Wednesday, February 5, 2014

on the shelves - 18 months

Here are a few things that Elise has been working on this month:

1. potty and basket of reading materials 
Ok, just to be clear, we don't actually keep the potty on the shelf!  It's usually on a comfy rug in the middle of the living room.  While slightly unorthodox, this central location has worked well for Elise.  At first, when we noticed her starting to pee or poop, we would hustle her over to the potty.  Now, a few weeks later, Elise is using the potty independently.  She is one proud girl, and I am one happy mama - no more diaper laundry!

2.  pushing pennies through a slot
Elise has had some variation of this activity on her shelf for the past few months.  She is finally not sticking every. little. thing. in her mouth, so I thought she would enjoy putting some real coins in her "bank."  The pennies have been a fun challenge for her little fingers to manipulate.  As a side note, I have decided to stop picking all the labels off the containers I reuse in lessons for Elise - it is an impossible waste of time and Elise actually finds them quite interesting!

3.  basket of musical instruments
I introduced most of these instruments to Elise one at a time over the past several months.  Now that she's comfortable playing them, I've combined them all in one basket.  This is an activity that friends and family who stop by for a visit really enjoy doing with Elise.  Also, our family band is totally shaping up - Elise on the cymbals, Hubs on the cowbell, and me on the tambourine!  ;)

4.  miracle pushing toy
This was one of those activities I saw on basically every other Montessori baby blog when I was pregnant with Elise, so I thought I'd better buy one!  How does it work?  Well, first you load up all five of the balls.  Then, you push down on the top ball, and the bottom ball will pop out - or vice versa.  Repeat again and again.  Elise has just started to show an interest in it, so we'll see if it was worth the $35 or not!

5.  empty puzzle with the pieces in the bag
I saw this idea over on Grow, Grow, Grow -  Elsa, if you're reading this, pretty please keep posting - this new blog of yours is really great!  I chose a puzzle that Elise was already familiar with and put the pieces in a bag (a box or basket would work well, too).  So far, Elise has really enjoyed pulling out a surprise puzzle piece and figuring out where it fits. This is definitely a good way to add interest and challenge to a well-loved puzzle!

6.  dropping cylinder-shaped blocks into a milk jug
This one is an oldie-but-goodie for us around here.  I first introduced this activity to Elise when she was 14 months old, and she's been playing with it daily ever since.  It kind of blows my mind that a milk jug with a hole cut in the side can be this entertaining, but it is!  If you don't have this on your shelf yet, make one!  Worst case scenario, you can always recycle it...


  1. I love the idea of using the milk jug for the cylinders! I hadn't seen it anywhere else. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, sometimes the simplest things are the best - you know?

  2. Anne, what a trick you played on me! Today I remembered about my long forgotten blog and wandered over to see when I last posted, when I saw I had 60 views just today! Now I have found where they come from, and you really have encouraged me to post again :)

    1. Ha, ha - yes, I did - forgive me! ;) I hope you do keep posting more of the things you do with Finn - I've gotten so many good ideas!


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