Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hurdles to Our Prepared Environment

As Q-ball has become more mobile, she has helped us uncover areas of the house that did not pass the prepared environment test.  Over the past few weeks we have work to destroy these hiccups, so Q-ball can get back to exploring with minimum distractions from Mama and Daddy.  As Dr. Montessori stated in regards to creating a children's environment from constraints, "And this freedom is not only an external sign of liberty, but a means of education." None of these ideas are revolutionary; in fact, they are quite obvious. It's interesting that there are some pieces of pre-baby life that are harder to change than others.  Here were are top trouble spots and how we made them baby-friendly.

1.  The blinds on the doors.  Q-ball loved pulling up on these things, and we kinda knew they are likely to break, but we may have waited until it was too late to do something (the story you'll hear will depend upon your relationship with our property manager...) So, in a stroke of genius, we decided to simply raise the blinds! Also, Daddy had to get a screwdriver to remove the fixtures at the bottom of the door to remove the final hazard.
2.  The end table. I had some pictures frames on this end table and a basket of magazines underneath. All of these things were just too appealing to Q-ball.  Again, too easy of an issue to fix- just remove everything!  We also placed this treasure basket where the magazine basket used to be, so it is still an fun area for Q-ball.
3.  Outlets.  Some of the outlets that we use cannot be hidden by furniture.  This was a tough fix because most products just cover outlets that are not being used.  But, we purchased LectraLock to fix this issue.  I should say that while these outlets covers are good for some outlets, we found that we weren't able to use them everywhere. (NOTE: it's probably obvious that a little blog like mine isn't a PR-hub, so this is my honest opinion.) But, I'm still very happy to have them as Q-ball moves very quickly nowadays.  
Foiled by LectraLock!
4. Books, books, books.  Daddy and I have lots and lots of books.  We had them very tightly packed in some lower shelves.  But, Q-ball is just too tricky and strong, and figured out how to get lots of them out.  We removed the books and filled them with surprises for Q-ball to find.  There are still a few books at her level to feel and occasionally pull out, but not so many that Mama doesn't loose control of the exploration.  

5. Hanging Pictures. This past week, Q-ball was frustrated that she wasn't able to see the pictures that we have hanging around the house.  I spent lots of time lifting her to see them, but finally decided that she needed some of her own pictures.  So, I ripped apart our 2011 calendar and hung the pictures at her level. She really loves it! And, at no cost to me! The calendars work perfectly because they are a material that she cannot easy tear (and then eat), and the images are clear and simple. I'm planning to pick up some more as the 2012 calenders go on sale so that I will be able to rotate the images. Assuming that Sports Illustrated are the not only ones remaining.

Have you found areas in your house that were harder to change post-baby than others?  Or, do you still have places that you haven't quite got around to changing??

Montessori, M. (1912). The Montessori method: Scientific pedagogy as applied to child education in "The children's houses." Fredrick Stokes Company: NY.


  1. Loved this one, especially because we are doing the baby-proofing balancing act, too. :)

  2. I love how much attention you pay to the details! Hanging pictures at Q-ball's level is a fabulous addition to your space.

    I have definitely found things here and there that needed to be changed for added safety, and just to eliminate the need to interrupt and say, "no." Some things I have left because, while they're not specifically designed for Annabelle to explore, I don't mind them getting a bit of extra wear. Our coffee table has several drawers and cabinets, and she loves to explore the contents stored inside, for example :)


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