Non-Toy Toys for Montessori Babies
This morning Otto found a brown paper bag and played with it for 20-25 minutes. It was the type of bag that makes a really crunchy sound. It was interesting to observe the different ways he played with it and explored it. Later in the day, he sought out the bag again, and again it held his attention and focus. It's such a good reminder about the value of non-toy toys!
At seven months Otto is exploring with his hands but also with his mouth and feet. It's important to consider safety especially with non-toy toys, so I don't leave him unsupervised with any of these. Today's non-toy toys include:
- mini-playsilks - I really like this mini size for babies, they can pick them up and explore with them without getting tangled. Different types of printed or coloured fabrics would work well too.
- natural items - including dried lime, orange, large and cleaned gum nuts and seedpods.
- items from the kitchen - including metal items for my child who likes to make banging noises including measuring cups, mini whisk, small metal container and wood items including a wooden ring and napkin ring.
- shaker - made using a random plastic container and dried pasta.
- natural wooden blocks - we might not think of blocks for small babies, the child isn't stacking or building with them but they are nice to explore with their hands and mouth and are good to bang together.
- nesting baskets - the baby is too young for other nesting or stacking toys but baskets are often nice to explore with their mouths and are so soft, the child isn't going to get hurt by playing with them. The texture of these baskets is really interesting too.
- balls - balls are the best non-toy toys, we have a ball basket that always gets played with, the balls are all different textures and sizes including natural woven, natural rubber and crochet sensory balls.
- musical instruments - we have a drum and small shakers but a small tambourine or maracas could work for a child at this age too.
There are lots of other non-toy toys that I would like to try with Otto, many are suggested in my readings about the RIE approach including empty containers, lids, and, wooden spoons! All of these non-toy toys are easy to find in the home and it's possible to make do with what you have!