I am really interested in the Montessori method of education. I read a book on Waldorf and am now working my way through one on Montessori.
DD is only 5 months old, but sitting alone, starting to crawl and has pretty good fine motor skills for her age. I am starting to think about how I want to set up her playroom and what kinds of toys and materials I want to spend money on that will be useful for a decent amount of time and add value to what she has. So far we have a small selection of wooden toys, cloth toys and one plastic sorting / rolling shape toy. Her favorites are this Plan Toys cone stacking toy that she methodically takes a part and studies and then she likes grabbing the string on her pull along wooden snail and bringing it to her to examine / mouth. She likes rattling the shapes for the shape sorter and I chewing / banging her wooden Haba rattles. She will work on that stuff for 30-40 minutes at a time and I interact with her and play with her when she is bored of that. I bought what I bought because I thought she would get a lot of use out of it, therefore it would be worth the money.
Since she is starting to crawl, I am thinking about how to set up a safe play area. We have a small open area I was going to use. It will have a loveseat for me and I am thinking her crib mattress because I'd like to start transitioning her from the swing for naps to a mattress (we co-sleep at night.) I'm not sure how to set up her toys or how to store them. I like the idea of simplicity and order in an environment (just got done reading Simplicity Parenting... it goes nicely with a lot of Montessori and Waldorf ideas.) I am gating off the area, so I can safely give her somewhere to play while I do laundry, etc. I don't really think a playpen will be well-tolerated by her and besides, I'd rather be able to easily see what she is doing. I like the idea of getting her her own table once she can walk, but we will have to use the high chair for awhile. I don't like the idea of her eating without us, though. Does anyone give them a table for snacks but have them eat with the family for dinner, etc.?
So, I guess I am looking for ideas on how to set up a nice play / learning environment and what materials / toys I can invest in for the toddler years that we may get a lot of use out of. I know in Montessori younger children start learning their letters and stuff, too.
We are planning on homeschooling, so the stuff can flow right into the elementary years probably.
Edited by Calliope84 - 5/15/11 at 10:26am