What is a Montessori bedroom and how to arrange it? What is important to know? What are the main principles and rules that parents need to follow when they want to create the ideal environment for their
It is true that we are used to children’s room that are more or less organized in an adult-friendly manner which makes easier and more comfortable for parents to care for their children. We all know that the right environment is one of the key factors for the harmonious development of a child. Many parents have heard about the ideas of Maria Montessori for the early development of children but what is, actually, important to know? According to the famous Maria Montessori, children’s facilities should be equipped in accordance with the needs of children, not adults. This is the only way to provide conditions that help children realize their spiritual, intellectual, mental and physical potential.
Montessori bedroom ideas – basic principles and guidelines
According to Montessori’s teaching, a child is born as an independent person with great potential. He is ready to learn and develop himself. The task of an adult is to create an environment that helps his abilities. The environment in which the baby lives must be adapted according to its interests and level of development. That is why Montessori bedroom ideas are based on a number of simple principles and characteristic features.
Simplicity – this is one of the most important features in a Montessori bedroom. There is no need to surround the baby with many complex and multi-functional items. The furniture and interior of the children’s room should be as simple as possible, in bright colors.
Order – this is another important principle. It may come as a surprise to many parents, but children do love order. Maintaining the nursery room clean and tidy is very important. Every thing should have its place so that the baby feels calm and confident. Of course, as the child grows, he will take an active part in maintaining the order in his room.
Independence – it is all about having freedom! Make sure that your home is as safe as possible for the child, remove all unnecessary items from the nursery, and give him complete freedom of movement. You do not need expensive furniture pieces which make you pull away and protect the child from falling or being hurt.
Proper furniture – get furniture pieces which are convenient, safe and accessible to the child. The floor bed is one of the most famous examples and we shall look at that in detail below. In addition, keep in mind that size matters. All furniture pieces should be suitable for the child. Chests, table, chairs, bookshelves – everything should be small, so that a small person can take the things he needs himself and then put them in place. Hooks for towels and clothes should be at the height of the child’s hand. Toys and books are on low convenient racks.
Toys – when it comes to toys, moderation should be your main guideline. An abundance of toys provides only an unnecessary excess and temptations. Consider storage places so that each toy has its own place in the children’s room, and remove all the excess. Encourage the child’s desire for order in the room, asking him to put the toy in place after he has played with it. After some time, change the available toys so that the baby does not get bored.
Color and finishes – as per experts, a Montessori bedroom should be bright and light. Neutral colors – white, light beige, light gray are recommended. If you still want to introduce color, it is better to choose a pastel shade. Safety and comfort are very important, so avoid ceramic tiles or other hard flooring. Cork, carpet, hardwood and area rugs are a good choice.
Safety and environmental friendliness – remember that in the room there can be no fragile or dangerous items. Safety is above all! Pay attention to outlets – they must be closed with special plugs or hidden behind furniture. Choose interior items from eco-friendly materials – wood, linen or cotton, etc.
Montessori bedroom ideas – how to create different functional zones?
We mentioned the rules and guidelines for arranging a nursery or children’s room in accordance with Montessori’s principles. However, we want to pay special attention to the zoning of space which is especially important. Here are the main zones that you need to try and provide:
Sleep area – this is a separate zone designed only for the sleep of a child. It is very convenient when a child can independently climb onto his bed and get off. You can lay out a low mattress on the floor or get a house bed for an older child. A low bed helps the child to learn to feel borders without danger of falling.
Activity zone includes low shelves with toys, as well as a cozy rug nearby so that the child can sit comfortably while playing and easily put everything in its place after that. Shelving is very practical and it helps to keep order. Toys must be selected in accordance with the age of the child and changed periodically to keep the interest of the kid. This is the area where you can place items that help physical development – ball, sports equipment, etc. Obviously, the size of the room will determine the type of equipment as well as the degree of activity of the child.
Creativity zone – this area is, more or less, a part of the activity area. Typically, it is furnished with a table and chair, shelves with materials for creativity and DIY projects. For small children it is advisable to keep all craft materials and tools, for example, glue and scissors, in a separate container and store it in another room. Some grown-up children prefer to work with materials or play with toys not on the rug, but at the table.
