Junk Drawer Work

Lately, I've been struggling to choose toys and activities that capture Mr. Wilson's interest. He will work for a few minutes and then become restless again. After some observation, I realized that he's much more interested in household tools and objects-no big surprise there, coming from a Montessori perspective! Real (or realistic) materials and real tools are cornerstones of an authentic learning experience. And so, in following Wilson's lead, I find myself constantly pulling things out of our junk drawer for him to inspect:

Favorites from the kitchen drawer include a mushroom brush, a frosting spatula, an ice cream scoop, some leftover Christmas ornaments, Dad's old running watch, and a reusable shopping bag.

Favorites from the kitchen drawer include a mushroom brush, a frosting spatula, an ice cream scoop, some leftover Christmas ornaments, Dad's old running watch, and a reusable shopping bag.

"Working" on the learning tower with a screwdriver.

"Working" on the learning tower with a screwdriver.

Looking through notebooks, stationery, and expired credit cards from the desk junk drawer.

Looking through notebooks, stationery, and expired credit cards from the desk junk drawer.

During his work, he found two Metrocards and matched them! 

During his work, he found two Metrocards and matched them! 

Funnels and measuring spoons - also a huge hit! Especially so once he figured out how to take the spoons off the ring and put them back on again.

Funnels and measuring spoons - also a huge hit! Especially so once he figured out how to take the spoons off the ring and put them back on again.

This child never ceases to amaze me... and is always keeping me on my toes. "Toys?" he says. "No thanks, Mom. I'll just look through the junk drawer."

What sorts of everyday items capture your child's attention?