Thanks to everyone that gave me ideas in regards to the Montessori Golden Bead materials :)
If I'm going to have to bite the bullet & order them I am also wondering about the Geometric Solids & the Metal Insets... I did see this set through an Australian company & wondered if I could amend it in place of the real Geometric Solids. Any ideas? Also, has anyone made their own Metal Insets (albeit in card)? I would really love these - and the tray, which looks like a helpful addition - & am thinking that if I bought them I could then make my own Geo cabinet etc. in thick card. But, maybe I could make do with a card set... I'm not sure.
I've decided that I just can't justify either of the Cylinder sets at the moment - but please feel free to argue against that with me! I did speak to a Montessori teacher who thought that at 3 1/2 Lovely may already be past the key age for the Knobbed Cylinders. Again, of course I would love to have them but they're such a big investment.
On a lighter note - the (natural) Pink Tower and Broad Stairs turned out beautifully. I must try & photograph them in the next few days. As beautiful as they both are in the natural wood I am wondering if I need to paint one of them (the Pink Tower being the obvious choice) because when they are being used together the impact of the 2 sets working in tandem may not be so visually clear when they look so similar. Your thoughts?
My other exciting news is that I got this totally cool small unpainted globe when I was thrifting this morning. Perfect to become our Globe of the Continents! I've been looking for a globe to paint for ages & this is a kit actually made so that you can paint it yourself however you want. How brilliant is that?!
My final bit of excitement was getting a Nienhuis catalogue sent out to me to use as an official reference guide. I signed back up to Montessori Makers & they recommend getting one. It's really worthwhile :)
Phew! Must go & drink tea & spend some time with my sweet husband (who I can hear tapping away on his laptop in the other room). We're crazy ;) Good night...