Are you looking for a clutter-free play area for your baby or toddler? Easy to clean? Organized? Do you need to initiate toy rotation? Is you baby or toddler getting bored with toys and activities quickly? Do you want to create a Montessori-inspired space? YES! How do you start?
I recently cleared all the toys and activities off our shelves so that I could reorganize our Montessori-inspired play areas. This was the same process I used to create our Montessori-inspired play areas in the first place.
FIRST, I gathered all toys, books, and activities. I put everything in one guest room that my toddler could not access. SECOND, I grouped toys and activities together by type of play. Stuffed animals, cars/vehicles, blocks, sorting activities, art, music, sensorial, practical life, etc. I created a place for puzzles, supplies and a good storage space. THIRD, I picked out a variety of toys from each play category and placed them either on a shelf or in a special play space. I tried to pick a variety of toys that were – easy, challenging, favorites, never used. Most things went on our two shelves but things were also placed on a play mat or around the play rooms. You can either rotate one thing every day or change everything every week. It depends on what interests your child. Sometimes B is only interested in things that I play with him and that’s okay.
Things I learned: 1) If I take all the toys away, B is still happy. 2.) Moving big things around or taking them away for awhile, makes them new all over again. For example, I moved B’s huge stuffed lion and he rediscovered it in another room. 3.) Toys in surprise locations are FUN! For example, teddy bear sitting on the potty or visiting the bathtub is exciting. 4.) Baskets of books all over the house is helpful. Rotation is also helpful for Mom. 5.) LESS is MORE! One toy in an empty room is more fun than a floor full of toys.
Here are BEFORE and AFTER pictures of organizing our Montessori-inspired play/work rooms.