If you're not sure your child is ready for an activity, or if they'll enjoy it for long, it can be great to DIY a simple version first.
Below are 5 of our most popular Montessori materials for infants and toddlers that we sell in the shop with instructions on how to make them at home.
If you find your child does enjoy them, it can be great to get a more durable, store bought version. If they don't spend much time on the activity or have no interest in repeating it, then you've saved yourself a bit of money!
Instead of the Object Permanence Box, pictured above, you can use a small cardboard box and ball.
Use any ball you have around the house, big or small, as long as it's not a choking hazard.
Note there is a bit of slope inside the real object permanence box to make the ball roll out. If you're finding the ball doesn’t roll out of your DIY version, simply put something under that end of the box to make it slant.
Instead of a beginner beading set, like the one pictured above, you can cut up paper towel or toilet paper tubes for the "beads" or use napkin rings.
Use a shoe lace or ribbon for the string, just be sure to tie one end of the string to an end "bead" so that it doesn't slip right through (see the picture below).
The Biggest Difference Between Store Bought and DIY
Montessori materials are often expensive because they are made of natural materials, like wood, metal, porcelain or glass.
The DIY versions will develop the same skills as the Montessori versions but the child misses out on the sensorial exploration of the natural materials, like the weight of wood, temperature of metal or fragility of porcelain and glass.
Montessori materials are also designed for the child so they are the appropriate size. In some of the DIY versions, we are using larger items, like the paper towel holder, or items that could be ripped after some exploration, like the paper tubes.
The nice thing is these is that they offer a quick and easy way to see if your child is interested in the material right now. If they're not, then there's no need to purchase them right away.
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