A question I’ve been asked a lot lately is, “What did the girls receive for their first birthday?” We use birthdays and holidays as an opportunity to purchase items that they will likely use in the upcoming year; trying to provide materials they will enjoy at the time of receiving and items that will benefit them months later.

Hand bells– These have been a welcome addition to our other musical instruments. While both girls love them, E lights up once they appear. I give them one at a time, to prevent banging them together so that their shape isn’t damaged to preserve their proper sounds.

Schleich animals– The finally have a dog (similar to their dog, Kaida) and a cat like their Nala. These are our favourite animals and the only plastic I joyously welcome into the house. The details are simply amazing.

Fruit puzzle– The girls are currently working on these materials, so it may be awhile until they are working with this particular puzzle. But I love the realistic puzzle pieces. We also have the vegetable puzzle. One of the things I appreciate is that it’s visual exposure to foods that we wish them to enjoy eating.

Shape sorter and locks– This is something they will probably begin using within the year. I love that there are different challenges and will likely remain on their shelf for a few years.

Jooki– I’ve seen this particular item used by other Montessori families and had mixed feelings about it (more about why in a different post to come). That being said, we listen to a lot of music, a lot, and the girls clearly have favourite bands and singers they enjoy. We want to give them more control over what we listen to and, after much research, this seemed like the best option.

Felt food- These were created by their talented aunt, along with felt shape people designed by their brilliant cousins. The details are going to make them absolutely perfect for card matching activities. Currently, the girls love looking at and mouthing them. Homemade items and spending time with them are the greatest ways people show their love for the girls.

A few items that were on their list that they didn’t receive but we will be purchasing soon:

Grocery cart– While the girls aren’t joining me at the grocery stores currently, and probably won’t for awhile, I’m excited to have these available for when they do. Like I did with T, I’ll have lists for them (pictures until they read) so that they may assist. I love using everyday opportunities for learning.

Car ramp– They are showing great interest in our ball tracker, and I’d love to get them something that doesn’t take up as much space and slightly more challenging.


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