A big piece of Montessori for both infants and toddlers is a Tiny Treasures box. It is a container of some kind filled with safe and interesting objects from around the house and from nature that may appeal to the child's senses.
A closer look at the items in our basket:
A zipper pouch with an interesting design to practice zipping and putting items in/taking them out, a small flashlight that Ty can easily turn on and off, a rough emery board, a lens from an old camera, a heavy and naturally cold metal lock, a shell and hemp braided necklace, an old compact with a mirror, a spool of thread, a slide open jewelry container with an Asian-inspired design, a glass votive with candle, a sponge, a ball of string with colors within the purple and pink spectrum, a soft paint sponge, a smooth glass candle lid, and a leather wallet with cards to take out and replace.
Knowing that I can trust Tyler (as much as you can trust a toddler!) to not mouth objects which are choking hazards, I presented him with a tiny, tiny treasures tray to explore, with my close supervision. I included small beads, puff balls, smooth sea glass, buttons, marbles, river rocks, small shells, paper clips and metal rings.
Examining one of his tiny treasures
I provided a few different containers to practice putting his objects in and out of as well. This helps the child perfect the pincer grasp learned as an infant. With continued practice, the pincer grasp will help the child with drawing and writing skills.
Other small objects that we've used in this manner are river rocks...
This is a zero to low cost activity! Happy hunting for the treasures that lie within your home!