We've started a brand new video series, made especially for babies and younger toddlers - but we also hope it will provide a handy source of inspiration for parents too.
Watch Episode 1 - Balls by clicking on the below video or searching for 🔎 "Boey Bear" on Youtube:
How to make DIY Montessori toys at home
Babies grow so quickly and learn quickly too! At this stage, it feels like you're constantly buying new toys in order to keep up with their development.
This is where homemade toys come in!
It's a way to save money, reduce toy clutter and really pin point your baby's developmental stage with the right activity at the right time.
In our Ep. 1 Ball: Baby Sensory + Learning video, we've made a DIY Montessori inspired colour sorter for your little one to sort to their heart's content.
Match and... drop! Then lift the lid to grab them all out and start again!
You'll need these materials:
- Coloured balls that will fit easily into the box
- Shoe box with lid (if it's a loose lid, you can duct tape it to the box so it doesn't go astray during play!)
- Coloured card (or use coloured paint instead)
- Mugs/cups that the balls can fit into
- Ruler, pencil, scissors, stanley knife and glue
1) Measure out the lid into equal squares/rectangles
2) Measure out each coloured card and cut out
3) Draw around mugs/cups (can be of different sizes to accommodate bigger and smaller balls) onto the coloured card. Bear in mind that babies and toddlers will be tempted to put their hands through the holes to grab the balls inside. Don't make the holes too small as they might find it difficult to pull their hands out - you'll be forever rescuing them!)
4) Glue the cards onto the lid
5) Using a Stanley knife, carefully cut out the holes, using the circles as guides. Make sure there are no sharp edges to avoid little hands getting scratched.
Some other easy ideas for Montessori baby activities at home:
Object Permanence activity
At around 8 or 9 months of age, your baby may start to understand that when something is out of view, it doesn't necessarily mean it's gone.
This is the idea of object permanence and the lack of this understanding is easily seen when you leave the room and your baby starts crying - thinking that you no longer exist!
A simple and fun game to help develop this understanding is to play hide and seek. To start with, make it really easy and take it slow. Let them watch you hide the object and ask them where it is.
In our Youtube video, we use a chiffon to "hide" the ball. This is the very first stage of seeking as the object is covered, but you can still see it.
You can then move on to hiding it under a towel, but with the object poking out a little.
Then you can try hiding it under a box or tub, showing them that the object is slowly being covered by the box.
Try lots of different coverings and soon enough you'll move on to the ultimate hide and seek game - playing it all around the house!
Fine Motor Skills activity
Using a hollow rattle ball, fill it with chiffon scarves, handkerchiefs or flannels. Give it to your little one to try and pull them out one by one.
This helps develop fine motor skills and the introduction of the pincer grasp, as well as the gross motor skills needed in the arm muscles to pull the scarf out and hold the ball down with the other hand.
Not only does it encourage these motor skills, it hopefully prevents your little one from pulling out all the tissues from the tissue box, or all the baby wipes from the pack! A very satisfying activity indeed!
For more play ideas and activities involving balls (and lots of them!), watch our Ball episode on Youtube here: https://youtu.be/_AmRa8LnrL0
Subscribe to our channel to catch our next Baby & Toddler Learning episode coming soon!