“The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences” (Maria Montessori).
In a Montessori inspired bedroom, every furniture is child-sized and accessible for the child. Rather than taking into account the needs and convenience of adults, we provide low furniture at the child’s level. Montessori emphasized on the importance of a prepared environment, where adults provide an environment appropriate for the child and allow them to explore freely in their own time, at their own pace.
Here is a low shelf in Baby S room.
On the shelf, as you can see there are a few baskets. I have put three items in each basket, making sure there is at least one item for S to chew on as she is teething at the moment. S is not yet mobile and can not crawl to the shelf to access these materials on her own, therefore, I need to bring one basket over to her activity mat. I lay all three materials down on the mat and she chooses which one to work with. I try not to bring too many items at a time as this can make her overwhelmed and overstimulated, I need to provide just enough stimulation for her age, not too much and not too little. I only introduce three at a time and after a few days, introduce another set of materials and rotate them as we go. I only bring the old ones back for further exploration once we go through everything.
A wooden honey dipper is a great item for such baskets. It is easy for your child to grab and hold and is great when they are teething. I hand-sew a couple of rattles to chew on for S (made of some rolled fabric with some bells sewn inside it, the orange and yellow ones in the pictures). They are very practical, easy to grab and hold, washable, and very cheap to make. A very small Maraca is another great item for these treasure baskets. A simple wooden ring to hold and chew on and the blue and yellow balls are fantastic for the babies who are just learning to grasp materials.
On the top of the shelves, there three baskets where I keep the hanging materials (e.g. here in this picture, puzzle ball, bell on a ribbon, and ring on a ribbon)