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A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Kitchen

Transitioning to a smaller home when we moved to Virginia three years ago, meant transitioning to a much smaller kitchen.  

It definitely took some getting used to. But once we found a place for everything, and made sure that the kitchen included all of the Montessori components wanted, we fell in love.  

At this point I can't imagine having to maintain a bigger kitchen.  There are so many benefits to smaller spaces.

We're super excited to continue with our Minimalist Montessori Home Tour!  Welcome to our kitchen!

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Kitchen

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Kitchen

Our Kitchen can be seen as you enter our home.  To get there from the front entrance, you pass through the front entry way and tiny hallway.  

Minimalist Montessori Kitchen Entrance

One side of the hallway is home to our coats and other personal belongings, all hanging on hooks.  The other side includes a door that leads to our cellar.  

Safety First

In the image above, the one thing that may stand out is the locked tool box stored on one side of the island.  

This toolbox is home to all sharp objects that are stored in our home. These include scissors, four sharp knives, a pizza cutter, carrot peeler, cheese grater, melon baller, apple cutter, pastry cutter, and sewing needles.

These items are locked up when not in use to ensure that all of our children, including those who struggle with a history or trauma, attachment, and mood disorders stay safe at all times.

All prescription medications in our home are stored in the cupboard under the kitchen sink in a medical lock box.  This provides peace of mind in knowing that none of our children can get into anything they shouldn't.

Our compost container is also stored under the kitchen sink.

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: The Sink

You'll notice that our counter tops stay clear at all times, unless there are dirty dishes about to be done or we're serving food. In the cupboard above the dishwasher, all of our glass storage containers are stored.  Above the cupboard, we store our blender, out of the children's reach.

You may notice candy jars above the sink.  They are explained HERE.

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: The Counter

Water Bottle Storage

One of my favorite additions to our kitchen is the beautiful set of hooks that store our water bottles.  I purchased this beautiful piece at Pottery Barn a few years back.  It is no longer available.

What I love about this set of six hooks is that each person in the family has their own hook for their water bottle.  Water bottles are available at all times for the kids to use anywhere in the house.  All water bottles are spill proof.

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: Water Bottle Storage

The kids can always reach their water bottles. When they need filling, the kids can fill them independently.  When we go somewhere, or the kids go outside to play, they always bring their water bottles with them.

If water bottles are left out in other rooms in the house, all of the kids know how to put them away.  There is no need to worry about asking an adult for a drink of water at any time. 

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: Silverware Drawer

The top drawer next to the stove is home to silverware, including child sized knives for spreading and chop sticks which aren't visible in the picture.

In the middle drawer are all of our cooking utensils.

Lids for pots and pans are stored in the bottom drawer.

The drawer under the stove stores cookie sheets, cooling racks, and cupcake pans.

Above the stove, in the cupboard, the cake pans reside.

On top of the cupboard we store our waffle maker, bread pans, and crock pot.

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: Storage Station

Storage Station

Across from the dishwasher is our storage station.  This was also purchased at Potter Barn, but is no longer available.

The two cubbies on the sides are where my husband and I store our keys and other important items.  

The four shelves store lanterns that the kids use when we go outside at night for campfires and more.  

The silver box stores our bills and other important papers that need tending to.  

The chalk board is for writing down our grocery list as we notice we run out of things. 

The hooks on the bottom store everyone's aprons used for working in the kitchen.

We absolutely love this storage station!

Next to our storage station is the entrance to our Montessori learning time room, then comes another cupboard.

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: Storage

You can see our fruit bowls hanging with the vaccuum underneath.  

Lunch boxes are stored above the storage unit.  

On the other side of the cupboard the broom, mop, and dust pan are stored.  

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: Tableware Storage

Easy Accessible Tableware

Inside the bottom part of the cupboard we store all of our plates, bowls, cups, and napkins.  All of the kids can reach everything they may need when emptying the dishwasher, setting the table, or preparing a meal for themselves.  None of our tableware is breakable, to ensure the kids the utmost independence.

The top cupboard stores lunch box food containers, mixing bowls, and baking supplies such as flour and sugar.  Our kiddos must ask to use these ingredients, to ensure no unsupervised baking goes on in the kitchen.

