Now that Emmett is past the six month mark, on the move and really starting to show interest in the things around him, I wanted to begin putting together some simple activities for him, associated with Montessori learning. Both Taylor and I are big fans of the Montessori ideals- mainly that independence and self-sufficiency build confidence, security and creativity- and hope to send our little dude to the local children’s house for preschool when he gets to that age. In the meantime, I’ve been reading Montessori from the Start and working on implementing some of the ideas into our days.
I will say that, just as it is with any “method” or “philosophy” it’s easy to get carried away. Especially when it comes to raising kiddos. It sometimes feels like “If I don’t follow this book to the letter, my child will never turn out right!” We’ve decided we aren’t quite ready for the floor bed set up because Emmett is such a great sleeper in his crib, and we really like having him sitting at the table with us during meals, so we aren’t going to use a weaning table. These were two of the first things I read about in the book and instantly felt like a failure! But, as I read on I realized that the floor bed and weaning table are just tools to help you accomplish a goal, and won’t make or break your child’s ability to learn independence. That’s one of the things I like most about Montessori learning, you decide what’s right for you and your family, and go for it!
I figured one of the easiest ways to incorporate Montessori methods was in Emmett’s toys and play. I’d seen a couple different posts about Discovery Baskets on How we Montessori and Pinterest and really liked the idea. I also saw a pin on Sensory Bottles and thought, what the heck, I’ll combine the two!
I wanted the bottles to be small enough so Emmett could pick them up in one hand, and unlike most of the ones I found online, I wanted them to make noise instead of be filled with a liquid. We’ve never had any rattles for him, so I thought he’d get a kick out of being able to shake them and make a racket. I picked up some Wooden Beads from Target, a couple light wooden baskets and these plastic containers from Michael’s, and put them together during nap time. I filled each with beads of different colors, shapes and sizes, mixing up how full I filled them so they’d make different noises. If Emmett were a bit older, I would have super glued the lids on the little containers, but considering he can’t even grip his sippy cup at the moment, I’m not too worried about him unscrewing these lids which actually tighten down pretty well.
As soon as I set him down next to the basket, he dove right in! The dude played with these things for an hour, completely uninterrupted, while I sat in the rocking chair reading a book. It was awesome. There’s just something about making things for your kid, man. It’s the best! Give these suckers a shot! I can’t wait to make some more.