Monday, November 14, 2011

On Our Shelves

Having a shelf (or plastic tubs) set out with a variety of activities for my younger children to choose from has worked really great for us for several years now. I change the activities regularly - depending on the interest and age of the child. Sometimes it's a theme for a month or so, other times it's been different activity books or reading books. At the moment my 4 year old boy is loving hands-on, real-life activites so I'm trying to keep a variety of these types of baskets on his shelf. This is the way I work with the Montessori aproach in our homeschool routine and environment. Having a whole room set aside with a big variety of activities contantly available just isn't practical for us at the moment.

I find that by keeping things simple and having only a few activities to choose from makes it easy for them and they try different activities and skills more readily. For example, by selecting one colour of crayons in different shades leads to a different appreciation and learning about colour than having a full tub of crayons. I just make sure I change them regularly and be constantly watching for learning readiness and interest.

Here is a snapshot of our shelves this week.

Heart shaped crayons we made a while ago and a little note book.
Note: This has been used to draw one person on one page every day for about two weeks now. Alexander's idea of what to do with these resources and he loves the simple repetition each day at the moment.

A multi-coloured pencil and truck stencil.

This ice cube tray fits these circles perfectly. It is quite a challenge to get them in and out without using hands.

Tracing and cutting practice.
I am amazed at how simple this is but how much they love it.

Looking in a cheap shop recently these were chosen by Alexander. At the time I questioned why he wanted me to buy these two packets of beads (I really thought it would be Holly who would choose these). He was adamant that this was what he wanted so I splurged the $2 and bought them. I am so glad I did. He has spent hours and hours threading these with his 'real' tapestry needle

Modeling clay and some clay tools - it makes a change from playdo and the creations are endless.

I'd love you to add a comment with ideas you use for your younger children's activities.

Linking up with:
Montessori Monday


  1. I love these ideas! I'm thinking of doing something similar now in our home because the kiddos would love this, I'm sure!
    Hannah from Cultivating Home

  2. Great activities, Corinna! The circles and ice cube tray activity is great - and challenging! And those beads do look inviting! I'm so glad you linked up with Montessori Monday! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page at