Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2016

Evolution of Puzzles Age 1 to 2: Part Two 18 to 24 Months

In Part One, I explored some of the puzzles that Nora, my puzzle crazy 26-month-old, used between 12 and 18 months. As I said in that post, the age ranges are approximate in these posts. She used many of these puzzles for many months at a time and her interest in shelf work would come and go as she focused on gross motor and practical life work. 

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

Before I share the next puzzles I introduced, I just wanted to share a few tips on what to look for when purchasing Montessori friendly puzzles. For me, I look for a few things when purchasing puzzles:  Natural Materials -- this isn't always possible, but I try to stick with wooden puzzles at this age. I think they hold up better and are just more beautiful and inviting. 
Realistic Images -- Toddlers are interested in reality, they want things they can recognize, name and see. The more realistic the better. You won't find any fantasy puzzles in my toddler collection and I try (althou…

Evolution of Puzzles Age 1 to 2: Part One 12 to 18 Months

Nora (26-months) is suddenly intensely in love with puzzles. I mean she is suddenly spending hours each day doing a variety of different puzzles with ease, concentration and joy. This, for me, is 100 percent completely uncharted territory. Henry never got into puzzles. It may be his own personality, it may be related to the special needs he is working through, or it may be related to the sort of haphazard way we introduced puzzles in his non-Montessori early toddlerhood. Whatever it is, I've never had a kid love puzzles before.


This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

This change has been very welcomed and so incredible to watch. By offering a wide variety of puzzles slowly over the last year, Nora has had the time to really master each stage of puzzle and repeat it until her interest wains. 
Before I forget, I want to make sure to take a look back at where we started and how we got to where we are now. Before I do that, however, I want to just add a word about follow…

Montessori Toddler Work 15 to 20 months

This is a long overdue post! Nora is now 26-months-old, but somewhere along the way this post got lost. Here are some of the Montessori and Montessori inspired work that Nora was using at this time. 

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

I do feel like I should mention that at this time Nora wasn't super into shelf work. She would work in spurts but much of her time was focused on gross motor and maximum effort play. You will also notice many of these works aren't fancy or store bought, but many did the job just fine! 
These also weren't all out at one time. I maybe had one to three of these out at a time in addition to some of her Montessori friendly toys. This way her shelves were a good mix of many types of activities to fit her needs. 
1:1 Correspondence Work: We started with a small container like this and moved to larger containers and more objects.


Color Themed Treasure Baskets


Dry Pouring with Beans -- this was done sparingly when Nora seemed to need a…

DIY Color Matching Pegs for Toddlers

I have noticed lately that Nora has been super into sorting by color. This makes total sense, of course, because she is still in the sensitive period for order and seeks opportunities to make her world as orderly as possible. She has also been very interested posting/pegging work for sometime. Suddenly, it occurred to me that I could easily make her something to fulfill both of these needs. 

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

To make this simple color matching activity, you need: 
Old fashioned peg clothes pinsPin holdersCraft woodAcrylic paintSuper glue  And, that's it! I happened to have each of these items around my house already and they were each purchased at a thrift sale for under $5 total. But, they can also be found online or pretty much in any craft store. 


The first thing I did was paint each piece -- two of each color. I choose to try to do a couple shades of each color but it doesn't really matter what shades you pick. For me it was just what loo…

Evolution of Our Homeschool Classroom

Now that we are done with homeschooling, it's been fun to look back at the long road we took to get where we are. We started out in just this small corner of our guest bedroom/office and ended up in a beautiful room full of wonderful Montessori materials. It's been so interesting to look back and see how we have changed our lives to incorporate Montessori and how transformative that has been. 

But most importantly with this post, I want to emphasize a few points that I learned a long the way. One, everything does NOT have to be perfect all at once. Your child will learn even in a room that is not perfectly prepared. Yes, a prepared environment is important. But, I've found even if there are things that aren't "picture perfect" it can still attract a child. 
Two, the environment does not have to remain static. In fact, I would argue that it should not. It is an evolving entity in your home. Tweaks need to be made. Adjustments for your child's interests, a…

Montessori Friendly Push and Pull Toys

It seems like small children are always looking for a way to push something, load something, unload something or drag it along. Most of the time kids don't need special toys to fulfill these needs. They will find a basket to push, or a bucket to fill. They can frequently be seen trying to meet maximum effort by pushing chairs across the floor. 
While it's definitely an extra, I've always enjoyed having some push/pull toys around for my children so that my furniture stays put {well, mostly} and my floors are relatively unharmed by dragging non-wheeled objects around.

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.
Depending on their age, here are some of my favorites! 
Crawling/Pulling Up to Walking

Walker Wagon -- For the youngest babies and toddlers, hands down my favorite push/pull toy is the Radio Flyer Walker Wagon. It's sturdy, the sides come down, and it doesn't roll away as kids are pulling up. Plus, its got plenty of space to haul all sorts of things! …