Monday, September 15, 2014

Little Bean's Montessori inspired bedroom

Little Bean has been living in a half finished bedroom for the past year. We had just been too short on time and/or funds to complete it. I'm happy to say that we've finally finished it. Hooray! Here are some pictures of his new Montessori inspired room. It's not completely Montessori as we're short on space and I've had to incorporate his non-Montessori toys into the area as well. But, overall, I think I've followed as many of the Montessori principles as I was able to at this point in time.

The owl decals were put on the walls soon after he was born, before I researched Montessori,  and unfortunately, can't be removed without damaging the wall paint. I know that Montessori recommends that only a few high quality pieces of art be hung on the walls, so we commissioned this beautiful felt owl picture from FancyNancy ART. You can see her creations here. I can't hang it at his eye level yet as he just wants to pull it to bits.

FancyNancy is uber talented and will do a customised piece for you. I think she's been doing a lot of "Frozen" Ice Princess pictures lately.

I would have loved to have more natural wooden furniture in his room but practicality didn't allow for it. We found this lovely wooden cot for a great price and put in wood flooring, wooden steps and a wooden safety gate. We bought plastic drawers for storage as plastic items are super cheap here and it is much easier to keep plastic mould free in the super humid environment of a Vietnamese wet season. I've found that it can quickly build up on the backs of closets and large furniture that is against the walls, even if you leave a gap behind them. Definitely not a problem that I wanted to worry about in a baby's bedroom.

At the moment, Little Bean is still using a cot and mosquito net, both of which are heading out the door soon. We've just done a heap of "baby-proofing" in preparation for his big boy floor bed. We've moved all of the powerpoints to high on the walls, put in a safety gate and put safety latches on all the drawers. Since I can't keep him out of the nappy bin, I put a safety latch on that too, even though he can't reach it. In theory anyway. I'm sure he will find a way soon enough. I hope he gets over his fascination with bins soon. It's a bit gross at times. Like when he hands you something stinky out of someone else's bin and is all happy because he just gave you a present. 

 I love this bamboo rainbow mobile. It spins in the breeze from his fan. You can twist it or flatten it at will, so I'm going back to buy more of them to use in craft activities. I think they would look great wrapped around some baby formula tins that I could into drums and sorting toys.

We put this cute safety mirror in his cot. I found this gorgeous Taggies toy at Baby Bunting. It has a squeeker inside and has kept him amused on many a long car trip. Baby Bunting is shopping heaven for new Mums with the itch to buy cute things. That's me!

We put in a shelf under his window to store his Montessori activities and toys. We'll change these out regularly so he doesn't get bored. I couldn't seem to get a good shot of it. In the daytime, the sunlight was making the photo glarey, and at night, the photos were coming out too dark. I'm really going to have to study up on my camera if I'm to put lots of good photos in my blog posts.

Down on the floor, we've put a basket of wooden blocks and a discovery basket on a cute playmat. I'll be talking more about discovery baskets in the coming weeks. We're trying to teach him to keep messy toys like wooden blocks on the playmat. I'm looking for a good mat that we can use as a Montessori activity mat. As his room must accommodate both Montessori and play elements, I would like to separate the two by getting him used to using an activity mat as soon as possible. Two different mats, two different purposes.

He loves his nappy change mat. We mostly do nappy changes whilst standing now so it has become more of a play item. He loves dragging it around by the strap and flipping it over and over. He also like laying down on it for a little rest or to have a bottle.
I love this cute child-sized table and chair. I found them at a local baby store. They're made by Win Win Toys, a Vietnamese company. They make great wooden toys, many of which I'll be showing you in the coming weeks. Their toys are excellent quality at cheap prices. I LOVE THEM!!! In comparison to prices for wooden toys at Australian Montessori online stores, they're around half the cost, often less.
We plan to make a few additions in the near future. As I said earlier, we're getting Little Bean a floor bed. We'll be adding a self-care area with a mirror and a place to hang a couple of outfits. I thought about including a place for washing his hands and face here, but I'm worried about water on the wood vaneer floor. I think I might put that in the bathroom for now. Once he's mastered it, it may make it's way to his self-care area. We'll also hang some family photos on the wall. I'll keep you posted.

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