Every once in a while i like to observe throughout the day what my children are doing and interested in, then that enables me to be able to prepare their environment based on what their current interests are then I can better facilitate their learning through play.
Here are some observations i found for my 11 month old.
He likes to open boxes and put things in. He is listening and interested in the sounds that the things make as they hit the container to which he is putting things in.
So observing this gives me the idea to set him up a shelf with a basket of wooden shapes, all different sizes and i set him up some containers each of which are different. So i had one metal one , a wooden one and a glass jar. this way as he is placing the items in he can explore sound and movement.
Throughout the day i also notice he loves rolling his wooden balls and watching them drop from high surfaces.
So i set him up a shelf with a ball run a cheap one i bought from kmart, as my more pricey wooden ball run is to much of a choking hazard at this stage. This is perfect to help him with hand eye coordination.
Both of my kids love books.
Alfie has only just discovered this love of books and so i have been buying him lots of touchy feel books, which are great for his sensory development. His favorite is the "that's not my" usbourne books.
So as i notice he is really into books i leave them scattered around the house and he can find them and he will bring them to me now to read to him. He enjoys the process of finding them organically rather than them being on a set bench.
I then rotate the toy shelves based on what i think will help assist his learning through play experience.
I do this roughly once every 2 weeks but i often add little activities on the shelf as we go.