What a busy couple of weeks. My youngest has just turned 12. So we have been busy celebrating as well as applying for a high school(!). It isn’t just a cliche when they say how time flies. I still have such vivid memories of holding her in my arms and her gorgeous giggle. Well, I can still enjoy the latter at least ;)
I hope you have all had a great week. Today’s post is a guide to where to find some bits and pieces to set up some fun Montessori inspired activities for your child. I spend a lot of time hunting for activities, baskets, jugs, and materials that are just right for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. So I hope these pointers help you in locating some treasures for home.
If there are any other items from class that I have not specifically covered, jump over to our Facebook page and I’ll see if I can find a source for you.
Hunting for Montessori materials for home
To find a wide selection of wooden puzzles, sorting, stacking, posting, threading activities and musical instruments, you can’t go past the wooden toy shops here in Amsterdam. I drop past these stores frequently and the stock is always changing: http://www.jacarandatreemontessori.nl/our-favourite-toy-shops-in-amsterdam/
Our favourite coin box can be found at stationery shops like Gebroeder Winter or specialist lock shops.
Another activity that is easy to set up at home is a basket full of purses with hidden treasures inside. To find such purses, take a look down at the Albert Cuypmarkt or in Ta Hwa Oriental Art & Gifts (Singel 514). And I find those little treasures hidden inside often on key rings at Blokker and just remove the keyring.
I also love Schleich animals – they are more expensive but great for gifts from doting grandparents. These are available at Intertoys or good wooden toy shops.
2. Craft supplies
For small scissors, painting supplies, Staedtler 3-in1 woody pencils and water colour paints, I love:
* Knutsel & Frutsel – Hoofddorpweg 19-21
* V&D – Kalverstraat
* Gebroeder Winter – various locations
* De Vlieger, near Muntplein
For paper and paint brushes in various sizes, I visit Action, Hema or Van Beek Art Supplies.
3. Baskets & Trays
Baskets and trays are perfect for organising the activities on your shelves at home. Again you will need to drop by a few shops to get a good selection but I often have success at Hema, Action, Xenos, Zara home, or Blokker.
4. Snack area
It can be fun to set up a cupboard for your child to help themselves at mealtime, for example, with their own bowl, plate, cutlery and glasses.
* I find the small Duralex glasses at Hema or Blokker
* You can find nice enamel bowls at De Emaillekeizer off the Albert Cuypstraat or small metal bowls at Ikea
* Handmitts are handy to have at the ready, available at Hema and Ikea
* You can also find cute tin boxes for crackers at Ikea or Xenos
You can also include small cleaning items in your kitchen area, for example, a mop, broom or dustpan with brush. You can generally find these at good wooden toy shops.
A small table and chair creates a lovely space for your child to sit at with an activity or to eat a snack. Most of ours are from Ikea but we have cut 10cm off the legs.
There is also a detailed post of my Ikea picks here.
Happy hunting all!
I found that once I had small children in the house, I never looked at things in shops quite the same. I still find myself picking up random objects and seeing if their little hands will be able to manage the clasps, locks, etc. I hope I have inspired you a little too in your hunt for some fun materials for your home.
Do let me know where you have found your favourite Montessori-inspired activities over on our Facebook page. Or let me know what you are looking for and hopefully someone will be able to help you.