I recently decided to refresh Frida’s art shelves and change the area a little bit. Previously, these shelves contained only art materials, but I thought it would be sensible to use them for Frida’s Montessori-inspired work, as I wanted to keep this work separate from her other toys. Frida is tall enough to reach her art materials now that I have put them on the top of the unit, and can clearly see what she is reaching for.
She has the following art materials freely available to her:
- Felt-tip pens
- Coloured pencils
- Wax crayons
- Paper (both plain and coloured / textured)
- Stickers and sticker books
Liquid watercolour, glitter, glue, and other materials I keep stored away out of reach.
In addition to her art materials, on her work shelves Frida has:
Shadow matching cards.
These are a lovely, simple material for toddler matching work. You can read my blog post about these here.
Geometric solids and kinetic sand (sand not pictured)
These solids are a brilliant way of introducing 3D shapes to toddlers in a fun way. There’s no pressure for Frida to learn or memorise shape names (though I mention these to her), they just provide her with a tactile way of exploring 3D shapes as well as a fun tool for building with her kinetic sand.
I keep the kinetic sand in a big tupperware tub, which sits just behind the shapes on the shelf (fun fact: this is the same tupperware I brought Frida’s placenta home in!)
2D shape work
Frida is using this as a puzzle and as a matching game, as I made her some simple cards to go along with the puzzle. This is also a great way of expanding her vocabulary to include shape names.
We choose to use the proper words for the shapes such as quatrefoil and rhombus rather than clover and diamond.
Similar shape puzzle here.
Frida still loves to use these, enjoying holding them up to her eyes and experiencing the change in colour.
Similar colour paddles here.
These are still keeping Frida engaged but I think it’s time to add more to keep this challenging. You can read my blog post on these here.
I didn’t buy these but this set looks similar.
These are still in rotation as Frida is still showing interest in them, but they’ve been on her shelves for months now! You can read my blog post on these here.
I feel like this area works well for our needs at the moment, though I have had the same pieces of Frida’s art work up for months now so I need to find time to refresh these. As ever, I am constantly finding that I need to make tweaks and changes to our space to ensure it’s fit for purpose and fulfilling all of Frida’s needs. But isn’t that part of the fun of Montessori!