My little one is turning 10 months in a few days. These are his favorite Montessori activities:
1. Opening and closing boxes
– I stopped at local ACMoore and Michaels and picked up bunch of boxes that are supposed to be painted: circular one, square one, hinged one, etc. Those are his favorites! He can walk around for hours with a box and a lid in his hands opening and closing it back again and again!
– I ordered a few boxes for opening/closing:
Imbucare box: http://us.montessorioutlet.com/cgi-bin/item/I-002-4/1100/Montessori-Outlet-(510100060)-Imbucare-Box-w-Triangle-Prism
Box with bins: http://us.montessorioutlet.com/cgi-bin/item/I-002-4/1100/Montessori-Outlet-(510100060)-Imbucare-Box-w-Triangle-Prism
I actually ordered from different sites, it was just one of the best images. Check out those pages – there are plenty of things our little ones already can do! The most highly recommended for this age is this is this permanence box:
We just had a similar toy by some other company, that my baby absolutely in love with, so I haven’t tried it.
2. Tearing paper!
– I often offer a few sheets of tissue paper or a plain toilet paper in his “treasure” box. I need to supervise this one very carefully so that he doesn’t eat it…
3. Inserting and removing things:
– in both AC Moore and Michaels I found wooden eggs (only an egg holder needs to be purchased for it), a peg and a peg holder, other similar objects that are perfect for the little fingers. Plus, the imbucare boxes from above. I also purchased a few trays and bamboo boards for cutting veggies and food, that fit together, and my husband is gluing/nailing/cutting them to create poker chips throwing board. You could just make the whole wooden project by yourself, some of them don’t look too hard, but our most precious asset is time – we have… absolutely none. So finding less expensive methods to fit things together to speed up material making process is very important for us.
We’ve got an idea from “holly” Nienhuis catalogue (http://www.nienhuis.com/). Take a look: there are really a lot of other great things our little ones can do from there too!
4. Old fashioned wooden ring stacking tree is one of my son’s favorites – he ignores the sizes, but fitting rings on and taking them back off again is another terrific activity that he enjoys.
5. I had a little leather bag left over from some jewelry gift, so for a different tactile experience I added it into his “treasure box”. Inside, I hid a few seashells – yet another interesting texture for him to explore! So far he is not as interested in taking things out, but once he gets a hold of those shells, my son is thrilled.
6. Another old fashioned favorite: stacking/nesting cups. Fitting them into each other and throwing everything back out – is so much fun for him!
7. My son really loves our cupboard kitchen cabinets: apparently, the pots, and the plastic boxes for taking lunch to work provide tons of educational experiences: they can be fitted into each other, or he can spend an incredible amount of time just trying to put a lid onto one of them, they make different interesting sounds. He sees us opening and closing them all the time, and interacting with “real life” objects, has a great appeal to the little ones.
8. One of my son’s favorite toys is a long object permanence box with a drawer:
I purchased mine from montessoriequipment.com and we absolutely hated almost every product they’ve sent. For this particular box we had to replace the handle, since it was hard for the little fingers (or even big ones, like mine) to manipulate it.
– opening and closing this drawer is my son’s favorite activity, but once the drawer is out of the box, fitting it back inside is very hard for him and he needs my help. So, whenever I am preparing this material for him, I am usually leaving this box in separate pieces: box, drawer, and a ball next to each other. My little one loves fitting the ball through the opening, watch it roll out, then simply place it into the drawer next to the box, and doing the whole thing all over again.
9. We have a ball tracker for my son and recently he started enjoying fitting the ball through one of the holes and waiting for it to finally fall into the box below.
10. We’ve got some single piece puzzles and he loves circular one
11. My boy is walking, but if yours is not, a pull up bar can be a terrific help for him! We’ve built it for our firstborn a few years ago, and it worked quite well for us. The illustration on the left is purely for demonstration: we either used two bags with sand on both sides to keep it stable (and positioned it in front of the mirror), or used to slide one side under the sofa, to add more surfaces for interesting objects.
12. Scarf. Peekaboo, pulling and pushing, and playing “Give this to mommy, here, have it back” – never loose their appeal.
13. Practical life activities: washing hands (yep, he loves rubbing his two hands together pretending to wash them!), sweeping, dusting, even vacuum cleaning. These activities are rather destructive at this point, but he tries so hard! I need to get another floor mop from the supermarket: I have a tall one for myself, another one with one of the sections removed for my older son and now, apparently, I need a small one with only one section left for my little one! So far, he never misses an opportunity to “help” with some housework: threw all the folded laundry out of a basket, mouth the vacuum cleaner, spill water all over the floor, drag the mop behind himself…
aaaah… I think these are our favorites. I am sure you’ve already discovered many of these yourself and many more. Please share whatever your favorite ones!