I recently created a toddler corner in our Montessori room. My daughter will be 2 in October and until now I have been rotating two activities on a shelf in our living area. Lately, she has wanted to be in our Montessori room so much that we had to change to a doorknob with a lock because the childproof handle no longer works on her. Here are the activities I have put on a long low shelf in the room.
Transferring water with a sponge. Not new for her, but still interesting and needed, as she continues to want to and tries to clean tables in the house. Before starting I fill one bowl with a small amount of water and she uses an apron.
Open and Closing. I discovered she is more interested in it when I put these dolls inside. Each container has a doll and she says "Night, night" as she closes them.
She really enjoys these stacker pegs and peg board made by the company Lauri. Pegs are great for this age group and she will sit and use these for a longer length of time than other activities.
She also has been introduced to getting out a rug for every activity and placing all activities on a rug. The rug defines her space as her own and keeps materials from getting lost or stepped on. She puts it on the floor and I usually unroll and roll it for now, but her initiating it's use is progress enough.
I am working on some materials for the second shelf . With any age, a child starting out does not need too much on the shelves. Too many activities is over stimulating. Activities can be added little by little and removed as mastered. The focus right now is the work cycle of getting out a rug, choosing an activity, using it, and returning it to the shelf. The goal is with each use the attention span lengthens and concentration grows. Allowing her to choose her activities is also important. Self-motivation is one of the fundamental skills needed to be a successful learner.