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February 16, 2021

Montessori Bathroom - A Self-Care Station for Toddlers

At 17-months-old a lot of the practical life that Teddy engages in on a daily basis is centered around self-care. In fact, a lot of his day is centered around self-care tasks. He's busy learning how to take his clothes off, put them on, brushing his teeth, wiping his face, "brushing" his lack of hair, potty learning, and feeding himself. Over the last week he's taken a very big interest in putting on shoes and Gus' snow boots. These practical tasks are often the most important work that a 1-year-old can be doing. It's this work that grounds his day. 

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In order to make this work possible we have to prepare our environment for success. Within the prepared environment, Teddy is free to choose this work as he feels called. One change we made some weeks ago was completing his self-care station in our bathroom for Ted. The small towel bar has been in the bathroom for standing diaper changes for some months. The little towel hook has been up for years (since Nora was a toddler that needed a tiny hook.) 

To make the space a little more inviting for additional self-care work, I hung an old mirror from IKEA back on the wall. It's been on the wall in this same spot when Nora and Gus were little as well. This way Teddy can see himself without needing to climb on a stool or counter for the real bathroom mirror. 

Then, finally, I added a small suctioned cup for storing Teddy's care essentials. At this point that includes his hair brush (which is mainly for show right now) and his toothbrush (which was missing in these pictures.) Teddy can walk over and use these materials whenever he wants. He loves brushing both his hair and teeth so it's something he does frequently throughout the day. His toothpaste is not stored here for safety (he would surely eat the whole tube) so it's placed high in the bathroom out of his reach. I get it down twice a day when I actually brush his teeth. 

As he gets more efficient at using the potty (he is currently in the process of potty learning) I will also add a small potty to this space. Right now, however, he uses the potty downstairs closer to his playroom. I have found that it's too hard for my little toddlers to make it upstairs in time to successfully go to the potty in the bathroom. 

And, that's it! A few simple materials that really make all the difference in his access to bathroom tasks. 

Montessori homes value independence and accessibility, a self care station gives both to young toddlers. Here's a Montessori bathroom for 1-year-olds.

How have you prepared your home for self-care activities?

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