Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Okay, so obviously I have no training in Montessori Education, but I have read a bit about it and it basically seems like letting the child lead education in simple real life skills. Learning tools are at child level, and the child chooses which activity to do, and the duration, which could be 2-30 minutes. This is both liberating and slightly discouraging for me. "Yay I don't have to force her to do something" and "Boo that was a lot of prep work for half a minute of interest". I will probably deviate from some of this here and there, I'm not a purist in anything I do (e.g. sometimes we have organic salad and Spaghetti-O's in the same meal).

So how to give her options without my house becoming a disaster zone? I saw other people had Tot Trays or Tot Bins for each activity, and on shelves so their kids can pull one out and take it to a designated area to play. Then back away it goes until they want it again. Cool. I can do that.

We had an empty bookshelf that I wanted my husband to get rid of weeks ago, (thankfully he procrastinated). I bought five dish tubs for the bins. I was hoping to find some cute colors but this is fine for now.

Then I had to decide what to fill them with. Since I want to start with the basics, Letters, Numbers, Colors, Shapes, I bought some cheap things we can use for various activities: colored pompoms, label stickers, cotton balls, decorative rocks, colorful pipe cleaners. The type of stuff actual crafty people probably already had around the house.

The pink bowls I already had and have used at baby showers and birthday parties. I think I got those from Party City. The same with the giant spoon and small tongs. I had some blank index cards I used for recipes and stuck the stickers on those to make flash cards. They have the number written on the back. There is one-ten and I made two sets so we can eventually do some matching. Right now I will focus on just introducing them to her. I also wanted to incorporate some art stuff so I just threw the colored pencils in one too. I figure even if she doesn't want to draw we can work on recognizing colors and counting and such with them too.

The last one isn't pictured because she was playing with it. Its full of rocks. No toys or anything yet just the rocks. I think its her favorite so far too.

In total I spent $11 on some new things and tried to re-purpose a lot we already had. In the future I want to use ice cube trays for sorting, find some beads I'm confidant she wont choke on, get magnets and a cookie sheet, and clothes pins. I've also seen some cool stuff with shaving cream, which she would love because she loves getting dirty, but she hates being cleaned up afterwards so I think I'll wait for summer so I can just dip her in the pool or something.

Next I'll talk about the Rocks and Pompom bins.

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