DIY Montessori Toy for Babies 8-12 months: Object Permanence Box


One of the most common Montessori material you can find in a Montessori setting (home or classroom) is an object permanence box. It is also one of the most recommended first material to offer for babies 8 to 12 months who can actually sit on their own.  


Object permanence is one of infant developmental milestones wherein they recognize that an object still exist even though they don't see it in their line of vision. The object permanence box is recommended to present to babies when they show understanding of object permanence. 

I am a first-time mom. My son is now 10 months old. We are trying to incorporate Montessori at home method in our daily lives. Since I found out about the Montessori method I became even mindful of what toys or materials to get for my son.  



Even before we start practicing Montessori at home, I really didn't buy a lot of toys for my baby. There are two reasons: 

1. I don't know what to get him because my son always tries to put things in his mouth and as a first-time mom, I want everything to be clean and sterilized before it gets to my son's mouth.

2. I don't want to waste money on things that my son will just outgrow right away. So I figure he'll he happy and safe with his teethers. 

What am I thinking right? Fortunately, I was introduced to Montessori at home and as I continue to educate myself about this method of raising a baby, I found out a lot of meaningful toys for babies suited for my son's age.

First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created toys, but only works for classroom settings. www.thekavanaughreport.com

I often drool with those traditional Montessori materials for babies but sometimes they can be very expensive and most of them are only available abroad. So if I can DIY anything, I'll be happy to do it. Like when I put together treasure baskets for my son, I share some ideas on this post.

But today is really about how I DIY our object permanence box. The idea isn't really original as there are a lot of moms who made this however, this is my take on a DIY object permanence box.

The key elements of an object permanence box are of course a box and a ball. I have a box of toy that I thought was perfect for this project. I used the ball from our textured multi-ball set that I showed on my previous baby haul click here.

Materials Needed



1. Scissors 
2. Tape
3. Marker
4. Boxes (I used a box of toy and a pancake  box for this project.)
6. Contact  paper (optional)
7. A ball


How to:



1. Cut the flaps on each side according to how wide you want the opening of the box will be.






















2. Use the extra box (in my case, the pancake box) to make a ramp inside and to add arch on the opening.

3. You can also use other cut outs from the boxes to create a barrier on each side of the front of the box to avoid the ball from going anywhere.

4. Create a hole on top of the box the size of the ball you are going to use.



4. Finally, cover the box with contact paper. This is optional. I opted to use a contact paper because I have one available that I use for Instagram flat lay (another DIY) and I want to hide the prints on the box that might distract Jarvis when he works on this material.


When I first presented the DIY object permanence box to my son he got so excited and play with the box and didn't want to shoot the ball in the box. I tried to show him from time to time how it works. Until finally, in one of his playtime, he took the box and shoot that ball! I got over excited and get the camera right away. This photo was already his third attempt. #10months I must admit I distracted him which was not good. hehe.. But what am I gonna do eh? I need to document it for this post. 

I made this box several weeks ago and I was just waiting for my son to figure it out before I can post this blog. hehe.. 

 ...and he gave me this beautiful smile. Probably so I can show you that he's happy with what he did! 

I cannot say that this is my son's favorite material but he likes it. It was great to see though when he finally figured out how to work the object permanence box. Good thing I caught it on camera. What do you think of this Montessori material?

Have a great week and thanks for being here. 

Treasure Basket Ideas for 7 to 12 Months Baby


My son is now 10 months old. When I discovered Montessori at home I was also introduced to treasure basket. Find out where are we on our Montessori journey on this post.

I really like the idea of treasure basket because it's a great way to introduce new things to the baby. Also, it is almost always free. All you need to do is pick a theme, put together things that are safe for baby to explore and play with and you got a thoughtful work for your baby. You can start introducing treasure basket to your baby as soon as they can sit on their own. It is suggested that a treasure basket must appeal to babies senses (smell, sight, touch sound and taste). 

I like to use the treasure basket to present new things to Jarvis. Babies minds are very absorbent so it's nice to try and introduce them new things and let them know that everything has a  name and purpose.

Upon researching about treasure basket and how to use them, I found out that Montessori parents have different approaches. Some moms present their treasure baskets to babies when they are rested, fed and content. Others allow their babies to independently explore the basket first let them feel the things in it and say few selected words about the items in the basket.

