the library: montessori-style baskets

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(Our United States basket.)

I've been thinking that you folks might like seeing the continual progression of my kid's library.  It has really been a blast pulling this room together.  So for the remainder of the week I'll share some useful ideas from the room that you could use for your child's creative space as well.

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Today's idea is using Montessori-style baskets for encouraging learning, play, and discovery. Of the many different influences on our approach to homeschooling, I love Montessori's idea of setting up a learning environment for children to explore freely.  This particular idea is to organize interesting groups of things that can be discovered in one place.  They can be switched out, added to, together in one place, or placed throughout your home for your child to discover on their own.

I started with my IKEA baskets and chose what categories I thought would be fitting for my girls interest and exploration right now.

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I whipped up some simple vinyl sleeves to hold the category name for each basket.  I wanted to use my large grommets on the top of the label to attach to the basket but realized that I wouldn't be able to switch out labels as we learn and grow.

If you have clear vinyl, just stitch up two sides of a long piece to create a pocket, print your personal basket labels, insert, and then hole punch the top to thread ribbon through.

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Caroline helped come up with the labels and coloring.  We chose topics that we've been already discussing in our home freely so the baskets will keep them exploring more about each topic.

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After hanging your labels, fill your baskets.

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Our Telling Time basket.  (The book, Telling Time, goes through clocks to years to decades, etc.  Very thorough.)

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Our Counting basket.  We also keep some fun counting games here, like dominos.

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Our Nature basket.  This is added to with each new season, based on nature's collectables.  I'd like to add much more to this basket.

I'm planning to make a sewing basket just for my twin toddlers with yarn, big buttons, fabric scraps, etc., for them to explore when I'm sewing.  An older version could have lacing cards and basic embroidery tools as well.  (Visit Simply Montessori for lacing card ideas.  Her blog is a great resource for all things Montessori. Also, Playful Learning is an excellent resource for organizing your home for learning.  I loved her e-workshop.)

 

Other ideas:

a treasure basket for babies to explore and a great article about creating them for babies

a writing corner

a letter writing kit

a sewing basket suitcase

 

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There you have it: baskets that can grow with a child.  What would your child's baskets look like?

 

Tomorrow I have something to share for the young artist to have close at hand in his creative space.

 

the sleepy time gal