You don't have to have the official "Montessori Stuff," like the Pink Tower or Moveable Alphabet to use Montessori principles at home. Improvise! This week Alleluia and I rolled out a big, long table runner (bought on clearance from Pottery Barn) and used an old DK alphabet kit in a novel way. We pushed out the foam lowercase letters and put them, left to right, along the top of the runner/mat. I said the sound each letter makes as I placed them down and tried to come up with a few words that started with that letter. Then her job was supposed to be to take each capital letter and place it underneath its lowercase match (I think we called them the Mommy and the Baby letters). She was getting bored and restless so she used a little ride-on horsey to get from the letter basket to the mat. There are also small cards with printed letters on one side and a photo of an object that begins with that letter on the other side. We did a few of these before the dog ruined our layout one too many times and Alleluia had had enough!
Any time you can fit in 10 or 15 minutes with your child for something like this is great! At dinnertime tell the family about what you did and give your toddler a chance to "report" to Daddy et al. Your child will feel so proud!