Personally, I put together our basket at night and present them to my son in the morning. He is a morning person like me and he is usually alert and attentive as soon as he wakes up. I allow him to pick an item/s then tell him briefly what it is. He always enjoys the treasure basket and it's always the first basket he attacks. I also enjoy putting them together because I get to be somewhat creative.

Also, make sure to put together items that are safe for baby to explore. Keep in mind that you need to always supervise your baby when they are playing with treasure basket. 

Here are some of the treasure baskets that I already put together for my son. You may use them as inspiration for your baby (7 to 12 months or beyond). Enjoy! 

Note: if you are not a mom yet, maybe you know someone who has a baby that will enjoy reading this post. 

All lids treasure basket

 kitchen stuff  treasure basket


 color themed treasure baskets

color themed treasure baskets

I hope you find inspiration to some of the baskets I showed you today. I'm sure you can come up with more creative ideas. Don't forget to share them with me if you decide to put together treasure basket for your baby. You can tag me on Instagram @princessmayen. I would love to see them. See you there! Thanks for being here!


Where Are We In Our Montessori Journey?


If you frequent this blog you'll know that I am currently into anything Montessori.  At first, I thought Montessori is just a method of teaching for pre-schoolers. I didn't know that we can do Montessori at home and we can start as soon as the baby was born. Obviously, we didn't start Montessori at home until Jarvis was almost 9 months.

Two of my favorite things about Montessori method are preparing the environment for the child and following the child. Today I want to talk about our progress in preparing our home environment for Jarvis.

A model Montessori prepared environment for infants

A Montessori prepared environment must be a place where you can allow the baby/child to safely explore. A "yes space" as they call it. A space where "no don't go there" "no don't touch that" are almost never mentioned. It's a space where baby can explore as they grow at their own pace. Allowing them "to be who they are supposed to be at exactly  when they were supposed to be."         

It was not easy to transform a space into a well-prepared environment for a child. Especially if you live in a small space that has a very limited storage area and if you are on a budget like us.

In our home, we are preparing one day at a time.  We started in our bedroom. At first, we decluttered a certain space to kick start our Montessori project see my post here. The only downside on that area were the colored mats that definitely not Montessori because it's best to use neutral colors to exude calmness and peace which is very important in a Montessori environment. I ended up removing some of the mats because Jarvis doesn't like them anyway see my explanation on this post. We are still about to put accessible shelves for Jarvis' toys and perhaps a mirror in his play area in our bedroom. In the meantime, I organized his toys on the floor using baskets.


As Jarvis grows, he also discovers new space to explore in our room. Since we have a small house it's really challenging to look for an area where we can store certain stuff that needs to be invisible to Jarvis but accessible for me and my husband.


Before

We have this area in our room where we put all of Jarvis' daily necessities like a basket with baby wipes, his lotion, grooming kit etc., another basket for some ointments, oils and stuff like that. Things that we almost use on a daily basis for him. Jarvis frequent that area nowadays and I don't want to constantly tell him to "don't go there". I also hate carrying him back several times to where he started crawling because that would've been frustrating even for a baby. Imagine running a few miles to get to your destination then someone will just drag you back from the start. That would've been so annoying. I know Jarvis at some point felt that way as well.


After

It took me a while to make that a "yes space" because I really didn't know where to put those things. Eventually, I attacked our closet, did some KonMari folding techniques and viola, I created a small space where we can put Jarvis' stuff. Now we have one more "no space" turned into a "yes space" and I feel so accomplished. It feels great to allow Jarvis to explore without too much restriction. I love to see him discover new things that he can do because most of the time it surprises him too and makes him smile. As little as he is, he knows when he accomplished something new.



Before we discovered Montessori Jarvis is an 8-month-old who's almost always in bed with me, playing with his teethers, cannot sit on his own and his source of entertainment is me, his own videos on my phone and nursery rhymes on YouTube. I also read to him on a daily basis, which he really likes. But whenever he tried to explore on the edge of the bed, I will drag him back to me. When we finally start preparing the environment for him, allowed him to explore in our room and give him few selected toys, it just took him a week to learn how to sit properly, be careful with his movements, crawl two ways: with his stomach on the floor and all fours. 

