Why is small furniture important to kids?
Imagine everything around you being gigantic. Imagine that you have to climb onto the chairs at your kitchen table by swinging one leg over and then pulling yourself up, or imagine having to wait for someone to lift you into your seat. What about the couch? Imagine having trouble climbing onto the big comfortable couch to flip through your favorite book; that is childhood, though. Kids have to struggle to accomplish the simplest tasks!
We all know that Montessori is big on preparing spaces for children for children to learn in, but what about spaces around the house, for children to live in? Could you turn your whole house into a bit of a “playroom”?
What if you set up spaces for your child that catered to their size; eating tables, crafting tables, reading chairs? How special would they feel? How important and respected would they feel? How excited would they be to wake up every morning to spaces all their own!?
If you have a little extra space and a few bucks, you can make your child’s life a little easier. Which, by the way, will also make your life a little easier, too!
Let’s look at some spaces I have set up around the house for my children:
Below, is a picture of my children’s current reading area. To the right is a bookshelf. My 4 year old is a total bookworm and will often come here and read for an hour or two. My 2 year old enjoys sitting and “reading” with his sister, as well. The chairs are small, comfortable, and easy for little people to climb into. During the winter, I put out a little basket of small blankets and the kids will get cozy and snug while they read. It’s very empowering for children when they can have control of their own comfort!
Small furniture to help kids feel independent
When furniture is child-sized, children can more easily participate in tidying their areas and help with activities such as setting a table before a meal, as well. These activities don’t feel like chores to young children; they delight in being important to every day household processes. Below is a picture of my 4 year old, setting her table for lunch. Her dishware and utensils are kept where her and her brother can reach them.
Implimenting Montessori activity table into the home
An activity table, with paper and coloring utensils available (below), allows kids to express themselves artistically whenever they feel the need. Some of the messier crafting supplies (glue, tape, ECT.) can be stored away and brought out at a parent’s preference. The lamp on the table allows the children access to more light, should they want it.
How to incorperate Montessori in a small house
Now, not everyone has extra space for small furniture and that’s ok. Many people use a trip-trap style high chair that allows the child similar independence to a small meal table. Small reading chairs can be placed next to a couch or even in a bedroom. And, of course, crafts can be done anywhere. But if you can think of ways to rearrange things in your home to accommodate a few special small spaces, I encourage you to do it!
Also, I’d love to see some of your child-sized spaces and hear how you were able to work around lack of extra space!