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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

A Montessori Entryway

Preparing Montessori spaces at home isn't just about creating perfect little playrooms for our kids to work in. But, instead, it's about creating spaces where your child can independently participate in a variety of everyday, real life tasks throughout the home. For us, creating a child friendly space in our entryway is an important part of allowing our children the freedom to come and go from the house with ease. Plus, I have found the more prepared the space, the less struggle it is to keep it clean and organized. I especially appreciate that since our "entryway" is actually just our living room. 


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Our entryway is by no means super beautiful or complicated. My goals are to make sure the kids can independently access their shoes, coats, and any other outerwear they need to leave the house. They need spots to hang their bags. And the smaller guys need a spot to sit to put things on. That's it! 

Coats

Here in Minnesota my kids need two types of coats for the winter. We have thinner wool "car coats" that are safe to wear with their car seats and outdoors during the fall/spring. Then, they have thicker puffy snow coats for playing outdoors in the winter. The smaller coats simply hang on the back of our closet door on sticky hooks. Teddy's hook is a bit lower than Nora/Gus hooks so even at 14-months he can access his coat. 


The winter coats are hung on a low bar in the closet on hangers. We have this system from IKEA that allows us to move the bar to a lower level easily. This is also where snow pants hang. We use hangers for these because I've found the thicker, heavier coats just don't hang as easily on hooks. 

In the non-snowy months, these items are removed to free up some space in the closet and make sure that only appropriate choices are accessible. 

Shoes

Again, my kids often have multiple types of shoes available to them at any given moment. Typically, its three pairs - their regular play shoes, their fancy shoes, and either rain boots or snow boots. We keep the smaller shoes in the closet. Each child has their own shelf where they can find and replace their shoes after each wear. 


Then, larger boots are stored on waterproof trays behind the door on the floor. It's not fancy, but it allows the kids to know exactly where to put their boots and (mostly) keeps wet from being tracked around the house. 

Outerwear and Bags

In the winter, there is just a lot of outerwear that the kids need - gloves, hats, scarves, and now masks! So, each child gets their own basket on our console table. This basket holds all of their specific gear so that it is easily accessible - both to find and put back. We used to do one family basket, and while the kids could put stuff back easily they could never find their stuff. This makes it so much easier. 


Bags are kept in the main closet. We use S-hooks to make it easy for them to hang. This hasn't been a huge issue this year since we don't have any big kids leaving the house for school. But in the past, this has been so helpful in keeping bags off the floor.

Chair

Finally, we have the chair! This simple chair provides a place for the kids to sit and put on shoes. This is especially important for Gus and Teddy who still take a bit of time to get their shoes on. The chair helps keep them off the floor (and out of the way of the door) but also provides a more stable place for them to be as they work on those fine motor skills. 


And, that's it! It's a few simple modifications that help make the order really apparent, make things accessible, and independent! 

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