Sometimes we'd like to use Montessori learning tools in our homes but when it comes down to it the materials can be expensive. But there is no reason to fret - many of the materials used in Montessori classrooms can easily be made at home with a little imagination insha'Allah and I believe that most homeschooling parents do not suffer from a shortage of imagination masha'Allah (smile).
I have no idea where this idea came from but all of sudden there it was swimming about in my mind. This is a do-it-yourself Montessori object permanence box made using craft sticks and a knob from a wooden puzzle destined for the trash bin because we couldn't figure out how to remove the facial features from the pieces. Well, I thought, recycle, reduce, reuse, and I took the knobs off of the puzzle before it leaves our ownership (trust me...my little grey cells are really working to figure out a way to get the faces off of that puzzle so it doesn't end up in the bin...hehe) .
For the lid, I took the knob from one of the puzzle pieces
and screwed it into the popsicle stick in the middle of the lid (before I glued it to be part of the lid)
You can find tutorials for making boxes from popsicle sticks all over the internet but I used this one for the box I made.
Object permanence boxes are used to teach infants the concept of object permanence: the idea that objects exists even when they cannot be seen, heard or touched. It is believed, and waallahu alim, that the understanding of this concept develops in infants around eight months of age and some researchers believe even as early as three months of age. You can see some object permanence boxes here and then you may have ideas of how you can design your own at home to use with your infant insha'Allah.
For this box, you can place an object like a small yarn ball, a ping pong ball or a small velvet ball into the box and invite the infant to discover where the ball is. Be sure that you have the infant's full attention as you are placing the object in the box. You can say, "Watch ________ (child's name). I'm going to place the ball into the box insha'Allah". Then slowly remove the cover of the box (with slow exaggerated movements) put the ball into the box, replace the cover and ask, "_______ (child's name), where is the ball? Continue in this way as long as the child shows interest. Afterward, you can put this activity on a low shelf for the infant to play with independently as often as he/she wishes insha'Allah.