What toys would Dr. Montessori choose?
Toys, there are so many to choose from. Action toys and figures, computer games, toys that bake and make woodworking projects, almost anything we can imagine. Montessori is based on development of the senses, small and large coordination, and building academic skills through a hands on approach. Some Montessori like toys are inexpensive, basic, traditional toys.
Here is a list of some toys I would recommend:
Nesting Blocks or Cups that fit into each other. You can find these with basic infant toys. Each piece of the toy gradually changes in size. A child can learn concepts of bigger and smaller, how to distinguish small differences in size. This little lesson is essential for the skills of reading and math.
This is a step before the pink tower. You can use this for both nesting and stacking. This is a toy your child can use for counting, number recognition, and understanding incremental differences in each block.
Sets of blocks that have different sizes and shapes are great for conceptual learning. For example, two triangles make a square, two square blocks make a rectangle-just basic geometry. The basic concepts of gravity, balance, and design are a part of making block structures.
Here are some ideas for block play.
Have your child make the buildings as high as his or her ankle, knee, hips, elbows, waist, shoulder, and head. This helps measure distance in proportion to your child's body as well as teaching parts of the body.
Ask your child how many different shapes he or she can make from the blocks. You may have to first introduce to them how to make a cube, square from 2 triangles, and 2 half circles make a whole circle-the list can go on and on.
Using a tape measure or yard/meter stick, let your child measure the dimensions of his or her building. Which side is longer? Which side is shorter? How tall is the building? How wide? How long?
Block play is a great lesson for visual perception, kinetic learning, and the beginning concepts of geometry.
Teach names for concepts such as on top, beside, behind, underneath, next to, above and below, square, triangle, rectangle, cube, cylinder and circle.
These were my children's favorite toys. They are great for small motor skills as well. The complex structures and designs seem infinite.
Dolls. Any doll that a child can dress, wash, and even cuddle is great for small motor skills.
Balls. Balls from super big to small are great for large motor skills. Bigger balls are easier for younger children to throw and catch.
Play dishes. Tea parties are a great opportunity for pouring, a great practical life skill. Washing and drying dishes and stacking and putting the dishes away is a favorite Montessori task.
Tricycles are great for large muscle development.
Jungle Gym. Playing at the park on the equipment is great for coordination.
Jump Rope. Jumping is a great activity for coordination.
Chalk. Writing with chalk is great for small motor skills that will help your child~Rs writing skills later.
Hopscotch. Hopscotch is great for large motors kills, foot-eye coordination, balance and counting.
Jacks Bouncing the ball and picking up jacks is not only good for motor skills but also encourages counting.
Marbles This game can give insight to physics, and development of spatial refinement and coordination.
Cars and Trucks. Its great for pushing and developing coordination for large and fine motor skills.
Wooden Puzzles. They help with fine motor skills and also refine perception of space and depth. Easy wooden puzzles with knobs are great for developing the pencil grip. Start with puzzles with only a few pieces and work up to more pieces, eventually to simple jig saw puzzles.
Sewing or Lacing Card Sewing cards develop fine motor skills, perceptual concepts, eye hand coordination-they are also good practice for life skills, such as dressing oneself and sewing.
Beads and Wooden Bead Sequencing Set
Big, wooden beads for your child's first stringing experience will create instant success. This activity helps eye to hand coordination, small motor skills, and eventual sequence patterns.
Wooden Pattern Blocks Match the shapes onto the pattern board. Your child can also make their own designs.
Counting Games are a great way to teach basic math skills.
This is a great cooperative game.