Skip to main content

In and Out Work -- Montessori Baby Week 44

For the last couple of weeks, Gus has had one thing on his mind -- putting his toys in something else. In and out, out and in. Doesn't matter what it is, he wants to put it in something else. Then he wants to retrieve it, and try again. And when I think about it, I get the appeal! Things disappear and then come back! Somethings will fit into another container, somethings will not. Its the motion of his hands, it's the sound of the item dropping. It's all exciting! 

In and out toys for Montessori babies

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

Once I started to notice this interest, I made sure to put out some toys/work to meet this need. I say toys/work because there is really no distinction at this age. His toys are his work. His work are his toys. In Maria Montessori's words, "play is the work of the child." To him, everything he explores in his environment is his toy, and every toy is his work. It's a beautiful entangled dance, one cannot be separated from the other. 

If you observe your baby and see an interest -- respond. And, it doesn't have to be complicated, or expensive. Just some simple materials to meet that need. No reason to force an interest or guess at what your child wants or needs. Sit back, watch, and respond.
"We are completely on the wrong track when we believe that expensive toys should keep a child is the child...who is left to try and do things for himself, left to improvise toys from simple things and use his own ingenuity, who is fortunate." Maria Montessori
Practically, for us, that has meant adding a few materials to Gus' shelves. These included a Montessori peg and cup, a simple bucket with a puzzle piece, an imbucare box, and a thrifted jar with small monkey

In and out toys for Montessori babies

Each serve the purpose of putting something in another thing. They each do so in a little bit different way and Gus is free to explore. You'll notice in the pictures, it was actually his discovery that the orange cylinder fit into the imbucare box too. There's no pressure for him to use the material correctly, just the opportunity to explore. In placing these materials on the shelves, I did model them for him, but then he is free to explore. 

Have you noticed a strong interest in your baby? How have you responded? 

In and out toys for Montessori babies



This is exactly what my little guy loves doing right now! I find it fascinating to watch how long he'll spend taking things in and out of containers.
Isn't it!? I'm constantly amazed by how fascinating Gus finds it!
Anonymous said…
I love your blog! So helpful as I try to find things to work on with my daughter, who is close to Gus's age. Do you have any recommendations for other blogs or books to read to get up to speed on work that is age appropriate? Thanks for all of the great info!
Celeste said…
My nine-and-a-half month old has been grabbing my pencil and sticking it in the holes in my notebook. Today I took a Little Munchers snack tin, cut a hole in the lid, and cut some straws in half so he could stick them in the hole and drop them all the way into the tin. He really likes it! I love that by paying attention to what he’s already doing, I can set up little games for him that have just the right level of challenge to keep him engaged :) And now I have something to give him when I’m trying to write in my notebook!
Celeste said…
I also have some scraps of flannel leftover from a sewing project that I stuffed in a mini magic bullet cup. He loves to pull them out and examine them! :)

Also the bathtub drain plug! He pulls it out and sticks it back in and repeats :)
Celeste said…
Here’s a quick video of the straw game:

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2021

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! 2021 UPDATE: Please be patient with links this year, with supply chain issues things are selling out faster and restocking slower. I anticipate some of the specialty toys will not restock once they are gone. Puzzles, in particular, have been difficult to find in stock. 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 toys, bu

Montessori Toddler: Favorite Toys and Activities 18 to 20 months

I've been putting off this post for a little while because I felt a little disappointed that I didn't have more to share. See, Teddy just isn't that into materials, especially those on the shelf. He tends to return to a couple of favorites over and over again and ignore all other attempts at shelf work. But, really that's my own adult feelings getting in the way of Teddy's own interests, and developmental path.  It's also me subconsciously valuing fine motor skills and stillness as more important than gross motor play and movement. I working hard not to do that, and want to normalize that all toddlers are different. All children have different interests and that concentration doesn't have to mean sitting still for long stretches of time.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. With all that said, here are some of Teddy's favorites over the last couple of months. Favorite Montessori Toys 18 to 20 Months I'm listing the toys that have be

Our Family's Montessori Christmas Gift Lists 2021

It's hard to believe another holiday season is upon us again. Every year I enjoy putting together my kids' Christmas gift lists. It's really a good time to observe them, see what they are interested in and what they might be ready for during this coming year. It's one of the few times a year that I purchase new materials for our home so it's always really exciting. IF YOU NEED MORE IDEAS DON'T MISS MY ULTIMATE MONTESSORI TOY LIST OR MY 2021 DEALS PAGE ! When considering these lists, please remember that these were curated based on my own children. Use them for inspiration but they are heavily influenced by what my children are into and interested in. And for my older second plane children, what they have asked for!  Here's a look at our family's Montessori Christmas lists for 2021!  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Theodore (Toddler) Teddy is just over 2-years-old. Being our fourth baby, he is really hard for me to think of unique