Welcome to the May shelfie page. This is a page with the toy rotations we’ve done in our house for the month. I’m lucky that I was an early years teacher before becoming a Mom, so I have quite a lot of random resources that I collected during my teaching days. Some things I know where I got them, but lots are charity shop, Ebay finds or Freecycle.

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Our lovely Lanka Kade Ark was one of those finds on Ebay. Floss’s NanNan got it for her for Christmas. Sadly, it arrived damaged in transit. The lovely seller refunded us, but said we could keep the Ark and see if we could fix it. Well Grandad got his hands on it – I can’t keep track of how many tiny dowels and how much glue have been added to the Ark and it’s by no means perfect, but we love it.

Shelfie - early years - toddler play - Grapat - Grimms - Wooden Toys

Normally, I have the Ark on the floor so that Floss can access it easily, but this time I decided to put it on the top shelf and she’s still really enjoying using the ocean animals alongside the Ark. Some of the animals are Lanka Kade, that came with the Ark, some are from a Melissa and Doug puzzle and the whale is Duplo.

I love the Melissa and Doug chunky puzzle pieces as it does mean you can use them in small world play too.

Shelfie - early years - toddler play - Grapat - Grimms - Wooden Toys
Shelfie - early years - toddler play - Grapat - Grimms - Wooden Toys

The top left circle has the most used items this week, as well as the humongous tube (click here to see blog post on this). I had a dig around one of my old jewellery boxes and found several different bangles made of either metal or wood. Floss has been wearing these, sharing these, stacking them, making ‘dinners’ with them and much more. The Grimms bowls are never far behind. They had been used for stacking initially, but now they are normally used to contain and transport other things. I’ve definitely noticed a transporting schema coming into her play very heavily this month, so I’ve tried to ensure that there are containers and bags available for her to use as she wishes.

I’ve had lots of questions about the stars. They were from a company called mindstretchers UK. They are so lovely, but I don’t believe they make them anymore. I got them on Ebay.

The above, right circle of Grapat rings on a Grimms bobbin board hasn’t really been used much. I’ll keep it out a little longer, but may switch this out a little earlier than than other toys. I’d originally thought that she may enjoy making little stacks as this had been something she’d been doing more of, but as I’ve said I think she’s more into transporting currently. I may put the rings separate to the board and see if that makes a difference. Do you let your little one choose activities? If they don’t go for something, would you try and encourage them to or swap it out sooner?

Shelfie - early years - toddler play - Grapat - Grimms - Wooden Toys

This shelf tells you a lot about our week; I’ve been recovering from an op and we all came down with a sickness bug! I needed a little change once Floss was feeling better to keep her interest, but it definitely didn’t have my usual thought!

What I’ve learnt is that initially, the change meant that the interest was there. Floss played each of the instruments, took apart the little house. Removed most of the blue and purple objects and carried them around and took the cogs off and on the puzzle. Yet, after the first day this initial interest disappeared. They were familiar objects, but there was nothing new! I don’t mean a new toy, I mean a new challenge. It really highlighted to me the importance of the thought process we go through and the conversations we have as a family around what Floss can do, what she’s interested in and what we can do to develop that interest, hone that skill or learn a new skill that fits with her current thinking.

These conversations and thoughts are what inform our decisions on what resources to have out, how they will be presented and what they will be accompanied by. Will she use them independently, are they to be used with others, will there be a demonstration or will the learning be through investigation and experimentation? I’ll update on the changes we’ve made soon. How do you make decisions what toys are out?