To show you what it looks like, I am going to also give you a tour of the heart and soul of our home, the family room.
As you can see it is not heavily decorated, and it is, thanks to our toy rotation, not overcrowded. We have a sofa for all of us to sit and read books, I still have my rocking chair from nursing my two kids! The room is not super huge, but the windows give it an open feel.
This is the fire place area. We have been living here for three years and have not used it. It is covered with a baby gate. To the right is a small space where we put a bench (without legs) and two wicker drawers to put the Fisher price little people sets. This week's rotation, we have about a half of the farm set. This is my kids favorite as we live close to farms and a stable.
I skipped the sofa... it is a fake leather one from Ikea that has been with us for almost 8 years! Then the library corner. I got this book display racks from http://www.amazon.com/Tot-Tutors-Book-Primary-Colors/dp/B000IHJF60/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372639202&sr=8-1&keywords=kid+book+rack Since our picture frames and furniture are black, my husband spray painted the racks black too. We visit the library at least once a week and rotate the books with the same frequency.
Then to the right we have the rack for the Montessori inspired activities that the kids can use at any time. Most of it will be practical life skills. This rack used to be for our growing plants, but with this beautiful weather, we moved everything outside. Lastly the picnic table where the kids eat snacks everyday. They also use it for coloring or not so messy art projects. We kept the umbrella open indoors because it gives a cozy feel to the area. It is a kid space only.
Now that you see our space, you can get an idea of where our Montessori inspired activity rack is located, and what we have on it right now :
Red white and blue... Happy birthday USA! Ok... You know how I feel about holiday themes but I needed the kids to practice several skills. My daughter needs to go back to numbers since she is confusing six and nine. The little guy is always asking for help opening things. I found many of these ideas online, and by just looking around in the toy closet for objects in the right color! I am only using the two top shelves. I am going to stick to a a few activities for a while. We are seriously working on grace and courtesy (removing a tray, replacing the tray) with both of them. I also think the transferring activities are helping them build stamina. The bottom shelf has their snacks, and under it, we have their rugs and two breakfast trays they use as tables when needed.
For the big sister:( 3.75 y/o)
Cotton balls in placement pad, and counting stars with clothespins.
For the little guy (2 y/o)
Opening and close, and transferring with a small ladle.