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8 Tips for Making a Montessori Dressing Corner

8 Tips for Making a Montessori Dressing Corner {Montessori on a Budget}
Photo by Lisa Nolan




Two or three is the perfect age to begin Montessori Practical Life Care of Self: self dressing and grooming. "Care of person exercises teach the child how to take care of himself without having to ask constantly for the help of an adult (shoes, buttons, zippers). We show the child how to perform these tasks with the materials called dressing frames, and in this way help him gain some degree of independence. Toddlers can learn to put on their own shoes and thus wear slip-ons or velcro shoes that are easy for him to master.

8 Tips for Making a Montessori Dressing Corner {Montessori on a Budget}
Photo by Lisa Nolan

"Exercises in Practical Life fulfill the child's need for independence. The child needs to adapt the need to a purposeful motor activity; and he needs to repeat that activity until he reaches perfection. All exercises have a three-fold aim. They must reach the whole person; that is, they must reach the physical, mental and spiritual.

8 Tips for Making a Montessori Dressing Corner {Montessori on a Budget}
Photo by Lisa Nolan

"Exercises in Practical Life are given the greatest importance. They help the child mainly in his efforts to adapt to his limited space, his group, and to achieve independence. They answer his need expressed by Let me do it by myself. They are excellent for the toddler old who is struggling to bring his psychic need in accord with his physical development by developing his motor skills. A toddler needs to express his inner needs by physical actions and inner movements. Actually, all exercises are based on getting the physical coordination to learn the exact technique to do a certain thing."--Ursula Thrush, Montessori training book.

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8 Tips for Making a Montessori Dressing Corner {Montessori on a Budget}
Photo by Lisa Nolan

The first step is to make a Montessori dressing corner for your child/ren. Be creative. What do you have stored in your garage, attic, or closets: cardboard boxes for stacking shelves; plastic storage containers for shoes; a stepping stool for sitting on; a small bookshelf for clothes and combs; and of course, wicker baskets. You can also try getting these items at a garage or rummage sale.

Here is what we did at my house: In one corner of my son's room we used a low bench for sitting on and dressing or undressing, as well as putting on and taking off shoes. There was a wicker shelf for placing clothes, shoes, and combs on; and a child-size coat rack for jackets and bath towels. Lastly, we used a wicker basket for dirty clothes.

8 Tips for Making a Montessori Dressing Corner {Montessori on a Budget}
Photo by Lisa Nolan

We did our best to keep it tidy, with a little extra help from mom-me.

Pick a corner of your child/ren's room and place a bench or stool or chair or pillow, coat rack, basket, and low shelves. Keep it simple.

8 Tips for Making a Montessori Dressing Corner {Montessori on a Budget}
Photo by Lisa Nolan

Eight tips for making your child/ren's dressing area:

1. No standing on the bench, too dangerous (believe me, your child will try this!).

2. If you use hangers, they are only for hanging clothes, not stacking or placing on the cat!

3. Muddy wet boots (and shoes) go in a plastic bucket.

4. Dirty clothes go in the clothes basket.

5. Clean clothes and PJ's go on the shelves.

6. If your child makes a big mess, he needs to clean it up before he plays outside, eats snack, or watches TV.

7. Sit in the room and help your child; and use a neutral, mild mannered tone of voice.

8. Keep the number of items to a minimum so your child does not have too much "stuff" to put away.


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You might be interested in these lower cost items at Amazon.com: Montessori dressing frames; seven-peg white wood wall rack; white plastic children's stool or white wooden two-step stool; white (or another color) toy wooden caddy with handle; white mesh pop-up hamper with side pocket (for socks!); Freddy the Frog Folding Chair.

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