Playrooms are incredibly fun projects when it comes to designing. Your children will spend hours in there — playing, learning, and everything in between — so you have the freedom to cater to their tastes more than you would in other parts of your home.
But, that’s only half the battle. Underneath the aesthetics, a playroom needs to be functional. By setting up a Montessori play space at home, you are encouraging concentration and independence. Even the smallest change can impact your child’s behavior.
We’ve compiled a list of ideas to help you create a room that is fun to look at while also serving its larger purpose.
Here’s what to do:
Create Spaces With a Purpose
My boys immediately fell in love with the little reading nook that we created for them. I made sure to keep everything at kid level so they could easily access a book. Same with the world map. I wanted them to be able to touch, point and learn from it. Keeping it eye level was essential for this.
Another little nook we created was the activity nook. A table with art and craft supplies so that they could get creative.
Remember that Less is More
Kids play more when there’s less to play with. My favorite lesson of all-time. Children don’t need as much as we think they do. They get more creative when there’s less. I learned this when we were packing to move. I only kept out a few toys and it was amazing how much more the boys played. There was less to choose from so they were much more imaginative with how they played.
Instead of taking out all 100 pieces of the train set I keep in a bin, I put together a few tracks and one train. Instead of a tub of crayons being left on the table, I leave out just a handful for the boys to use.
While rotating the toys on display does take some effort, it makes the playroom more interesting for children. It’s also a bonus for moms because there less to clean up at any one time since they aren’t playing with 50 little pieces of anything anymore. Another tip is not to give children every toy they get for their birthdays or for the holidays. Store some away so they have a few more opportunities to be excited about a new toy.
Tips For Rotating Toys
Include Open Space
Montessori environments have plenty of workspace, both on the floor and at tables, once the child is old enough to sit at a table independently. Having open space in the room also allows for plenty of movement, which is essential for young children.
Designate a Corner for Relaxation
Set up a corner somewhere for your child to rest or recover from an upsetting moment. This is often a big floor pillow in a corner for a younger child. It could be a comfy chair by a window for an older child. Or in our case, we put an extra toddler bed we had in the playroom to serve as a relaxing space.
Give Everything a Specific Place
Young children like order in their daily lives, and also in their physical environments, but they definitely need some help to establish it.
Montessori environments support this desire for order through giving everything a specific spot. At Montessori play spaces, each toy has a space where it belongs on a shelf. Toys including multiple pieces, like blocks or play animals, are often organized in small baskets or trays.
You may think this would make it more difficult for the children to put their things away, but it’s really the opposite. It turns out it is much more satisfying to put something in the perfect spot where it belongs, than to toss everything together in a big bin. Always finding things in the same spot is calming because it’s predictable, for both children and adults.
This might seem like a lot to think about, but the great thing is you can totally pick and choose what works for your child and your home. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You may decide to simplify or you may choose to have low, orderly shelves, but also keep a big bin of stuffed animals. Whatever works best for you and your little(s).
natalie ferro aurigema
Sharing all the things that make me happy through this blog.
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