When I first opened the shop I knew I had to start small. I needed to start with the essentials and build the store from there. I'm happy to say the store has been open just over two weeks and already I've been able to introduce new products. I've started to expand the range and will continue to do as as long as I can find the right suppliers and I am meeting demand.
New this week in the kitchen we have some Number Cookie Cutters and the fun Cherry Chomper. The Chomper is great for children and adults and cherry season is just around the corner. The Number Cookie Cutters are good for working on number recognition and fun in the kitchen (cutting out cookies, pastry or even cutting numbers out of foods like slices of cheese or bread) or for playdough or clay work!
I have a long list of materials and tools I'd like to introduce in the Practical Life range. New this week we have a Set of Four Funnels (for pouring and water play, great for the bath), a Paste Jar with Two Applicators and a large Easy to Read (Indoor/Outdoor) Thermometer. Caspar uses his thermometer to record the temperature on this free download from Montessori for Everyone.
When I first discussed with a friend that I was working on opening a store, she recommended an Australian company which makes a variety of blocks. These three are the first I've decided to stock including the Natural Construction Set, Colourful Rainbow Blocks and the First Sound Blocks. The First Sound blocks would make a great first birthday gift.
When it comes to puzzles, I'm simply stocking what my children love. For older toddlers (Otis) it's a large floor tractor puzzle, and for Kindergarten aged children (Caspar) it's the Children of the World Puzzle. We are also stocking the Matching Baby Animals Game. I featured it here on the blog many months ago but after that I couldn't find it in stores. Well you can now find the game with us. It features lovely, clear images of baby animals which can be used as simple language materials or for matching.
While I don't wish to become a 'toy' store I couldn't go past stocking a couple of fun, developmentally appropriate toddler toys. The Pound and Roll Tower and the Pop-Up toy which I've shown Otis using many times before (it's still on his shelves!) are new in.
The much loved Strawberry Slicers and Pie Moulds are back in stock and everything (with the exception of the wooden trays and Cognitive Development cards) will be back in stock this week. I've found a new supplier for the wooden trays who offers a greater variety of styles and sizes however this could take a few weeks or longer to finalise. Hopefully this week we will receive our new pitchers (in two sizes) and there are more kitchen items coming soon.
Rather than continuously bombard you with shop talk, I think I'll provide a weekly or fortnightly update here, perhaps on the weekend. I hope you don't find that too troublesome. I don't have the desire to run two blogs or two Facebook pages so hopefully I can maintain the balance using the existing sites.
We've had a lovely weekend however we are thinking of all those effected by bushfires, we're hoping conditions improve soon.