A big factor in Montessori is the environment being set up for children. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to set up some form of self-serve area in your home, so our next challenge in the #30daystoMontessori series won’t be too much of a stretch: create a practical life shelf!
Marie Mack from Child Led Life joins us today for this #30daystoMontessori challenge! Marie has two children with a bit of an age difference between them, so for those of you with multiple ages in the home, this will give you some practical advice for setting up a practical life shelf for them.
I’m excited to join Jennifer in her #30daystoMontessori challenge! What a great way to bring Montessori into our homes! Today, I want to share with you our homeschool practical life shelf for multiple ages. My children are 4 and 2 years old so they have different abilities when it comes to practical life work, but we only have space for one practical life shelf in our home.
We are very fortunate to have a room dedicated as our classroom in our home. Today, I want to focus on our practical life shelf for my 4 year old son, Samuel, and my 2 year old daughter, Avalyn. This is the first shelf you see when you walk in the door to our classroom. Both of my children typically work with everything on this shelf.
Day 10: Figure Out a Set-up That Works for Your Family
Top left is a DIY dressing frame with small buttons. Samuel has easily mastered the larger buttons after I created a button snake for him during his potty training days. This dressing frame helps him with the trickier buttons found on dress shirts. (Check Mama’s Happy Hive for DIY dressing frame ideas.)
Top middle is a Melissa and Doug set of large beads with shoestrings. Both of my children use this often. Avalyn likes to stack the beads and uses them for color recognition. Samuel will thread the beads and work on patterns.
Top right is a dust pan and brush. Always helpful for any messes that may arise.
Middle left is a folding activity for Samuel. Here is practices folding our cloth napkins. He also practices this practical life activity during our laundry folding time.
Middle right is a fine motor skill work for Avalyn. This is a dollar store shaker bottle and a bowl of toothpicks. She loves this activity and will work with it often. Samuel is also very fond of it.
The bottom left is a transfer work for Avalyn. I found a mini muffin tin at a yard sale and use it often for different works. In this activity, Avalyn uses ice tongs to move small gems from a bowl to the muffin tin. The gems are specifically three of each of the four color gems to make twelve total. I did this for Samuel to help with patterns and counting by threes.
Bottom middle work is a set of nesting cups. We have used these for many years! There are four of each color and they are numbered from one to twelve. They stack well within each other and can be used for color recognition, counting, and to build towers.
Bottom right is a set of color tiles from For Small Hands. They are transparent and are a lot of fun. Along with color recognition, the kids like to look through the tiles to notice how things change colors. They also stack them on top of themselves to notice how the color change when you add them together.
I have really enjoyed sharing our shelf with you!
Marie is a work-at-home mother of two. She has been co- blogging at Montessori on a Budget with Kimberly Huff and Lisa Nolan for over a year and a half. She has been a contributor Confessions of a Montessori Mom blog for almost a year. After much self-study and with a background in education, she is excited to help anyone looking for help setting up their Montessori Inspired environment at Child Led Life. She would love to hear from you on Facebook, Pinterest, and G+.
PS — If you’d like to read about why practical life shelves should still be used in the home, check out Racheous’ awesome post.