Thanks to everyone who wrote in about infant material! Yes, we know that the equipment is expensive, so we have been compiling good DIY suggestions to share with everyone.
Sue Eustis, director of the Apple Ridge Montessori School in Catonsville, Maryland, exhorts that "... all of the Montessori equipment can be made at home!"
Sue suggests button matching for older children for whom choking is no longer a concern. Look for pairs of identical buttons in different colors that can be used for matching in the same way that you use the Colored Tablets.
Once your child has worked with this basic matching exercise, you can vary the sizes of the buttons to expand upon the exercise.
For younger children, look for three pairs of large coat buttons in red, blue, and yellow. These buttons should be bigger than your child's mouth, so that there is no chance of them slipping in.
The feel of the buttons is nice, too.