Kids Gear

The Best Gear to Montessori Your Home and Create Independence for Your Child

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The Montessori method of education has been around for almost 100 years without much change, and there’s a good reason why—it focuses on nurturing the inherent gifts of children and sees them as capable, sufficient, and curious beings.

Lately, though, the method has caught fire as educational researchers confirm more and more that children learn best through exploration and discovery, rather than traditional, adult-directed education. There are many more resources now on how to utilize the Montessori method in your home – from setting up a child-centered space to implementing the philosophy in your parenting to setting up and selecting toys that promote open-ended play.

If you are interested in implementing the Montessori philosophy in your home, there are a few things you might need to best promote independence with your tiniest tot. Here are a few tips to get you started. 

 

The Kitchen

The kitchen is a great place to create opportunities for independence and self-suffiency. The Montessori method encourages learning towers and stools to get kids on level where all the excitement is happening–when they feel involved and can see what’s going on, they’re better able to learn things like how food is prepped and made, and how work goes into making meals. They’re also able to help out, which little kids just love to do.

The Montessori method also encourages using “real” silverware, plates, bowls, and cups–typically glass. The idea behind this is that children learn to respect and care for the items in the manner in which they deserve; if they’re given unbreakables all the time, they won’t learn the natural consequence of throwing a real plate or cup. Using “real” vehicles for their food also respects them as a part of the family.

Keeping snack containers on lower shelves and reachable for small hands allows children to help themselves when it comes to food. And having tiny pitchers available with small glasses can let kids pour themselves a drink when thirst hits (keep a stack of cloth napkins closeby for easy cleanup–and teach them how to use them!).

Etsy
Convertible Learning Tower
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Target
Guidecraft Kitchen Helper
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Amazon
Kids Kitchen Step Stool With Safety Rail
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Amazon
Mini Milk Creamer Pitcher
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Amazon
Small Ceramic Pitcher
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Lakeshore
Help-Yourself Pitchers
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Amazon
Stainless Steel Cups
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Amazon
Stackable Juice Glasses
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Amazon
12-Piece Stainless Steel Kids Silverware Set
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Amazon
Stainless Steel Kids Utensils Set
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Amazon
Toddler Fork, Knife, and Spoon Set
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Amazon
Bamboo Kids Plates
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Amazon
Stainless Steel Bowls
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Amazon
Stainless Steel Plates
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Amazon
Durable Porcelain 6-Piece Dessert Plate Set
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Amazon
Glass Custard Cups
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Amazon
Stackable Storage Bins
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Amazon
Cellulose Sponge Cloths
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Amazon
Ring Spun Cotton Kitchen Towels
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Pottery Barn Kids
Melissa & Doug Dust, Sweep, Mop Set
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Amazon
Nylon Kitchen Baking Knife Set
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Amazon
Wooden Craft Table and Chairs Set
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Amazon
Round Storage Table and Chair Set
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Amazon
Kids Mid-Century Style Modern White Table Set
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The Bedroom/Play Areas

Montessori-inspired bedrooms and play areas typically involve a few key components. Floor beds are encouraged to get kids accustomed to climbing in and out of bed on their own. Child-height closets and clothes drawers let children choose their own clothes and get dressed on their own. Accessible bins and baskets corral everything from socks, stuffed animals, winter accessories, bathing suits, and pajamas. The idea here is ease for children and an emphasis on ability over things like cute, put-together outfits. If you want them to be independent, you have to let them be independent.

Play areas usually have low open-shelving for toys and activities and bookshelves with outward-facing books so kids can see what they are choosing. Fewer is better in these regards, as too much stuff will clutter and overwhelm young children, especially when it comes to cleaning up.

Target
Wood 2 Shelf Storage Cabinet
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Target
6-Cube Organizer Shelf
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Target
4-Cube Vertical Organizer Shelf
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IKEA
STUVA Wall shelf
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IKEA
BRANÄS Basket
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IKEA
NORDRANA Baskets
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Target
Aseana Folio Bin
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Target
Decorative Open Weave Basket
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Target
Aseana Small Milk Crate
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Amazon
Kid's Dress Up Clothing Garment Rack
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Amazon
Wood Household Shelves
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IKEA
FLISAT Book display
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Target
Easy-to-Reach Birch Wood Bookshelf
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IKEA
FLISAT Wall Shelf
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IKEA
KLACK Tray
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Target
Seagrass Woven Serving Tray
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Lakeshore
Look at Me! Balance Bar
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Amazon
Acrylic Mirror Sheet
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Bathrooms

Opportunities for independence should follow kids into the bathroom, where things like faucet and lightswitch extenders will help them manage small tasks on their own. Stools, of course, are typically needed everywhere too.

Toilet learning, in the Montessori method, starts early–where babies as young as 12-14 months begin learning how to sit on the toilet. Of course, this doesn’t mean they’ll be toilet-trained this early. It’s a longer process in the Montessori system than the typical three-day method that is popular in modern parenting. Children are gradually introduced to toileting and given space and practice to learn the method on their own as they grow older and abler. Beginning a routine where you pop your toddler on the potty seat at a young age to familiarize them with the seat can go a long way in being emotionally ready at the same time as their bodies are physically ready.

Serena & Lily
Teak Step Stool
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IKEA
BEKVÄM Step Stool
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Amazon
Faucet Extender
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Amazon
Light Switch Extender
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Amazon
Potty Training Toilet
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Amazon
Potty Chair
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Amazon
Potty Training Seat with Step Stool Ladder
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Amazon
Lilla Children's Green Potty
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Read More: Our Favorite Montessori-Inspired Toys for Infants and Toddlers