Now at 10 months he can stand and walk with support. Although I respect his own pace in his development, I also realized that the restriction somewhat delayed his progress. Now I am at peace that somehow we are giving him space where he can explore and develop his abilities at his own pace.



It is truly rewarding to see our space transform into a baby friendly environment and I can witness every day how Jarvis grows and develops himself in that space. I saw how he tried to stand using the edge of the bed as support, not very safe, but he learned to be careful. It is also easy for me to leave him for a minute especially when I need to pee because I know he will be safe in an environment we prepared for him. Along the way, my husband and I are learning to be organized and always clean up after ourselves to maintain the order and cleanliness in our room. It's a work in progress since both of us were such slobs.

There is one more area we need to address in our room. We have another shelf that full of toiletries of me and my husband and other miscellaneous. Jarvis is beginning to discover that area as well. I already have an idea on what to do in that space but I need more time. 

As you can see we are not even halfway in making our home a Montessori prepared environment but as of now, I would like to concentrate on creating a space where Jarvis can explore freely without spending too much. But little by little we will add some stuff that is in line with a Montessori prepared environment for babies.

I am planning to prepare our living room next. I think it's the easiest to prepare in the house because we don't have a lot of things in there. But we chose to prepare the bedroom first because that's where Jarvis and I stay most of the time. Our kitchen is the hardest. It's possible but it will cost a lot. At the moment we cannot afford to pay for modifications. I'm still pondering how best to prepare the kitchen without spending too much or without spending at all. That would be a challenge but a challenge that I am willing to take.

Maybe you'll ask, why do I want to go an extra mile to prepare our home for Jarvis? He's just a baby. Well, the answer is already there, he's just a baby so he needs to be in a place where he can be safe and be allowed to explore freely as he grows. I want him to feel that he really lives in this house and not just some new guy who can only have access to four walls of the crib. He is our child and he is an occupant of this house as much as we do. Also, it's easier to look after him if we know that he can safely explore in our own home.

What do you think about the prepared environment for babies? Do you like Montessori at home so far? Thanks for being here. Talk to you soon!

10 Things Friday Vol. 4



Hello and welcome back to another 10 things Friday where I share 10 random things about our lives this week! Let's get started...


1. My mom bought me 2 baskets on her last trip to Baguio and I've never been so happy to receive baskets as pasalubong in my life. I am really becoming a #montessorimom



2. A week ago we celebrated my beautiful niece's 18th birthday. It's so fun because we all get to dress up. Perfect opportunity to pose for a nice family photo. 




3. I removed most of Jarvis' colored rubber mats. I observed that he rarely stayed on them. He always prefers the floor and sometimes he only touches one basket I prepared, usually the treasure basket (see my Instagram for treasure basket ideas for babies). I thought maybe he was over stimulated with the different colors of the mats. So one night I decided to get rid of some of them. He seems to like it better. He now goes thru each basket and plays in the area allotted to him. Although he still crawls around the room whenever he feels like it.

4. I lost a couple of kilos without doing anything. Hehe... "Without doing anything" means anything that could help me lose weight. It's not noticeable but we all know functional weighing scale don't lie and ours is really functional. I cannot stress that enough. I guess the heat of summer plus carrying a 10kg baby helped a lot.

5. I really enjoy reading and educating myself about Montessori at home. Although we are not even halfway done preparing our home environment for Jarvis because we need more time and money for that, we already started in practicing some of her philosophy like follow the child and respect the child. So far I find it really helpful to understand Jarvis, his cues, and his needs since I practice the follow the child philosophy of Maria Montessori.


6. I also enjoy preparing and DIYing Montessori related stuff for Jarvis. I love preparing treasure baskets for him. It's not easy because I have to be creative and resourceful. Thank goodness to dedicated Montessori moms I followed on Instagram, I get a lot of inspiration from them. 

I also need to clean our floor and his toys every single night and arrange them nicely before I sleep, which I cannot do without being interrupted by Jarvis. He wakes up from time to time and will ask to be nursed. Before I knew it, it's already 9:30 PM and I was not even halfway done. But it's worth it!

7. I love to observe him come morning though, I love to see which basket will he prefer and which toys he enjoys playing. Right now, he likes to bump things together to create sounds. So I added metal lids in one of his baskets because he loves the sound of them. In short, he likes to create noise. 

