Montessori Shelves: How to Prepare them for a 3 Year Old

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Montessori shelf
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When our daughter turned 3 we decided to rearrange her room. Because she has developed new skills her interests changed, we thought it was the right time to change her playing environment, her toys and books, too. Her room was already furnished in Montessori style, so it didn’t require a major transformation.

We left her bed and desk as they were and concentrated our attention towards her (toy and book) shelves.

She already had a nice wooden bookshelf we loved and wanted to keep, so we only had to change the toy shelves. We needed bigger ones with more compartments because our daughter has a lot of new toys.

The difficult, but also fun part, was to arrange all the toys and materials to fit and be at hand, at the same time. Guided by the Montessori principles – simplicity and freedom, order and structure, accessibility, nature and safety – we managed to recreate our daughter’s playing environment.

Our Montessori shelves

We bought and used these two wooden shelves:
ECR4Kids Birch 5-Section Storage Cabinet
ECR4Kids Birch 8-Section Storage Cabinet

Our daughter’s room in large enough, so it didn’t look crowded at all.

The small Montessori shelf

We placed the small shelf near her desk. Inside the top left compartment we put her drawing pencils, her brushes, her chalk, erasers and other tools for drawing and painting.

In the top right compartment we placed the paper, her drawing stencils and some coloring books.

In the three compartments below, we put her favourite puzzles:

Melissa & Doug Busy Barn Shaped Jumbo Jigsaw Floor Puzzle
BeginAgain – Butterfly A to Z Puzzle
USATDD Wooden Tetris Puzzle Tangram

Next to these we placed her board games:
Pete the Cat the Missing Cupcakes Game
Don’t Break the Ice Game
Peaceable Kingdom Feed the Woozle Preschool Skills Builder Game
Hi Ho Cherry-O Game

In the last compartment of the small Montessori shelf we put her chess board, her domino game and the Mini-Mighty Mind game.

The large Montessori shelf

Inside the top compartments of the large Montessori shelf we placed her Play Calculator Cash Register, next to this her Melissa and Doug Food Groups and her Wooden Pantry Products Play Food Set.

In the first middle compartment of the large shelf we put her domestic and wild animal figurines. She has a lot of sets (she loves animals and insects):
Jungle Animals Figures
North American Animals Figures
Farm Animals Figures
African Animals Figures
Australian Animals Figures
Reallistic Insects

In the second middle compartment of her Montessori shelf we put a basket with our daughter’s magnetic objects and letters, her STEM Building Blocks and her Montessori Wood Math Number Blocks Shape Teaching Board

The bottom area of the large shelf contains our daughter’s favorite building blocks, Lego and Play Mags.

We’ll try to add some pictures later. We made a pact with our daughter that we’re going to take some pictures of her room after she gets used to clean it up before bedtime.

Overall, it looks very, very good and the contents of the shelves are very well structured. Our daughter is extremely pleased with her room, especially beacause she can pick up any toy she wants by herself, with ease. Still working on making her put all the toys in the right place at the end of the day. But that’s another story…

So, how do your child’s Montessori shelves look?

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