Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Our Kids' Montessori-Inspired Bedroom

I decided to call this post "Montessori inspired" because I'm not always 100% Montessori (not necessarily because I don't want to be, but it's a process making your home and environment the way you want it).  However, when I was decorating my kids room earlier this year, I really wanted it to be a place that they felt comfortable and happy.  Above all, I wanted it to be theirs.  True to Montessori, we have toddler mattresses directly on the floor and pictures a their level.  I know I shouldn't be amazed at this point by the relevancy of the Montessori philosophy with my kids, but here is another example: We have lots of art and pictures all over the house and my son has never said anything.  However, after I put up the pictures on his level in his room, he wanted to know about each one and even told me that the little child that Jesus is embracing was himself.  ;)

So, what did we do to their room to make it kid friendly and a place they love?  Just a few simple things that went a long way:

1.  We Painted The Walls
I love how a bright paint can change the way a room looks.  Before we painted the kids room, it looked gray and dark, and not exactly the most inviting or where I would want to spend a whole lot of time, let alone the kids... So, I got my son involved and asked him what color he would want his room.  He chose blue, and since his sister was going to share the room with him, too, I picked a few shades of blue that I pre-approved and let him choose.  He was very happy to make the final decision and his eyes LIT up when he saw me painting in there... :)

2.  We Found FUN Decals

To be honest, when I was first looking for a decal for their room, I gravitated towards the elegant and pretty ones - ones that I would like.  Then I started thinking about my kids, and what would be more appropriate for their age.  I finally decided on the tree decal that you can see in the picture above, and though it took about 45 minutes to assemble on the wall - my kids LOVE it.  Yes, the first few days I had to tell them not to touch the stickers, but ever since we haven't had a problem (except for a nice friend of theirs that thought it would be fun to pull a few flowers down!  :(  Good thing they are repositionable stickers!!).  The decals add so much character to a kids room...

3.  I Established An Economy of Toys and Order That THEY Can Replicate

This is so important... Too many toys can be overstimulating and kids actually play with more of them if they have a few out at a time.  See my earlier posts on this subject: Household Tornado - Part 1: Prevention and Household Tornado - Part 2: Maintenance.



4.  We Put Pictures, Books and Toys on Their Level

I've always had books in the kids reach, and they spend long lengths of time looking at them EVERY day.  As a matter of fact, books are my 19-month-old's favorite activity and when I notice that she's escaped to her room and run to find her, 9 times out of 10 she is sitting quietly looking at books.  Having everything at their level really does allow their development to flourish and encourage the freedom of natural growth.



5.  We Have Their Mattresses on The Floor

Again, this allows them to get up and down without help and also put themselves to sleep if needed.  A funny story about this is that one time, someone came over to my house and after seeing my son's bed (at that time it was only him on the floor) offered to give us money to pay for a bed frame - totally thinking that we didn't buy one because we couldn't afford it!!  Yes, it does help the pocket book, but that was not the intention.  :)


6.  Clothes in Bottom Drawers of Their Dressers

One thing that I totally believe in, but honestly have not been very good about enforcing - is having the kids put away their own clothes and pick out their own clothes.  I've at least started the process by putting the clothes in their reach.  Next on my to-do is to have them put the clothes away.  Of course, the clothes will probably end up not being folded and a complete mess; but, it's the thought that counts and it is teaching them responsibility and order.  After giving them the job of putting away their clothes, eventually you can work on order and teach them how to fold, etc.


I hope this was helpful for you!  I had so much fun decorating my kids room, and I would love to hear tip and other ideas for YOUR kids room in the comments below!  

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