meaning to Montessori-ize (I made that up) Emma’s room. She’s getting to the age where she really wants to be able to do so many things for herself and the way that her room is currently set-up doesn’t quite allow her to do that. For one thing, the dresser draws are all screwy and even I have a hard time getting them open. So I will be working on creating a Montessori “prepared environment” for her.
In a prepared environment, the child is able to help themselves, to follow their own natural tendencies to “work”. If given the opportunity, children enjoy having the ability to function independently, to dress themselves, groom themselves, feed themselves, and even prepare their own food. Right now, Emma’s favorite outdoor toy is the broom. No joke. As soon as we walk out that door, she grabs the broom and starts sweeping. She’s even attempted to help me sweep the pool. She sees mommy doing something and she wants to do it. It gives her a sense of accomplishment and pride. Plus, there’s nothing more entertaining than seeing what your daughter has decided she’s going to wear today. This gem for example:
Some of the key characteristics of a prepared environment are freedom, simplicity, order, reality, nature, and accessibility. These characteristics allow the child to learn and develop in their own way at their own pace and to their own unique potential. It allows them to appreciate life as it really is and to understand how it really works. Creating a prepared environment for your child facilitates and maximizes independent learning, exploration, and self-discipline. Most importantly, it builds confidence.
So over the weekend I have the following list of things to complete:
- Further reduce the number of toys she has available, putting the extras into storage to be rotated.
- Sort through her clothes, remove those that no longer fit, and store cool weather clothes for future use.
- Organize remaining clothes into 4 baskets: tops, bottoms, pajamas, accessories (I’m talking like socks, hats and the occasional headband that she never wears for more than 30 seconds). These baskets will go into the bottom 4 cubes of our Ikea Expedit bookshelf that we have lying horizontally against one wall. Her toys will all be condensed and arranged in the top 4 cubes.
- Create an art space for her. Em loves to paint and color but right now there isn’t really anywhere for her to do that. I need to create a space for her, us.
- Lastly, I need to get her school art projects under control. They are taking over my desk and as lovely as they are, no one can see them! There’s plenty of options here. Some will get put in frames for her room and the art wall, some will get put into a book for the coffee table and for Christmas gifts for her nana (my mom).
Well, I should be able to handle all that in one long weekend right?! Wish me luck! I’ll be ready with and update complete with pics on Tuesday.
In the meantime, here are some examples of Montessori toddler rooms.