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August 09, 2022

Montessori Home: Cabinet Shelving

One of the more challenging parts of preparing a Montessori home is creating spaces that work for all your children all at once. Preparing an environment that meets the needs of a baby, toddler and an elementary aged kid can feel really hard. While Montessori schools are also mixed age, the children in the prepared environment are all of the same general developmental stage. This isn't always true at home, and requires some balancing on our part to make it all work. 

We've been running into this problem in our house for years since we have a large family. But, as my big kids get even bigger - I'm finding it even more challenging to make sure everyone's needs are met in the same space. One area that has been a particular challenge for us lately has been our art area. 

Typically we have used open shelving to organize art trays (appropriate for preschool age and younger) and open ended art materials (appropriate for elementary and older.) But, with more kids, and a more headstrong toddler (hello, Ted!) I've been considering some other options for our Montessori home. Something that is a bit taller for my big kids and something that has doors that shut to make some of the art supplies a little less appealing, and safe, for my littles. 

This weekend, I went to IKEA and found a few options that I'm mulling over so I thought I would share them. 

  1. IDANAS: I love the look of this one and how large it is. I think the shelving would be really flexible for bigger art supplies and projects of the second and third planes of development. But, it's the most expensive of the options, and bi-fold doors make me think of pinched fingers. 

  2. HAVSTA: I love the height on this one and the actual doors. I also love that the shelves are adjustable. But, I think it's really narrow and that could limit its potential with bigger kids. 

  3. VIHALS: This one I really like that it's a combination of open shelving and closed storage. The drawers have the potential for storage but also the potential for chaos. I also don't love that the shelves are not adjustable and are uneven. 

  4. GALANT: I really like the size of this one - not too small/big or narrow. The height of the handles is really appealing to me too. But, it's also the least "cute" to me, and looks more office than home. 

I'm not sure yet which of these, if any, we will end up going with. I'm sure there are other options at other stores to consider. And, I know there are others at IKEA. But, I think eventually this cabinet approach is going to be best for mixing larger age groups in our Montessori home.

Do you use cabinet shelving in your Montessori home? Do you have one you would recommend? 


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Anonymous said…
We have the IDANAS and pinched fingers are a thing! I have been considering closed shelves for myself for housing my daughters work. Can’t wait to see it in action :)