Recently my daughter has been interested in stacking any and everything. I love the Montessori stacking towers and rainbows, but due to my current employment status (thanks Covid) we do not have the budget to splurge on toys at the moment.
How To Make Montessori Toys
Montessori toys are made of natural items, such as wood and fibers (cotton, linens, etc). These materials are easy to find in craft or hardware stores. Minimal tools are needed to make these toys, which make ideal for beginner crafters.
Why Stacking Toys Are Important
I love watching my daughter stack her cups or blocks. I can see her mind processing each move she makes and also why this object will not fit together.
Stacking is a natural and practical life skill your child will learn at an early age. Learning to stack objects promotes the fine motor skill of grasping and pinching, hand and eye coordination, identifying different sizes and problem solving skills.
For older toddler, colors and counting can easily be incorporated. You can use colored stacking rings (materials) or colored pegs along with numbers placed by each tower.
How To Make Your Own Stable Stacking Tower
Being the crafty person I am, I decided to make use of items we already have.
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I had purchased a Melissa & Doug Construction Set at a consignment sale for a few dollars last year. My daughter is still too young to use the toy as intended, but the washers, nuts and bolts are great materials for stacking!
If you do not have another item to use at home, wooden stacking rings are a cheap alternative and can be used with many other activities.
- Wood board or sturdy piece of cardboard
- Wooden dowel
- Drill and spade bit (optional)
- Wooden stacking rings/stacking type material
- Wood glue/super glue
Collecting Your Materials
I have a stash of wood scapes in our garage from our barn build that I keep for craft ideas. A piece of sturdy cardboard would work just as well.
For my stacking towers, I took several of the toy washers and nuts to our local hardware store to select the correct size dowels. What I liked most about using the Melissa & Doug Construction set is the washers and nuts are different sizes. This introduces my daughter to learning about different sizes and problem solving skills.
Creating your stacking tower
Once I collected all my materials, I had to decide the length of each stacking tower. You can choose to have the same height towers or different heights for each. The possibilities are endless!
You can choose to place your towers in a pattern or stagger them on your board, just remember to leave enough room between each tower for your stacking materials.
Select your desired pattern and drill your holes.
I decided to go with 3 dowels of each size (¼ inch and ½ inch), 6 towers in total and alternating each size.
Cut your dowels to the desired height. ** Remember to add an additional ½ inch to your length for setting your dowels into your piece of wood. **
Use your sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges on the dowels or wood board.
Lastly, apply a fair amount of wood glue to each hole and place in your dowels. Wipe away any excess glue and let dry.
Congratulations! You just made a Montessori stacking tower!