Otto is really enjoying lots of posting, pushing, threading, and 'in' and 'out' activities. These activities are easy to make using household items or a few easy-to-find toys.
Above is a container that I put a hole in the lid and some paper straws cut in half. This is an activity that he loves and is probably his favourite right now. It takes a bit of practice but the idea is the child using coordination and concentration inserts the straws into the lid of the container. The hole is only just larger than the straws so it requires the child to push the straw in.
I always try to take the labels off the containers I use, or cover them in brown paper, the labels can be a bit busy and a distraction. With all of these activities repetition is key, you know it is the right level for the child if you see them going back to it over and over.
These are little wooden peg and cups. Ideally, at this age, they would be natural/unpainted. Later these painted ones could be used for colour matching.
This is always a favourite. Matchsticks or even craft sticks (paddle pop sticks) and playdough. Otto is really into playdough and has finally stopped trying to put it in his mouth. He loves to push and poke the playdough with his fingers and tear it into little pieces but he also likes to put the matchsticks into the playdough. It's lovely to see that pincer grasp developing.
Pipecleaners into the holes of a small colander. I cut the pipecleaners in half as he couldn't do this with them full length.
Matchsticks in a cheese shaker. I'm sure you've seen this one here before, another favourite. So good for their developing coordination.
This is the Galt Pop Up Toy. The child pushes the peg down and it springs back and pops up, then the child puts the peg back into the hole and starts over again. Otto finds it really amusing!
This a little peg toy but is fantastic for visual discrimination, one peg is larger than the other. Otto has had this one his shelves (on and off) for months. We also love the Grimms Peg and Boat, this rocks so is a little more difficult.
There are a lot of ways these activities can be adapted, using what you have around the home. Matchsticks, craft sticks, poker type chips are all great for threading into holes in containers, lids of jars or even card boxes. I know that most of these activites will be popular and well used for many months. There are also a few Montessori materials that are useful at this stage including Montessori Imbucare Boxes and Coin Box. You can see our DIY coin box here.