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November 03, 2022

Montessori Baby: Ring Stackers

The older Penelope gets the more she is interested in using toys and materials in our environment. Much of her day is spent on the floor, exploring both how to move her body in big ways and small ones. It's my role to prepare our environment to allow this exploration. And, one way that I really love Montessori is its emphasis on simple baby materials that allow for her to really truly discover the world at a slow and intentional pace. 

One toy that Penelope has been super into lately has been her ring stacker. It's a great material for learning to control the movements of the hand and wrist - two skills that will come in handy for additional exploration and eventually academic work. 

Ring stackers also provide opportunities for learning concepts like on/off and big/small/smaller. And, the more she works with toys the more she develops her powers of concentration. Obviously we aren't drilling her on these words or ideas, but she is internalizing them with her unconscious absorbent mind and her free play and exploration of the materials. Everything she sees and interacts with gets to become part of how she is shaping her brain! And, that is so cool! 

The rings also provide a fun opportunity for more open ended exploration. She loves to mouth them, bang them, toss them, and slide them. Even without the posting/pegging on the ring stackers just provide lots of amazing opportunities. 

For young babies, I really like a self-correcting ring stacker, especially one on a wobbling base. We use this one.  The wobble gives babies a little grace so that it doesn't just fall over if they don't get the ring on totally correctly at first try. 

We also recently got the opportunity to try this giant ring stacker with Penelope at her cousin's house. It was actually great fun for her. She wasn't able to quite lift the largest pieces but she really loved exploring this material and it made for some really fun maximum effort work! This would be an excellent choice for a little bit older baby and younger toddler. It's still self-correcting and wobbles but just on a larger scale. 

Does your baby like ring stackers? How do they explore them? 

A look at why we love ring stackers with our Montessori baby, introducing them at 8-months, and some options to consider at home

This post is week 38 of my Montessori Baby series featuring Penelope. 

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