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Latching Boxes and Baskets

For those of you that have multiple children of different ages sharing one space, like I do, you know how hard to can be to give everyone the space they need to move and work. It seems like the baby always just wants what the older children are using and the older children just want to sit on top of the baby. (Hopefully, that's not just my house!)

And, don't get me wrong, I love to see my kids interacting and working together, but this can be a really tricky dynamic -- especially when you have an older child who has much smaller work and a mouthing baby/young toddler. You don't want to restrict anyone's freedom of movement, but at the same time you want to keep everyone (and their work) safe.

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Using locking boxes and baskets can help keep babies safe in a shared Montessori play space.

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One way that I help to combat this is by using locking/latching baskets and boxes. Using a small basket or box for the tiniest pieces of material I can slow the chances that Augustus is going to eat some of Nora or Henry's work on their shared shelves. It gives me the piece of mind to give him a little space to explore without a ton of limits.

Now, this isn't to say that I put whole works in these baskets and boxes. Really I just isolate the things that I really don't want my younger child to have -- scissors, knives, needles, tiny pieces, marbles, etc. While the rest of the work may not be appropriate, if it isn't dangerous, I still have it on my shelf open, even with a baby -- and I think I'll save more about this for another post!

Using locking boxes and baskets can help keep babies safe in a shared Montessori play space.

I'm also confident that you could find similar boxes/baskets at thrift stores and craft stores for a cheaper price than these examples. These are only examples! What I look for is something that is challenging for the baby to open, but not too challenging for your other child, and is still beautiful and calls to your older child. 

Have you ever used baskets or boxes to keep a baby safe in a shared space? How did it work? 
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