Now that Nora is getting older, I've started to create work for the shelves in her work space. While she still has other Montessori friendly toys, these are things that are more traditionally Montessori.
At 6-months-old I kept the items fairly limited in number and scope. I didn't want to overwhelm her with choices. I also keep these things in a dedicated work space, while she has other toys throughout our home, these were kept in the shelf near her floor mat in her bedroom. This is the same space where her mobiles are and is 100 percent accessible to her. Other areas of the house are shared with Henry, but this space is just meant for infants.
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This month (really about the last 6-7 weeks) Nora had 3 small baskets of work on her shelves. The first was a larger basket filled with 3 fabric squares. One was a soft white terry cloth, one a cotton gingham, and a sheer piece with a rougher texture.
This was by far Nora's favorite work on her shelves. She would spend long periods of time exploring the fabric, eating it, touching it, tossing it aside and picking it back up. It was totally engaging.
The next basket was small and contained a wooden square block. The block itself was a sound block and had a sort of clunky sound. When I showed Nora this block I would take it out of the basket, then place it back in the basket. I would simply say "in" and "out."
Nora was more interested in exploring the block than anything else. She would shake it, play with the basket and nom them both.
The final basket was a small wooden cylinder sound block. This block sounded similar to rice. With this basket, I would take the block out and roll it away from her to encourage movement. Then, I would retrieve and place back in the basket.
Nora was very interested in throwing and retrieving this month. And did this quite a bit. She was much more interested in this basket than the one with the blue block.
The shelves this month also included a wooden bead clutch toy. Although I really like this toy, Nora didn't use it much. I think it was still a bit heavy for her. So, I will put it away and pull it out in a month or two and see if she likes it more.