8.  I hate the heat that summer brings but I love that fruits are cheaper this season. I enjoy making melon juice every day. Jarvis is not really into fruits but he likes melon. 

9. I really want to go back to working out regularly again but it's really hard to find time. Jarvis will wake up easily if I am not beside him. I want him to have long naps because it's good for him so most of the time I stay beside him when he sleeps. That's why I cannot workout. I tried, but it just stresses me out because he usually wakes up in the middle of my workout and he'll ask to be nursed and I'm all sweaty and hot. Not cool, so I stopped.

10. I am looking for TV Series that I can fell in love with. I am watching Riverdale. I like it but it's not Vampire Diaries caliber.  So far, the only TV series I can't wait to watch is YoungerTV. Anyway, do you have other recommendations?


This 10 things Friday is so random but I hope you still enjoyed reading it. Thanks for being here. 

Baby Haul: Books, Toys and More


I've done some online shopping recently. It's not a lot, but I want to share them in case you are a mom like me and you are looking for some of these stuff for your baby.

Let's start with books because why not? Books are good for babies, right?

I want to introduce books to Jarvis as early as possible. I have always been a reader myself and I know it's a good thing. Naturally, I want my son to like books.

Paperback Book Set from
@ohbabyph on Instagram

The first set I bought were these paperback storybooks. I got over excited when my cousin told me about this Instagram shop that sells baby books because I really want to buy books for Jarvis but I cannot go to the mall.I actually bought this set several months ago but I want to include them on this haul because someone might be looking for these books. You'll never know...

As soon as I saw this set I ordered right away. When I received the books they were paperbacks. I was looking forward to board books and I thought they were really cheap for board books. When I went back to the seller's page. It was written there that these books were paperbacks. Lessons learned: always read before purchasing, and don't get over excited when shopping for baby stuff.

These were a lovely set of books but I cannot allow Jarvis to touch them longer than he wants to because he might destroy them. Nonetheless, I tried to read them to him but he only has his eyes and well, ears for one book, the Owl Babies. It's still our favorite book to read for bedtime story to date.

Because Jarvis loves the  Owl Babies so much, I allowed him to play with the book from time to time until he tore one page apart. That's the time I decided to get him a board book version so he can really enjoy it. I started to hunt for that book. It's not very popular so it took me awhile. But the book found me eventually.

Board Books from
@bookboutiqueph on Instagram

The online bookshop for babies/children followed me on Instagram and there I found our Owl Babies board book. I also ordered the How Much I Love You board book because it was highly recommended by other moms I know.

I recommend this IG shop because they have cheap and good quality books. They were not brand new books though. However, I find them to be in perfect condition and that's what really matters. Besides, this momma loves old books.

Touchy- feely books from
@ohbabyph on Instagram

I also bought my baby touchy feely books for his sensory and tactile activities. It took him awhile to learn how to use the book but he got there eventually. Babies are capable of learning and they are really smart than we give them credit for.

Jarvis is already 9 months and he doesn't have a lot of toys. At first, I really don't know what to get him because he's on a stage where he tries to taste everything. I figured he'd be happy and safe with few teethers. Oh, how wrong I was. Then I discovered Montessori at home and suddenly, I was flooded with ideas of what to get him.

Textured Multi-ball Set from
@belugadreams on Instagram

These balls were not traditional Montessori toys but they were popular among Montessori practicing moms because they are good for sensorial activity. Jarvis likes balls so this set is perfect for him.

A typical morning for our little boy.

Wire and Bead Maze, Xylophone and Stackable Rings (bought as set) from 
@momandmilly on Instagram

These were gifts from my best friend cousin. Jarvis liked the wire and bead maze the moment I introduced it to him. It still remains to be one of his favorite toys. It is a permanent display in his play area. I rotate toys because I don't want to overwhelm him with too many choices. It's a Montessori thing.

We are still not playing with the stackable rings because Jarvis is still not 100% careful with his movements, I'm afraid he might poke his eyes with it the stick.

The xylophone, on the other hand, is still waiting for its debut. The Dad thinks he's not ready for it and that he might get scratches from the metal part of the toy. I disagree, but we compromised. My husband is a little overprotective, bless his heart. 

