Noora is fully into young toddlerhood, and so we've changed around the materials on her shelf in her playroom again to suit her needs. Her current obsession is dumping things and putting things into other things, and from what I've gathered, this is about standard for her age. So. What do we have on our shelves to allow her to do these things?
(As mentioned before, we have one main playspace for Noora, and that's in this room, where the majority of her toys are kept. She has some toys in the living room and in her bedroom, but this where most of her playtime is spent).
1) Pop Up Toy: This toy is a perennial favourite in homes and Montessori classrooms, for good reason. The best $12 you can spend- Noora loves it and is just beginning to figure out how to make the figures actually pop up and out.
2) Tree stacker: I picked this up at the American Montessori Society conference last week to bring back for missy, and it's been a hit. She isn't close to building it in order of size, but she's been enjoying getting the pieces on and of course, taking them off.
3) Shape sorter: This shape sorter is the most gorgeous one I've found yet, and designed by Bella Bella artist Ben Houstie. Noora loves it, and it's definitely more challenging than some of the earlier ones we had. It's important to me that Noora be exposed to different Indigenous cultures, particularly those within BC, where we live. The company Native Northwest (which only carries pieces made and designed by indigenous artists and designers of the Pacific Northwest) has amazing options on their site that make it super easy to find beautiful materials that aren't culturally appropriative and that support local artisans and authors.
4) Montessori Coin Box: This was given to Noora by one of my dear friends for her 1st birthday, and it quickly became one of her favourites. She's finally figured out how to retrieve them from the drawer and that's made it even more fun- though she sometimes only wants to open and close the drawer over and over and over because, well, babies. Ha!
5) Basket of Books: Noora has books available in basically every room of the house, and here is no exception. We aren't as strict about board books as others are- it's one place I deviate from my training. We mostly stick to Montessori ideals- real or realistic images and stories, but I don't mind the odd fairy tale, talking panda or mythology board book. And Star Wars. Of course.
6) Pounding Toy: This was another birthday gift and a definite hit. The hammer that came with it is currently put away- Noora doesn't have quite the coordination down for that yet, and is still enthralled with putting things in and out and so using her hands to put the pegs in and push is perfect for her right now.
7) Mirror blocks: It is no secret that I love block play, and these may be some of my all time favourites. We've only put out three for now, and Noora definitely enjoys looking at them and has even started holding them up to things and looking at them in the reflection. (See the picture at the end of the post to see her playing with them).
And finally, 8) Music Basket: Noora has many musical instruments scattered throughout the house, including claves, shakers, a ukulele (under very careful supervision), and a glockenspiel, but this set is currently the winner. Colourful and bright, with a tambourine, maraca and castanet, Noora is totally taken with them (the tambourine is by far the most popular).
(I can't find the entire set on Amazon for some reason -it was another birthday gift and I'm not sure where it was found originally- but the link is to a percussion set with similar pieces and other instruments she definitely enjoys!)
And that's what's on her shelf in her playroom for now. We have a few more peg activities to switch out when she masters some of these easier ones, and I can't wait to see how her work progresses now that she's in young toddler stage and not a little baby anymore. What are your favourite toys for a brand new toddler?
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