What is it? Why do I like them? When are they appropriate for children*?
- Child size chair, so important to have practical and beautiful child-size furniture. Found this one at the “Marché aux Puces” (flea market) in Paris, I was enthralled by how many beautiful pieces of furniture were appropriate for children (more below). 10 mos. +
- Realistic drawings of vegetables. These are perfect to frame and place at the child’s eye level, inviting conversation and the acquisition of new vocabulary. Found many of these in “Bouquinistes” stalls strolling along the Seine . Birth +
- Kitchen utensils, oil dispenser, cheese grater, pistol and mortar, not particularly made for children but oh so appropriate. These are easy to use, made of natural material, easy to clean and lightweight, found displayed in a private kitchen. Children love to be involved in the kitchen participating in cooking the family meals, no need to buy pretend toys when good quality ones can be used. 12 mos. +
- Frames, it is important to display art and or photographs at the child’s eye level. These frames are a great way to display the child’s family history, inviting wonderful storytelling. Found in a local discount store. Birth +
- Knives for little hands. These butter knives are perfect as the child’s first knife, for cutting bananas, avocado or anything soft, wonderful for spreading activities as well. Found in a local discount store. 15 mos. +
- A bidet, these are found in most bathrooms in Europe. I was just taken on how appropriate these would be for young children’s independence, a built-in low sink. Originally installed for personal hygiene, these have stayed as part of the European bathroom fixtures. This photo was taken during our family trip to Italy (more photos of Italy courtesy of Joel Paynel). Birth +
- Opening and closing, a lovely collection of containers that can to used for an opening and closing activities, the beauty and delicacy invites the child to work at refining his eye-hand coordination and the development of fine motor skills. These were also found in the “Marché aux Puces” in Paris. 24 mos. +
- Dressing frame, perfect example of the culturally appropriateness of the practical life activities in the Montessori classroom. This dressing frame made with Chinese button knots is used in the care of the person area. Photo taken during my visit to China this summer. 24 mos. +
*The appropriate age will depend on the child’s individual development and abilities as well as interest. These are all approximate ages; it is essential to follow your child’s needs by learning to observe them.
More chairs… As you can tell I like child size furniture, from top left: A variety of sizes found in front of a hardware store in Paris. An antique comfy reading chair. An elegant wood and straw weave. One of the many chairs displayed from the first photo. Traditional school chairs found at the Flea market in Paris. Comfy new chair found in a local US discount store. Enough to please any style.