Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Bedroom

There is a lot talked about the baby's and infant's bedroom in various Montessori resources: The Floor Bed, mirrors at a child's level, simple pictures, not so many toys but what few being down on low reachable shelving and maybe a mobile for small babies. There is not, however, so much talked about for adapting the room as the child grows. I have already added some pictures to previous entries but this entry is to show how I have tried to organise the children's bedrooms for their varying ages and with the space and resources we have.


This is her bed. We have got her elevated off the floor and not on a mattress, we didn't actually go down that route. However, it would be so easy to adapt a mattress on the floor and then put it on the frame later on. She has a small bedside table that she can put water or books on and yes, that is a bed guard. The floor is hard!!

This is an area set aside for her to sit and read. It is round a slight corner so out of direct vision from the rest of the room and the door, which means she can be quiet in this space. There is a beanbag for her to use and a selection of books. I haven't really been organised to rotate them, but I frequently cull !! We also have rotating books downstairs in the den that I change on a fairly regular basis. She also has some shoes and slippers on the bottom shelf.

This is inside her wardrobe. We adapted this using a broom handle to create a lower rack for the clothes she is currently wearing in season.

This is her "care of the self" space. She has a mirror at her height and a clothes peg. To the right is a playstand which I have shown from the other side in the photo below, that contains her comb, brush and mirror. She also has, which isn't shown, a box of play jewellery and hair accessories that she can use if she wishes. The basket contains a plethora of soft toys and some hand puppets. Dressing up clothes are primarily in the play room in another wardrobe on a low rail.

Here you can see the mirror, comb and brush and a few small toys. The play silks create a backdrop for a puppet theatre or shop or cover it all or........anything really!

Older child's room:

These two pictures are inside my eldest son's wardrobe (excuse the mess - Montessorischmontessori - they still can't put stuff back in the places it belongs and as for folding aaagghh!)

I have some issues with chests of drawers (one of which is lack of space, another safety, for a child to pull them open and then apply their weight on a drawer fills me with the heebiejeebies) they are stiff and cumbersome, so as we have the luxury of a walk in closet for this son, I bought some wire cube shelving from Target and his underwear, t-shirts, sweaters etc are all in their own space. He has a step so he can reach the stuff that is hanging, but that is primarily the next season's clothing.

This photo below shows his working space. We haven't yet done this with our younger son. We chose to give our elementary son this space partly because he LOOOOVES to write stories and also to give him some space for his hobbies without the younger two. When our younger son reaches elementary age we will try to provide a similar space for him. At the moment, our younger son does his art and craft either downstairs in the kitchen or in the playroom.

This was a flea market table!! $40!!

He has a space for his pens and we also bought a fishing tackle box that he keeps colouring pens and crayons, scissors, sharpeners and glue in. That stays up out of the younger two's reach!! There is also a pin board to display his work and an area to store his stamp collection. Both him and his brother have a CD player in their room (that is as technological as they will get - I will refer to media in another entry) to allow them music or stories on CD.

This is the reading space we have designated for our elder son. Unfortunately he doesn't have a nook anywhere that can be turned over to a quiet space, and he frequently climbs under his covers to read his books (at any time of the day !!) so this is a bit redundant at the moment. Still, it is a low chair to the floor and concealed by the table so he could hide away if he wanted to.


Michele said...

I'm just learning about Montessori. I would like to transition my almost 1 year old's room. It's pretty organized and child friendly already. So the last thing left to do is move the mattress to the floor.

My big question is how you get your child to sleep on the mattress without wanting to get up to play.

The Beehive said...

Hi Michele,
My advice would be as Montessori would say, to not have too much to stimulate in the bedroom. If you try to aim to leave the bedroom as much as possible for quiet work such as reading and sleeping, you'll find that this may help. Of course, it's not always that easy because toys do end up in bedrooms.
My other piece of advice would be to have a beautiful place for everything that is in your child's room, so baskets are great, or shelves. At the end of the day clearing up becomes special and important and, just as a child won't spill a jug of water if they are shown how to do it with pride, they'll soon learn that this is outside the hours of "work" and "play" and you'll probably find that after a few blips, they'll get it.
If your child struggles, quiet, continual reinforcement. It is sleep time now, play time is tomorrow, remove the toy, take child back to the mattress ad infinitum.
I think we have to trust our children to make good choices if we limit their boundaries.

Obviously, anything you really don't want them to touch, keep it out of reach.

Does that help at all?