Wooden Flashcard Stands from
@alittlemontessori on Instagram

If you read some of my previous posts, you'll know that I am using flashcards to introduce things to Jarvis. So when I saw one of my favorite Montessori mom sells this on Instagram, I know I have to have it. I display one flashcard for a week for an additional point of interest for Jarvis in his play area. At the moment, he gets excited when he sees dogs, so I put a picture of a dog on his flashcard stand. #followthechild


Stainless Cup from 
@alittlemontessori on Instagram

This stainless cup is a size of a shot glass, perfect for babies little grip. I absolutely love this little thing. Probably my favorite and most useful purchases among the bunch. 



Making Jarvis drink water is pretty challenging, but since we got this, he definitely shows some improvements. Perhaps because it is the perfect size for him. It also helps that it's not breakable like an actual shot glass.I highly recommend this stainless cup, especially if you are into cup feeding like we do.

Neck Floater from Shoppe

If you're a mom, you probably watched those cute videos on Facebook of babies on tubs with floaters on their necks and having a pool party. That video encouraged me to buy this neck floater for Jarvis. He doesn't mind wearing it but he doesn't want to use it. He cried when I let him go in the inflatable pool. But this little thing worked. It was pretty cool too. I hope Jarvis will warm up to this eventually.


During his first time in an inflatable pool.

Nose Frida from Shopee

Finally, the Nose Frida. If you are not familiar with this. It's a sort of a tool used to suction snot from babies nose. Jarvis just recovered from a really bad cold. During that time, his dad insisted on getting this, even though, it's pretty expensive because he really feels sorry for Jarvis when his nose was congested. It works! Jarvis hates when I pick his nose. Such a riot! Therefore, he loathes this thing but it does the job and it's pretty cool.

This is a pretty long post. If you reached this far, you are fabulous or perhaps, like me, you are also a nosy mom who wants to know what and why other moms buy such things for their babies. Hehe.

I realized how convenient it is to shop nowadays especially for a stay home mom like me, who rarely goes out. It's actually a blessing and curse. It's a blessing because it's easier to buy and find things online. It can be a curse because it's so easy, I can shop while lying in bed. If I don't watch myself we'll get bankrupt. Just kidding. I am mindful of my purchases. I make sure Jarvis will benefit from it. I have a mental note (which I am about to put on an actual note) of things that I want for Jarvis, lately, they are mostly Montessori inspired.

Anyway, let just end this here. Thank you for reading. 

10 Things Friday Vol. 3


Today's 10 Things Friday is about Jarvis who just turned 9 months yesterday. Oh, how time flies.

I put up this blog to document our life as a family and that includes Jarvis' progress. Facebook status is no longer enough for what this momma has to say about her little boy!

Here are 10 things about Jarvis at 9 months.

1. He's a very active boy. He now weighs 9.5 kg. and he's 73.66 cm tall. They said he's kind of tall for his age. All I can say is that he's heavy. He makes my back bone ache... (Sakit sa back bone bes) Hehe..

2. He loves broccoli and still prefers veggies over fruits.


3. These are two of his favorite books. The Owl Babies is what we read as bedtime story for several months now. I already memorized the book. This book is so overused that it's falling apart. It is a paperback which is not sturdy enough for babies as young as mine, so I searched for a board book version. It was a challenge, but I succeeded. I'm still waiting for it to arrive in the mail

He also loves the Smart Babies 123's so much that I can keep him engaged with this book for minutes. Jarvis loves to count.

4. He can now sit without support for a short period of time. I know some kid can sit on their own longer at this age, but not our little boy. You know what? That's totally okay. He will get there eventually. They all do!


5. He prefers to play with ordinary things like feeding bottle, it's lid, remote control, and anything plastic/made of cellophane than real toys. Thus on his 9th-month, I had a treat for him. I cleaned all the stuff he usually attempts to grab but we forbid him to do so.

He played for 2 to 3 minutes to each of the items I put in his wooden plate. Gives me plenty of time to clean the rest of the room while sneaking a glance at him from time to time.  He played with the remote control for 3 minutes or so then left it behind for a real toy. It's the first time I saw him ignoring the remote lying around. Fascinating! What can I say? #followthechild #Montessoriathome. It's amazing!

