I mentioned in a
previous post that I use my son’s age to help myself limit the activities on his shelf. We don’t have this 12 activities out on his shelf at once. I rotate them based on interest.
Our shelf in it’s usual state. There are usually 8 to 9 activities available.
I introduced language objects this month. Before this basket, I had a cow, a pig and a horse. He started to recognize the cow and the pig by name and sound before I changed it. I changed it out because he stopped selecting it. It will come back again in a week or two. We do 3 period lessons but he also likes to carefully get the animals into standing position. Not a very easy task for a little guy. It hold his attention. Sometimes when we are sitting on the couch, I ask him to go bring me the cow and he has to walk to the shelf and remember what I asked him to bring so working on memory too. He enjoys this and gets it right most times. Other times he just brings the entire basket. I pointed out to him that the picture in his frame is of an elephant. He liked this and sometimes takes the elephant and points to the picture.
Our second language basket has cleaning materials. I recently started involving him in clean up after meals so I wanted him to be able to recognize the names of the objects used for cleaning. He never chose this basket on his own. He would only pick out the brush and dustpan and try to sweep. He also recognizes them by name but showed no interest in the others.
EYE HAND COORDINATION/FINE MOTOR/SENSORIAL
I had this activity on his shelf when he was 8 and 9 months old but I only had one or two rings. He was able to put the ring on and take it off but never put two on consecutively. This time, I showed him how to put all of them on and take all off them off before putting the basket back on the shelf. He got the idea and almost always completed the activity the way I showed him.
This is a favorite. He really likes carrying the tray with multiple objects on it. When I presented this material to him, I put the rings on the matching dowel but he doesn’t do this when he works with it. He sometimes puts all the rings on one dowel and other times will put one on each dowel and then move them from one dowel to the other. I do not interrupt or correct. You can see from the picture that I initially had two of each colored rings but I soon realized that for his age, one of each is ideal.
This is another favorite. He started out putting the pegs in any hole but has recently started discriminating and will try to get the thick peg in the big hole and the thin one in the small hole. I try to give the words… thick and thin. Big and small. Hole… I have also reduced the pegs here to two of each for now.
I put this out so he could work on putting the ring on the horizontal dowel. This requires different movements. He struggled the first few times but soon figured it out. He chooses this frequently.
The wall can be turned so that the slot is vertical instead of horizontal. The slot also has some foam like material that makes it necessary for the chip to be pushed through. It doesn’t just slide through. He struggled with this one but has recently figured it. I found him standing at the shelf and smiling at him self as he pushed each one through.
He has been using this since he was 10 months old. In the beginning I would give him one chip at a time. Now he is able to put all of them in, slide open the box and take them out. Sometimes, he likes to pour the disks. I think he likes watching them roll around. Another reason to limit the number of disks. He likes carrying this from shelf to table and back
I have containers with similar but different containers. Each container has an item in it. His favorite was the pink container. I think it’s because of the bead that was in it. It fit perfectly so he had to bend it and “pour” out the bead. The first time he did this activity, as soon as be got the bead out, he stood up walked to one of the chairs and pulled the other bead from under it. He made the connection.
He really likes this shape sorter by plan toys. The triangular prism frustrates him but he tries. He enjoys pushing on the base so that the solids can slide out. He also really enjoys carrying this to and from his shelf without dropping the solids.
This puzzle doesn’t engage him for too long. He is more interested in carrying the very big tray
This bottles have been out constantly since he was 6 months old. He still uses them daily. Visitors to our home always ask what they are and their purpose. They are simply for exploration. He shakes them, looks through them, rolls them, tries to stack them and just explores them.
Some of the activities in use. In addition to materials on the shelf, he also paints, plays with water, reads, dances, practices taking of his shoes, socks and clothes, cooks, and does a lot of practical life activities around the house amongst other things. He comes up with a lot of play ideas by himself.
I hope this gives you some ideas for your little one’s shelves and some insight about how they might use it. Do remember that every child is unique and different. They will engage and respond to each material differently. Also remember that a lot of these materials can be replicated using items around the house like mug holders, cutlery stands. empty milk or oatmeal containers etc.
What’s on your toddler’s shelf? Share with me.
Live a Good Life!