Ikea is best known for its Swedish meatballs and its Allen wrench-laden furniture assembly. In the Montessori community, however, Ikea gets high praises for its contribution to child-size furniture and other Montessori-aligned items.
Whether you are planning a trip to Ikea or you are looking to order some items for your Montessori home online, you might be wondering exactly what Montessori items are available.
I have looked through my home, as well as the Ikea website, to pick out the most helpful and Montessori-aligned items.
The ultimate list of Montessori Ikea must-haves
Social media sites are filled with beautiful images of beautiful Montessori home set-ups, which can be intimidating to those new to the Method.
These images often lead people to believe that Montessori is only for the rich. That’s not true, though.
Montessori can absolutely be implemented on a budget – and without making a single purchase, believe it or not.
Having certain items in your home can make implementing Montessori a bit easier, though. Through the purchase of certain items, a child can experience more independence and gain the benefits of increased self-confidence, as well as others.
Ikea has some beautiful items that suit Montessori homes and many of these items are more budget-friendly than they look.
Grab a notepad and let’s get writing a shopping list for your next Ikea trip.
Montessori mealtime furniture
Montessori homes and Nido classrooms utilize mealtime items like trip-trap highchairs, weaning tables, and child-size dishes and utensils.
The idea behind these items is to provide children accessibility and independence during mealtimes.
This highchair, while not identical to a Stokke, is a reasonably-priced alternative. The steps leading up to the seat give young toddlers the chance to climb into their own seat, as well as a place to rest their feet, which promotes better posture and comfort.
The Mammut table and chairs are what we chose for our Montessori home. They are plastic, however, this is preferable for us, as we often take the set outside for picnic lunches.
This is a great option (as opposed to wood) if you have multiple children and there’s a good chance that paint and other mediums will make it onto the table before it can be washed effectively.
These wipe down fairly easily and last a long time, as well. We’ve had our set of tables and chairs for a little over 5 years and they are as good as new.
We chose green, however, there were other colors available. There is also a rectangular Mammut table available if space is an issue.
If you prefer the more neutral tone and natural feel of wood, the Barnkalas is a more aesthetically pleasing and eco-friendly option.
It comes with a table and 2 chairs and it comes out to about the same price as the plastic option above.
This is a set of real (not plastic, I mean) silverware. The set is inexpensive and comes with a fork, spoon, and butterknife.
Ikea has some child-size dishes listed online, however, they are made of synthetic material, which is not favored in many Montessori homes.
If you are going to shop in the store, you will find salad plates to double as children’s plates and desert bowls to double as children’s bowls.
Furniture for reading nooks
These armchairs are lightweight, easy to move, comfortable, and their cloth covers are washable and replaceable.
The quality on these chairs is actually pretty decent. We’ve had them for around 5 years and they are still enjoyed daily by all 3 of my children, ages 3-7.
If you are looking for something slightly more comfortable and grand-looking, these armchairs are absolutely adorable.
They are simply small versions of adult-size reading chairs.
Montessori Ikea finds for the bedroom
This wardrobe is perfect for a child’s Montessori bedroom, as it is thoroughly accessible and has a lot of options as far as use.
Arts & crafts
When people think about Montessori, sometimes they forget that art is encouraged. Every Montessori classroom has a space reserved for process-based creativity.
Every Montessori home should encourage art in this same way.
This easle is neutral in color, which is different from lots of children’s eaasles on the market. This helps children focus on their art and lets the final product stand out more, as well.
- Mala paintbrush set
- Mala portable drawing case
- Mala watercolors
- Mala painting smock
- Mala modeling dough
- Pyssla crafting beads
Practical Life items
This is the step stool we use in our home. While there are a couple of others recommended by Montessorians, this one is the most lightweight and is the most functional due to its height.
In absence of a learning tower, this stool can be used by preschoolers and elementary-age children for handwashing, dishwashing, and cooking.
The Duktig kitchen is by far the most popular Montessori Ikea item. Not only is it useful for imaginative play and dish storage, but it can be altered to function as a working mini-kitchen.
Below the image of the Duktig kitchen, I attached one of my favorite Ikea hack videos to show you the potential of this Montessori item.
While this baking set is advertised as a toy, the cookie cutters, sifter, and rolling pin can be used for real cooking projects. In theory, the materials for the mold and baking sheet can be used in the oven, as well. (I’m always wary of putting anything marked as a toy in the oven.)
These kitchen utensils are, again, marketed as play items, however, there is no good reason children cannot use them in real cooking activities.
My children have been using this set for close to 3 years and they really enjoy having kitchen tools that work with their small hands.
No cooking activity would be complete without some protection for the child’s clothing. This child-size apron is one of my favorites, as it is neutral-colored and doesn’t distract my children from the task.
This set is a child-size and functional set of cooking utensils. These are not play items, so please supervise your child and show them how to use them properly.
This is the perfect vase for a flower arranging activity. Not only is it child-size, but it’s extremely affordable.
Toy, book and activity display
This bookshelf/display is really special as it also displays toys and doubles as storage, as well.
Many Montessori caregivers choose to do weekly or monthly themes. This book display allows themed books to be easily displayed along with the corresponding activity.
The books and materials for the next theme can be prepared and stored in the drawer below the shelf.
This is a great Montessori Ikea find for those trying to implement Montessori in a small space.
If you have heard of Montessori at home, you have likely already heard that shelves are used for toy and activity displays.
Kallax is a popular shelving unit that many Montessori caregivers use in preparing their child’s environment.
While Kallax shelves are good for displaying small and average size toys and tray activities, Besta shelves are better for larger toys and/or Montessori learning materials that will not fit in the cubes of the Kallax.
We have both a Kallax and Besta and I’ve found I’m able to manage both toys and learning materials well using both shelves.
Toys and gifts
Contrary to popular belief, Montessori children do play with toys. In fact, imaginative play is celebrated in Montessori homes.
Ikea has a pretty decent toy selection, actually. From wooden train sets to play tunnels, some of my children’s most beloved toys were purchased at Ikea.
- Lego brick set
- Duktig plush vegetable play set
- Mula wooden hammering toy
- Mula bead maze
- Mula stacking and nesting cups
- Mula wagon/walker
- Leka baby gym
I hope you enjoy your Ikea shopping trip. These are all great Montessori suggestions, however, if you keep your eyes peeled, you will find some great items at Ikea that can be used for Montessori-aligned activities.
What have you found at Ikea that helps you implement Montessori at home?