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by Laura Berthiaume October 05, 2021 2 min read

Does it feel like getting everyone dressed and out the door in the fall, winter, and spring, is a little chaotic?

Toddlers running around, mittens and hats everywhere, saying "sit down and put your shoes on" over and over...

Sound familiar?

Well, what if I told you that don't have to spend 3/4 of the year like this?

The entrance area of your home can become a place for independence, learning, and calm, yes, even with toddlers.

You just need to set up the space for it. 

There’s a couple small changes you can make to encourage independent dressing and undressing, so you’re not responsible for wrestling everyone into and out of their winter gear:

Montessori cube chair, front door, setup front entryway Montessori
  • Hang a low hook.  In infancy, your child will observe that this is where their jacket is hung and in toddlerhood, they will begin to hang it there themselves. It may even be helpful to add a photograph of your child underneath the hook so they know that this is their spot.

    Once your child is ~18 months, you can show them the loop on the inside of their jacket and how to hang the jacket on their hook.

  • Add a cube Chair or low bench. This is a place for your child to sit while putting on or taking off shoes/boots. It is also a place for them to sit and observe you. We love our cube chair, it’s small and easy for children to get into and out of themselves.  

  • A small mat for shoes/boots. Make it a designated area so your child knows exactly where their shoes belong. This appeals to their need for order and predictability. They can begin to remove their own shoes and put them on the mat at ~18 months.   

  • A basket for loose items (mittens, hats).This provides your child with clear indicators of where to find and put their outerwear.  

Even if your child is under 18 months and not quite ready for dressing, you are setting them up to be able to dress and undress themselves in the next year. The first step in either process is being able to access what they need independently. 

The cube chair also provides a place for them to patiently wait while helping them dress and getting yourself organized before leaving. 

If your child is over 18 months, stay tuned for my next post about teaching dressing and undressing of outerwear :)


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