What does it matter if your children have fun with toys manufactured out of plastic material vs. toys built from wood? To what degree should your kids use technology? Is there a limit to the number of toys your children should have? There is an educational method that has been in existence for over a century, and it has grappled with these questions all along. That methodology? Montessori.
As you discover more and more about Montessori toys, the more you’ll enjoy what the toys are and how they help kids in growing into self-confident, wondering adults. If you head into any normal classroom, you’ll likely encounter a pile of toys made out of plastic. However, from the Montessori perspective, the very best toys for children are created from genuine elements like wood or fabric. These types of toys are incredibly attractive, and the pure textures, aromas and colors entice the kid’s inborn impression of elegance. Also, Montessori focuses on exactly the proper quantity of playthings for youngsters to enjoy and work with. Clutter promotes overwhelm and distraction. We want our children to be at peace, present, calm and focused. Consequently, they should only have a few toys to play with at any given time.
What kinds of Montessori toys are there? Montessori toys range all across the map, but you’re probably already familiar with many of them, mainly because there actually isn’t much difference between Montessori toys and many traditional toy classics beloved all over the world. From building blocks to wooden or sandpaper letters, Montessori toys are immediately recognizable thanks to their simplicity, style and practical usefulness. Every single toy can fulfill multiple functions. Each and every toy teaches valuable life skills. And best of all–children love them.
Before you get started bringing some Montessori toys into your home, what other things should you be aware of? One important distinction made within Montessori is the fact that toys are not, in fact, for play. In fact, the word “toys” isn’t even used in the Montessori tradition. Toys are called “materials”, and kids employ them in order to work. While you might think that a tiny wooden truck is just a toy for kids to play with, it’s in fact also an important material that helps children learn to use their bodies and understand space as they work with it. In addition to the strong insistence that toys are in fact important work materials, Montessori also stresses the importance of allowing each child to follow their own natural curiosity in order to learn. Instead of guiding them and micromanaging their actions, defer to the child’s own innate curiosity and watch as the child naturally pursues certain activities at a natural pace. This is very important for allowing each child to develop their own distinct capacities at their own pace.
When you start bringing home some Montessori toys, take into account that the toys should be in reach of the child. The child must be able to choose when and how they play with their materials, so stow the toys at the kids’ fingertips. Keep the materials on shelves or in toy chests that the child continually can access. By doing this, any time the little one is ready to play, they’ll be able to get to work without having to ask anyone to help them.
Whether or not you’re able to send your child to Montessori school, it’s still possible for you to bring the benefits of the Montessori method into your own home. Equip your kids with the right materials and gently direct them into their own course of self-discovery. The results are astonishing–content, balanced kids who grow up to become fantastic humans. So the next time you consider which toy to buy for your child, remember these suggestions from the Montessori tradition and choose accordingly. Get a simple, natural toy that your child can use to grow and discover, and sit back and watch lovely benefits unfold.
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