Our Creative Space

032Purging. Simplifying. Organising. Creating.

As part of the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series with myself and Kate from An Everyday Story, I’m culling play materials and re-designing our play spaces.

I thought I would share our newly organised Creative Space:

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Set up on our front verandah, our creative space has tables to create on, easels and most of our materials (a few art materials are still being organised).

I got the trolley from Ikea for my birthday after seeing Kate’s one on Instagram and knew it would be perfect for our space.

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These shelves hold our chalk and chalkboard, modelling materials, craft materials, stencils and our recyclables for creating (in the tub to the right)

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The trolley has writing materials, books, scissors and glue on the top shelf. On the second tray there are a variety of paints and painting materials. & on the bottom we have our stamps and do-a-dot markers.

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What do you think? What would you include?

Share your spaces on Instagram with the hashtag #30daystyp and/or on my Facebook page or the Lovable Learning Facebook group.

Our creative space

Stay tuned tomorrow for the start of another exciting week in the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series (don’t forget the items you will need)!

Setting Up A Play Space | Day 3 – 30 DaysTYP

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Hi! Welcome to day 3 in the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series! Today we’re discussing setting up a play space.

I’m still knee-deep in toy culling and organising. If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen that I am working on our play spaces area by area.

For me, the most important features of a play spaces are that it is:

- attractive and inviting,
- tailored to the child/ren who play in it,
- accessible: with play materials on the child’s level,
- set up with what the child needs for each activity,
- as simple as you can get it.

10173588_10152410706753969_88889056_nConfession: Almost half of our toys are used infrequently.

The most significant thing you can do to to improve a play space is ask yourself a few important questions:

  1. How do my children play?
    Do they like to quietly play alone? Or do they take up lots of space?
  2. What can I do to facilitate that play?
    Perhaps a specific space for construction? or creativity? or reading? or a hiding-space for time to play alone?
  3. Is the amount of toys in the place manageable for your children?
    Can they put them away mostly on their own or is it a gargantuan task that will never happen without significant help?

A good chunk of our play happens outdoors. As do most of our sensory explorations and our art. This weekend I’ll show you our newly made over art area on our verandah.

outdoor play

You can share a photo on my Facebook page or on Instagram using the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series hashtag: #30daystyp

I will be!

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If you missed a post, here’s the rest of the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series

30 Days to Transform Your Play | Series Introduction

30 Days to Transform Your Play series
30 Days to Transform Your Play series with Kate from An Everyday Story and I (Racheous – Lovable Learning). We have created this inspiring and thought-provoking series for you. With simple and practical advice for you.

You – the mama who respects her child and is passionate about learning with them
You – the mama who tries to be mindful with the toys and materials that are brought into your home but still finds herself overwhelmed
You – the mama who needs to re-organise her children’s playspace but needs some guidance
You – the mama who knows her child’s interests but isn’t 100% sure what to do with that information
You – the mama who wants to know how to organise invitations to play and explore
You – the mama who wants to know how to help her child represent and express ideas and learning
You – the mama who  wants to transform your play

30 days to transform your play
So where do you start?

Think about and answer this: Why do you want to make changes to the way you approach your child’s play?

Over the coming weeks we will be working with you on all of the above and more. This is an interactive series. We want you to be involved.

Share your questions, updates and suggestions on our Facebook pages, Instagram with the hashtag #30daystyp (30 Days [to] Transform Your Play).

And if you feel inspired to blog about your experiences, make sure you leave a link in the comments each day so we can all pop over and have a read. 30 Days to Transform Your Play.

If you haven’t already done it, make sure you set aside some time today to complete your homework from last week; you’ll need that information for tomorrow’s task.

Be sure to follow us as we update daily for the next 30 days and guide you with practical and inspiring tips to transform your play. See you tomorrow!

 

Montessori Home Spaces: Tips Room by Room

 montessori home spaces

For those just starting out with Montessori at home, I thought I would share some advice for organising their environment. There are several things to think about each space and room in the home. I hope I can share how to best set up your home to facilitate independence. This is primarily applicable to the younger years.

In general: consider the room from a child’s perspective. Ask yourself:affiliate links disclosure

What would your child like to reach?
What does your child often ask for access to? Is there a way to make it (or most of the components) accessible?
What do you do for the child that they could do (or help do) themselves?

Montessori Kitchen

It depends on your family, your space available and your child as to whether your child has a cupboard or shelf of their own in or around the kitchen, or you clear a space for them in your kitchen cupboard, pantry or even a low draw. However, irrespective of where the space is, it’s important for them to have access to their own eating tools, foods and items for food preparation when they are ready for them.

  1. Make your child’s cutlery, cups, plates, bowls readily available on a low shelf, cupboard or their own area.
  2. Similarly, have their utensils for food preparation and baking accessible.
  3. Have a basket of child-friendly cleaning materials available to them.
  4. Put snacks into easy to open containers at the child’s level.
  5. Set up a shelf or part of a shelf in the fridge with some of their snacks organised in containers.
  6. Organise water in a pitcher in the fridge or a dispenser depending on your space and families needs.
  7. Hang a half-tea-towel on a low hook for clean ups.
  8. Speaking of hooks, invest in some specific gorgeous appropriately sized aprons for cooking, cleaning and even other activities (gardening, art smock, etc) and hang them on hooks at the child’s height.
  9. Make your own or purchase placemats with places for teaching children how to set their own eating space. I made some by tracing a plate-sized circle, a cup-sized circle and fork and spoon shapes in patterned paper, gluing them to an A4 piece of paper and laminating it.
  10. Consider investing in a learning tower or similar, or enlist a handy family member to make a DIY version.
    (We simply use a step with my two. Lucy has always been a confident climber and copied her big brother.)

