I decided to redo all the shelves, late at night, and then take pictures late at night. So I apologize for the yucky pictures! You'll get the point of everything anyway. :)
This month I really wanted to focus on what Alexander has been enjoying recently. He has been into numbers, so I wanted to keep some numbers in there. I got him a recorder recently (the musical instrument), and he's been obsessed with it. So I brought back out his musical instrument set. Finally, he has been into zippers and pouring and other practical life tasks. So I made a whole shelf for practical life.
Oh, and finally finally, he's started to climb up on a chair, open the refrigerator, and ask for specific snacks! So I made him a snack shelf in the refrigerator! I'm most nervous about that because it's not really easy to access each component. It will be a work in progress, for sure.
See pictures and more descriptions below!
He likes these plastic blocks a lot, so I kept those out for this month. Additionally, I included some books he's been enjoying, like a Montessori numbers book.
This shelf has a few random things, but I'm going to break down each shelf for you.
On top, there are some colored sheets of paper and a tiny spray bottle of water. I think he will enjoying using the spray bottle, and I'm hoping that spraying water on paper will create darker spots. And he can see the effect of the water on the paper.
Next to the paper and water is a bowl of fake fruit. It's odd, but he showed some interest in it the other day. I'll leave it there to see if he does anything with it!
I want to try cutting paper... again. He has tried many times and has never been quite ready. I'm hoping this month is the month when he masters using scissors!
Finally, I've got a box of colored pencils plus a single white sheet of paper. (I may add coloring sheets to the tray.) I know Montessori setups are usually open containers, but he has been into opening containers recently. So actually opening the container will be fun for him, I think.
On the left, there's a bucket of buttons, 5 different colors. The other section of the tray has pipe cleaners that are the same 5 colors. He will likely match the buttons to the pipe cleaners and string them together.
In the small box in the middle are two nuts and two bolts. The box is held closed via a magnet, so he will like opening the box as well as twisting the bolts onto the nuts.
The wooden bowl has tracing cards (numbers 1-10) and a dry erase marker.
The yellow box at the bottom is shape matching eggs. Again, he'll like figuring out how to open the box itself.
In the middle is a set of nesting dolls that he used to enjoy. I took it away for a month, so I think he'll like seeing and playing with them again.
Finally in the blue bowl, I've got some PVC pipe scraps that are 4 different sizes. I'm wondering if he will do anything interesting with those. They may be put away in a week if he doesn't show any interest in them.
(Ignore that cord. I didn't even notice it! I'll move it before I go to bed!) The low shelves stayed mostly the same. I moved the puzzles to the bottom shelf and the floor. On the top of this, I've got a bunch of musical instruments.
This is the other low shelf. More puzzles are on the bottom shelf and floor. On the top left, it's a water pouring station. He's been really into water pouring recently! Top right is a PVC pipe + wooden dowel matching activity. I've got a blog post coming soon that explains that project.
The other shelf is practical life stuff. You'll see there's still a small stool on the floor that allows him to turn his light on and off.
On top, I've got two stuffed animals. On the bear, I have a cloth diaper that uses Velcro to close it. He's also wearing a bow tie that has a different sort of closure. The rabbit is wearing a cloth diaper that uses snaps to close it. I figured he can practice using Velcro and snaps. He may even figure out how to put on a diaper! That's a stretch... but wouldn't that be nice if he could change the new baby's diaper when he/she comes in January!
This is an old wipes box. (That label is not a sticker! I can't figure out how to remove it!) Anyway, I've got some cloth wipes stacked inside. He can open the box in two ways (the button on top and also by opening the whole lid). He can also leave it closed and pull wipes out of the top.
I marked two cloth wipes: one of them is marked down the middle horizontally and the other diagonally. I want him to practice folding things in half!
Here are two practical life activities. The left shoe requires pushing the shoe string through the holes. And the sandal has a Velcro closure with a twist. Basically you have to push the strap through a slot, THEN Velcro it closed.
This is basic sock matching. There are 4 or 5 pairs (I forgot!) of socks that are different patterns. He will not be able to fold them, I'm sure, but he can match them. These socks are too small for him now, so it's perfect for matching.
Finally it's the snack station in the refrigerator.
There is a paper plate with two halves of bread and a dollop of peanut butter. He can make himself a little sandwich. He has never tried spreading before, so this will be fun for him!
In the back there are some blueberries that I already rinsed. There's a small glass of milk, a banana, and a little bowl of organic animal crackers. I figure, that's enough snack options for one day. He may not get the concept and want to eat them all at once. If that's the case, we'll try again the next day and I'll just put 2 things in the fridge at a time (so at least he has some sort of snack option).
I'm pretty pumped for him to wake up in the morning and see all the new trays and setup!