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