Frida has had a big developmental leap recently, which always means I feel the need to move things around, source new work materials for her, rotate, and generally re-think our spaces.
Frida is suddenly showing a real interest in Montessori-style work materials after a long period of focusing on imaginative play and language acquisition, and so I have had to quickly adjust to her new needs! As well as suddenly showing a huge interest in letters and numbers, she has discovered jigsaws (up till now she has always turned her nose up at them!) and shown a renewed interest in puzzles.
All of a sudden, her one set of work shelves didn’t quite seem enough any more, so I moved her toy kitchen and play food into her playroom, and brought down another set of shelves so that her downstairs space could focus solely on work. This makes sense for us, as this was always going to be the space we used for homeschooling (in our dining room; we have a small house so spaces need to be multi-purpose, no big homeschooling room for us sadly!)
Frida is free to choose where she wants to be in our home at any time, and what she wants to work or play with. I might occasionally suggest something, but I aim to be led by her wants and needs. These materials are no different! If something is new on her shelves then I will demonstrate it to her, but she is otherwise free to explore, use, play, make, work as she wishes. Sometimes I sit with her, sometimes I am busy doing something else. It works for us!
- Modelling clay – I love Okonorm as the colours are natural and it doesn’t dry out at all, even in open air
- Coloured pencils (we love IKEA and Lyra)
- Stockmar wax crayons(both stick and block)
- Plants to care for
- Sandpaper double letters
- “Montessori: Letter Work“
- Mini hole punch and colourful paper
- Bajo lacing fox (great for fine motor skills!)
- 12-piece jigsaw puzzle
- Parts of a bird knobbed puzzle
- Cat language tray (Papo cat, cat card, moveable alphabet letters)
- George Luck cat puzzle
- A plant to care for
- Fresh flowers, Usborne Spotter’s Cards: Flowers
- “A Rock Is Lively“
- “Montessori: Number Work” & “Montessori: Shape Work“
- Tray of treasures (precious stones, shells, pebbles) and magnifying glass
- Shape puzzle (similar here)
- Parts of a frog knobbed puzzle
- Mini knobbed cylinders
- Number puzzle
I wanted to finish off by stressing that these materials are chosen following Frida’s current interests and developmental needs. Every child is different, and your child at a similar age might be using materials which are more complex, or might not be ready for some of these materials yet. This list of materials is certainly not meant as a “this is what your child should be working on now” list! I love seeing what other children have on their work shelves, and so I hope these updates are useful as inspiration or encouragement for others.