Camden's Shelves at 20 Months
At 20 months, Camden is more interested his shelves than ever. His main focus had predominately been gross motor, but now it is a 50/50 mix of gross motor and fine motor skills. This morning was a rare morning where he engaged with every single material I had out over about a 45 minute period! It was so much fun to watch, so I wanted to share what we have out today.
Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles!
Camden had been feeling a lot of frustration regarding puzzles. I had this Melissa and Doug simple shapes puzzle out on his shelves for a few weeks. He would pull it out every once in a while, but other than naming the shapes, it was incredibly frustrating for him. Invariably the pieces would get thrown across the room. I decided to go back to basics and put out this circle sorter. He loved it and has worked with it many times a day for a couple of weeks now. He enjoys matching the colors and was able to gain some confidence with putting the pieces in the correct spot.
After about a week, I put out the Melissa and Doug puzzle again. He immediately got frustrated with it and started throwing the pieces, so I put it away and went on the hunt for a less busy puzzle. I found this simple shapes puzzle that is the next step up from our circle sorter. He was immediately drawn to it and quickly figured out how to put the pieces in the correct spots. I was a little bit surprised at how easily he mastered it based on his reaction to the Melissa and Doug puzzle because they had the same shapes. The Melissa and Doug puzzle has a picture of a house around the shapes and writing within each puzzle slot. I am a scientist, so I put out the Melissa and Doug puzzle to see his reaction and once again the frustration and throwing came quickly. His message was clear: simple is better! Thanks for the reminder kiddo :-)
Trouble with Triangles
For a few weeks I had this Plan Toys shape sorter on his shelves. He loved working with it, but would completely ignore the triangle. I decided to try a geometric pegging puzzle to present the triangle in a different way. I was happy to see that the triangle was the shape he focused on the most! In this puzzle, the square and rectangle are more challenging for him than the triangle.
I also purchased this imbucare box with a triangular prism, so that the triangle would be isolated. He was very drawn to the door that swings open and he has been choosing to work with this material quite a bit, although sometimes he just puts the prism in the door instead of through the slot.
Camden has loved using shape sorters recently, but I want to keep things simple for now. I found these gorgeous simple sorters combined with lock work and they are a huge hit! Each box is colored to match the shape that fits inside and the locks are different on every box. Right now I just have the circle and triangle out, but there are four other shapes that I will introduce after he masters the sorting the shapes and unlocking the doors to retrieve them. I can tell we will get a lot of milage out of these!
Camden has been loving matching work. I have a community helpers set and these matching cards out on his shelves, inspired by this post from This Merry Montessori. I also have sea life matching work. I can not get enough of this gray whale from Monterey Bay Aquarium (also pictured an orca and sea lion). It is huge and heavy! Camden has enjoyed carrying it around since he could walk.
Continuing on with matching small objects to books from this post, I have a musical instruments from this Toob out to match one of my all time favorite books, Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin. This book is awesome! It has the a wonderful rhyme for each instrument and the instrument are drawn in great detail. Camden loves finding the instruments that match the one on the page as we read.
This velcro dressing frame is the simplest dressing frame and so it is first one I introduced. The velcro is easy to open and close. This is the least worked with material on his shelves at this point, but I am excited for him to gain interest and hope to post more about the dressing frames when he does!