Kids' Kitchen Work Station

If you turn to the left and go past the entrance to the kitchen, you will see even more storage and the kids' work station.  The work station was originally designed to be an island. We took the wheels off so that it would be low enough for the kids to use with ease.  Side storage components were removed in order to fit the space.

On top of the cupboards in baskets we store things like cookie cutters, cake decorating supplies, light bulbs, our tape supply, and first aid supplies.

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: Kid's Work Station

In the cupboards above the kids' work space, we store all of our nonperishable foods. The cupboard above the refrigerator stores platters, pie plates, and our S'mores supplies.

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: Storage Options

Under the kids' work station, in the cupboard, we store cereal, medicine cups, our toaster, pots, pans, and colander.

The drawers are filled with all of the kids' kitchen tools.

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: Child Safe Knives

The top drawer stores the kids' knives and pizza cutter.  I absolutely love these knives. They can cut through carrots with ease, but are safe for kids to use without the worry of them cutting themselves or harming others. The same goes for the pizza cutter. 

The other tool in the cupboard was Sunshine's cutting tool before she graduated to the plastic knives.  This is one option that can be used when a child isn't quite coordinated enough or doesn't have enough hand strength to use a real knife to cut.  

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: Kid Sized Cooking Utensils

The second drawer houses all of the kids' cooking utensils. All are child sized or designed for child independence so the kids can cook with ease.

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: Child Sized Oven Mits

The bottom drawer is home to the kids' oven mits. These work great when they're using the stove.

Next to the kids' work station is our refrigerator.  One might not think a refrigerator is any big deal, but to the kids, the way it's set up, means everything.  It allows them to be as independent as possible.

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: Child Friendly Refrigerator Set Up

All snacks for the kids are stored on the second shelf from the top. The kids know they have access to the fruit and vegetable drawers as well.  

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: Child Size Pouring Containers

On the bottom of the door, you'll notice child size containers for milk and juices. These allow all of the kids to pour their own milk for cereal, and pour their own juice for breakfast.

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: Extending Island

Another fun aspect of our kitchen is the island extension that we use when there are multiple people working in the kitchen.

On the other side of the island there are four more drawers and a pull out garbage can.

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: The Spice Drawer

The top drawer stores all of our spices.  When baking and cooking, the kids love being able to find exactly what they need so easily.

A Minimalist Montessori Kitchen: Measuring Cups and Spoons

The second drawer stores measuring cups and spoons.  Again, this provides easy access for the kids when they're working in the kitchen.

The bottom two drawers store washclothes and dishclothes.

A Minimalist Montessori Home: Under the Counter Storage

Around the corner facing the window, we store all of our foil, wax paper, plastic wrap, and plastic bags.  It's takes a bit of coordination to pull out the items in the top storage basket, so the kids don't really get into them.  

If they do need a plastic bag to store their latest art project, they can easily access items in the bottom basket.

And there you have it!  You've now had a tour of our Minimalist Montessori Kitchen!

If you enjoyed this post, you may  also enjoy the posts below!

Tips for Helping Children Become Independent at Mealtime How to Help My Child Want to Try New Foods A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room

A Montessori Minimalist Home Tour: The Kitchen

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Deal of the Week: Vertebrates Bundle

 At the start of Shark Week I couldn't resist choosing our Vertebrates Bundle as the Deal of Week.  Not only does this bundle include printable packs about mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish, but it also includes one about sharks!

The Vertebrates Bundle is an absolutely beautiful resource for Montessori preschool and elementary classrooms at home and at school.  It not only includes zoology resources, but also those that you can add to your math and language shelves.

Deal of the Week: Vertebrates BundleDuring the week of August 10-16, 2020 the 450 page Vertebrates Bundle will be available at 50% OFF for only $39.99.  

This will be the only time left during 2020 that you will be able to purchase this bundle at a discount. 

If you'd like to purchase the entire bundle, click HERE.

If you don't feel that you need all of the resources included or you don't have a budget for the entire bundle, during the week of August 10-16, 2020 all individual components of the Vertebrates Bundle will be available for 50% OFF.  

Once again, this will be the only time during 2020 that these products will be available for a discount.

No promotional codes are needed at checkout. The 50% off discount is already reflected in the prices.

