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We are putting the spider theme aside for the time being in order to cash in on the birthday presents being new and exciting. She got some really nice things for her birthday (thanks lovely family and friends!) so we have plenty of options, some of which I want to keep for a bit later on, but there are a few things which made it onto our shelves this week.
Little Bean is 24 months old.
The first birthday present on the shelves. When a friend of ours saw this he said, “You’re learning how to escape!” Hehe, I like to think of it as learning how to be independent. Using latches is a great montessori practical life work and this board from Melissa and Doug is very inviting with its bright colours and enticing little doors (here is the link for those in the UK or if you are in the US then click here). Behind the doors are some fun animals. Needless to say Little Bean has been spending a lot of time with this.
Object to Object Matching with Shells
Little Bean got a box of beautiful shells from her beach loving granny. There are a lot of shells in the box, different sizes and types. I know we are going to have a lot of fun with these for years to come! For now I pulled out a few different matching-ish pairs of shells for some object to object matching. This is one of the early pre-reading activities in the Montessori language sequence, see this post at The Kavanaugh Report for some more info. Little Bean is really able to accomplish this very easily and already enjoys some object to picture matching (which would be the next step) but I wanted to put this out just to make sure we are not skipping steps. Although she will match them up, she is mostly using this work to practise handling things gently. Some of the shells are quite fragile, I explained this to her and told her to be gentle, demonstrating as I did so, and now she likes to take all the shells out of the tray and then place them very carefully back in again. No complaints here, being gentle is a very useful skill to have! I added the magnifying glass in case she wanted a closer look at the shells and for some extra interest.
Another birthday present, puzzles are great for developing visual discrimination, fine motor skills and hand eye coordination, among other things! This fun safari puzzle, also from Melissa and Doug (UK link/US link), has nice chunky pieces with pictures underneath, putting it at about the right level for my hitherto puzzle deprived toddler. Hopefully soon we will be able to move onto some peg puzzles to give those fine motor muscles more of a challenge.
Still on our shelves: threading beads (see my previous posts for more information)