the new “activity shelf”

We found a lovely Montessori preschool for Br to attend the days I am working outside of the house, and my husband is trading building classroom furniture for schooling.  My husband built a “prototype” shelf (& small table) out of scrap wood, so I absconded it last night to set up some of the activities for the kids.  (“Yay, hobby woodworker husband!”)

new activity shelf
The new activity shelf

Br hadn’t really noticed it until Bl came out and pulled one of the activity trays off.  Bl had grabbed the 1-to-1 correspondence tray. I’d set it up with tongs, figuring Br would be using it.  Bl doesn’t have the fine motor skill yet to operate the tongs, so I gave him a spoon.  He wasn’t quite getting the concept, but he was amused with moving the pompoms around with the spoon.


Blake using the 1-to-1 tray
Blake "using" the 1-to-1 tray

Br had turned around on the couch and noticed the touch-matching game. As he was out of reach of Bl, he was actually able to try it a bit! He did initially match a popcorn kernel bag to a lentil bag, but I checked it and then offered him the two (popcorn & lentil) in the opposite color so he could self correct.


Br trying the touch-matching game
Br trying the touch-matching game

Br came around to try the 1-to-1 correspondence tray after Bl had wandered off, and tried out the prototype table. I had put the spoon away when I gave it to Br (leaving the tongs), but Br complained “I wanted the one with the spoon!” Unfortunately, by this point Bl had wandered back.  I’ll need to figure out a way to set things up so Bl isn’t always interfering with Br trying activities.  Let me know if you have any suggestions….

Br doing 1-to-1 correspondence activity
Br doing 1-to-1 correspondence activity, with Bl's "help"

Bl enjoyed having a turn after Br was done:

Bl's turn!
Bl's turn!

With the touch-matching game as well:

Bl touch-matching game 1Bl touch-matching game 2Bl touch-matching game 3

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5 thoughts on “the new “activity shelf””

  1. that is the same thing i need some suggestions on- setting things up in a way that my older can concentrate while younger is DETERMINED to do whatever he is doing. i have tried making two of the same activity & sitting them at the table (her strapped into her highchair) her response is to throw the items from her activity across the table at him. really struggling with how to have a peaceful learning environment without one being isolated in a separate room/space.

    1. Afraid I don’t have any miracle suggestions on how to manage two. :) It does seem to get easier as they get a little older and their spheres of capabilities overlap more. Then you just need to worry about redirecting one to a separate job or how they can do it together cooperatively (rather than grabbing it from each other and starting a fight).
      I offered a couple suggestions over on your comment on the plumbing job I’ll summarize- utilize naptime, separate by what one can reach, provide other jobs that are distracting for the younger one (like sensory bins, transfer activities- things taht dump out seem to work pretty well for entertaining my little guy for a while on his own. As long as you have a large plastic table cloth or something to make cleaning up easy, it is less of a nightmare to leave them on their own!)
      Good luck, and please share if you find any ideas that work well!

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