Today I'm welcoming Gabriella Diesendorf who has some great ideas for adding homemade Montessori materials to a playroom or bedroom. Even if you don't follow the Montessori philosophy exclusively (and we don't) these frugal ideas still deserve a look!
When making a room for your child, you should keep in mind that they will not be babies forever. In a blink of an eye you will look at your child and instead of a helpless baby, you will set your eyes on a curious toddler. As your child grows, so do their needs and interests, and their room should be adjusted to them, however strange that might seem to you. Montessori-style rooms gained popularity in recent years, and because of that, it has become rather costly to have it bought. Luckily, you can easily do your room Montessori-style yourself.
Children love all things shiny and colorful; they like pulling on your buttons, shoelaces, and scarves, but they have a hard time mastering how to use them. A great idea to have them entertained (and learning at the same time) is to make a few adorable dressing frames and dress them in colorful cloths and embed them with shiny buttons. Stack them on the walls if your floor is overcrowded, make special shelves, or simplystack them in cubes.
Kids, especially toddlers, love different textures so why not use some of your old tees and scarves to make them little boxes or pillows to play with. You can combine different textiles and colors, and see which they like best. They might even like the idea of grouping them with their eyes closed, using only their sense of touch, or grouping them by colors instead. This will also be a good introduction to counting, and eventually, your kids might even use them as little pillows.
Walls are not just there to be painted with bright colors, occasionally destroyed with crayons, and painted again when the time comes. Children love drawing on walls, so why not use them as an instrument for learning and playing at the same time? Chalkboard walls are fantastic, you do not have to buy separate expensive boards, and your kids will fall in love with them. Draw flowers and animals on then, and later on you can give them mathematical tasks or practice spelling. The possibilities are many, and you will save a lot on paper and wall paint.
Everywhere your child looks, they will see something to play with, so you should fill their room with colorful blankets cushions, curtains and rugs. Colorful and patterned is the key when it comes to decorating floors and walls. Buy curtains with little dots and stars, and beside their little bed on the floor place adorable kids rugs with monkeys and zebras, or planets and spaceships. This will keep their attention, and they will find it easy to sit on the floor and play with robots or monkeys for a long time.
Make counting into a fun activity simply by using some old materials, paper, and buttons. Make ladybugs on paper and have them put black buttons on their wings when you give them the number, or simply make Christmas trees with a number on top, and decorate them with a certain number of buttons, pins, sequins, etc. The possibilities are endless, and this will make math super easy and fun for them from the earliest age.
Your children are growing and they will be independent adults some day, but the process starts in the early childhood. Let them have their own room they can explore by themselves, give them their own little bed, their own little washstand, and a closet with little drawers. This way, they will be more comfortable in the room, and always find something to investigate and play with.
Gabriella Diesendorf is a blogger and a devoted mother from Australia. She loves badgering about beauty, green lifestyle choices and parenting techniques at Highstylife. If you mention attachment parenting or natural makeup she will bore you to death.
Title image from FreeImages.co.uk