6. He talks a lot. He can sometimes utter "mmmmummm" "vahvah" "ya" one time I even heard him say "ate".

7. Maybe he really did say "ate" because he adores his 9-year-old cousin Ate Hailee. All Hailee needs to do is pass by in front of Jarvis to make him smile. If she jumps or did something amusing Jarvis will be beside himself. I love to watch them.

8. I am still his most favorite person. I can also do very minimal things to make him smile or laugh. I love it when our eyes met and laugh at the same time. It's like we share a private joke. I think that makes his Dad a little jealous.

9. He loves his Dad too. When Dad's around he usually says "vahvahvah". So my husband and I think when he says "vahvahvah" that Jarvis is calling for him.

10. He already has his own language and manner on how he communicates with me. When he gets fussy or when he makes irritable sounds it usually because he needed some assistance like he probably pooped and want a change of diaper or hungry or sleepy. He turns his head side to side if he doesn't want to eat or drink anymore.

It's fascinating how someone as little as Jarvis can express himself in a certain way. I love that I am witnessing his transition. Several times a day I am thanking God for giving me this opportunity. It hasn't been financially easy for my husband and I since I have to quit my job to take care of our baby. But it's so so worth it. I wouldn't have it any other way.


This post will probably pick the interest of very few people, my husband and selected family members included, but like I said, this blog is about my life as a mom and a wife so you will encounter many posts similar to this in the future. I just hope that you will stay/ come back to take this journey with us!

Thanks for being here!

A Little Space for our Little One: The Start of Our Montessori at Home Journey


In my previous post, I've mentioned that I am loving anything Montessori, particularly Montessori at home in a small space. I've been reading related topics for the past weeks to get ideas on how to start Montessori prepared environment in our small space.

We have a small house with only two bedrooms. One bedroom is being occupied by my Papa and the other I share with my husband and son. But even though we have a limited space we still want to bring a little Montessori into our home for our little one.

As a result, husband and I set off to work yesterday. We finally decided to let go of our home office desk in our bedroom along with other things to make way for Jarvis' space. It was really a tedious job because we didn't know where to put most of our stuff. But my husband and I were two determined folks. So we combined our heads, rolled up our sleeves, took turns in watching Jarvis and went to work to bring Montessori at home in a small space like ours.


Before 


After

If one is going to be technical, those rubber mats should be in neutral colors. However, they are hard to come by and I don't have much free time and budget to hunt them. My brother was available last Sunday to drive us to the nearest mall so we can find mats to kick start our Montessori at home in a small space project.

These mats are what I can find in the mall so we paid for them and made them work. Well, I guess as long as I can keep it clean and cluttered free, it's still relaxing for Jarvis hence hitting the structure and order principle of Montessori prepared environment for babies/children.

Anyway, the main reason we are incorporating the Montessori method in our home is because we want Jarvis to be independent and basically enjoy himself in our room. We want him to feel that he also owns the space and he should be comfortable. We also want to be comfortable with him exploring the space allotted to him.

Since he is still crawling, practicing sitting up and tasting every single thing presented to him, he still has limited access to the whole room. However, gradually, we will give him access to other areas of the room. We still need to prepare those "other areas" for him. We are also planning to baby proof the whole living room next. Although, I still think this little space is enough for him as of now.


He seems to really like it though. At first, he seems a little confused and didn't know what to make of his new space and new found freedom. He will play with few selected toys I presented to him for a while, then he will come to me and make me hold him. When I put him down again he will get fussy. But towards the end of the day, after a lot of encouragements, I think he warmed up to the idea of having a space of his own where I allow him to move freely.


Before I sleep last night, I selected toys for him to play with today. Also part of his sensory activity for today. He was playing with different textured balls and some soft animal toys from his play gym yesterday. I learn from other Montessori practicing moms that's it's best to rotate the toys to keep the baby engaged in a few selected toys longer rather than presenting them with many toys at once.

Upon observing Jarvis, I noticed that he doesn't seem to mind what kind of toys I presented to him, as long as I allow him to taste them, then he's happy. So I make sure they are clean and toxic free and all that kind of jazz.

We are going to add some stuff in his space that is in line with the Montessori prepared environment at home. I will definitely blog and show you if we made some major update on Jarvis' little freedom space. My husband and I are both very happy that we were able to start to incorporate Montessori at home in a small space like ours. Thanks for being here and have a blessed Holy Week!