Montessori toys for little ones. It is time for some practical DIY ideas sharing time again! Last time I shared few tips for making different pillows, this time Montessori toys. Do you have a free afternoon or evening and would like to do something new for your child? Or maybe you are seeking ideas for a personalized gift? No matter what it is, I hope that I will be able to inspire you a bit to immerse yourself more into DIY (do-it-yourself) world. Unlimited concepts and ideas, materials and options, and wonderful outcome: hand-made product! So much satisfaction and joy!
So don’t wait, read more and enjoy!
Motherhood has changed my life and the way I perceive it. My two Treasures (and My Better Half!) are my true happiness. In the motherhood, what I have written already in one of the previous posts, I focus on growing together. In all this I ensure not to forget about myself, balancing it as much as possible with the growth of my two girls.
I have always believed in Montessori philosophy as the way to raise children of any age. Last year, during pregnancy, I bought a new book and I recommend it to all! Great content, supported by examples, illustrations and practical tips for parents or child guardians.
THE MONTESSORI WAY
‘How To Raise An Amazing Child The Montessori Way’, by Tim Seldin.
Online, pdf format, of the entire book is available here.
‘Montessori’s principles for working with children are based on a holistic approach that begins at birth (or as young as possible) and builds over the years as children become more mature. Understood correctly, it has the advantage of working very well with a wide range of children. It is an entire system that has been tested over the past 100 years and can be implemented as a whole or in part. Try it, you should find that it works for you, too. To do this, you don’t need to become a Montessori teacher, nor is there a need to create a Montessori school in your home. You will find yourself becoming more effective as a parent, and more able to build a home filled with warmth, love, kindness, and respect.’
‘In the years from birth to six, exercises to develop sensory awareness are especially valuable because this is when the nervous system is developing. As we stimulate children’s senses in ways that require them to notice and discriminate between the properties of different objects, signals are sent from the nervous system to the brain and back again. The more this happens, the stronger the neuropathways in the brain become, as the brain receives important stimulation that is essential to proper functioning.’
MONTESSORI TOYS FOR LITTLE ONES
BASKET OF TREASURES
‘Once your baby is able to sit and hold things, she/he will love to explore a “treasure basket.” This is a low basket or sturdy box you have filled with lots of interesting household objects and things from nature. The objects must be large enough not to be swallowed and free from sharp edges or anything else that might be harmful when they are touched, and quite possibly mouthed, by a young child. Older toddlers enjoy the basket, too, just keep introducing new objects, hiding some in small boxes to intrigue them.’
Let’s be practical! Yes, I got into “Montessori mode” and I decided for ‘treasure basket’ for Our Little One. There were two main reasons:
- she was getting bored with her toys
- toys that she played with were too many, even if we limit number of toys that she has and plays with
So one day, back in May, when she was 10 months also I have started a ‘treasure box’. I made up my own rule: each evening before going to sleep I was preparing new things for the basket, each day 12 items. All other toys from the ground floor were hidden. All she had were 12 household objects / toys to discover and play with for a day. For two months in the row, no matter how tired in the evening or how late, I was preparing surprise box for her. Each time making a new mix. Result? I think she loved it. Early in the morning she was crawling / walking to the basket to discover what’s inside. Unusual toys, so interesting! Additionally, we kept on betting each day: what will she pick up as first! Fun for all!
what you need
- basket (preferably lower one, without any cover)
- a bit of creativity & dedication
- big selection of household items / natural objects / toys that are safe for your little one based on her/his age
DIY SENSORY BOARD
The day I created first treasure basket, that was also the day when I finalized Our Little One‘s sensory board! Ideas can be unlimited. In fact, I got inspired by the in-law-mom of my dear friend to make it! There are two main approaches you can take towards making a board:
- attach all the items directly to the board using driller, screwdriver, hot glue etc.
- link all the items first to the fabric (preferably using sewing machine so that they can be attached really well, ensuring safety) and then, on the top of upholstery foam, to the board
I was doing the board during lockdown at home in India. As we don’t have a driller, I used the second approach when creating the board. Of course you can adjust the items based on the age, gender or general interest of the little one, you will know it best. Recommended age: ~10 months plus.
WHAT YOU NEED
- a bit of free time & ‘can-do-it’ attitude
- plywood board (other type of the board can be used as well, e.g. particle or fiberboard), size of the board can vary based on individual preference;
- selected household items to attach to the board, they need to be fixed well to ensure safety and endurance
- optional: upholstery foam (same size as the board) and cover fabric (5 cm extra on each side)
- selected tools: scissors, upholstery stapler, driller, sewing machine, spikes etc.
- to smile once the board is ready!
DIY SENSORY CUBE
Sensory cubes are a small extensions of the boards. More handy and mobile version for sure. And also easier to be made. In fact if you have all items and tools available it is a matter of 15-30 minutes! Ideal for a gift, so if you like DIY and customized gifts, that’s for sure something that your or your friends little ones will enjoy a lot. Additionally, sensory cubes – similarly to Rubik cube or spinners – are loved also by bigger children. Just attach to the cube what can create interest and development. For example, lately I created a new cube and nailed to it a small wooden clock with Roman numerals on it.
WHAT YOU NEED
- a free afternoon or evening (it is a quick project)
- a wooden cube (suggested size: 5 cm / 2 inch)
- household or DIY items to attach
- tools: scissors, hammer, hot glue gun, screwdriver etc.
- a small Tester 🙂 once the cube is completed Tester could press it and throw few times to check if all is functional and attached well 🙂
I just need two free evenings for the next idea: Montessori type of car board! I have already prepared a piece of ecological leather. And I already see the full project in my mind: a mirror so Our Little One could see me or My Better Half while driving, many things to pull and play with when sitting safely in the baby car seat. I just need a bit of time, but I know that shortly it will be ready!
Do you have any other ideas for hand-made Montessori type of toys? What your little ones love to play with the most? Remember: sharing is caring!
Moments that matter, no matter the toy.