On our shelves...

What's on our Tot School shelves these days? Alot of DIY Montessori materials and practical life materials! Come see....

Handmade mini Red Rods! The one I'm holding in my hand in the picture below is the second largest one, to give you an idea of size. I definitely want to make Sister Stinky a full-sized set in the future, but it wasn't in the budget right now (nor do we have the space for it). I think these will be a good introduction in the meantime. She hasn't been very interested in them yet, so I'm thinking of removing a few of them to make it simpler for her.

A DIY coinbox (which I think I've shared with you before!). This is my variation of one of the Montessori toddler materials. It gets forgotten sometimes but whenever we do pull it out, she does enjoy it!

DIY smelling bottles (made using some part of a spice bottle set I bought for 50 cents at a rummage sale). Sister Stinky loves these! I leave the caps loosely sitting on the bottles so that it's easy for her to open. Right now we have vanilla, garlic, and allspice scents.

DIY sound cylinders! (Made with the rest of the spice bottle set.) I painted the insides of the bottles blue or red and filled them with oatmeal (dry), beans, and rice. She loves shaking these and for now we don't worry about matching but just enjoy the sounds!

A spooning/transferring activity. These thrifted materials probably cost me around $2 total. Isn't it a lovely effect? Sister Stinky uses this material as intended, and also as a sensory experience, and for imaginary play (like when she's feeding her dolls and stuffed animals).

As I shared with you before...our pink tower adapted for toddler use. She does enjoy working with this one, although I usually have to initiate the activity. She likes saying, "Hmm..." as she ponders the order of the blocks.

These are the only sandpaper letters currently on the shelves. For some reason she recognizes the "o" and so that's why that one is out. (She hasn't been able to grasp the phonetic sound yet, but she has plenty of time for that.) I put out the "m" yesterday because I thought it might be a good introduction to the phonetic sounds of letters. (I haven't gotten to introduce it to her yet.) 

These mini-cylinders were purchased online recently (once I realized I'd go crazy if I had to make them). She LOVES this material so much and it's definitely a challenge for her still. (I've heard that they're less challenging for older kids, but hopefully by then we'll have the space and money for a full-sized set.)

Handmade color tablets (box 1). She is still learning blue, and has started recognizing yellow! She doesn't use these tablets much on her own, but I will sometimes pull them out for her to reinforce her growing vocabulary.

This material is so new that it's still a work in progress! This is a handmade set of knobless cylinders, made to match up with the mini knobbed cylinder set. I need to sand some of the cylinders down because they don't all fit quite right...but Sister Stinky has enjoyed holding them and looking at them. 

Some simple transferring and one-to-one correspondance practice (using dollar store and thrift store materials).

Another transferring activity...

Laminated shapes cards (not used much yet, but she does love seeing any pictures of circles so it serves that purpose, at least!).

A magnifying glass and "Lady" (who was featured in a post earlier this week). 

Clothespin practice (building up that hand strength). Still a bit challenging, so typically used more for transferring practice (filling up the bucket) and for grasping and pulling off clothespins.

Some laminated weather cards, just to help her learn some weather words.

Another transferring activity (she's barely used this one, so I'm thinking I'll pull it soon.)

And there's a peek at our shelves right now! In all honesty, we haven't done much tot school lately (at least not in our space) but it does make it nice to have a space set up so that we can easily do our "work" together when we do have time in that space. I'm hoping we can work some more tot school time into our schedule again, because we both did really enjoy that focused one on one time every day!


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