Here is a recap of our children’s Montessori style Kitchen and Art spaces prior to me packing most items up due to moving house in a couple of weeks. Our kitchen space hasn’t changed too much over the past couple of years, only needing to move the odd item for a period of time when my youngest child became more mobile, that way both of my children could use these spaces more effectively and safely of course.This kitchen trolley has been great. For starters it provided a bit more kitchen bench space not just for myself to use (top of the trolley has a tiled surface) but also provided a way that I can work alongside my children as the trolley fits at the end of our kitchen bench. I removed the trolleys wheels to make it a more suitable height and more stable. The trolley holds most of my children’s everyday use items on the shelves and their cooking utensils in the top drawers. We have pared back quite a bit so my children have less gimicky kitchen items (still have our apple slinky and strawberry slicer). The main items that are currently used the most frequently include; knife (my eldest uses a Victorinox round edge paring knife and my youngest still likes to use his wavy cutter knife), spreader and tongs. We have some items for baking kept in a nearby cupboard. This trolley/prep station is used mostly by my eldest at this point.
Our drink station has been permanently set up next to our small bar fridge. In the colder months my children tend to use the water drinking station and in the hotter months prefer to drink cold water from their water bottles kept in the fridge.
Aside from a shelf to hold my children’s toys and materials, a child-sized table and chair was one of those items that I really wanted to have in our home early on to be used as a snack table and for food preparation. My children comfortably used this table and chair from about one year of age, initially providing a small low step stool for them to place their feet on. We chose not to purchase a weaning table and instead sitting together for main meals at our dining table which you can see above. I invested in two Soho Mocka high chairs knowing that they could be used for many many years. I have friends whose children are still using theirs at six years of age. This is a no tray design chair so ours fit directly under our table and came with a front bar for safety. If I think back, I think my son was able to climb in and out of it safely some time between 16 and 18 months of age. The chair is height adjustable. I really love these chairs as my children fit very comfortably at our dining table and they are easy to clean.
Overall our child-sized table and chair has gotten a lot of use out of it. The legs can be unscrewed, so this table travels with us if we are going to a family or friends house. Quite often there has not been enough chairs at the table for my children to sit at or if there is a chair available my children are uncomfortably low sitting on it and cannot properly reach the table which makes eating very difficult. The only answer to this is for my children to sit on the floor or on our laps. My youngest is happy to do that but my eldest prefers to have her own chair to sit on just like the other adults. To every ones relief, bringing our own table makes a big difference.
Above you can see an Ikea Raskog trolley which houses our art supplies.We purchased ours second hand. This trolley is on wheels so can easily be moved around which is handy if we do art outside. Top shelf is paper, middle shelf houses crayons, scissors, paper shape cutters, tape and glue. Bottom shelf houses some stamps and playdough. The white tables above (yes there are two tables put together), is the snack/food prep table and another one of these tables that we are borrowing for a little while. In our next place I plan to trial using our coffee table as an art table (with no chairs) instead but still keeping our table on hand if needs be. I have struggled a bit in the art supplies department. I have gone from feeling like I need to provide lots of art materials after seeing some truly beautiful children’s art spaces, to now where I feel like we are at a point (simplifying) where I would like to see how we go with just keeping the basics on hand. We do tend to receive art supply items and activity books etc for my children’s Birthdays and Christmas from other family and friends as gifts throughout the year so I don’t feel like they are missing out on anything. Plus to be honest, I look at these pictures of their current art supplies and feel like it is more than enough. It can be so costly to maintain lots of art and craft supplies. Here is a picture of what my daughter’s first art space looked like. We only made changes when my youngest got older and wanted to use the same art materials as his big sister, so we provided a combined art space.