Are you considering implementing a Montessori learning environment at home beyond toys?
A Montessori wardrobe is a good option as it helps children dress themselves, and you get to squeeze in some time. During rush hours in the mornings, it comes to your rescue as your toddlers dress up themselves. They learn independence while dressing up in a wardrobe of their size.
Now let us see what a Montessori wardrobe is and its benefits.
What is a Montessori wardrobe?
A Montessori wardrobe is a child-sized minimalist wardrobe that children can access for dressing up. It is designed and based on the Montessori principles, to make children independent and self-reliant.
How can your child benefit from the Montessori wardrobe?
- When the child chooses their clothes to dress up in, they develop a sense of independence.
- They become responsible as they organize their clothes and learn to dress appropriately.
- The wardrobe helps them make choices but within a limited set of options.
- Mutual respect and trust develop between parents and their children by letting the children manage their wardrobes.
- By taking care of their own needs, they get to express themselves, which develops their self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Activities to maintain the wardrobe like folding clothes and hanging them in the hanger help develop fine and gross motor skills.
- The wardrobe helps the children learn life skills of self-care like dressing and undressing.
- Designated spaces for children’s clothing and accessories are allowed at their height. It creates a sense of order in them.
How to set up a Montessori wardrobe?
You can plan for budget-friendly wardrobes which are aesthetic and foster independence in children.
When designing the Montessori wardrobe, you can consider the clothing and accessories such as:
- tops – t-shirts, sweaters
- bottoms – shorts, trousers, leggings, skirts
- underwear and socks
- seasonal clothing like a swimming suit, gloves, mittens
- uniforms – school and sport
- hats – school hats, beanies, sun hats
Below are some tips to help you set up a Montessori wardrobe at home.
Set everything within the child’s level
Accessibility is the main factor for a Montessori wardrobe. The wardrobe must-have open shelves and low height. Alba Montessori children’s wardrobe and Ikea Syvde Open wardrobe are some options available.
They put your clothes and accessories within easy reach, without taking up too much space. Their smart design with adjustable shelves makes it easy to customize the space according to your needs. These wardrobes can grow with your child due to their adjustable shelves.
Filling the wardrobe with seasonally appropriate clothing
You can make a few suitable options available each morning to help children choose their clothes. As the children grow and understand what they can wear for specific occasions, they can have access to clothes for all seasons in their wardrobe.
Segregating different kinds of clothes according to seasons in the wardrobe helps to develop organizational skills in children.
Limiting the number of clothes
Offering fewer choices of clothes to children is better. Having a few clothes will help you keep your wardrobe organized and not spoil them of choice.
Adding a mirror
It encourages children to dress up. You can add it to the room or to the wardrobe. ECR4kids Closet with Mirror is an affordable and durable option available.
Making a routine
Children may not start dressing themselves from the first day when you introduce them to their wardrobe. It is a skill that they will learn with plenty of practice. You may need to help them initially, and as they become independent in dressing, you can withdraw. You need to be patient with them and not rush them into dressing up.
Keeping it hassle-free
Keeping clothes that fit them and are easy to wear will help them dress up independently. Clothing that is tight and has zippers and buttons is hard for children to wear.
Keeping folded clothes in baskets and labeling each basket also helps.
Montessori wardrobe choices
All Montessori wardrobes need not be expensive, stand-alone wardrobes. There are many ways in which a Montessori wardrobe can be organized, and each design infuses the same learnings in children.
Baskets, hanging space, and a low chair
Baskets and hangers provide simple ways to manage the clothes in the wardrobe. The children can pick up one item from each basket to wear each day.
They can learn to hang up their clothing with hangers without waiting for their parents to help them.
A low chair can help them dress up when wearing socks and pants.
A combination of hanging space and shelves in the wardrobe works well. Folded clothes can be placed on shelves, drawers, or baskets.
Buying a ready-made wardrobe
The lack of time and skills to build a Montessori wardrobe makes buying one a feasible option. These child-sized Montessori wardrobes are available on Etsy, Amazon, and other furniture stores. These can be expensive sometimes, but the investment can be worth it for your child.
Building a wardrobe yourself
Making a Montessori wardrobe at home is a workable and cost-effective option instead of buying from a store or seller.
You can build a wardrobe simply by placing baskets and fixing rods to hang clothes accessible to children. They can still learn the skills required.
However, it will be fun for the children to have a place of their size to put their clothing. It will encourage them to take responsibility for their task.
How to make a Montessori wardrobe at home?
Building a stand-alone wardrobe is a cheaper option than buying one. It will require a lot of tools and space to build it in, but it is worth it if you want to save money.
You will need wood boards for the frame and shelves, a sturdy dowel or peg for the hanging space, screws, wood glue, and varnish or wood stain.
Proper planning and measurements can help ensure your wardrobe fits within the space to include any additional features.
- The wood must be of proper sizes according to measurements, which will help you know that everything will fit together when assembling. The best design for the wardrobe is with shelves or drawers on one half and a larger space for hanging clothes on the other half.
- Assembling the board is the essential step in building the wardrobe.
You can use wood glue and clamps to glue the frame together. Then the shelving has to be glued in and the clamps for stability.
Fixing the wardrobe in the frame and shelving with crews will strengthen it.
- You can install a dowel to hang clothes. It should be at the height of the child. You can use wood glue to secure the rod and add screws to keep it firm.
- Sanding the wardrobe will protect your child from splinters and help the varnish or stain apply smoothly.
- Apply finish onto the freshly sanded wardrobe. A varnish or a paint are all ideal options.
Montessori wardrobes help in instilling Montessori principles in children.
It must be appealing for the children, and you can guide them on using the wardrobe. Without rushing, we can give them the time and space to cultivate their interest and practice using it.