It seems that many adults are drawn to Montessori education as parents or as a teaching career because the organization of it all. When you pass by a Montessori environment, the shelves are neat and tidy, the activities are color-coded, and everything is in its proper place.
This brings a sense of peace to many people.
This is true for the young child, and this is why Montessori puts such and emphasis on the order of the environment. Young children are building themselves and their understanding of their world from what surrounds them. This is why we take such great care in offering external order to help the child build internal order and ordered thoughts. There is nothing more frustrating that trying to complete a task, but finding your tools are not where you thought they should be. Yet nothing more satisfying than finding your tools in just their perfectly ordered space.
One way you can support your child’s need for order is to create an ordered system for storing clothing. Although there are many beautiful dressers and wardrobes for sale, a young child is easily overwhelmed by this large furniture and does better with a simple set of drawers.
Stores like Target, the Container Store, and Amazon sell sets of three plastic drawers. They work fine as is, or you can add decorative knobs just by drilling holes.
Next, label each drawer with a picture by printing or drawing what is in the drawer. Categories that generally work are:
Place each label on the outside of the drawer and add three of each item to its corresponding drawer.
Now introduce the drawers to your child the next time he needs to change.
Show him the pictures and name each one
Show him how to open and close a drawer
Ask him to find the picture of the clothing item he needs
Allow him to choose from the drawer.
Allowing you child access to his clothing and empowering him to choose items for himself lays the foundation for selfcare, encourages personal responsibility, and builds his self confidence as he learns to satisfy his own needs.