Dressing area – this is the place where the child puts on and takes off his clothes. It is best if you provide a small locker or wardrobe for the clothes. Make sure to remove all garments that are not suitable for the season, that are difficult to put on or clothes for special occasions. In the dressing area, a low chair will also be useful, on which the baby will learn to fold clothes. If space allows, you can place a small dressing table with a mirror, where the baby can comb his hair or just look at himself.
Eating zone – this is the area where the child eats. In a nursery room, this can be an armchair which the mother uses while feeding the baby. Later, when the child is able to sit and walk, you can arrange a self-feeding zone with a table, chair and kids tableware.
Care zone – this is the area that accommodates the changing table. The table itself can be placed conveniently for the parent or on the floor. Make shelves, where the baskets will have everything you need for care – diapers, powders, creams, etc. In the care zone you can place a mirror, comb, accessories for cleaning the teeth, a clean towel.
Reading zone – Montessori pays special attention to the reading area. This is a secluded, comfortable place with good lighting and a bookshelf. The books are arranged in a way so that the child can choose what he wants to look through or for her mother to read.
Montessori bedroom ideas – how to choose the proper furniture and decoration?
While you are looking at the Montessori bedroom ideas photos in the gallery pay attention to the furniture pieces. All furniture is designed for a small person. Not only the usual children’s tables and chairs, but also shelves, cabinets, paintings, wall art and mirrors, bookshelves, etc. You will also notice that Montessori rooms look unusually empty compared to ordinary children’s rooms because most of the items are low. Let’s have a look at the main pieces that you need to furnish your child’s room following Montessori’s principles.
Bed – this is one of the main pieces of furniture in any bedroom and essential for a child. On the first place, the goal of Montessori environment that parents create around a child is to stimulate its development. The main feature of Montessori beds is the low height. Often the bed is just a small podium with 15 cm height, a house bed or even just a mattress on the floor. The lack of sides stimulates child’s interest in the world around him and contributes to its activity. A low bed is a great choice if you are concerned for the safety of the baby because it will not fall.
Racks and shelves – these are the furniture pieces that will accommodate your child’s belongings. Yes, the environment in the nursery room should be safe and accessible but the child needs to learn how to maintain this order. For example, a rack for educational materials and toys performs several educational functions. It is a place for different items which are easily accessible to the child. Open shelving provides visual help for maintaining order in the room. Toys and materials have a special place and the baby gradually gets used to the fact that the place of the toys is not somewhere else but on the shelves. Books with bright illustrations on the covers, certainly located at eye level, will constantly remind of themselves and stimulate children’s desire to look through the book.
Wardrobe – this is a necessary piece of furniture and is not only for storing clothes. A wardrobe provides an opportunity to the child to select what to wear as well as keep his clothes neat and tidy. Of course, you, as a parent, should not crowd all the clothes and make the choice difficult. Tow or three sets of clothes will be quite enough and a very good beginning! To avoid clutter, add a low chest of drawers.
Accessories and decoration for a Montessori bedroom are numerous. On the first place – paintings and a variety of wall art for children are a good choice. Images of animals, letters from the alphabet, numbers, prints, handmade items, etc. – all of these are great decorations for your child’s room.
Children’s play furniture – kitchen, house, clothes dryer, dressing table, ironing board, broom and mop, etc., create an environment for kids with which they can safely learn adult activities. It gives great pleasure to kids to imitate adults. That is how they learn. That is why it is important to provide to the children their own items for cleaning, cooking, ironing, etc. Kids gradually learn how to sweep the floor, wipe the table, wash their apron and maintain their room clean.
A Montessori children’s room can be decorated with numerous items – a globe, a geographical map, live plants, cute rugs, dolls, colorful flags or ribbons, original lamps, etc.
In conclusion, we have to say that many people think that the Montessori’s method helps parents to relieve themselves from responsibility. They say that the child is left alone and is forced to solve his problems independently. Obviously, this is not true. The goal is to stimulate the child and everything is thought out so that the child can try his strength and learn his capabilities in a safe and friendly environment.