Montessori Methods at Home

Hi friends. Sorry I have been a bit MIA, we've had a lot going on around here! I was planning our What's Up Wednesday post, but there really wasn't anything exciting or new to share. Instead, I wanted to jump on here really quick to share with you some different exciting life updates. Over the last two weeks or so, I have been reading a lot about the Montessori methods of teaching and I just love what I hear. If you are a parent and haven't read about it, it's a method of educating and parenting children that is very "child focused" with the goal being to raise strong, independent and capable kids! Michael and I have been watching a lot of videos on Youtube, we love what we're seeing and hearing, and we are totally on board. 

I love the idea of Ella being confident and capable to do things on her own, not because we're lazy parents or anything like that, but I think learning independence at a young age is critical. One way we can support Ella in gaining independence is making sure we teach her, guide her and allow her to do things for herself first. Maybe it will take an extra 2 minutes to get her socks and shoes on, but she won't learn if we don't let her try! It is taking so much patience (I didn't realize how many things we do automatically that we can easily include her on) but I am already seeing a change in Ella and she LOVES feeling like she is helping.

We have made some changes to our apartment, so things are more on "Ella's level" and we wanted to share with you guys! :) We started with her play area!

It is recommended to have open, simple shelves at your child's height where you display thoughtful and high quality toys/activities for your child. They recommend storing other toys/activities in a closet and rotating them routinely as your child gets bored of those on display. As you may recall, I shared our toy storage system and we still use it. I love having her toy bins stacked in the closet and labeled, so I can easily pull things in and out. 

I purchased these cube shelves from Target, but Ikea has a great option called the Kallax. We currently own that shelf as well but have been using it as our 'entertainment center.' We don't use storage bins as I would have originally thought to. We leave everything out in the open instead. I do use baskets and wooden trays for display, but everything is still visible for Ella. Toys are supposed to be more inviting this way.

We made a small change to her bedroom...

We got rid of her dresser to make room for her wardrobe and self-care area. We used our clothes drying rack and lowered it down to Ella's height so she can pick out her own outfits and attempted to take the clothes off the rack. We keep her socks in the basket, and her pajamas in the storage container. I now plan to let her choose what she wants to wear, as long as it is weather appropriate. Just like her toys, I plan to rotate her clothes options. I was hoping to get a wooden clothes rack, but because we'll only need it temporarily it seems like a waste of money. We used one of our old tables as an area to store a few diapers, wipes, cream, body lotion and her tooth brushing supplies. We have her laundry basket on the floor in the open so she is able to put her dirty clothes in the bin. 

In our kitchen we used a plastic set of drawers to store her plates, bowls, cups and silverware so she has access to these things herself. At meals I ask her to get her plate ready for me and place it on her table. I used a permanent marker to mark the plate setting on her placemat, so she knows where to put it. She has also been getting her own cups of water. We bought her this little water dispenser, so she can go over and get water as she desires. I think this is going to take a while for her to get the hang of, but we're working on it. She loves drinking from an open cup vs the sippy cup which is great progress from where we were just last week.

At our 'entrance' (which is really just directly into our living room) I wanted Ella to have a spot to put on her own jacket and shoes. I just used a command hook to hang up her coat and we're using a folding step stool for her to sit on. She is super far from putting on her own shoes, but she's making great progress.

When Ella is old enough (and maybe once we have our own home) we hope to turn her play kitchen into more of a 'practical kitchen' where she can actually get her own snacks, help prepare them and try to wash her dishes after. I have a lot of ideas on how we can transform her wooden Ikea kitchen! But for now, she's still too young so we're going to wait. 

A few things I am currently working on...
-getting more practical life materials that Ella can use, and that are safe
-finding colorful art that we can place at her level throughout our home
-setting up a table for her where she can eat breakfast & lunch (dinners are always together at our table- so she'll stay in her high chair for now)

While Montessori is all very new to us, we are continuing to read about it and educate ourselves. I have a book coming in the mail and I hope it provides more guidance on how we can change our behavior at home to accommodate Ella's independence more. We're excited for this approach and Ella is loving it so far. She lights up when I thank her for doing things and I know she appreciates us allowing her to try things for herself the first before offering her assistance. 

Thanks for catching up with us! I will be back tomorrow for our 'What's In My' link up. Tomorrow we are sharing what's in our PLANNER. Seems strange to share considering how hard it is to plan anything. Butttt if you're interested in linking up with Adrienne and I, here is our graphic.

We hope to see you tomorrow! 
-Ashley & Ella xoxo


  1. We considered Montessori schooling when Gabbie was young. It didn't seem right for her but I think my second child would have benefited. As far as doing it at home, great idea!

    1. It's sooo expensive! We have been looking, but not sure we will go that route. I worry that the transition to traditional school would be difficult. However, we certainly want to continue these methods at home the best we can! :)

  2. Love all the little changes you've made at home for Ella! Agreed that it takes patience to let them do things on their own but it is so good :)

    1. Michael poured her milk in a little creamer pot for her to pour into her cup herself this morning and guess where the milk ended up? Everywhere but her cup. LOL! More pouring activities are needed obviously... Haha!

  3. I loved reading this! I’ve been doing research and watching tons of videos for when we have kids! Let me know what you think of the book you bought!

    1. So far I like it. There are a lot of Montessori methods I do not think we will ever implement for safety/sanity reasons- like having a floor bed. But we like keeping as much stuff at home "Ella accessible" so she has the opportunity to learn and do things independently. So far, the book is repeat info I have seen on Youtube. We love watching the Hapa Family on youtube!

  4. These are interesting ideas! We have the same footstool in our half-bath and I'm teaching our just-turned 2 year old how to wash hands there instead of me holding him over the sink.
    I also really like the open cup idea. I need to make that transition.

    1. We are learning that Ella is a bit too young and not as focused as she would need to be to do some of these tasks herself. Right now it's a lot of us guiding her and hoping that she'll catch on and show interest in doing things herself. She is loving getting her own water (but still makes a mess) and being able to get her own plates/bowls has been her favorite.

    2. I think it's great that you are working on independent hand-washing. We are trying to do this also, but Ella just wants "soaaaapppp!" Haha!


I appreciate and love all questions and comments!