How to Prepare a Montessori Bedroom for your Child

The basic idea behind Montessori teaching is that learning should be completely child-centered. This means that, in a Montessori bedroom, everything should be safe and at kid-level to explore. Many parents choose different formats for their rooms, but every room has the same basic ideas. Setting up a Montessori room is relatively inexpensive and easy as long as you know where to start.

  • Floor Level Bed One of the key components of a Montessori bedroom is a floor level bed. This allows kids to access and leave their bed on their terms to explore their surroundings and set their own sleep schedules. Many parents of babies like to add a mobile above the bed for the baby to focus on. Many parents worry that their baby will roll out of bed, which is a common and valid concern. There are several fixes to this problem, such as putting pool noodles under the fitted sheet, attaching a bed rail under the mattress, and putting something soft, like a rubber mat, next to the bed in case the baby rolls off.
  • Everything Safely Attached to the Wall The whole idea of a Montessori room is to allow kids to learn skills naturally without any adult intervention. For that to happen, you need to make sure that the furniture in the room is safe for kids to explore by themselves. Try to make all the furniture as close to kid-sized as possible and be sure that all the furniture is safely attached to the wall in case climbing is part of your kids’ natural exploration process.
  • Clear the Clutter For most parents, clearing the clutter is only a dream, but if you’re serious about wanting a Montessori room, you have to clear the room of everything but the important stuff. Less clutter makes a safer environment for the children and removes distractions. The room has to be screen free, and there should be plenty of room to move around and explore.
  • Natural Learning Toys A Montessori room is just as much about play as it is about function. The room should not be over-filled, but there should be a fair assortment of learning toys available to suit your child’s mood. Many parents who choose this method of decorating believe that toys should be simple and made of natural materials as much as possible. To remove clutter and keep with the theme, instead of buying a massive toy chest or large bookcase to store the toys, buy a couple of plastic storage bins. Separate the toys into the bins and place the bins together on the floor in the corner of the room.
  • Bright Pictures at Baby Level One of the defining features of this type of bedroom is bright pictures that are hung at kid level. Even in kid’s rooms adults tend to hang art at an adult level which doesn’t allow kids to appreciate and understand the art. Make sure that the art is hung safely in case your baby’s exploration includes removing them from the wall.
  • Lots of Books Another feature of Montessori rooms is an abundance of books, and often, a reading nook. These books are usually on a kid-sized bookshelf and are often laid face up on the shelf so toddlers can pick them from the pictures on their covers. Some parents will also place a rug and pillows in the same area so kids can lay and read to their heart’s content.
  • Clothes in Their Reach One final note that may not be traditional, but which is popular with a lot of parents practicing this method is to put your child’s clothes at their level and allow them to dress themselves.Speaking from experience, this can have some disastrous results, but it makes them happy and teaches them independence. Again, it is incredibly important to make sure that the furniture that the clothes are stored in is securely attached to the wall because you can guarantee that they will be reaching to the back to search for their favorite shirt.

This type of bedroom design may not be for everyone, but it does seem to be growing in popularity. It makes sense that this is a great way for kids to learn about their environment while also gaining independence and confidence is a free but safe environment. Additionally, the minimalist ideas behind the Montessori method will probably save you money when preparing your child’s room!

Guest Blogger: Samara Kamenecka is a VA specializing in SEO and writing, based in Madrid. When she’s not chained to her desk working, she likes to explore the city with her boyfriend, their two kids and their dog. You can find her blogging about everything from parenting gear to pregnancy tips over at http://www.tinyfry.com.

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DIY: How To Fix Your Toddler’s Bed

When we first brought our sons crib we did some research and shopped around. We found one that we really likes for a few reasons; it was wood that would last, turned into a convertible toddler bed and infant bed. Plus it also had a changing table – for when he was an infant. Win!

However, when we went to put together the toddler bed with the pieces, they didn’t match up! We went to the store and they didn’t have any in stock since they gave us the wrong one originaly and stopped making the bed rail that we needed for the toddler bed, so my husband being the handy man he is, said I will do it myself.

We looked at the pictures from the original bed and we looked at the materials that we already had. Primarily we bought the bed because of the expandability and versatility; we knew it was modular so it shouldn’t be too hard to do!

We removed the front pieces (the front bed for the full size) then looked at the mounting points that remained. We took our primary measurements from side to side, how tall we wanted it to be with the mattress at it’s lowest adjustment for safety reasons.

Then we figured out how much and what kind of wood we needed based on the wood already used to match the thickness and the current spacing of the vertical bars ensuring the gap used would be safe. We went to Lowes and got 1″x3″ inch prime pine in 6 foot sections.

Starting with were it screwed in on the lower half we took all the measurements so we could use all the same screw holes. Made a quick rough sketch and cut all the pieces of wood to size. Before putting everything together I discovered that I would need longer bolts and a a couple of the holes weren’t holes, they were countersunk nuts (t-nuts) that goes into the new toddler bed. I went to Lowe’s and Home Depot for hardware that would fit before committing to those mounting points. We found that they have a very large furniture hardware selection and got the right length based on my measurements that were the same thread using the old hardware for measurements. We found shorter and longer bolts in addition to t-nut required to mount it using all the original bolts and holes.

After laying everything out, I didn’t want to have screws and nails in it so I decided to use dowels and glue. Using a dowel jig, 2 dowels per joint to stop twisting in addition to wood glue, I made the marks of where I needed to use the dowel jig and went to work. Assembled it all using the dowels with glue on them then I just wrapped rope around it to hold it together. Once everything and it was dry, went over with a palm sander to even out any un-even joints since it never turns out perfect.

We bought Stain and poly in one spray paint for the railing in almost the same finish as the bed. We matched the color based on coats. Once that was complete we let it air out for about 3-5 days as it does stink and give off vapors even after it’s dry. Additionally we removed the lower footer from the original front panel and attached it to the bottom of the new panel for extra stability since it was low enough and closed the gap under the bed.

Here’s the supplies we used:

 

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