Creating a Montessori Entryway for your Toddler

Lately I’ve been obsessed with making my home a little more Montessori-friendly for my babe. He recently turned 15 months and I have realized how much his desire for independence has grown. He also recently began the toddler program at the Montessori school I teach at, and I want to provide him the opportunity to practice skills that he is working on at school.

He has shown quite a bit of interest in sitting on small stools and attempting to independently put on his socks and shoes. I didn’t already have a stool at home, so I did some research and found this amazing little bamboo stool on Amazon!

Many of the stools I found have a 12 inch seat height. But Noah is only 2 1/2 feet tall! This stool has a seat height of about 7 inches, so it’s perfect for his little legs. It cost $28.90, but was worth every penny because it is truly a quality stool. Durable and beautiful!

We live in a 1000ish square foot apartment, so space is limited. We’ve had to be very strategic about essential furniture pieces and arrangement. Right as you enter the apartment there is a coat closet, and next to that we had an empty stretch of wall that was perfect for creating a toddler-sized entry area.

When creating an entryway for your toddler, I think there are 3 essential aspects you will want to strive to include:

  1. Child sized stool for sitting to put on/take off socks and shoes. 7-8 inch seat height is optimal for toddler’s little legs! 10-12 inches works better for preschool age.
  2. Basket or tote for storing shoes. Your child will always know where to find his/her shoes. “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” Plus, helps to minimize tracking dirt into the house!
  3. Hooks at your child’s level for school bags, lunch boxes, jackets, hats, etc. Nothing promotes the development of independence like being responsible for one’s own belongings. This allows your little one to get his own things on the way out the door, and put them back upon entry into the house.

You could also place a little rug under the stool for added warmth, or a little mirror on the wall. Personally, I did not have space for these items so I just went with the simplest set up possible. I am very happy with how it turned out 🙂

The basket was $8 from Big Lots (I’m all about the bargains, if you couldn’t tell). Target has great options too, maybe a tad bit pricier. I purchased the wall hooks from Walmart. It was an unfinished wood that I stained to match the rest of our living room furniture.

And YES I KNOW. All three pieces are different shades of brown. Unintentional. But I like to think it adds character. The items in this area serve their intended purpose, and that’s all that matters. My little guy has his own place to get ready to leave the house.

Consistency, routine, and the development of independence are crucial – especially during the toddler years – and having these little accessible areas around your house allow your toddler to develop his skills and be a contributing member of the family.

There are so many ways to create a beautiful and functional, Montessori-inspired toddler entryway, but I wanted to share with you how we implemented this in our home. Hope you enjoyed, and I wish you a beautiful day!

xo Miss Claire

Toddler Fine Motor Skills: Tape Escape!

I have seen this activity on Pinterest and on many other blogs, so I can in no way, shape, or form take credit for this. But I had always imagined it as an activity for older toddlers, at least 18 months or so.

My son will be 13 months in just a few days. I wouldn’t have even introduced this activity, but I already happened to be using masking tape for another activity in his room and he just seemed SO fascinated by it. I figured, why not?

The best part is that this took about 45 seconds to throw together. Yes, it was that fast! His hands were on it before I had even set the tray all the way down.

He didn’t really peel the tape off in a careful Montessori fashion, so much as pull it off with each little animal. But he did somewhat peel the tape off of the animals after removing them from the tray.

As a Montessori mom and teacher, I am all for simple, quickly-put-together activities that promote engagement, concentration, and fine motor skill development. He liked this activity so much we did it again a second time!

This activity was a 10/10. Simple, fun and educational – which if you ask me, is the trifecta. The wide masking tape was perfect for his little 13-month-old fingers. To make it more challenging for older toddlers, you could use thinner, stickier tape, and smaller toys or figurines. The farm animals I used are pretty chunky and were easy for him to just pull right off.

If you’re looking for some fun toddler playtime activities, I definitely recommend that you try this out!