Saturday, May 3, 2014

Iyla's Baby Stations

Last month BC and I attended an open house at a local Montessori school. The more I read about the Montessori philosophy, the more I feel I am inherently a Montessori kind of mom. In Montessori, children's toys and activities are all made from beautiful, natural materials and each has a designated location, displayed in deliberate aesthetic fashion. I learned at this talk that each day after school the instructors spend 1-2 solid hours resetting up the classroom for the children, lovingly planning toward the following day.

A typical Montessori classroom 
(photo credit

I have always preferred natural toys to bright plastic ones for Iyla. Having said that, we are also realistic about things, knowing that some plastic is going to make its way into our homes. Case in point: Iyla's beloved baby dolls. She has a huge array of dollies now- including little barbies that were mine as a child as well as new dolls from friends and family. Some made of natural materials, many made of plastic.

Iyla spends each and every day choosing several dolls to carry around with her. She will carefully place them on top of different things- the garbage can, the pickles in the fridge, the slide - telling them to "sit, sit" and then running up to us with an expectant look, wanting us to share in the excitement of their most recent location!

Strolling with the day's chosen ones

Every night after Iyla goes to bed, I go on a dolly scavenger hunt. The variety of places I find them amazes me…those dollies sure do get around! Then in true Montessori fashion, I go about setting up organized stations for her to 'rediscover' in the morning.

Station #1: Iyla's bathroom. After waking in the morning (or after a nap) she starts talking about "babies and lala's" (her word for dollies) as we near the bathroom. She'll let out a squeal of delight when she sees the baby arrangement, holding and hugging and throwing the babies over and over as she does her business.

The bathroom baby gang

Station #2: our bedroom closet. Every morning after potty time Iyla comes running into our room, where she'll spend the next 20-30 minutes playing while we get ready. She immediately darts into the closet, where an arsenal of her very favorite little babies await her. She has to carry at the same time, and gets very frustrated if any are dropped.

Babies in the closet

When it is time to head down for breakfast, she will throw these babies down the stairs and exclaim "kick! kick!"- demanding that we kick the babies as we walk down the stairs.

The daily kicking of the babies.
Iyla is going to be such an amazing mother one day, I just know it.

Station #3: Iyla's dollhouse. Once downstairs, Iyla will run to her playroom (aka my office) to see what the other dollies have been up to overnight. I try to mix it up as best I can, and adore seeing her expression as she discovers them:

It was a wild night for these girls

You may have noticed that the majority of her dolls are naked. This is all Iyla. Occasionally I'll try to sneak some clothes back on one, and inevitably she will bring the doll to me saying "a-wah, a-wah," which is her way of saying "I want it off." She is very persistent and particular about it!

This kid. Hilarious, unique, and totally worth the nightly scavenger hunts and dolly station set ups. But oh do I dread the day where she finds out Montessori schools don't have ANY baby dolls in their classrooms!

"You WILL kick my babies."

1 comment:

  1. She is sooo fun!! And so are you for that matter. Hilarious! I love the baby stories!