Friday, March 6, 2009

Favorite Thing Friday: Swivel Cabinet Locks

Montessori families often speak of childproofing more from the angle of making a home child-friendly.  This doesn't mean that no childproofing should happen.  The spirit behind the philosophy is that the child should be able to move independently throughout the home and be comfortable.  However, a Montessori family is usually pretty far from the end of the spectrum that turns a home into a padded room.  You can actually read an article about un-childproofing your home here at Montessori dot org.  At any rate, you probably will not find a lot of discussions on Montessori sites about gates, toilet locks, refrigerator locks, cabinet locks, or full-body safety padding.  However, I mentioned in a previous post that our house is a little bit "Montessori oasis", a little bit "Fort Knox."

We (meaning me, my husband didn' t like the idea at all at first) wound up putting a lock on nearly every cabinet in our house.  One of our reasons for this is very Montessori in spirit, we wanted the boys to be free to wander without worry.  The other reason was that having two very young children close in age was tiring enough without having my cabinets emptied every ten minutes.  I know I can train them not to do that as easily as I've trained them to do anything else, but there is certainly a time in every toddlers life when they start to get into everything at once and I didn't want spend all day getting them out of trouble.

However we weren't sure how we felt about having to push a lock every time we had to open a cabinet, even when the kids were in bed.  We also thought it would be nice to be able to gradually increase the kids access to things in the house without having to take out power tools.

Enter Swivel Cabinet and Drawer Locks!  This looks like your typical cabinet/drawer lock except you can turn the arm on the thing to leave the cabinets unlocked if you wish. You'll have to forgive the photography here, I'm not a professional product photography girl.  Here it is in regular position...
...and here it is "swiveled."  When it's swiveled it can't catch the little "foot" piece attached to the frame of the cabinet.

  • If you keep your trash can under the kitchen sink like I do, you can swivel and turn the lock off in the evening after the kids are in bed if you get sick of locking and unlocking the cabinet over and over.  
  • It was a lot easier to convince my husband to let me lock everything because he knew we could turn it off if we didn't like it.  
  • As I want to allow the kids to have access to more things in the house, or want to start training them not to unload the cabinets even though they are able to, I can turn off a couple at a time and only have a 10 minute mess instead of a one-hour mess.  
  • Now that my siblings are having beautiful children I am even more excited about these because we can turn them off when the boys no longer need them, but turn them back on if a wayward niece or nephew is getting into trouble. 
  • Hey!  If we still live here when we have grandchildren, we are all set!
Get out your cordless drill and have fun!

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