Baskets! And Why You Should Use Them

We Montessorians love a good basket. Why? One of the cornerstones of a Montessori environment is the way in which materials are organized. Things that are offered to the child (toys, activities, books, etc.) are kept on a low, open shelf so that (s)he can access them freely. By placing these items in baskets or on trays, we are encouraging the child to take the entire material to use (rather than just pieces of it). Baskets also keep loose parts together and are often easier for children to carry. Here are some great options for keeping your children's materials organized in a Montessori-inspired way:

1. Woven Basket: I used a lot of these in my classroom when I was teaching. They have the look of a natural basket, but are made of polypropylene, making them more durable and easier to wipe down. Amazon has all kinds of shapes and sizes. 2. Rope Basket: This kind of basket is a wonderful option because it is soft, durable, and machine washable (excellent for babies!). The stitching can be done in any color, too.  3. Chevron Fabric Basket: This small basket has a bright pattern that would stand out on a shelf. It's also soft, washable, and come as a set of two. 4. Galvanized Pail: These are great for building materials, art supplies, or loose bits because they are so sturdy! They could also work really well outside. They also come as a set of two.

1. Woven Basket: I used a lot of these in my classroom when I was teaching. They have the look of a natural basket, but are made of polypropylene, making them more durable and easier to wipe down. Amazon has all kinds of shapes and sizes.

2. Rope Basket: This kind of basket is a wonderful option because it is soft, durable, and machine washable (excellent for babies!). The stitching can be done in any color, too. 

3. Chevron Fabric Basket: This small basket has a bright pattern that would stand out on a shelf. It's also soft, washable, and come as a set of two.

4. Galvanized Pail: These are great for building materials, art supplies, or loose bits because they are so sturdy! They could also work really well outside. They also come as a set of two.

The baskets below are all from IKEA! They all come in sets, and the prices are very reasonable; you really can't go wrong. 

1. Nordana, set of 4: These look handmade, and the dark color is unique. Again, the fabric is very durable and washable - great for babies.  2. Fryken, set of 3: The round shape is lovely, and the lids can be left on or off, depending on what you put inside.  3. Salnan, set of 2: This basic square shape is great for a lot of different uses, and the fabric edging makes them more durable. 4. Ljusnan, set of 3: I love these because they could be used for storage but could also be an activity all on their own, since they nest inside one another. I could see a toddler stacking them to make a tower.

1. Nordana, set of 4: These look handmade, and the dark color is unique. Again, the fabric is very durable and washable - great for babies. 

2. Fryken, set of 3: The round shape is lovely, and the lids can be left on or off, depending on what you put inside. 

3. Salnan, set of 2: This basic square shape is great for a lot of different uses, and the fabric edging makes them more durable.

4. Ljusnan, set of 3: I love these because they could be used for storage but could also be an activity all on their own, since they nest inside one another. I could see a toddler stacking them to make a tower.

Take a look at this Pinterest board for some ideas for using baskets in your child-friendly space. Interested in setting up a work shelf for your child and need some help? Take a look at my home consultation services here.