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.
12 replies on “Montessori shelf update – 27 months ”
Hi! Where are your wooden trays (the ones holding the cylinder knobs) from?
Amazon! The size (and price) are good but the quality isn’t fantastic xx
Hi Eloise, this is lovely, thank you for sharing. My boy Ripley (I’ve commented a few times but not sure you’d remember) is the same age as Frida but I was having a lot of trouble understanding his needs and interests. It turns out he might have be on the autism spectrum and his speech is quite severely delayed. Ah, this all makes more sense to me now. His play is affected and is more basic. However, now I need not try to push things at his current age but more at his developmental age. The goal is of course to help him develop normally but I love that Montessori helps me to adjust to his individual needs not what is normal for a child of a particular age. I love your blog, thank you <3
Of course I remember Ripley! What a lucky boy he is to have you as his mother. Montessori is so wonderful in focusing on following the child, and meeting them where they are developmentally, isn’t it? Keep up your brilliant work and please do keep updating me, I love to hear from you xx
I have very recently stumbled across your blog and have to say I’ve been hooked! Reading back your little girl sounds very similar to mine; we are 10 months younger.
I’d be interested to hear more about how you homeschool at this young age and any resources you have found particularly helpful. Of course I follow my child’s interests and set up an environment for learning (and interact continuously at my daughters request) but does ‘homeschooling’ in the under 5s mean more?
Hi Emma! Thank you for getting in touch. I’m actually working on a longer post on this topic at the moment, so please forgive me if I don’t write a huge reply now. Xx
I came across your blog recently via the How We Montessori blog and I think it’s fast becoming my favourite blog, especially as my daughter is around Frida’s age (she’s nearly 28 months), we live in London and we’ve been trying to incorporate Montessori and respectful parenting into our parenting (my partner and I share the childcare 50/50 as we both work part-time). Your shelves are very inspiring – thank you so much!
Oh thank you so much for your kind words! It sounds like you have a wonderful set up. I’m going to organise some London meet-ups soon so do look out for them here & on IG if you’re on it xx
A meet-up sounds great-please count me in! Ps I read your Exploring sea life post this morning and loved it. The only programmes we watch with Amelie are The Octonauts and Miffy (and occasionally Postman Pat). I hadn’t thought of doing Octonaut-related activities with her but I think she’d love that. We also have the same fishing set from Flying Tiger-we love the game and the tin doubles as a useful cricket bat for practising gross motor skills, although it’s quite battered now!!
Sounds like a very fun game! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the blog post, thank you for your kind words xx