Every parent wants to make the childhood of a little one the best and full of unforgettable moments. Modern toys are very diverse, so it becomes a challenge to choose the ones that are safe and effective for the natural development of a kid. Educational Montessori toys are a wonderful example of objects, which are able to attract children’s attention, make them interested, and help develop basic skills.
The essence of Montessori toys
To describe the peculiarities of such an offer, it’s required to understand the methodology of the Montessori Method in general. It’s a system, in the framework of which children can develop by themselves based on the environment specially created around them. The main principle is to help kids do anything on their own, thus, provoking their organic development. The method is applied to the children from the earliest ages. Besides, it preserves the rule that older kids help smaller ones learn, which allows the development of various skills in all age groups.
Based on the main principles, the best Montessori toys are created. They support kids by motivating them to play freely and independently from grown-ups. With the help of well-developed playing things, skill practicing gets naturally integrated into everyday life. According to the Montessori system, the maximum potential of a child’s brain develops by the age of three. Thus, the earlier you start choosing the right toys, the fuller your kid’s potential will be.
Characteristics and benefits of Montessori objects
Specially developed playing things look different compared to popular toys we can see at numerous stores. While the latest are usually colorful, bright, and even moving, Montessori playing things have other features:
- They have a purpose-driven design. It means that during the creation, there was a definite aim in the mind of the creator. For example, it might be hand-eye coordination.
- They are made of natural materials. The method is concentrated on organic development, which is also reflected in the choice of materials. The majority of objects are made of natural wood, fabric, and metal.
- They are simple and minimalistic. Unlike the majority of mass-market toys, these playing things are not aimed at attracting kids’ attention with their vigorous colors. The shades selected for Montessori toys are pleasant to the eye and as simple as possible. They also reflect the naturalness.
- They are engaging. While the majority of modern playing things are created to impress the child with sounds, lights, and other elements, Montessori toys offer an impressive level of engagement. It means that children will be very eager to interact with them.
Taking all those characteristics into account, it’s possible to determine the main advantages of Montessori playing things:
- The promotion of independence in the earliest age. In most cases, a kid won’t need any help from an adult. Thanks to a special design, a child can easily understand if there’s a mistake made. And he or she can correct it. As a result, a kid will grow up more independent. The majority of children can play with these toys for hours.
- The development of problem-solving abilities. Many objects create a sort of challenge for kids depending on their age. It motivates little ones to think critically and solve the issues. Such a skill is essential and will be helpful throughout the life.
- The stimulation of creative thinking. Even though every toy has a purpose, the objects are usually open-ended. It means that kids can play with them and use them in several different ways. As a result, little ones start exploring, develop their imagination, and demonstrate creativity. What’s more, such toys help develop emotional and social skills.
- The effective development of motor skills. Montessori toys are perfect things to manipulate. It’s intensified by the natural and diverse materials with different textures used for their creation. Due to this, perfect motor skills can be effectively developed. It especially concerns early-aged kids who need to develop hand-eye coordination and dexterity.
- The stimulation of cognitive development. The playing things created according to the Montessori system support kids in learning basic concepts such as numbers, colors, letters, etc. As a result, such development becomes a perfect basis for further academic success.
Types of toys in 2023
Montessori toys are diverse and usually intended for definite age groups. Observe the classification by age to get the idea:
- For the smallest ones (from 0 to 6 months). Sometimes infants seem to just lie on the back and watch in front of them. However, there are things that can help them start developing right from birth. There exist wonderful mobiles with toys made of various textiles. They are different in shapes and colors and can effectively attract attention and help a baby learn to focus. Another good thing is grasping toys and rattles, which are usually wooden. They are safe and nice to touch. There’s nothing harmful even if your little one will put it in his or her mouth. Such objects develop motor skills, auditory senses, coordination, and cause-and-effect understanding.
- For kids from 6 to 12 months. Diverse sorters and permanence boxes will help learn shapes and colors as well as build spatial relationships. Besides, children can naturally understand object permanence and cause-and-effect relationships.
- For 1-year-old to 3-year-old kids. For these ages, puzzles and building blocks are perfect. You can buy such toys for 2-year-old children to develop motor skills, creativity, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and spatial awareness.
- For children up to 5 years (before school). For this age group, more complicated objects are offered. Choose musical instruments or science kits to further develop skills and learn new concepts.
Montessori offers are unique not just in their design and diversity. According to the Montessori Method, there’s no need to give a child access to a great number of different playing things. It’s better to choose several ones to stimulate the development according to age. From time to time, you can replace the object with the other ones to help your little one explore all the features of each toy and naturally develop while being engaged with it.