Ever feel like the toys have taken over your home? I relish in being able to offer my daughters a variety of toys but can feel overwhelmed when toys start to carpet the floor. Offering playthings on a rotating basis in accessible bins or baskets help me reduce the number of toys available to the children while still keeping them varied.
The playthings are simple, sometimes natural, everyday ordinary things. I organize the baskets by type of material so that the items have a common property (and in some cases, several commonalities) as they do in the basket below. They are all metal spoons, with the main variation being size.
The baskets have enough items to satisfy Moon’s current interest in dumping things out and holding many things at once.
Here, I’ve set out cardboard tubes. Again, various sizes, but just one material. By keeping play things simple, Moon has the time to explore the tubes and the differences between them. She kept trying to bang different pairs together and was challenged by this idea because some were long and harder for her to wield than others.
Ringed objects. Trying to make those never-used bottle rings of some use.
Once she has become familiar with the materials, I have to added more types of the same playthings.
We’ve also had baskets of
- pine cones
For other ideas of plaything collections, which I have seen referred to as “treasure baskets” or “discovery baskets,” check out these beautiful and clever ideas:
- A brushes basket from how we montessori
- A reflective basket from The Imagination Tree
- A collection of coral from Chasing Cheerios
Most of the baskets you’ll see on these blogs have many, many items, and I can imagine that the more things that are in them, the longer the child will stay engaged. However, I prefer to keep ours simple for now, and will complicate them as she becomes increasingly familiar with all the things these simple toys can do.
How about your babies? What are their favorite non-toy play thing?