Hunter's Montessori-Inspired Children's Bedroom

For the first couple of years of his life, Hunter did not have his own room. As much as I loved the idea of creating a nursery for him before his birth, it was just not possible. I was about 8 months pregnant when we moved into the 2-bedroom house we had bought. The second "bedroom" was actually a converted garage that needed lots of work, so Isaiah worked tirelessly to make the other bedroom our sweet little family bedroom. The idea was that when we finally got around to redoing the converted garage, it would be ours, and Hunter would finally have his own room. Fast forward to earlier this year, Hunter had turned two, we had sold our house without ever redoing the second bedroom, and a new baby would be joining us. We wanted Hunter to have his own space (and eventually start sleeping in his own bed)!

Hunter's bedroom is actually my favorite room in our little house -- probably because it's the only space in the house that I put a lot of thought into creating. Even though as renters we're not permitted to paint the walls, the room is still great because it gets the best light and it's just so peaceful. Even Hunter's baby cousin loves playing in there!

First, you will notice that Hunter has the typical Montessori floor bed. We use a full-size futon (which works great at bedtime since Isaiah and I lay with Hunter until he falls asleep), but I have read of others using a twin size mattress as well. A definite draw back of the floor bed versus a crib is that even though Hunter falls asleep in his bed, somewhere between midnight and 5 am he ends up in our bed. Oy.

Next, we have one shelving unit (from IKEA) for Hunter's toys. When we first bought the "toy storage" unit, we used the sliding storage boxes and dumped his toys inside, but after my Montessori training, we swapped those out for the shelves. I learned that young children need to have less toys and more order in their life. When toys are organized in baskets on shelves (rather than bins or a toy box), the child not only clearly sees what he can choose to play with but he begins to see that each toy has its place and he knows where to put it when it's time to clean up.

For storing clothing, we have a chest of drawers as well as a wardrobe (both from IKEA). Inside the wardrobe, I set two tops and two bottoms. When it's time to dress, Hunter chooses a shirt and shorts or trousers from the two choices I've offered. He also knows that socks and undies are in the top drawer.

For work space with some of his more delicate activities (like opening and closing glass bottles), he has a table and chair (also from IKEA).

Finally, for artwork, we have one of Isaiah's old baby blankets hung above Hunter's bed, his class photo from last year, a LEGO/DUPLO poster, a vintage car poster Isaiah made for my classroom back when I taught 3rd grade, and some vintage PIXI books arranged on a curtain wire (yup, IKEA -- so is his train set, dirty clothes hamper, and the lambskin rug). 

Aren't they so cool? I picked them up during my many visits to the Brocki (Salvation Army Thrift Store) when we were living in Switzerland. Anyway, artwork should be hung at eye level. We are sort of there. Apparently, I installed the curtain wire incorrectly, so when Isaiah eventually fixes it for me by screwing it into the studs, I will have him arrange the wire a little close to Hunter's eye level. Also, the vintage car poster is not hung low enough because I am afraid he will rip it down because he loves it so much. (Gotta learn to trust that boy...)

Here are a couple of more details you'll find in his room: 
*Board Books -- Ideally, for a very young child, you would keep only 3-4 books in a basket so the child is not so overwhelmed by his choices. Hunter, however, is out-growing board books now, and besides, we read with him out in the living room, so the books he is choosing to read these days are on our bookshelf in that room. These board books are more for me to keep separate the books I plan to read with the new baby. If you look closely, you can tell I am a huge fan of the Mini Masters books (still need one more and I have the whole collection) as well as the "Donde viven los animales?" collection (I have all four)!
*Matryoshka -- This set of Russian nesting dolls is such a great activity for young children. I really enjoy watching Hunter work with this material.

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