A look at the Montessori toys and materials we have been using with our son now that he is 10 months old.
We skipped our Montessori Shelfie for 9 months because we spent most of last month learning to crawl and stand. Alfie went from being totally immobile and utterly disinterested in movement of any kind to crawling and standing overnight! Being a parent is so full of nice surprises! Now that he’s got the leg movement sorted he’s working on his hands and coordination so this month has mostly been about putting things in boxes and pushing/rolling different objects. I’ve rated the items as hot or miss, hope this is helpful!
Big hit! We have been building up our collection of Schleich animals since Alfie was born, we started with these animals as he is likely to see around our home – so far no luck with a Schleich labradooble but the hunt continues. The animals live in this little basket and frequently come with us on trips that would otherwise bore Alfie. He really enjoys examining them and has recently started to try to stand them up the right way round.
Big hit! Initially I was sceptical of the rocking function of this stacker as I try to isolate each task so that Alfie can focus on using one skill but it turns out when you put it on a carpet it can’t rock! This was the first ‘lesson’ that I gave Alfie, he was having trouble using one hand to get the disks off, I demonstrated using two hands and immediately he used two and completed it a few times. This object gets lots of use and he feels so proud of himself once its empty. Restacking it has been more challenging because the holes are small but he’s happy to give it a go, sometimes we use sellotape as a restacking ring!
Total miss. I’ve seen this product on just about every Montessori Shelfie on Instagram but as a general rule I try not to buy single use items and in this case I’m very glad. Alfie took a while to get interested in the box and found it far more fun to lift it and have a quick chew than to stick the ball in the hole, can you see the bite marks? The box got put through its paces alright! Once he’d figured out to put the ball inside he all but lost interest in it! I’m glad I DIYed this one as he didn’t use it nearly enough to justify the cost!
Hit and miss. This tracker was too hard and fiddly for Alfie’s wrists, though he was very interested in it and worked hard at it. I’d recommend a much simpler one.
Peg and Holder
Big hit! This item fascinated Alfie and was probably the best in terms of hand-eye coordination because he could hold both components in his fists! For some reason he much preferred to pull the peg out with his mouth, go figure! Completing this task was one of the hardest things he did this mouth but I’m so rapid of him for managing, he concentrated so hard and really built up his fine motor skill.
Plan Toys Roller
Big hit! Alfie LOVED chasing after this roller, once he started to crawl it was his favourite thing to do. Before he was able to roll it he really enjoyed ‘catching’ it. Some babies will use this much earlier as they start moving a lot sooner than Alfie but as we were following the child we weren’t too concerned.
I kid you not this is part of our work! At first he used to upend the Cup and spill them everywhere, he soon leant from my reaction not to do this and followed my lead of leaving the cup on the floor and only touching the cheerios. Alfie worked really hard at putting his hand into the tub and taking out a few cheerios at a time, he was so satisfied with himself. This was a great reminder to me that children will find ‘work’ in anything!