• 07/13

    Despite the fact that we are more tech savvy than ever before, it seems like there may be a disconnect in our understanding that humans—especially little humans—have an innate need to learn at their own pace and in environments that allow for their uniqueness, natural abilities and creativity to surface.

    “A man does not just happen; he does not just grow like a flower.”

    Maria Montessori came to this understanding a very long time ago, and in the 1800’s she opened Casa Bambini; a school with the preposterous proposal of a child-focused method as opposed to a content-focused method – where they could cultivate their own interests... and doing so with the support of their teachers who served as guides rather than authorities.

    To the initial shock of many who thought a child was to be handled and catered to, Maria’s "Montessori" method proved what we now know to be obvious:

    Children are much less frustrated in the learning process when they have tools and furniture that are child-sized – scaled to their level. Children also respond very positively when their environment is calm and orderly... and have better confidence and self esteem when taught to do things for themselves.

    In short, the Montessori method showed parents that early childhood education should not simply fill a child with facts, but rather actually stimulate their natural desire to learn. And so it spread to many schools and eventually reached peoples' households as well – having really caught on over the last 5 years as it began to be adopted by parents who live out mindfulness and minimalism values.

    A Montessori environment at home creates a system of freedom and ease for all involved, allowing the parents to become encouraging guides instead of authoritarian figures – and children feel supported rather than managed, having the time and space to make discoveries, gain independence and participate in daily life activities as a whole.

    Creating a Montessori system at home is easy, especially nowadays when we have companies like Woodjoy that are committed to helping parents apply its principles at home.

    Woodjoy is a 5-star company based on Montessori principles, creating multifunctional furniture at child-level but that serve children and the whole family at the same time. That's what makes them stand out.

    How to create a Montessori home?

    A prepared environment: Observing your children at play is the best way to learn what they’re naturally interested in – which will tell you how to lay out their tools (and what tools to provide for them).

    Have a place for everything and everything in its place: an organized play and learning environment allows children to be self-sufficient and focus on one activity at a time.

    Always choose quality and purposeful toys: Montessori toys are often made of wood, they are long-lasting, functional, non-toxic and durable. Woodjoy offers a vast selection of multifunctional and harmonious toys at a fair price.

    How do I transition to a Montessori method?

    Child-level furniture:
    Tables, chairs and furniture used in the child’s learning experience should, as Maria Montessori proved, be at child level. This Woodjoy clothing rack, for example, will give your child the right amount of independence and a huge sense of confidence by allowing them to pick an outfit from a small, season-appropriate selection of outfits.

    Involve your children in active learning, not passive entertainment:
    Stay away from modern toys that do everything for the child and instead pick furniture and items that allowed them to create their own entertainment and learn to become self sufficient like this pretend kitchen by Woodjoy, where they can create their own story line and unleash their imagination.

    Create a system:
    Having less toys and less activities at any given time allows children to build their concentration and develop mastery of any one particular skill at a time – so it’s a lot less overwhelming for the child. Instead of displaying baskets full of toys where little toy soldiers go to die, use a toy display system like this mini shelf where a small selection of toys are displayed and used... and then rotate the selection to bring in a new round of learning and entertainment.

    Open-ended toys:
    blocks, puzzles, animal figurines and books. Always pick toys like this wooden colored houses that allow your child to create a different story or a system that fits into the narrative they are creating.

    The advantages of transforming your home to allow your children to have freedom and independence are many – and while some might think this is a little over the top, it actually creates a respectful environment in which children learn to establish limits for themselves and others; it fills them with a sense of freedom and independence, allows them to learn organically without impositions by a system that doesn’t encourage them to be themselves and in turn helps them to be happier and more secure children that grow up to be responsible for themselves and aware of others.

    Woodjoy helps you create a nurturing environment with an atmosphere of learning, love, warmth and kindness at home, which is not only beneficial to the children but also to us parents.

    They ship world wide and have stunning reviews and recognition for having created multifunctional children's furniture that serves a variety of purposes, are made only with the best quality materials and look beautiful in any home.

    Here’s to Woodjoy and for allowing children to be creatively and uniquely themselves!

    Editor’s picks:

    Montessori Clothing Rack
    Montessori Mini Shelf
    Montessori Washbin
    Montessori Blocks
    Book Shelf
    Paid partnership © images by Jane Grewal and Woodjoy
  • 11/03


    I have an innate inability to make myself feel uncomfortable in the name of fashion. It’s something that was probably built into me from the womb. There’s not a single picture of me as a baby OR a toddler all dolled up–and I clearly recall feeling itchy at the mere suggestion that I should put on a ruffled dress or pair of tights for dinner out when I was a kid.

    My mother... the badass! She had to raise me at a time when fashion for girls was either full-on “toilet paper doll cover” (remember those?) or being often referred to as a boy-which I was (ALL the time) but I couldn’t care less; playing on the floor while wearing a yard of taffeta wasn’t even a question.

    My go-to outfit: A long (often batman) t-shirt, shorts and tevas. Yes. Tevas.

    The fashion industry has become more inclusive when it comes to kid’s clothes and I believe we owe that to the small-independent designers and studios, pushing the envelope and allowing our kids to be themselves–creating fashion that is not only comfortable but that they can identify with, no matter what their style or needs are.

    Rylee + Cru does just that: it’s fun, encouraging, ludic and practical. It’s real, fuss-free clothing that kids approve of–and their newest collection guarantees a lot more moments of play for our little ones... which translate into a whole lot more memories made for all of us.

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