Let's Take a Look at all That's in the Montessori-inspired Vertebrates Bundle!

Montessori-inspired Intro to Vertebrates Printable Pack Montessori-inspired Mammals Printable Pack Montessori-inspired Birds Printable Pack Montessori-inspired Reptiles Printable Pack Montessori-inspired Amphibians Printable Pack Bundle Montessori-inspired Fish Printable Pack Bundle Montessori-inspired Shark Unit Printable Pack Bundle
I can't say enough about these beautiful materials. My children absolutely love them.  They are such a great way to encourage a love of living things while at the same time meeting the needs of every student.

If you prefer to invest in the invidual components of the bundle, be sure to click on the images of the pritnable packs above.
Deal of the Week: Vertebrates Bundle

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A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: Laundry Room and Half Bath

For some the laundry room and half bath of a home, may not be cause for much excitement, but for me, this room in our home is one of my favorites.  It's so functional!

Welcome back to A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour where you're able to see how we combine the principles of Minimalism and Montessori in our home of 1300 square feet to meet the needs of our family of six!

It's always a fun adventure to meet the needs of everyone, living in an old farm house with no storage, especially when promoting independence for those who are neurodiverse.
A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: Laundry Room & Half Bath
Just like our dining room (adjacent to the laundry room/half bath), this area of the house used to be a porch. It was turned into living space by previous owners.  I can't imagine this home without this space and am so thankful it's here.

So let's take a closer look!

A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: Laundry Room and Half Bath


When we first looked at this home, the location of this laundry room and half bath was something that I didn't want to pass up!
Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: Back Entrance
It's right by the back entrance to the house, super close to the dining room table, and right around the corner from the art supplies.  

Any time the kids need to go to the bathroom while outside, the bathroom is right there.  

If we're enjoying water or snow play the kids can head directly to the bathroom to dry off, change and/or put laundry in the wash.

When there's a spill during mealtime, it's easy for the kiddos to grab what they need to clean it up right away.

Any time the kids use art supplies, especially paint, they're able to transfer supplies to the sink and clean up by themselves.

The other thing I love about this laundry room/half bath is the antique sink and cupboard.  The sink is lower than the one in the kitchen and so deep.  All of kiddos can reach it without issue, with the small stool provided. 

I love the side counter that's easy to clean and not easy to damage.  If water spills or goes everywhere, it's okay, because it can easily be cleaned up.

The kids know this is their sink.
Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: Back Sink & Washing Area
To accommodate their need for a mirror, we ordered a shatter proof mirror, attached magnetic strips to it and placed it on the side of the clothes dryer.  All of the kids can easily adjust it when necessary to meet their needs.

Next to the mirror we keep visual prompts for our neurodiverse kiddos and any others who need it.  Right now the focus is on hand washing.  
Self-Care: Personal Hygiene Bonus Subscriber Freebie

You can access your own free handwashing printable and others by clicking HERE.

Countertop and Cupboard Storage

The sink countertop is home to a bar of soap and the kiddos' mouthwashes.  Everyone has their own mouthwash to help with germ spread and because they each prefer different flavors. 

Sensory sensitivies make it incredibly difficult for some of them to enjoy mouthwash.  We're all about supporting what works for each of them to promote good hygiene.
Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: Back Wash Area
Next to the counter, on the wall, are all of the kids' hand held cleaning tools, which include a hand duster, delicate duster, and window squeegee and scrubber.  These tools are perfect for small hands and easy to wash after every use.

The large drawer under the sink is home to our kid friendly cleaning supplies.  We use Better Life products.  I can't say enough great things about them.  They are so kind to my allergies and to the environment.  My kiddos love mild smells of each and every one!  

Best of all my kids can be completely independent with their cleaning and I don't have to worry about chemicals and toxins.
Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: Drawer Organization
The main bathroom in our previous home was so spacioius and allowed for beautiful shelves to house all of the kiddos' personal hygiene items.  It took a while to get used to drawers again, but we figured out how to make them work.

The top left hand photo shows my husband's and my drawer.  Dinomite and Bulldozer share the drawer to the right of it.  Princess and Sunshine share the bottom drawer on the left side.  (Sunshine's toothpaste is missing in this photo.)  The right bottom drawer is used to store hand towels and other hygiene items.

