Often when people come into our home, they comment on how toddler friendly it is. Furniture plays a big part in making our toddler comfortable but we’ve taken it one step further. We’ve chosen furniture that builds independence.
Our family likes to eat dinner together and both my toddler and my kindergartener use a Stokke Tripp Trapp to sit at the kitchen table. There are many other high chairs that are similar in that a toddler can independently climb up and sit at the table. Both my children were around eighteen months old when they were able to get up and down from the table by themselves.
In Montessori families this is a must. It consists of a very low table and chair which are often used as a replacement for a high chair. The chair needs to have a solid back and sides as it’s intended for a child as young as six months (who will need this additional support). The child can use the table to eat meals or snacks and later use it to sit at and work. We purchased a low chair and used it with a toddler table that we shortened by a couple of inches.
I’ve written previously about how much I love to cook with my children. It’s important that my children are safe when working along side me at the kitchen counter. Many families recommend the Learning Tower. The Learning Tower allows the child to independently step up and work at the same height as the counter. In our home we use the Fun Pod because it’s more compact, although the child needs to be lifted into it.
Every home with a toddler needs some kind of step stool. Step stools can be used to reach door knobs, light switches or even the toilet. The High Rise Step-Up would be perfect for when a little more height is needed like to reach the bathroom taps.
Low shelves allow the child to independently store and access toys and materials. Even when a child is crawling they can still reach for and grasp their toys. Low shelves allow children to display their toys which makes it’s easier for them to find and select the toy they are looking for.
Low Front Facing Bookshelf
As well as toys, it’s also important for children to be able to independently access and store their books. Front facing book shelves are advantageous as they allow the child to see the cover of the book. For a young child this is important as they may not recognise the book by its spine.
You can see in the photograph above that my toddler uses a floor bed. He also has a low coat stand which allows him to independently hang up his coat and backpack.
Have I missed something? Is there an item of furniture that you would recommend for building independence?