Now that our baby is turning into a toddler, the time has come to reassess the functionality of her nursery. She just started walking a bit last week and has been getting into more and more things and I realized the time had come to reorder the room and make it work for the toddler that she is quickly becoming. One thing I realized while searching for inspiration though? There really aren’t a ton of toddler rooms on display out there. Tons of people are into decorating a nursery, but fewer people take the time to share their toddler spaces. Because of this, I thought I’d share our toddler space here and put out a call to any of you out there with cute toddler spaces you’d like to share. I’d like to do a recurring series here of real rooms that can inspire us for our own little ones! Check out Fern’s modern, Montessori-inspired room and then see the details for how to submit your own spaces at the end of the post!
Real Rooms: Fern's Modern Montessori Inspired Toddler Room
Now that Fern is entering the toddler stage, her interests and activities have slowly started to change and as such, I recently re-thought, re-vamped and re-ordered her room to accommodate her new methods of play. Here’s a little tour of her new and improved, toddler-friendly room.
This is where Fern sleeps. Having your child on a floor bed instead of a crib is one of the principles of montessori, and one that we’ve utilized. It may seem odd to a lot of people, but using a floor bed in lieu of a crib has made a lot of sense for us. The idea is that it allows your child room to explore their environment freely. It’s not always a perfect system and some nights, we definitely have her sleep in her portable play yard (i.e. when she’s sick or teething), but she’s been sleeping like this since she was two-months-old and seems to be used to this system.
Read more about our use of a floor bed at Babble
Quiet Calm Area
We don’t follow the Montessori methods to a tee and are definitely not Montessori purists, but overall we like the ideas of dividing up Fern’s space into various areas of play and creating an environment that is catered to her and her interests and is going to encourage her to learn and explore. She recently got this teepee for her birthday and we’ve used it to create a quiet, cozy reading space for her.
Fern loves this area where she can have some quiet space and look at her books – it has quickly become her favorite spot in the room. I made it extra cozy by laying down a knit blanket and pillows inside and placing a few books in a basket that she can easily choose from. I’ll be rotating the books out every week or so to give her new ones to enjoy.
While I would like to have more low shelf space in this room, this sideways fruit crate does the job for now and displays a variety of materials that Fern can access. I don’t have much art hung at her level yet in the room except for this chalkboard since it’s not breakable, but that’s the plan. She loves the mirror here and I’ve spotted her standing here and making faces at herself. A good area for self-exploration.
I separate out all of the manipulative materials for Fern, so she can easily assess what she wants to engage with – much easier for her than having to dig through a toy box. I’ve set out some pinecones in a jar (natural materials are a big part of the Montessori approach) and she loves examining them, along with a few other items she can choose from. As with everything else in the room, the materials will get rotated out regularly to encourage new types of play. The set-up is fun for her and aesthetically pleasing for me, which is a win/win.
A truck is possibly a bit directed to be considered Montessori, but Fern enjoys it, and I also included more books over her so if she wants to read in another area of the room she has that option.
On the other side of the shelf, we have cars and some wooden, sound blocks that are definitely a favorite.
Dramatic Play Area
A dollhouse with specific furniture and pieces is another part of Fern’s room that isn’t necessarily Montessori based, but it will be a nice area for her to practice verbal communication and learn about emotions as we play with the dolls and have various interactions there as she gets older. I try to make sure that everything in her room, Montessori or not, has a purpose and will encourage learning through play.
A very big part of making Fern’s room into a Montessori learning environment was making sure that everything in it is safe for her. This dresser is one such item. It used to be up on pretty, tapered, Danish-style legs, but we removed them so it’s more stable. I also removed the decorative items from on top, because now that she can stand and grab things it wasn’t safe for her any longer. I also have her noise machine and monitor here where she still can’t reach them for now and the plugs are behind the dresser to make things extra kid-proof. This area is also where I keep a basket of soft toys for Fern, which hopefully keep her distracted from trying to climb up and grab the electronics.
If you have a thoughtfully designed toddler room that you’d be interested in sharing here at Disney Baby, please shoot me an e-mail! I’d love to share your space! (firstname.lastname@example.org).