Friday, 15 July 2011

the entryway

français au bas

While the entryway might not seem like an important part of a house, I can honestly say that my views of this room has tremendously changed since having children, and having one was a prerequisite while we were searching for our house.

Having a kid friendly entryway really helps us start our days. I can remember in a not so distant memory the fact that we did not have such a room in our old house, and how leaving and arriving was chaotic. Dressing up in the middle of the dinning room, boots pretty much everywhere (keep in mind we live in a northern country...), all exits and out required supervision and management.
But, no more! The coming in and out are a lot less effortless and don't need as much management as it did. When kids know where things go, only a reminder in often needed for everything to find their spot. Taking out their coats is easy, and so putting them back.
So if you have the chance to have a entryway, I strongly suggest you make it child friendly. I guarantee you day will start with less opposition and tension

IN our entryway, we felt it was important to:
- have a place to store coats easily, that the children can reach without and adult
- a place to hang something that can be taken quickly or hang quickly if it is not ready to be stored (read wet coats)
- we wanted our kids to feel included and respected in their needs and wish for independence, which is important to have their cooperation in keeping this place clean
- and finally we wanted it to be clean and inviting nonetheless.

I have already showed you pictures of the wardrobe. Here it is again

1. le garde robe

When we got the house, there was a single pole for coats. We wanted to have spaces for each kid to put their accessories in (or hat and scarf for winter time) and also a pole for their coats, being at their height. So we used an old IKEA cubbies that we didn't use anymore for the kids, and fixed it to the wall on it's side. That became the cubbies. Each cubby has his basket, (in order of size, so E has the lower one) all id'ed with the child's name.

It in they put cap, hat, or winter things such as gloves, scarfs and so on

2. les paniers

There is a principe that we use often here. If you can't bring it down to the child, bring the child up to it.
The entryway is a good example of that. We have yet to put a lower coat rack for drying winter clothes. When we moved in, we were not sure on where to put it, and so we decided to wait and see what emplacement would be best. So currently, the hooks are high. But with the addition of a stool, the kids have no problem reaching them

3. Les crochets

this stool is also very useful for the kids to sit on when dressing up/ off, and also putting on/off their boots. It teaches them not to sit on the floor to do that, and I think it is more respectful of their needs.
Since it is summer, they usually hang their backpack, ready for our next adventure.

Behind the door, we have a blackboard that we use for messages or speacial notes. Again, the board is a little too high for DD to reach (my oldest is fine), so the stool is available for her to use if she wishes to draw something there. I love that we always draw or write positive thought, phrases or images. It really makes the start of our day brighter.

4. le tableau

and underneath is where we have finally decided to install the coat rack for drying winter clothes. But since we are bathing in summer, we are not in a hurry to put it there just yet (that would be a painful reminder that winter will eventually come...again...). SO this way we will have a place for longer coats on the other wall, and they will be able to hang theirs upon entering the house until it dries and can go back to it's spot in the wardrobe. During winter time, we also put a plastic rug right in front of the heating device for our boots to dry fast. But during summer, we try to keep the space as clean and empty as possible, it makes cleaning up a lot easier.

How do you manage your entryway or lack of?

Quoi que l'entrée peut paraitre un endroit plus ou moins important dans une maison, mon opinion est tout le contraire maintenant que j'ai des enfants. Et je dois avouer qu'une entrée était un point important sur notre liste de nécessité lors de l'achat de notre maison.

Une entrée organisé pour les enfants peut vraiment permettre de bien commencer la journée. Je me rappelle trop bien comment les entrées et les sorties étaient pénible dans notre ancienne maison. Les bottes, les manteaux. Tous mouvement demandait de la gestion. Mais maintenant, les entrées et sorties se font (presque) sans effort. Quand les enfants savent où vont les choses, ça facilite le rangement, et ça évite les confrontations.

J'ai déjà montré les images du garde-robe d'entrée. (voir image 1) Lorsque nous avons acheté la maison, il n'y avait qu'une seule pole à hauteur d'adulte. Mais nous voulions des cases pour ranger les accessoires des enfants, ainsi qu'une pole qui leur permettrait de prendre leurs manteaux eux-même. Et c'est ce que nous avons fait dès la première semaine que nous sommes arrivés.

Chaque panier est identifié au nom des enfants. Il contient les tuques, mitaines foulard, et durant l'été, c'est plutôt les casquettes et autres truc du genre
(voir photo 2)

Nous fonctionnons sur un principe important ici. S'il nous est impossible de le descendre à la hauteur de l'enfant, aidons l'enfant à s'y rendre. Ce concept s'applique bien dans cet endroit. (voir photo 3)

Les crochets sont les crochets d'origine de la maison. Nous voulions avoir des crochets plus bas, mais nous avons décidé d'attendre pour trouver le meilleur emplacement avant de les poser. En attendant, pour permettre au enfants d'avoir accès aux crochets, nous avons mis un banc dans l'entrée leur permettant d'y accéder facilement. Également, le banc leur permet de s'assoir lorsqu'ils en on besoin (enlever les pantalons d'hiver , bottes..) ce qui leur apprend à ne pas s'assoir directement par terre pour ça, et je crois que c'est plus respectueux de leur besoins.

Derrière la porte (voir photo 4), nous avons accroché un tableau noir qui sert de tableau de note ou de message. Il est un peu trop haut pour ma fille, qui peut encore une fois utiliser le banc pour s'y rendre. Nous pensions le mettre plus bas, mais dessous sera l'emplacement des crochets des enfants pour faire sécher les vêtements d'hiver. ( nous l'installerons lorsque l'hiver frappera encore à nos porte... sigh...)
De plus lors de la saison froide nous mettons un tapis de plastique juste devant le chauffage pour faire sécher nos bottes. Mais durant l'été, nous préférons garder l'endroit le plus vide et propre possible, ça facilite beaucoup l'entretien.

Et vous, comment avez vous organiser votre entrée?


  1. I love the images you have posted to demonstrate how you have set this up for your family. My daughter has attended a Montessori school for the past two years and have the consistent carry over from school to home is so invaluable to our little learners. How much easier they can make the connections while enabling them to be a helping part of their household community! Well done!

  2. thank you so much for your comment!
    I agree, keeping this consistency is paramount, and it helps them integrate this whole philosophy a little further. And it does make them feel more connected to life and the family and school. My children are happy to help, and to feel that we value their need and help enough to organize our home to include them.

  3. amazing. I love the separate bins for each child - mine would love those - and the lower pole to hang children's coats, etc. you're an inspiration.