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One of the things I’ve just started to organise for Little Bean is some Montessori shelf work. Maria Montessori very famously said “Play is the work of the child” (see this link for more info). Work can appear to be a strange word when applied to the world of a toddler. But in reality children and toddlers are almost always working, always learning, always developing. It is maybe just not always recognised as work by us big people. So with that said, here’s what we have on our shelves this week. I change things as Little Bean gets bored with them and always follow her lead as to what she seems interested in. Little Bean is 21 months.
Little Bean has been very interested in colours recently, it’s like something has clicked in her mind and she has suddenly realised that different things come in different colours! So here we have a little colour matching to start us off. I’m using the free printable colour matching cards from Montessori Print Shop. Little Bean can very easily match up the colours in Colour Box 1 if I just lay out the cards and the lack of challenge quickly leads to a lack of interest. Hence the addition of one of her favourite books, My First Scottish Colours. We read the book together and Little Bean then finds the right colour card for each page.
This little box of musical instruments is always on the shelves, Little Bean never tires of them! I do occasionally swap in different instruments. The tommee tippee cup was an extra cup I had floating around, so I added some rice and, hey presto, instant maraca!
This cute little woodland puzzle is by Djeco. It has a felt base and beautiful chunky wooden pieces, it’s really very lovely! Not the perfect first puzzle but Little Bean loves it all the same. Puzzles are great for practicing fine motor control and this one is a good visual workout too as the pieces need to be matched to the silhouette (although I’m pretty sure Little Bean has memorized where the pieces go!).
Pouring is a classic Montessori practical life activity, and one that Little Bean is very happy to see on the shelves! She loves any kind of pouring so I went and bought her her own little jug. The jug has some rice in and my plan had been that she pour it from the jug into the ramekin and then back again. But she clearly had other ideas! Little Bean decided that instead of pouring the rice back into the jug it would be a good idea to use a spoon. Fine by me, follow the child!
That’s all we have out at the moment. I would absolutely love to have more activities out but we have a very small space. If she seems to be getting bored of any of these I will swap them out for something else.
I’m linking up with Montessori Monday at Living Montessori Now!