Today I am sharing with you one of the ways I have chose to incorporate Montessori into our home. There are so many different ways incorporate Montessori and today I wanted to share with you how we have Lila’s Closet set up. I will soon be sharing more ways we incorporate Montessori at home and you will be able to find all the posts under the category Montessori as this series grows.
Now on to Lila’s Closet…
There is so much that I like about having her closet set up this way. Everything is accessible to her and she can easily pick out whatever it is she is looking for. The length of her clothing rod is way smaller than the length of a closet rod, so there is less to put on it and less pick from. This is actually makes it easier when creating an outfit, especially for a toddler. I can say, “Okay Lila, go pick your outfit.” and when she comes back with a pink shirt, a pink dress, and pink shoes it almost always works out because all of the options I have out for her are in the same color block.
If you reading this and just thought, what the heck is a color block? Don’t worry. It might actually not even be technically called that, that’s just what I call it but I promise I didn’t make it up. A few months ago I was reading an article that was titled “how to pack for vacation with less” or something like that. Just go with it. And basically this girl packed for a week long trip and only packed like 7 different demin colored pieces of clothing. It pretty much blew my mind and I instantly wanted that in my life. Especially for Lila! She has soooooo many different colors of clothes that it is actually overwhelming to open up my closet (we used to share a closet) and see all of them. So a few months ago when I made her clothing rack her actual closet, I only put clothes that were pink or blush or white or light gray. It really has made getting dressed so simple! So, that’s why I call it a color block even though if you google that term you’ll never find the article I’m talking about. If you do know the appropriate term for what I’m talking about would you leave it in the comments below? Thanks!
Both Lila and I love her closet. It is super child friendly, promotes independence, and adds a bit of sparkle to the room seeing all her pretty clothes.
What Makes It Montessori?
- Transparent organizational system
- Eye level options
- She is able to pick out and put away her own clothes
- Only have clothing available that is okay for the child the choose
- Limiting quantities so making a choice isn’t overwhelming
- An attractive, visually appealing area
In my opinion her closet is actually way too cluttered, but hey- my little lady needs her 12 pairs of shoes okay? Haha. This actually is not even a quarter of the clothes in the wardrobe- the rest of it is in my closet and I’ll only pull it out if I want her to wear something specific. I also have all of her off season clothes/shoes in there and will switch them out for things on her rack when it starts getting a little bit colder. Then there are just some things that just simply do not match her color block, (sorry yellow sandals, we still love you!) which is fine, but part of the Montessori teaching is to only have clothing available that is okay for the child to chose. I also think it would be discouraging to her if she put the effort into picking out an outfit and then I went and just switched it for something else because I didn’t want her wearing yellow sandals, with striped shirt, and a floral pants. Okay so maybe that doesn’t sound that bad- but our system works great for our home even though I might be a smidge controlling over her choices. Haha.
Actually getting the clothes on…
Lila is only two and half and for the most part still needs help getting dressed. As she gets older she will be less dependent on me to do the dressing so for now I always encourage her to try her best anyways. She is really good at putting on skirts, decent at getting on certain dresses, and excellent at taking off bottoms.
What Makes It Montessori?
When the child is learning to dress herself, help as little as possible, but enough to keep them from becoming frustrated.
Tips & Tricks
- Lay clothing out on floor in the order they will put it on
- Have a stool or a pillow to sit on
- Show the child that they need to be able to to look down and see the tag or the writing on the underwear or the pants. If the clothing does end up backwards it’s fine as long as it isn’t bothering the child.
- You can put the socks up and over toes, and let the child then pull them over the heel and up.
And, most importantly, give the child space and time. When you know that the child can do it, let them — even if you have to sit on your hands to keep from helping.
Our laundry basket for Lila’s clothes is at the right height for her eye level and she loves putting her clothes it it when she is done wearing them. She’ll always say, “Okay skirt it’s time to go in the basket!” and then she dunks it in. It’s like a total game to her or something, she loves it.
When her laundry basket reaches the top we go to the washer together and since she can’t reach the top I just have her hand me her clothes from the basket and I put them in myself. A lot of them end up on the floor and it takes forever, but she really feels like she is doing her laundry and I think that’s great. When the washer is done I’ll take her things out and hand them to her to put in the dryer. Again- a lot of them end up on the floor and it takes forever, but she really feels like she is doing her laundry and I think that’s great.
When the dryer is done it gets pretty hot so for safety I will put her clothes back in her basket. Then we will sit down together in front of her clothing rack and she helps put her clothes on their hanger and then onto her rack. She still needs help with a lot of clothes, but the ones that she can do she will do.
I really love having her closet set up this way and having complete control over what she can wear, without discouraging a choice she wants to make. Let me know in the comments if you have your toddler’s closet set up this way or if you like the idea of it. Thanks for reading.