In the Montessori classroom, children move from the infant program to the toddler program when they’re 18 months old. At home, you can start transitioning from an infant-friendly to a toddler-friendly environment whenever it feels appropriate for your children. Feel free to implement as many, or as few, of Montessori’s design and furnishing ideas as makes sense for your home and family. Okay, let’s get started.

Child-Size Furniture

Just as in infant-friendly rooms, you’ll want to have child-size furnishings for your toddler to interact with. If you started setting up a Montessori-inspired space when your child was an infant, much of the furnishings can carry-over as they get older.

A Montessori weaning table will still work for a toddler’s meals and activities. Low shelves are still a good idea so the child can access and put away their own toys and activities. The floor-bed also carries over, and it might be time to upgrade to a twin-size mattress instead of a crib mattress or futon.

Easily Reached Storage

As your child becomes more mobile, it’s increasingly important for them to have child-friendly access to storage spaces. In their room, provide low shelves with baskets and trays for storage. Hang a closet bar low enough that they can pick out and put away their own clothing.

In the kitchen, consider setting aside a cupboard for your child’s use. You can store their child sized plates, glasses, and metal utensils here along with some snacks. Also keep clean up tools within the child’s reach so they can learn to take care of their own messes and spills.

Accessible Toilet

Rather than choosing a time when you’re going to train the child how to use a toilet, the Montessori method encourages “toilet learning” by letting children independently and gradually discover an interest in toilet use.

If you’re going to use Montessori toilet learning techniques, make sure your toddler has access to a toilet they can use. You might go with a stand-alone potty chair or install a child seat on your regular toilet. If your child is using a regular toilet, be sure to provide a step stool so they can sit comfortably. They’ll also need steps so they can reach the sink to wash their hands.

Toddler-friendly Toys

The best toys for a Montessori toddler’s room can be manipulated and explored. Building toys, clay, crayons and paper, toys based off real-life activities, and something with numbers and/or letters are a good place to start. Try to have about five activities available at any given time, in addition to several books, and rotate them out for something new when the child loses interest.

You can buy “official” Montessori activity material online, but there’s no need for that if your child is enrolled in a Montessori school like ours. They’ll get to use things like stacking and nesting cubes, sandpaper letters, and wooden puzzles in the classroom. We wish you luck in your efforts to use Montessori at home to help your toddler learn things for themselves!

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