Montessori Kitchen

Montessori Bathroom and Toilet

Children love to be involved in their own care of self. Setting up a space in your bathroom for them is simple and so beneficial. All you need is:

  1. A mirror, secured at their eye level.
  2. Wipes for cleaning their face after meals.
  3. A step for them to reach the sink.
  4. Their own portion-controlled soap (i.e. a small soap bar or foam pump soap that they can learn to use one pump per hand washing).
  5. A tray with their self care items (toothbrush, toothpaste if they use it, facecloth, hair brush, comb, tissues/handkerchief and a cup for rinsing out their mouth with water after brushing).
  6. A timer for brushing their teeth.
  7. A small towel on a low hook for drying their hands. Similarly, their bath towel hanging low to help dry themselves after a shower/bath.
  8. A waterproof basket in the shower/bath with items for washing – a small bottle of body wash (you can purchase empty travel size bottles and fill it with your choice of wash), a small loofah, a nail brush, and a face cloth.
  9. A system for storing a small rotation of bath toys.
  10. A small step stool for getting in and out of the bath.

Montessori Bedroom

Cameron only moved into his own bed a while after he turned three. Lucy will likely be similar. We don’t practice the typical Montessori floor bed at the infant and toddler age group. We bed share. There are many gorgeous set ups in my Montessori Home Nurseries Pinterest board and Montessori Toddler Bedrooms Pinterest board.

montessori bedroom

Some considerations for a Montessori style bedroom are:

  1. A low bed with a cover that is easy to pull up to ‘make’ their own bed.
  2. An easy to read clock at their level.
  3. Art and photographs on their level.
  4. A safe LED child-operable night light if necessary.
  5. Add a low bar for hanging a selection of their clothing to choose from.
  6. Organise drawers with simplified range of weather appropriate clothes. We love our low drawers which have a side for each of our littlies.
  7. A stool to sit on to put on shoes and dress in general.
  8. A basket for dirty laundry.
  9. A book sling to display a selection of their books.
  10. Ensure they can reach the light switch, etc. links

Any small change will have a great beneficial. I’d love to see any of your spaces so post them to my Facebook page whenever you can.

 

Montessori Homeschool Classrooms

Montessori homeschool classrooms

Montessori homeschool classrooms are always inspirational to me. Our living area is where we have our Montessori-inspired play and learning ‘room’. Many aspects will be improved on in the future but it works for us for now.

montessori shelves

These large shelves were a bargain 2nd hand buy and are perfect for the ages my children are at now. Lucy can reach all but the very top of the shelves, so I have to make sure that everything on the shelves is toddler-friendly. At 18.5 months, Lucy’s past the mouthing stage thankfully, so mostly it’s just breakables and anything dangerous. I can trust Cameron with some dangerous items (for example, the tacks for his hammer tap tap toy – not seen in the pic, on the far left top – are in a jar that only Cameron can use).

From the top (left to right), we have – a nature basket, fake flowers that the kids play with, our story stones, our indoor plant that Cam waters, and the world puzzle map. The top shelf has Cameron’s hammer tap tap toy, duplo, puzzles, peg board, Lucy’s shape puzzle, our new larger human torso model with 3 part cards, and the pattern blocks. The bottom shelf features our Schleich farm animals, peg board (bigger pegs for Lulu), simple shape puzzle, number puzzle, basket of cotton reels for sorting, transferring into the recycled container behind it and threading. There is also a play balance scale, our DIY peg toy and a ball pound tower.

little shelves
This little shelf has our sandpaper numbers and letters (by Polliwog on etsy), our mini spindles that were just used so aren’t typically displayed like this (particularly because Lucy thinks it is Too Funny to tip the spindles all over the floor. Our mini knobbed cylinders, new binomial cube, alphabet cards and bean bags and collage kit that could really use reorganising!

 

med shelves

Lastly, these shelves store many of our favourites – our Australian map puzzle and cards, butterfly life cycle figures and cards, lock box, half of our new bell set with Imagine Our Life‘s printables, the post box, colour sorting stacker and advanced ball return.

You can find many of these items, or similar in my amazon store.

Some other bloggers have had really inspiring tours of their homeschool classrooms which you must see!

montessori mischiefThe lovely Aubrey from Montessori Mischief has a gorgeous video tour of her Montessori Homeschool Room.

vibrant wanderingsI always love everything Melissa shares on her blog Vibrant Wanderings. Her home-based schoolroom is sure to inspire you. I wish I lived around the corner from her!

natural beach livingKimberly has such gorgeous natural light in her Montessori-inspired homeschool room. You must see her blog – Natural Beach Living – which is full of helpful ideas.kavanaugh reportLast but certainly not least is Nicole’s amazing Montessori Toddler Classroom at The Kavanaugh Report. Be sure to visit her blog to see her posts on the incredible Montessori tot school co-op that she organises.

montessori home classrooms

Thank you so much for reading! What are your favourite parts about the Montessori homeschool classrooms here?

You may see us linking up at these great sites here. Be sure to check them out to see tons of kids activity and homeschooling ideas.