Tiny things: broom, mop, drinking glasses, fork and spoon, watering can, porcelain plates, gardening tools, a cutting board, even a knife.
Babies feeding themselves. Toddlers dressing themselves. Toddlers cooking. Toddlers looking like both mystics and scientists in total concentration: pouring, serving, polishing.
I did grow up hearing my mom's praises for Montessori education and wishing I'd received it. Then I saw the wonders it did for my nephews and niece. Then I studied dance education and learned more about Dr. Montessori's genius. But I had never heard about Montessori for babies and even less about Montessori at home.
The first time was from someone posting on the Baby Bumps subreddit. She said she was working on her baby's nursery, and that she had decided to use a Montessori floor bed.
The Google gods delivered, and I found pictures of a few beautiful rooms. Sure enough, each had a little mattress on the floor, instead of a crib. I'm a dancer, and dancers love the floor more than anything, but it still felt almost disrespectful to put my baby on the floor.
I asked my sister if she'd heard about it.
"That's brilliant," she said, "I wish I knew about it when my kids were born. They all fell off their crib."