When we design for toddlers, we have a lot of factors in mind. Toddlers are some of the busiest humans, and as any parent who’s had to cut the crust of toast can tell you, they have surprisingly high and demanding standards!
A well-designed space or product for our favorite picky little people has to be multifaceted. Safety, obviously, is first and foremost - all our products must have kid-safe finishes and be topple resistant. Style matters too - kids are drawn to adorable things, and we’re always committed to keeping your kids’ rooms beautiful. But the make-or-break quality every toddler design need is function. In order to be useful, toddler design needs to be, well, toddler friendly. Your little one needs to be able to reach, touch, choose, and use the items in their space.
That’s why we relied upon the Montessori Method to plan and perfect our design, and why we think it can also help you create the perfect toddler friendly nursery. Montessori is a science-based education method founded on the belief that a child’s education, from preschool on, should help them develop intelligence that’s not just academic, but also emotional, social, and physical.
Dr. Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and anthropologist who spent her life learning to understand children and their needs. She made history as one of Italy’s first female physicians and went on to develop and teach many ideas that allow children to chase their own motivation to learn. Simply put, Dr. Montessori seemed to believe that by giving children access to choice, agency, materials, time, and space, they would naturally make discoveries. Instead of constantly stimulating kids and overfilling them with facts, she believed we should stay a little more out of the way, nurturing and encouraging them to chase their natural curiosity and explore.
Space to be curious and explore? Sounds like the perfect toddler room! Here are a few ways you can put some Montessori principles at work in your nursery:
Make sure your toddler is free to move comfortably in the space.
Giving your little one the freedom to discover and explore means making sure their nursery is a kid-proof, secure place to do so. Avoid high shelves or anything that might topple and keep toys and books within toddler reach. Soft baskets and plenty of cushy play mats are a must have. Keep clutter to a minimum to maximize the amount of space your toddler has to move.
Low profile bookcases and sleep spaces.
In order to allow toddlers to have agency over their belongings and space, keep toys and books on long, low shelves - like our Muse Bookshelf. Look for simple toys made from natural materials, in neutral colors and without super specific instructions and decals. A few pops of rainbow are a wonderful way to encourage color learning. Keep a simple selection of toys available and in reach, and rotate toys in and out the selection on a regular basis.
A low-profile toddler bed gives your growing little one the agency to climb in and out of bed on their own, in a space that truly suits their size. They’ll feel safe, and snuggled in a bed made just for them. When you choose your toddler bed setup, just keep the words “cozy” and “independent” in mind!
Keep artwork low and simple.
Most of the Montessori nursery philosophy can be summed up in those two words: simple and low. Choose artwork in simple shapes, with well-defined colors, and hang it low on the wall where your toddler will be able to see and appreciate it. For safety, remove glass from art frames, and make sure every piece is securely attached to the wall.
Engage toddlers in everyday activities.
Toddlers learn best by participating with parents in the everyday moments of life. Whether you’re preparing dinner, playing a board game at the table, or working on a craft project on the backyard workbench, our Toddler Tower is a sturdy, secure way to give you little one a boost that lets them join you in whatever you’re doing!
What methods, beliefs, or traditions have influenced your toddler bedroom design? We’d love to see how you’ve styled your dadada baby toddler pieces - share them with us with the #dadadamoments !