Skip to main content

Montessori Play at 13 Months


In addition to the bottom shelf in our play area, Nora also has some toys in our living space. Originally, I planned to keep this a "kid-free" zone in our house, but life has made other plans. I actually really enjoy that she can be part of our everyday routine as she plays. Since she was a tiny baby, she has been able to be right in the heart of the home with us, and I've come to realize just how important that is. 


Grimm's Extra Large Rainbow -- A favorite with Nora and Henry 

Grimm's Pocket Dwarfs -- a little more Waldorf than Montessori, but totally beloved! 


I think this space also shows that you don't need to always have "fancy" Montessori shelving to make Montessori work at home. We just use our fireplace mantle. It sits just a couple inches from the ground and has been perfect for her. Its easily accessible and perfect for trays and baskets. And, free! All we had to do was add a lock to the doors -- which we would have done otherwise. I should add that we don't use our fireplace (outside of maybe a couple times at Christmas) so fire wasn't an issue.



Realistic Knobbed Puzzle -- I'm told this is an old Melissa and Doug, but it's no longer available. There are other lovely brands available. 

Plan Toy Drum -- so solid, but easy to play.

I keep all of the toys and work in this area safe for Nora. I rotate them every couple of weeks as her interests, skills and needs change. Nora spends time playing here each day. She may work at the shelf directly, or take it to the floor or nearby table. We encourage her to put whatever she is done with away before getting something else, but that doesn't always happen. 



Pounding Toy Bench -- Hugely popular with Nora right now. Perfect outlet for her energy. 

Familiar faces basket 


I keep this area as uncluttered as possible, avoid the use of bins, and try to make sure each choice is intentional. I want toys that engage not entertain. Other than that, I try to take a step back and give Nora the space to discover and enjoy! 


Trampoline -- because we can forget about gross motor! This girl is all about climbing!

And, that's what's on Nora's shelves! I'm linking up with How we Montessori, so check out other Montessori homes there!

Comments

Kylie D'Alton said…
Thank you for joining our link-up. Such a lovely environment Nicole! I wish I had made the familiar faces cards for my children when they were younger - they would have loved it. My nephew is one - I think he would like them!! We only received the large wooden rainbow this year and I wish we had it years ago. Such lovely materials!

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2019

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure!

2019 UPDATE: This post has been updated to include a variety of brands and new product finds! Just a reminder that no one child will be interested in all of this or needs all of this. These toys are just here to spark ideas and give you a feeling for some Montessori-friendly options available! 


So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. 


First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created to…

Which Open-Ended Toys are "Worth it?"

As a Montessori parent, I try to provide a mix of materials in our home to engage my kids! That work that will spark joy, concentration, and repetition. It's not always an easy task, as Maria Montessori said, "Life is mysterious...only the choice of life can choose the work that the child truly needs. Therefore, the teacher respects this mysterious process and knows to wait with faith." So, there does sometimes feel like there is a bit of trial and error when it comes to choosing materials that your children need. 

For us, the right balance is easier to find when I spend time deeply observing my children. Watching their interests, sitting on my hands if I have to, letting them struggle a little with things, and letting them get bored. And what I have personally found is that here at home, a combination of open ended materials and more structured work have been the right balance. Open ended toys wouldn't necessarily be found in a Montessori classroom, but they are perf…

A Montessori Approach to Purging Your Toys

Becoming a Montessori family has been life changing in so many ways, most obviously with the amount and type of materials we use in our home. Once you see why having so many toys is a problem, or when you make the decision to move towards Montessori, it can be completely overwhelming. But, taking a Montessori approach to purging your toys is possible! And, it doesn't exactly mean that you have to throw away everything you have and start over with only expensive wooden toys. It will mean taking a hard look at what you have and whether it really fits with Montessori.


One note, however, Montessori is at its core about following your child's own path and respecting your child as a whole person. So, if your child has a toy, lovey, book, or whatever that your child super loves or is super attached to, but it doesn't fit Montessori ideals, don't take it away. Follow your child, that is more Montessori than whether or not you own some specific consumer product. 
How to Purge You…