Feb 09 , 2023
We frequently get the question "What is a Montessori Toy?". In reality, there is no such thing as a Montessori Toy, although there are toys that are more in line with Maria Montessori's approach to education.
Some fundamental ideas distinguish one toy as "more Montessori" than another. When determining if a toy is Montessori-inspired, we should take into account the following aspects.
The following components can be used to define a Montessori toy when we ask ourselves that question.
Simplicity - One skill at a time will be the emphasis of a Montessori toy. Children can't focus on the key components of an activity if you give them toys that are too complicated, colorful, or have too many chores to accomplish since they have such a limited grasp of the world around them. To an adult, a puzzle with only four forms can seem overly simplistic, but to a young child learning their shapes or colors, this is just the right amount of information to absorb without becoming overwhelmed. In addition to the toy's simplicity, the quantity of toys in the playroom as a whole is crucial; the quality should always come before quantity.
Natural materials - Typically, natural materials like wood, wicker, cotton, metal, and glass are used to make Montessori toys. Toys composed of these materials offer a youngster a multi-sensory experience in addition to their educational value. Giving kids glass(although it may be controversial) will educate them to be gentler than a plastic cup that they can hurl, drop, or knock over without breaking. At CleverStuff, we don't carry any glass products, and like with any toys, strict supervision is required.
Encourage Active Play - All of the toys we offer our kids should make them to participate and take an active role in using them since kids learn best by doing, by making mistakes, and by fixing them. The best Montessori toys allow kids to actively engage with the item while they explore, experiment, and learn. Children shouldn't only watch an adult's game plan as a passive bystander. Your youngster will build and engage while playing in an unstructured environment, discovering their world and their skills.
Functional - Children's cognitive development requires giving them toys that have genuine effects. Avoid the boxes with buttons and knobs that make strange noises, flashing lights, and brilliant, colored images. Encourage your child to play with toys that show cause and effect, such a vehicle carriage that is dropped down a ramp and emerges at the other end or a jingle bell stick that chimes and rings as your baby plays with it. With the help of toys like these, your child will be able to understand the fundamental concept of cause and effect, a lifelong ability.
Based in Real Life - Using Montessori toys is a wonderful method to teach your child practical life skills that are essential for everyone as they develop. Toys that need size or sequencing, buttoning and lacing, cutting with scissors, and buttoning and lacing are all excellent chances for kids to acquire life skills. Using a toy that your kid can handle, touch, and manipulate to attain a goal will not only help them build skills, but it will also contribute to their increasing sense of independence. A Montessori toy will encourage learning by doing.
Allow for Experimentation - A Montessori toy will have a strong focus on learning new skills, enable your kid to express their creativity, and let them experiment and explore. Additionally, the toy should enable kids to exercise their imagination and work autonomously at their own pace. The Montessori ideals would be adhered to by blocks and a tub of Lego bricks, but a Lego set with comprehensive, step-by-step instructions would prevent your child from experimenting and exploring.
Quality over Quantity - A few well-made toys are preferable to a large number of overly complex and entertaining ones. From the minute they are born, kids are enquiring. When kids see a block, they may imagine it to be a cow, a car, or even an airplane! Instead of squelching your child's natural curiosity, foster it by giving them basic, open-ended toys that will let them express their creativity, gain an awareness of their environment, and ultimately teach them valuable life lessons.
Overall, you are giving your child a tremendous opportunity to learn and develop through play when you incorporate Montessori-style learning items into their playroom, classroom, or home. If you look at the aforementioned qualities when choosing toys for your child, you won't make a mistake.
You may find a variety of Montessori-inspired toys here if you're interested.