Last time I showed you Marshall's room it looked like this. As soon as he could crawl at 7 months, we re-did it making it more "Marshall friendly." The Montessori philosophy of making everything aesthetically pleasing, accessible and child-centered really resonated with both of us.
So we brought everything down to Marshall's level.
The entire room is child proofed so he is free to roam around. We replaced the crib with a floor bed that wouldn't interfere with his independence and movement. Now he is able to make the choice to get in and out of bed instead of us doing it for him.
We bought a twin sized futon mattress from Ikea and put it on a slatted platform. It is only about 4 inches off the ground so very easy for him to climb in and out of.
We covered it with a handmade quilt, added butterfly decals that Marshall picked out, and a mirror. He is obsessed with the mirror and "talks" to the baby in it numerous times a day. We screwed the frame into the wall so it is very secure.
Everything is down on his level and accessible.
Artwork is an important part of any Montessori environment. It helps to beautify a space and cultivate a child's appreciation for art. It's important that it be hung at a lower level for the child. We chose a picture of Jerad, Marshall, and me, then the giraffe and Ford pictures that had been hanging above the crib.
In a child-centered environment, child-sized furniture facilitates independence.
This little shelf is the perfect height for his to grab things off of, or to pull himself up on. We put out a few toys and books and rotate them weekly:
We tried keep to the Montessori tradition of using as many natural materials as possible.
We moved the changing area to the top of his dresser which was the most convenient for us:
The top drawer holds his cloth diapers, the middle drawer holds clothes in his current size, and the bottom drawer is extra blankets, toys that aren't in the rotation, and jackets. He isn't getting into drawers yet, but when he does there is nothing in there that isn't safe for him to pull out.
We've had this set up for over 2 months now. I'll write more in depth about our experience later but so far its been wonderful and is definitely working for us.
Edit: You can see pictures of his new room at our new house here: http://stephbrownthinks.blogspot.com/2011/10/marshalls-new-montessori-bedroom.html