Setting Up a Self Care Station For Your Toddler
Toddlers need to feel a sense of empowerment and giving them the freedom to take care of themselves whenever possible is a great way to feed this need. The Montessori style of teaching is centered around giving children the necessary tools and parameters to teach themselves through doing. Creating a special station at home that allows them to take care of their basic hygiene needs is a great place to start.
Via How We Montessori
Many toddlers are capable of choosing their clothes and getting dressed, they just aren’t capable of opening dresser drawers or reaching high hanging clothes in their closet. Bring things down to their level by investing in a system that works. At our house we use a plastic drawer system that is low to the ground and light and easy to open.
Don’t forget to include a laundry hamper so you can also teach your toddler what to do with their clothes once they are done wearing them. Trust me, this will be a lesson you are extremely glad you taught once they hit the tween years.
Via How We Montessori
Bathrooms in most homes are not built to accommodate toddlers so you need to get creative in order to allow them to take care of their basic bathroom needs. Set up a tray with a toothbrush, toothpaste and a small glass and then let them fill it up with water whenever they need to brush their teeth. Teach them the basics of how much toothpaste to use and watch as they beam with pride when they apply it themselves.
You can also create a handwashing station on the same tray by providing them with a small bowl, soap and a towel. Or if they have a bathroom designated as their own, go ahead and outfit it with a stepstool and a faucet extender. You can buy both of those essentials at a local box store or there are tutorials on Pinterest to make your own.
Don’t forget that your children watch your every move and they want to be just like you. When they see you spending your entire morning routine staring in the mirror, don’t you think they are wondering why there isn’t a mirror at their height? Montessori room designs are actually very mirror focused, usually placing a mirror right next to the child’s floor bed. Extend this love of mirrors to the bathroom (or wherever you set up the bathroom items) and your child will feel just like mom or dad when they stare at their reflection while brushing their teeth.
You can decide whether you want to make the self care station portable or permanent and go from there. If it’s a permanent spot, I recommend installing towel hanging hardware, a mirror and a wall mounted basket to hold all of their things. This long term solution will really show your kids that you are committed to creating their own special space for them and will come in handy for younger siblings down the road.
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