We moved to California for my husband’s job. But because of the standard of living cost here, we are barely making it by. I’m not the best budget follower… or maker :). I try to be frugal, but I don’t really know if I am or not. I feel like we are seriously broke, though. Which is really an interesting fact, because if I was not broke… I would go and buy all the best Montessori toys and things out there. I like everything I buy to be just perfect. But what do you do if you just can’t. I also don’t know how to do woodwork, and some of the woodwork would be very complicated anyway. And I only own a good old fashioned handsaw.
I have decided to be as cheap and creative as I possibly can, while maintaining the highest standard, with no money. And what is the highest standard? I think it is: making sure that whatever I make or buy functions as it is intended to, and that it looks nice enough for a child to actually want to use.
My goal is to buy as little as possible and to find as many things around the house as I can to make due. Saving cardboard or chip board is the most helpful (especially cereal boxes and pasta boxes, jello boxes… whatever). I am saving anything and everything. (Which makes me like a woman from the depression era) But when you don’t have much, you don’t throw away things that you might find a use for. It was hard to save all this trash at first, but I am already finding uses for many of the things I’ve saved.
I have started making some of the Montessori math games. I will blog about each of them individually when I start my math month. And any other month I come up with homemade ideas.
Here are a list of items so far I have used to make homemade Montessori games: Lots of chipboard from grocery box items, cardboard boxes, popsicle sticks, duct tape, hot glue and glue sticks, the printer is the most expensive part… but I do want to print things so they look their best (I’m considering buying already printed fine art items, rather than printing from the internet, because of the ink cost), regular and card stock paper, beads, string, and some thin wire…
When it comes to making a new game, I look at the item I would want to buy online, and look around the house for things that might help me make it. I want to buy as few items as possible. I try to find free things online that I can print or buy only cheap items that can be used or modified to fulfill the desired product outcome.
I am not an expert at this, but I will make available all of my ideas here. We can call it Cardboard Montessori, Montessori for the Poor :) Since we all know that Montessori is for the rich. If Maria Montessori were alive today, I’m not so sure she would be happy about that little fact.