How to Create a Toddler Friendly Home
Toddler-friendly homes are curated to give toddlers access to furniture, tools and resources that support their growth and development.
Creating a kid friendly home gives toddlers opportunities to do things for themselves. They learn that they are capable. And they become confident in their ability to try new things, make choices, and master new skills. They feel good about themselves!
And this confidence and self-esteem provides a solid foundation for how they will approach other people and the world around them for the rest of their lives.
A Tour of Our Toddler Friendly Home
Over the past couple of months, I have been watching my 2 year old toddler blossom more and more into his own independent little person. I am often surprised by how much he is capable of and I constantly have to remind myself to let him try to do things for himself.
So to accommodate and encourage his independence and growth, I started making some changes and additions to our home. Here is what we have so far!
And a low pantry shelf gives him the opportunity to choose his own snacks and get his own plate and utensils out at mealtime. He also helps put clean dishes away.
We also use the bottom part of the pantry for activity materials that he can choose from throughout the day. There is a rice sensory bin, a box of pom poms, markers, paper, playdough, and a paint set down there.
One aspect of his snack shelf that has been an interesting experiment is having his most desired snacks readily available. These desired snacks are usually on the sweeter side and not necessarily ones we want him eating all day long.
While most toddlers are pretty adamant about expressing their desire for independence and making their own choices, they don’t always have the right tools and structure to express it in a productive way. And this is when they resort to screaming and power struggles.
When we set up our homes in a way that kids can productively exercise their independence and make some of their own choices though, they feel less need to exert control at inappropriate times. Like at the grocery store or right before bedtime.
We have a second learning tower stationed at the bathroom sink so that our toddler can climb up and wash his hands independently. We just have to put a squirt of soap into his hands.
The sink also has a fun faucet extender so that he can reach the water more easily.
Our entryway is essentially our living room, but I still wanted to have a place where my toddler could easily access his coat and shoes. So we turned the bottom rung of our blanket ladder into a coat hanger, and he keeps his boots alongside ours under a bench by the door.
He hasn’t quite mastered putting things on hangers, but this is a good challenge for him. If he were younger, I would probably put some low hooks on the wall that he could easily hang his jacket on. At this point though, I know he is physically capable of hanging a coat on a hanger, so I want to provide him with the opportunity to expand his skill set.
Encouraging independence in toddlers by offering them opportunities to take on new challenges is an important component of a kid friendly home.
I often have to remind myself that my toddler is capable of more than I realize. Toddlers are learning and developing at such a fast rate and I think it’s easy to forget this sometimes.