I find the montessori method intriguing and incorporate activities here and there as I remember. To foster this kind of independent, hands-on learning I created a little mismatch montessori corner in our house. (which we will soon recreate in our next house!) Puzzles, marble runs, and other activities that are free for the taking- one at a time, quietly on the floor with a mat. Jamesy has a bottom shelf with his favorite... the peg board, passed down from cousin Rachel (now almost 18). It's vintage!