With mobility comes curiosity! The twins have been on the move and the real Montessori journey of “following the child” has begun. We in no way have an ideal Montessori environment but we work with what we have and make modifications where we can to help the kids freely explore their own home.
When Toddler S was around this age, I did most of the”setting up” in his Montessori friendly room, where we spent a lot of time. With the twins I have set up more baskets filled with Montessori inspired activities for the twins both in their room and downstairs in our living space, starting at about 6 months of age. As their little worlds continue to expand beyond their tiny little blanket space, igniting their curiosity is fairly easy and very intriguing to observe. In addition to discovering their own mobility their curiosity has led them to other areas in our home, showing their own confidence and comfort in exploration.
To further nurture this, I setup some very basic Montessori inspired discovery baskets for the twins. This group of baskets was to display the distinction and grouping of colors, encourage their natural desire to take things out (read DUMP things) while touching and feeling various textures for sensorial stimulation. The best part of Montessori’ing with multiples is big brother, Toddler S adds an extra set of hands and creativity to the experience! Toddler S helped me with this once I came up with the theme. For these baskets we did colors. The best thing about these baskets is we picked items we had around the house. We could have gotten more creative with these but I really let Toddler S take lead on this and he loved it!
He did a great job with filling each basket respectively with things that were red, blue, green, yellow and orange. I encouraged him to pick items with different textures and different materials.
Here are some of the items we ended up using for our color themed discovery baskets for the babies.
Shapes from our shape sorter
Rings from our stackable rings
Cloth, bibs and cloth cut for sensorial work
Balls of different sizes and textures
Other misc toys/gadgets
We put these discovery baskets together while the babies were taking their morning nap. It was perfect because we incorporated the I-Spy language game for Toddler S while we looked for objects to put in the baskets. Toddler S was so excited for the babies to wake up and begin their discoveries. He even took an extra step in covering all the baskets the first time we put them out because he wanted the babies to be surprised!
We rotated the items in these baskets every few weeks, as we saw the babies engagement with them reduce. Themes were similar to the ones suggested below. We also included some of Toddler S’s items such as animal magnets, alphabet blocks and books!
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN! What will you put in your Montessori inspired baskets for your baby?
It’s important to remember there is no right or wrong list of items to put in these “baskets”. You can use any open basket like container to put your objects in. The key being to have the items easily visible when displayed.
Pick a few baskets/open containers
Select an easy “theme” – colors, animals, similar textured objects (wood, metal, cloth), similar shaped items etc.
Sort the items and place them in respective baskets
Let the child discover while you observe what they do with these items