Make Your Kitchen Montessori-Friendly: A Guide for Parents

Transforming your kitchen into a Montessori-friendly environment is a wonderful way to create a space that is both fun and educational for your children. Since children love to be near their parents, an accessible kitchen will simplify your life significantly. And even the smaller kitchen can be child friendly. 


Here are some tips to make your kitchen a safe and engaging space for your little ones.

Supervision: 

It goes without saying that a kitchen can be full of dangers for our children. Always supervise your child, especially when they use kitchen tools or are near the stove.

For Non-Mobile Babies

Young children naturally want to stay close to their parents. If your baby isn't moving yet, consider a bouncing chair, a cozy blanket in a safe corner, or a sling to keep them close and secure while you're busy in the kitchen.

For Toddlers on the Move

As your child becomes mobile, it's essential to combine safety with the freedom to explore, a core Montessori principle. Keep all dangerous items in locked cabinets or out of the kitchen. Toddlers may bypass safety locks, so vigilance is key. Teaching your child about hot items, like the stove or oven, is also crucial. Let them feel the heat from a safe distance to understand the concept of "hot."

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Accessible Spaces for Your Child

Create areas in your kitchen where your child can explore safely. Low cabinets can store non-fragile items like plastic containers and wooden spoons. This setup promotes exploration and engagement, even if it results in a little mess.

Designated Spaces for Your Child’s Tools

You don't need a mini-kitchen or extra furniture if space is limited. Utilize a lower cabinet or bottom drawer for your child's items. For toddlers under six, it's best to store only what they need for specific activities to foster independence and prevent overwhelm. For example, one cup, one knife, one fork, one spoon and one plate. 

Child-Sized Furniture

As your child starts walking, swap the high chair for a child-size table and chair. This setup allows them to eat and engage in activities at their level. You might even consider replacing your dining table with a large, low table suitable for your child and the whole family. Ensure that the table and chair sizes are appropriate for your child's age and height. I like the LATT Ikea table as you can cut the legs to fit your child's height. It's such a cheap table that you can use until your child has grown then buy a new one and keep it as it is now that they are a bit taller. 

Kitchen Participation

A stool in the kitchen can enable your child to reach the sink or counter for cooking activities. While a learning tower is a safe option (check my recommendations here), it's also bulky. Montessori advocated for child-sized furniture, suggesting engagement at the child's level rather than elevating them to adult levels.

Snack Organization

Keep ready-made snacks on the lower fridge shelf within your child's reach. This encourages autonomy and participation in simple tasks, like bringing items to the table. Decanting milk or juice into smaller jugs with lids can also facilitate independence. I like this jug with lid.

By making these small, thoughtful changes, your kitchen can become a delightful, Montessori-friendly space where your child can learn, explore, and grow, all while staying safely by your side.

About the Author Carine Robin

Carine Robin has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, specialising in child psychology. She worked for various social services in her home country of Belgium, before moving to Ireland in 2006. It was there that she started working in a nursery and discovered Montessori education. After having her first child, her passion for the philosophy grew and she qualified as a Montessori teacher and managed a preschool. Carine has been running a Montessori based parents and toddler group and coaching families for 9 years. She now also runs an online group for over 14000 parents, sharing her knowledge and passion with people from around the world. In 2018, Carine realised families needed more support and launched her popular online parenting courses and monthly subscription boxes, full of personally designed Montessori materials.

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