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The Montessori Method is all about catering to your child’s independent learning and playing. In this method parents give their kids the option to choose toys, games, and activities in an interesting and accessible manner. Montessori Shelves are shelves that are open and on eye level on the floor for the child. The children can then grab the items in the shelves by themselves. After playtime, it is also easy for them to clean up the toys themselves.
Often parents using the Montessori Shelves will also incorporate toy rotation. This means that every other week or so the toys, books or other items in the shelves get switched out for other ones. This is supposed to keep the child from being bored with the same toys, while still giving options for independent play.
A few things before we get into our favorite Montessori Shelf Ideas:
You want to make sure that it is very sturdy and if possible secure it to the wall. Even though a Montessori shelf is not tall, you do not want it to be able to tilt and fall.
If you have smaller items as an activity like color matching, it can be useful to place those items into a basket in the shelf to keep everything together and organized.
The Ikea KALLAX Shelf Units with 4 or 8 compartments are a great option when it is horizontally on the floor. It offers lot of space for different toys and baskets and comes in multiple colors.
Having multiple compartments can be beneficial to keep one activity or game in one compartment. Especially if you are using multiple items for one activity it is useful to keep them all together. You could also color code each shelf for different activities such as music, books, or shape activities and always rotate other things of the same category into the specific cube. Ikea shelves are one of the more affordable shelving systems that are still amazing for it.
WoodjoyCollection on Etsy offers different sized Montessori style shelves that offer a lot of room for your toddler’s toys. It is made of wood and you can choose from multiple colors.
While this shelf is more open, it is perfect to keep different sized toys and baskets in it. The rounded corners make this a great shelf for young toddlers.
Sprout Kids has a variety of wooden Montessori Shelving ideas. You have the choice of open or closed backs and you can add shelves and adjust the height of them to fit your needs.
The open back is a nice touch especially if you want to use it as a room divider in the playroom or just want to have more light shine through from the back. If you have toys that need more space up top, you can also simply adjust the middle shelf to fit it.
This Crate and Barrel Bookshelf can also be used to store Montessori toys and has a very pretty design, fitting into any room.
As this being much more expensive option, you pay for the aesthetic design of it. You should definitely secure it to the wall to make sure it doesn’t fall.
How To Set Up Your Montessori Shelf
- Keep it simple. Only have a few toys on display for easy access. Don’t clutter the shelves.
- Use trays and baskets to keep items belonging to one activity or game together.
- Keep a variety of different activities out on the shelves.
- If you’re using one shelving unit for two kids of different ages, keep the toys for the younger one on a lower shelf.
- Keep other toys not in rotation and other materials for crafts or sensory activities that you don’t want your toddlers to have access to in a different room or closet.