For our first #30daystoMontessori challenge, I’m going to ask you to suspend any perfectionist tendencies you may have, and take a leap with me.
I want you to make one area of your home completely independent for your child. And you have half an hour or less to do it. Stop focusing on it being perfect and permanent — and start just thinking about what will do for now.
Challenge #1: Set Up a Montessori Self-Serve Set-up
I had plans for the PERFECT Montessori kitchen cupboard for Ella, it was going to be completely accessible, organized, and attractive. However, I had to wait until we had cleared out one cupboard to create this perfect set-up, until I had measured the cupboard and bought the perfect containers, and I had a solid two hours or so to really set it up… needless to say, that cupboard still doesn’t exist. BUT, yesterday, I pulled a side table into the kitchen, transferred Ella’s eating accoutrement onto it and called it a success. (Here is my glorious cell phone picture to prove it:)
Five-minute Montessori Kitchen Set-up
The small kitchen set-up is simple and really only serves the function of allowing Ella (and the other children of Child’s Garden Montessori) to set their own place for snacks and meals, but it allows some independence in the kitchen and is better than nothing — which is what they would have had if I kept waiting another month for the perfect circumstances.
And, since the kitchen set-up took all of five minutes, I moved on to our small main floor bathroom and created a self-serve bathroom area for Ella. Again, I was waiting to set up the bathroom until I could order some new light-switch extenders, as our old ones don’t work with decora light switches, but the stool that I placed in front of the sink allows for Ella to still reach the switch with a bit of effort and works for now. (Here’s another cell phone picture — we’re eschewing perfect here!)
I (mostly) emptied out the under-sink cupboard, placed Ella’s bath toys’ basket in it, as well as a basket for her hygiene items (toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrushes). I hot-glued an Ikea mirror over-top of the sink since the cabinet mirror is too high, and I have intentions to add a cute picture from our Yellow Unit to the set-up… eventually.
For toileting, we already had this set-up of a removable toilet-seat insert, a dollar store stool (that can be washed…), and a container of baby wipes so the children can independently toilet when they are ready.
Already, Ella independently brushed her teeth last night while I was washing up from supper. She enjoyed not having to wait for me and the satisfaction of independence, and I enjoyed not having to be on bathroom supervisory duty! I didn’t buy anything new, and just improvised with what we had on hand. Sure, there are improvements to both areas that could be made in time, but giving Ella that independence sooner is worth a bit of imperfection!
So, your challenge today is to spend less than half an hour creating some sort of independent set-up in your home. Whether it be emptying out the bottom drawer in a dresser and adding a couple of different outfit choices for independent dressing, or adding a small mirror and hairbrush to their night table, find a task that your child is capable of, and set up your environment to empower them to succeed. Improvise with what you have on hand, and if you see a need for addition items, add them to a shopping list for later, but don’t let anything stop you!
I’m so excited to see the different spaces that come out of this challenge — please share on social media with the hashtag #30daystomontessori and feel free to tag me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!