We recently guest posted on Montessori Mischief  and shared how I set up my little Montessori corner for Starr Lily.  Just in case you missed it, here it is!

When I first thought about setting up our playroom I knew I wanted some sort of Montessori influence. My first real exposure to a Montessori classroom (besides what I read in college) was from my nieces and nephews. They attended a wonderful little school and I was lucky enough to observe them a few times. I loved the structure of the room and I also love the idea of having kids work on subjects that they enjoy, at their own pace – it just makes good sense to me. I knew I wanted to let Starr Lil’s play with some works at home.  Nothing too formal, but definitely leaning towards Montessori. So, where to start?!

Have you tried looking up lessons on Pinterest? Oh my! So much information was so overwhelming.  I wanted to do it all, the pink tower, the mats, the spindle boxes, the geography shelves.  But I didn’t want to buy more stuff and didn’t know how to get organized. Then I remembered I have a wonderful resource right here! I emailed Aubrey and asked her how to get started. She was super helpful and by the end of the week I had a nice little set up!

It has changed in the last few weeks, but here is what we currently have on our shelves.

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Pouring tray: This is one of Starr Lily’s favorites. She loves testing just how much water can fit into those little cups. One day I came in to see her pouring water in the tray. She figured out how those handles work (or don’t) real quick! I don’t always do it the Montessori way with holding the pitcher just so, but she does have fun pouring and then wiping up her puddles. I might change up from water to rice or something else soon. The little pitcher is our creamer and the cups are from Ikea.

Bug puzzle: Now that she has her own little garden, Morgan has introduced Starr Lily to bugs and she loves them! She is very competent at the puzzle so doesn’t reach for it too often.  Lately she’s been placing the puzzle pieces in the wrong slot and asks me if that is where they belong.  With a big giggle and a “noooooo, mami!” she will eventually place it in the right spot.

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Little bag tray: A few months ago Starr Lil’s was fascinated with zippers. Anything that had a zipper would get zipped and unzipped and rezipped, over and over again. A few of the little bags here have zippers. Others have snaps that she can’t quite close yet. I also have an old wallet of mine since she loves my real wallet too.  I put some fun little items in her bags. Sometimes I’ll place things that start with the littler M, or P and talk about the sounds they make. She especially likes finding those little surprises.

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I do wish I lived next-door to Drea so that she could teach my kids Spanish….sigh….

Letter puzzles: These letters are part of a Spanish puzzle set I found online. I pulled out the letters c, m, p, t, a.  Aubrey suggested starting with this grouping of letters first.  Once she has these sounds down she can begin forming basic words: mat, map, cat, etc.

Oh, I should mention that I speak to Starr Lil’s in Spanish. She knows plenty of English, but whenever possible I try to make all her works bilingual as well. This doesn’t always flow smoothly, but it’s definitely worth it.

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so cute!! Love the mortar and pestle!

Eggshell tray: I borrowed this idea from Aubrey! Her post on smashing eggshells inspired us to save some shells and grind them up for our garden.  It is one of the trays that gets the most use. Starr Lily (and friends) just love to take the shells and smash, smash, smash! It must be in the texture.

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It can get a bit messy, but that let’s us use our practical life skills.  Sweeping with her little broom and dust pan is a favorite activity!

Part 2 coming soon! Do you use Montessori works with your littles?

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