Children learn best with hands-on experience in a rich environment. By preparing a simple play space at your child’s eye level, you are empowering your child to play and learn independently. We are frequently asked where to buy a low toy shelf, so we’ve started selling one of our own!
When you sign up for a Monti Kids subscription, one of the first videos you receive explains how to set up your play space to best support your child’s learning at every stage of development.
Montessori toy shelves aren’t hard to find! Here’s what makes a toy shelf a Montessori-friendly shelf.
Montessori Shelves for A Thoughtfully-Designed Play Area
Open Cube Shelf System
Many cube systems are modular and can be stacked or attached to each other to fit your space. Just be sure that the cubes are attached to the wall securely because babies will eventually use any shelf available to pull up to a stand.
IKEA Shelf Options
Many Montessori families (and all families!) use either the Trofast or the Kallax shelf from IKEA. While Kallax is often used as a tower-style bookshelf, turning it on its side creates a floor shelf with divided cubbies.
Monti Kids Shelf by Sprout
Our friends at Sprout just created a line of Montessori furniture including this shelf that comes fully finished and assembles with no tools or hardware.
What to look for in a toy shelf
- At your child’s line of sight: This sets your child up for independence so that they can access their toys on their own. The typical dimensions for a shelf are around 47”L X 12”H x 12”D
- Sturdy: As your baby grows, they may use their shelf to pull up and lean on. Make sure your shelf is heavy enough to withstand their weight or that it is safely bolted to the wall.
- Made of natural wood
The purpose of the low toy shelf for a play area
OrderAn orderly environment helps your child to thrive. When you meet their needs for external order in their physical space, you help to build up their internal sense of order (a calm and organized mind). The toy shelf designates an organized place for your child’s toys.
Supports concentrationWhen your child’s play space has less clutter with an organized selection of developmentally appropriate activities, they are more able to focus their attention and build their concentration.
A place for everything and everything in its placeWhen an item “lives” in the same place all the time, your child knows where to find it and where to replace it. At first, it will be your responsibility to model keeping the space tidy, cleaning up their toys when they are not yet mobile. As your little one observes you consistently putting things in their places, they will absorb this idea and routine and eventually take on the habit. As they absorb the tidiness of their environment in its default state, they will be more inclined to appreciate and keep it this way as they grow. This leads to taking responsibility for their space.
RotationHaving a selection of toys that your child is currently exploring on a shelf makes it easier to observe which ones need to be rotated in and out of their play space when they are ready for new challenges.
IndependenceHaving access to and the option to choose among their toys from their shelf provides your child with the experience of developing their independence. With this independence also comes the responsibility of tidying up after playtime.
We’d love to hear what you’re using in your home. Share a photo and tag @montikids on social media to be featured in our #shelfiesunday series!