Kid Friendly Laundry Station

Across from the clothes washer and dryer is our laundry station (and kid friendly, adjustable mop).  All four kiddos are responsible for doing their own laundry.  Sunshine is the only one left that needs supervision and assistance.
Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: Laundry Station
After learning about pollution last year the kids were very adament about switching to an environmentally friendly laundry detergent and eliminating fabric softener all together.  

We tested several different laundry detergent options, including homemade, and ultimately fell in love with Tide Purclean.  The kids love the smell and it cleans clothes just as well as ALL laundry detergent.  You need very little of it compared to your regular laundry detergent, which helps balance out the cost.

There have been hiccups when using Tide Purclean while washing bedding and certain fabrics like fleece and plush.  You end up with a washer filled with suds that you can not get rid of.  We keep our regular laundry detergent and fabric softener around for these occasions.

Instead of fabric softener the kids decided to use wool balls.  At first I was a little nervous about the switch but was pleasantly surprised. Other than the balls getting lost in the dried laundry, they're wonderful.  

So long as we have extras on hand for the next load, until we get to sorting and folding the load we just removed from the dryer, we're good to go.
Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: Laundry Station Up Close
In order to accomodate the kids, I purchase the smallest sized container of laundry detergents and fabric softener that I can.  This makes pouring liquids into little cups much more doable with less spills.  A towel covers the counter top for quick and easy clean up if necessary.

The kids do a great job with remembering which buttons to push on the washer and dryer.  Bulldozer and Dinomite were quite clever to take a picture on their cell phones of the settings for a normal cycle to refer back to until they had them memorized. From there they developed a combination of sorts.  For a normal cycle of clothes the settings combination is 1-1-4-4.
Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: Half Bath
Next to the laundry station, behind the door is the toilet for anyone who needs it.  The washclothes stored on top of the tank are for the kids to use when cleaning the toilet and the bathroom sink each day.  (It's one of the rotating chores we have.)
Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: Swim Towel Storage
The back of the bathroom door is home to the kids' beach towels.  These are there to grab when necessary, before we go outside for water play, or to help when the kids come in from playing in the snow.

And there you have it!  I just love everything about this room as it screams independence for my kiddos in all of the best ways.  At the same time, there isn't anything in this room that's not necessary.  

We love providing a Montessori home for our kids while still embracing minimalism!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the resources below.
Montessori-inspired Bathroom A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: The Dining Room
A Minimalist Home Tour: Laundry Room & Half Bath

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The Problem with Saying You're Anti-ABA (with FREE Autism Supports Checkist)

When it was decided that Sunshine was going to a residential treatment center earilier this year, one of the questions I was asked at each interview with case workers was if my husband and I were in favor of ABA services during treatment.

I kindly replied no, and stated that we believed in a more intrinsic approach, and wanted to focus on Sunshine's sensory needs and self-regulation, along with medication to stabilize her mood disorder.

Little did I know at the time, ABA was being used as an umbrella term for ALL autism support services, not just the traditional Applied Behavioral Analysis procedures.

The residential treatment center did not and would not provide any autism support services to Sunshine, unless she was classified as receiving ABA treatment.  This included visuals, fidgets, etc.

This is when we realized the problem with Saying You're Anti-ABA.

The Problem with Saying You're Anti-ABA

Autism Supports vs. ABA

I was shocked and absolutely devasted about this revelation.

We discovered this two weeks after Sunshine's admission.

She was spiraling out of control and regressing in ways we'd never seen before.

It was then that my husband and I began to advocate for Sunshine's autistic needs like we never have before. 

We spoke to Sunshine's therapist and an administrator who oversees ABA services at the residential treatment center.

The administrator was wonderful with us, understanding our concerns about ABA.  She was very sympathetic about our worries of it causing more harm than good, especially taking into consideration Sunshine's other diagnoses.

This administrator was excellent at putting our fears to ease, and explaining that when it comes to autism support services, we could pick and choose the ones that worked best for Sunshine and the residential treatment center would support that as part of Sunshine's individualized program. 

Just because the service was called ABA, didn't mean that Sunshine would receive ABA services.

A Four Month Long Nightmare

I can't begin to describe the nightmare that followed.

The administrator we spoke to was wonderful, but that didn't mean that everyone was.

