This post is about How to set up a learning space at home for toddlers!
As a former early childhood educator, I’ve had my fair share of creating learning spaces for toddlers on a budget. As teachers, we know how to make things happen on a tight budget. Since my little one is officially a toddler ( pinch me please) I’ve been preparing a learning space for her in our home. Creating a learning space can get pretty pricey if you are not careful. Im sharing my top tips on how to create an amazing learning space for your toddler on a budget.
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How to set up a learning space at home for toddlers
1. Add Play Mats
You definitely want to start with getting play mats for the learning space. One of the first things I searched for when designing my daughter’s at-home learning space was play mats. Playmats can be expensive, I was excitedly happy when I found these super cute play mats for her learning space! A few things I love about these playmats by Yay Mats are, they’re super cute, toxic-free, and comfortable to play on!
Playmats are a great addition to any learning space, but especially if you have wood floors. My little one spends a lot of time on the floor, moving around and exploring. So I wanted something that could stand the test of time, and be comfortable for her as well.
2. Buy or DIY Wall Art
In addition to adding playmats, wall art is a great way to spruce up your at-home learning space! but…Let me be the first to tell you, Wall art isn’t cheap. I really had to think outside the box to find artwork that would not cost me a fortune!
In Total, the wall art only cost me about $20.00
- First, I searched Etsy for poster digital downloads. This amazing Etsy shop had the cutest artwork, and the prices were beyond reasonable. Total Cost $2.50
- Next, After I purchased the poster I wanted, I uploaded the download onto vista print and selected the size and format I wanted. Total Cost $8.00 (11 X 17)
- Lastly, I found a hanger frame on amazon that i loved! The frame cost $12.99
Super simple, and budget-friendly for sure! The plus side is I can change the artwork frequently without breaking the bank!
3.Add Wall Shelves
Also when I started to think about what I wanted to add to the walls in my daughter’s learning space, I knew I wanted to add wall shelves.
Wall shelves are a great way to really personalize the space for your little one. It can really encourage them to feel like the space is their own!
I decided to add books, artwork, and some of her other favorite items to the shelves
Pro Tip: Hang the wall shelves at a level that your child can reach
4. Buy or DIY Toy Shelf
So this was a huge hurdle for me. There are tons of shelve options on the market and most aren’t really budget-friendly. When creating a learning space you want to include a floor shelf if possible. It’s a great way for children to explore freely and when the time comes, clean up after themselves, which builds independence, and practical life skills.
I wanted a floor shelf that had the Montessori feel. I LOVE the Montessori approach and I have been slowly starting the Montessori at home method with my daughter.
Needless to say, All the Montessori shelves that I found online were really expensive. So I ended up reaching out to a family friend to build a custom floor shelve for her space. In total, the project cost him under $100 dollars and was an easy build! Calling all DIYERS! You can definitely build something super cute and budget-friendly.
Here are some easy, beginner-friendly shelf plans!
- Wood Slat Low Shelving Unit
- Bookshelf with adjustable shelves
- DIY Montessori Toy Shelf
- DIY Simple Wood Toy Shelf
- DIY Low Montessori Shelf
- DIY Montessori – Inspired Shelf For Toys
If DIY isn’t your thing, don’t worry! Here are some budget-friendly shelves that would work great in any at-home learning space.
5. Find age appropriate Toys
Finally, finding the right toys for your learning space can get overwhelming. There as so many toys on the market, it’s almost overwhelming! It is important to look for toys that are age-appropriate and safe for toddlers. As your child grows you will continue to add more toys and rotate toys out.
Toys can be very expensive, Im a huge fan of the Montessori method. Montessori toys can be pretty pricey. So I always like to find alternatives when I can. Here are some toy recommendations that are great for toddlers!