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Montessori Kids Rooms: Why & How

Following the Twins’ closet project, I’m getting ready to overhaul the rest of the room. They’ve made the move from their little nursery close to our room, to their big boy room upstairs next to their sister. But we’ve kept them in their cribs for now so they get used to the space. One change at a time seemed like a good idea. Despite being toddler giants, they will still be very little when they move to beds, and after my last dig into beds for shared rooms, I’ve started to worry about taking the beds too high. This, along with my recent interest in minimalism and creating calm through simplicity, has led me to look further at Montessori kids rooms.

montessori kids rooms why how fb


The Theory Behind Montessori Kids Rooms

The legend that is Maria Montessori was all about encouraging learning through independence. In talking of child education she said:

It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment. (Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind)

The environment in which the child learns is key, because… well kids are small and clumsy; still learning the basics which we take for granted. So Montessori kids rooms need to be accessible for their inhabiter, in my case two toddlers still sussing out their gross and fine motor skills. The same principals that apply to a Montessori classroom can be applied to a Montessori bedroom:

Rooms are child sized with activities set up for success and allow freedom of movement and choice. The environment has to be safe for the child to explore freely. The environment has to be ready and beautiful for the children so it invites them to work. (dailymontessori.com)

I’m not suggesting you fill your kids room with light boxes and toys, the activities should be appropriate to the use of the room. A classroom will have easily accessible education ‘toys’, for a bedroom we want the successful activity to be sleep! But, unlike the crib, which does not allow freedom of choice, beds should be accessible and furniture and decor should be at child height so that they can explore their space freely.

What This Looks Like

Putting these ideas into practice is the important bit, so lets take a look at the key elements of a Montessori kids room:

montessori kids room key elements


Floor bed:

The floor bed is probably the first thing people think of when planning Montessori kids rooms. Even babies, after a few weeks in a basinet or co-sleeping, can move to a mattress on the floor. This might seem crazy… what if they fall out? And they will. But they will roll, bounce and flop about like babies do, it’s all part of allowing them to become aware of their surroundings and their freedom to move. You may want to place a rug in the fall zone if you have hard wood floors for a softer landing, but be sure it’s heavy enough not to scrunch up and get caught around baby. 

The classic framed floor bed shown in the picture above is not necessary. The important part is that the bed is low enough for little ones to get in and out independently. The house frame idea came about afterwards, as a response to the floor bed; some believe the bed feels more like a ‘proper’ bed, rather than a mattress thrown on the floor, others feel the framing of the sleep space creates a sense of enclosure and safety. Either way, I love them… I’m just not sure we can pull off two houses in one room for the twins!

If you’re in the market for a framed floor bed, Etsy is full of adorable handmade designs. Here are a few of my faves (the photo’s are links if you want to know more):

 Accessible Clothes & Toys

The Montessori education encourages kids to dress themselves independently. We were caught out with this when Elsie joined the Montessori program in 1st Grade… oops, Mom had failed to teach her to tie her shoe laces, and Montessori kids learn this super early! Allowing kids to choose their own clothes is important in encouraging confidence in their own abilities, although it’s best to make choices easy, so keep the selection sensible. Choose child scale furniture and don’t overcrowd the room with toys and trinkets. Think deliberate and purposeful.

 Accessible Lighting

Some might struggle with this one, but Elsie always had access to her own nightlight from age two and the novelty of fiddling with it soon wore off. Giving kids the chance to control the lighting level in their room via switch extensions or a low level lamp again reinforces the idea of independence and safety in their own space.


Neutral Colors

This is where I struggle a little because I love color! The North American Montessori Center says:

“We create a space that both calms the soul and satisfies the innate desire for order.”

The general consensus is that keeping Montessori teaching spaces neutral in color reduces the chance for distraction and encourages a feeling of calm. I’m not going to disagree but I do like a little fun too so I’m torn… maybe just a little pop of color? I’m not the only one… check out this Montessori inspired room by Rachel Larraine:

MONTESSORI NURSERY eclectic-nursery


I hope you’re feeling prepared to set up your perfect Montessori kids room, I would love some pictures to share with our decor Facebook page… do send me your creations!




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How to Create the Ultimate Playroom

If your little ones are lucky enough to have a play room (or a designated space for toys and activities) there are three key design factors you will want to take into account: toy storage, activity spaces, and last but by no means least… the fun factor. After all, if your kids don’t love being in their playroom, they will just bring their toys somewhere else, likely under your feet. Here is my essential guide to create the ultimate playroom…

how to create the ultimate playroom faebook title

There are many little things that come together to create the ultimate playroom. You may not be able to do all of them, but hopefully I can inspire you to give a few of them a go.

