It’s been over a month since my last post. Eek. Sometimes life gets in the way, and I’ve found it hard to find the time at the moment. Those of you who follow me on Instagram (come and say hello!) will know that Frida’s sleep patterns have been unpredictable to say the least, and whereas before I could rely on having the time to blog during naps that is not the case any more.
I have also had a couple of personal issues to deal with over the last few months, and I just haven’t really had the head space to be thinking much about blogging. But I’m starting to get back into a rhythm again, and I want to try and make the space in that rhythm for blogging more often.
I recently decided to do a major declutter of Frida’s work shelves, where I keep some Montessori-inspired activities as well as art materials for her. Working on the less is more principle, I cleared the top of the unit, took a long hard look at the contents, and put most of the materials we had out away.
I also took down all of her paintings that I had affixed to the wall; they were making the space too busy, and I think I made an error in putting them up to begin with. It was just too much. I’m still learning! I repainted the wall to get rid of any traces of paint, and for now I have left it bare. I might put up one frame at some point, but I need to think about it carefully.
You can see what Frida’s shelves looked like before in this post.
On Frida’s work shelves, she now has:
Bead threading. I have provided a selection of wooden beads (all the same colour, as I want her to focus on threading rather than colour) and a shoelace with a bead knotted into the end to allow for threading.
Frog life-cycle models, frog life-cycle book. Earlier this week we spent an afternoon at a pond, dipping for and meeting tadpoles and toads. Now her interest is whetted, I thought it would be the perfect time to introduce some frog life-cycle materials for Frida to explore.
This lovely book Growing Frogs is from the library and is perfect for toddlers to primary age children. The life-cycle set can be bought here.
Butterfly and caterpillar figures, magnifying glass. Frida enjoys exploring these materials, and is currently working on how far away from the object to hold the magnifying glass in order for it to work – she is learning that when you hold the glass to your eye, or directly to the object, it doesn’t do much!
I have also displayed Insect Emporium on the top of the unit (such a gorgeous book – we love it), and held it open at the caterpillar and butterfly page.
The caterpillar and butterfly figures are from an insects Safari Toob and the magnifying glass is from Plan Toys.
Clown stacking puzzle. Frida is still not hugely into puzzles, preferring imaginative play, but this stacking puzzle seems to hold her interest. It’s quite challenging for her but with patience, she can complete it. I have found it a good material for developing her fine motor skills as well as her concentration.
I can’t find this for sale in the UK, my mum bought in in a charity shop (thrift store) so I think it must have been discontinued. It’s for sale on the US Amazon site here.
Watercolour painting tray. With a small jar of paint (I like Stockmar), a brush, and some watercolour paper. I will rotate art trays so that she always has one self contained art activity available, as well as her crayons and coloured pencils.
Geometric solids. I love these geometric solids for light play and for sensory activities using kinetic sand or water. When Frida is older we will use them to discuss shapes, volume, geometry, light and much more, but for now they are for her to play freely.
Not pictured is a tub of kinetic sand for further play, and a big mat to work on (to contain the sand).
Invitation to draw with wax crayons and colouring pencils. At the moment, I keep a big roll of paper (from IKEA) out on her table, along with a basket of wax crayons – you can’t get better than Stockmar beeswax crayons – and some coloured pencils (also from IKEA), as a permanent invitation to play.
Frida’s favourite thing is to ask us to draw something then help to embellish it, but I hope she will gradually enjoy drawing alone more and more.
There is also a plant which Frida can help to care for.
I really enjoy the process of observing Frida and our environment, seeing what works for her and what doesn’t. This space feels so much more appropriate for her now, and I’m very happy with it – for now!
What are your children working on at the moment?