I made a nail block for Bear which he still loves to use. Putting the nails in the holes is still a fun activity for him at 2 years old. But it doesn't hold his attention the way that it used to.
So I've taken it to the next level and given him a hammer!
I found the little hammer in a regular hardware shop. It's not a toy or specifically a children's hammer but only weighs 250g so Bear can use it comfortably. There are some terrific tools that were designed for the elderly but are perfect for toddlers. Bear's little shovel (you can see him using it in the sandpit here) is another example.
The block is sitting on 3 cork boards from Ikea. They stop the nails from going into the floor and are the perfect texture for Bear to hammer through.
He needs to use a quite a bit of force to drive the nails in so he has had to work on his swing and his aim.
The next step will be learning to use the claw to pull the nails back out. He still needs my help for that part but is watching closely.
I made a shapes puzzle for Bear a while back with help from my Dad. I loved the Montessori single shapes puzzle but thought I'd have a crack at making one with materials I had lying around. It turned out functional and I really love the way it looks.
I cut four squares from a piece of pallet wood and sanded the rough edges. I used 4 different blocks as the puzzle pieces and traced around them to mark out the holes I needed to cut. I used an electric drill to put a hole in each corner big enough to pass the blade of the band saw through. Then Dad joined the dots with the band saw. He did a much neater job than I would have! Then some sandpaper to smooth the edges and ensure an easy fit.
The blocks sit up above the pallet wood making them easy to grasp and manipulate. They're a good size for little ones using a palmar grasp - they fit snuggly into little hands.
I introduced the cylinder on its own from around 10 months. Then the square on its own from around 12 months. The triangle and rectangle were more challenging and Bear is still working with the whole set at 22 months.
Bear's absolute favourite toy at the moment. He'll work on this baby for an hour at a time.
Very cheap, quick and easy and totally satisfying seeing him choose it from the shelf again and again.
My name is Vicky I am wife to Ranger and mum to two boys - Bear (2) and Fox (8 months). Somehow I stumbled across Montessori and now my goal is to raise and educate my children with a Montessori philosophy in country NSW Australia.