Friday, September 10, 2010

Making our House Kid-Friendly

My kids are getting to an awesome age when their ability to do things is catching up with their whining of "I do all mine self!" desire to do things independently. After reading a few books about the Montessori method of learning, I was inspired to make our home accessible to the boys so they can take care of their most basic needs. And, let's face it, so we wouldn't have to do things for them that they are perfectly capable of doing for themselves. Makes our job (and day) so much easier! 
Here are some examples:

Craft supplies are organized in this bin which is at their eye-level and that they can pull out whenever they want. One bin contains markers, crayons, colored pencils, and writing pencils, another blank paper, another coloring books, and yet another Tommy's beloved Kumon books. The bins with the green stickers are ones the kids know they can take out whenever they want without asking. There are some bins with red stickers (not pictured, but which contain things like Play-Doh or paints or glue sticks) that they know they need to ask first before taking out. I really like that they have the ability to decide when they'd like to draw or color and they are able to get the supplies out for themselves.

Sweatshirts on a low shelf in our hallway closet. Now no kid can complain that he's cold because now he can get himself his own sweatshirt!
Kid-sized cups and bowls in a low drawer. Whenever I hear a kid say he's thirsty I direct him to the drawer to get his own cup and fill it up at our fridge's water dispenser. Even my little guy is now tall enough to reach the tap!

Towels in an accessible drawer so spills can be cleaned up by the spill-er, instead of Mommy. I can't remember the last time I cleaned up a kid spill, although I do have my own share of spills (which include an egg splattered all over the floor last week...ick). 

Clothes drawers at kid eye level. Tommy is able to completely dress himself, so he often picks out his own clothes from the drawers and puts them on. This comes in handy at times when he gets his clothes wet during play (he hates being wet)...instead of me having to undress/dress him in dry clothes, I just tell him to go get new clothes and dress himself. He often comes out with backwards shorts and an inside out shirt, but that's okay.  I dream that someday they'll also be able to put their folded clothes away in their drawers. We dream big around here.

Eventually I would like to have a low shelf in the refrigerator dedicated to snacks the kids can grab whenever they whine about announce their hunger. But for now, the basket of apples on the kitchen counter is working just fine.


  1. I love it! I need to get some low drawers for kids clothes. Not only will it make for more independent kids, it takes away the danger of a dresser and unclutters the girls' room since...who needs a huge clunky dresser anyhow!

  2. I love this idea! I need to rearrange some of our stuff so it's more accessible to the kids. Thanks for the great narrative and photos!

  3. Very nice! We have a lot of things available to Anna, but I have to add "clean up towels" to this list. Unfortunately, she still has 0 desire to dress herself.