We had meetings with Sunshine's case manager.

We had meetings with the residential treatment center's administrators and executive director.

We had meetings with our county case worker.

We had meetings with our insurance company.

We spoke to a lawyer.

We had meetings with the school district.

It took FOUR months to FINALLY obtain the autism supports that Sunshine needed, in a way that met her sensory needs and focused on self-regulation.

We literally had to threaten legal action several times, to make sure that EVERYTHING Sunshine needed was put into place. 

Part of this was a result of a lack of communication between administration and staff. 

Another part included inconsistencies in the care Sunshine was receiving, depending on what staff was on duty. 

The other aspect of this nightmare was that the residential treatment center only wanted to provide the minimum required supports to meet insurance needs and go no further, despite Sunshine's high needs.

Every time we thought the proper autism support services were in place, based on approval from insurance and other funding resources, we learned they weren't because of another hiccup in the process at the residential treatment center.

This was so wrong on so many levels and so dangerous for families who are trying to receive the proper help for their children.

Challenging the ABA Model

Four months of studying health insurace regulations, continued Zoom meetings, phone conferences, countless e-mails, and some pretty intense interactions with people at the residential treatment center really challenged my views of ABA.

I was asked to define what ABA means to me and why our family is against it. 

My husband and I looked up several definitions of ABA. All were vague stating that behavioralists use a variety of strategies to help the autistic child improve behaviorally.  Some definitions did list out some strategies, but not all.

I began to interview friends and work colleagues about ABA. 

What were they against and why?

What were they for?

Ultimately this process led to the creation of the Autism Supports Checklist.

FREE Autism Supports Checklist

It was the only way that I could adequately state my views on ABA and explain exactly what I was looking for to help Sunshine. 

The Autism Supports Checklist

The Autism Supports Checklist is a resource for parents to use when faced with professionals who want to prescribe services for their autistic child, including ABA, whether they're recommending just ABA or using the term as an umbrella for all autism services.

If parents don't understand the terminology on the checklist, they can look it up before an appointment so they understand exactly what's being discussed and recommended.

This checklist is a permission slip parents can give professionals when they do decide to accept any form of services or treatment. It explains what is okay, and what is not okay when working with their child.

The Autism Supports Checklist can be used as an interview resource when searching for a professional that meets the needs of the family.

The checklist includes a space for the child's name, the parent's signature, and date.

Parents can give this Autism Supports Checklist to anyone working with their child and hold the professionals accountable after it has been given to them.

The Autism Supports Checklist is a Subscriber Only Freebie.  For your copy follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

I NEVER wish the experience we have gone through to obtain appropriate autism supports for Sunshine on anyone.

No child should have to suffer through treatment that is damaging to them.

No child should be denied basic autism supports, if a parent declines ABA treatment.

We used the Autism Supports Checklist with Sunshine's team in residential. 

Once we defined what we were against and what we were for, providing documentation that supported our views from those who have worked with Sunshine previously, we were able to obtain everything and anything we asked for to help Sunshine in residential.

Sunshine's BCBA is incredible and so supportive of our views regarding ABA.

She understands Sunshine, and is willing to work with our family in a way that benefits all of us. 

She is respecting our wishes in regards to ABA practices, which is quite incredible.

Even more miraculous, is that she's seen the harm that ABA does to Sunshine when a staff member slips up and doesn't follow protocol.

I can finally rest knowing that no further damage is being done to my daughter.

There is no greater satisfaction than that, when it comes to helping an autistic child.

Directions on How to Obtain Subscriber Only Freebies

1. Click on the Subscriber's link at the bottom of this post.

2. Subscribe to our free newsletter.

3. You will be sent a confirmation e-mail. Be sure to click the link to confirm your subscription.

4. Once confirmed you will receive a "Thank You" Message.

5. The link to our Subscriber Only Freebies page as well as password to access it is in the "Thank You" message.

6. Click on link and type in password.

7. Find the printable pack you are looking for listed in alphabetical order, click on it, and viola!

We hope you enjoy your free printable.

Note: If you are already a newsletter subscriber, open your most recent newsletter. At the bottom you will find a link to the Subscriber Only Freebies page, along with the password in case you forgot it.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the posts below.
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The Problem with Saying You're Anti-ABA

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