10 essential components to create the ultimate playroom:

*This post contains affiliate links. This means I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase from a store I link to. It does not affect the price of the item.*

1. Fun Wall Decor:

Urban Romantic transitional-kids


I’m loving this multicolored wall! Its actually wallpaper, I was sure it was a mural until I started digging. I do love a mural though, and I put together a triangular mural for the twins, see my IKEA Kallax hack closet makeover with mural here.

Westport Modern Farmhouse transitional-kids


The polka dots above look a little more manageable if wallpapering or murals seem too much, and continuing them across the ceiling gives the room a ‘play den’ kind of feel. If you want to snoop more at this lovely Connecticut home, head over to Architectural Digest.

2. Comfy Seating

Traditional Kids traditional-kids


You can incorporate a sofa into your playroom but kids have the tendency to roll about, do headstands and all kinds of other weird maneuvers. I would recommend loading your playroom up with bean bags, giant floor cushions and any other building blocks for homemade forts… don’t forget the blankets too!

3. Storage Boxes

Storage box from Nobobobo (Etsy)
3 Sprouts storage boxes (Amazon)

I’m crazy for these cool storage boxes from Nobobobo on Etsy (shown left)… so fab, it was difficult to pick my favorite to feature. And nearly everyone with children has some kind of box storage unit like the one on the right. We have a larger one and use it as a half partition, and we also have the 3 Sprouts Storage Boxes and love them!

4. Art Wall

Stylish Urban Living transitional-kids


Kids adore having their artwork on display, and it’s a good idea to have an easy way to change up the display regularly. Either hang pictures from clips (kids can easily do this themselves if it’s at the right height) or try fixing open glassless frames, love this display featured at The Sawdust Diaries

5. Clever Storage

Stacks of endless boxes are not going to create the most dynamic space, despite being practical and organized. So how about you get creative with some bespoke storage for particular toys? If you’re swimming in Barbies, go check out this fun idea from Chatelaine, the Barbies are hanging out in a fabric shoe organizer… genius. And if you’re struggling with a place for those Matchbox cars, see what ‘Keeping up with the Souths‘ came up with using kitchen knife magnets!

And if you’re want to make tidying up easier… try these clever play mat bags, the 3 sprouts mat is super cute as all their stuff is; and the Ozzy Kids retractable mat just looks genius!

3 Sprouts play mat (Amazon)
Ozzy Kids play bag (Amazon)


6. In-House Gym

Brooklyn, NY: Cobble Hill Townhouse contemporary-kids


Now here’s where it gets serious, I did say we were aiming to create the ultimate playroom, didn’t I? When I was looking at beds in shared kids’ rooms, we touched on a couple of wacky ideas, but a climbing wall or a rope swing inside the house? Go on… I dare you! The jungle gym playroom above is the work of Carl Wooley, and the rope swings below are from Brooklyn based designers Chango & Co.

Westhampton Beach Playhouse contemporary-kids


7. Activity Table

Lego play table with storage (Etsy)
Melissa & Doug play table (Amazon)

Back to basics here… somewhere to sit or kneel, build, play and draw. Pinterest is full of ‘Ikea Hacks’ for lego tables, using various bargain bits of furniture. But if you can’t face the DIY, I love this ready made Lego table on Etsy. We have the Melissa & Doug Activity Table shown on the right because it was the biggest, cheapest table I could find. It works perfectly and is permanently covered in a sea of lego (the lip around the edge stops the lego falling off and the drawer is perfect for all the instruction manuals). 

8. Forts & Tents

Indoor forest cottage playroom with giant blackboard and rustic storage rustic-kids


To create the ultimate playroom you have to be able to hang out in a fort. You could go all out and build one like the awesomeness shown above, or give kids the space and utensils to build their own. We all built forts out of sofa cushions didn’t we? The other current trend is for little tents, they do look adorable and don’t take up too much space. I love this teepee tent from Target.

9. Dress Up Station

Modern Style contemporary-kids


Love this dress up display wall, my daughter is crazy for dressing up and would definitely approve of a wall of dresses! For some sweet DIY dressing up rail projects, head over to the Rogue Engineer or this sweet project from Lay Baby Lay.

10. Reading Nook

Mountains of Fun Playroom modern-kids


Whatever size your play space, you’ll likely have some books to store. Don’t put them in boxes, get them on the wall or displayed in an easy to reach bookcase. Kids love to help themselves to books, so give them a little coziness to enjoy a good read. 


Are you feeling ready to create the ultimate playroom? Of course if you’ve already done all of the above, you could always incorporate:

  • A slide;
  • A role play shop;
  • A train set that circulates the room;
  • A basketball court;
  • A jumbo jet;

I’m just saying… you can always go one step further πŸ˜‰ 

**EDIT: Twin Pickle has a sister Facebook Page called ‘Family Decor Obsessed‘… Like the page and get child friendly decor ideas and pretty decor pics in your Facebook feed!**


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*This post contains affiliate links. This means I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase from a store I link to. It does not affect the price of the item.*

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