“…if we observe natural development with sufficient care, we see that it can be defined as the gaining of successive levels of independence.” (Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, p. 76)
I was recently inspired by a blog post from Frida be Mighty to update our entry way to provide M, at 19 months old, the opportunity to independently hang up his coat, put away his shoes and to find his hat and mittens. It has been surprising how attached M has become to the routine of getting ready to leave the house and organizing his items after arriving home.
Because the space is orderly and child-sized, M is able to be independent. Spaces like this appeal to the strong sense of order that we see from children this age and they also build a child’s sense of order as the external order is eventually internalized by the child. Independently preparing to leave the home and organizing items upon arrival builds confidence, concentration and certainly fine motor skills. (zippers require a lot of finger strength!)
I was pleased that I was able to use a drill to install anchors in the plaster walls of our 100 year-old home to hang the coat hooks ( I got the coat hooks from Lowes for $7.00).
I then re-arranged a small shelf to serve as our shoe organizer. I added two baskets on top of the shelf. One for gloves and the other for hats. Finally I added a small stool for M to sit on while taking his shoes on and off. (Yes, the stool has M’s face decoupaged all over it. It was a gift from his aunt that makes us all chuckle.)
Here he is holding on to the shelf to put on his own boots. That’s my clogging board in the foreground of the photo. M appears to be ready for a pair of his own tap shoes these days.