How can you support the continuous discovery for the children in your life? You may be a parent, grandparent, relative, or close friend who wants to bring exciting and fulfilling toys into a child’s life as soon as you can. There are a few classic adages of Montessori toys to consider when shopping. Try to find objects made from wood or glass instead of the more popular plastics. For younger children in particular, wood adds more weight and thus importance in their eyes. Montessori education suggests making everything children will use beautiful and teaching children to be stewards of their environments. Always search for colors, mirrors, or other stimulating and appealing adornments when picking out gifts. Some of the more popular toys available underestimate the abilities of children at all age levels. We’ve compiled some great gift ideas for the needs of children in different age groups:Montessori-Gifts-for-All-Ages-Pebblecreek-Montessori-School-Allen

Montessori Gifts for Birth to 2 Years

  • Mobiles

Gloriously simple, this is a perfect gift because there’s one in every price range. Mobiles provide visual stimulation and pique curiosity in infants, who often spend a lot of time on their backs. Although not necessary, switching between multiple different colors, shapes, and themes can provide a variety of stimulation to infants. For those moving into the stages of grasping and wriggling, don’t forget a few with easily accessible noise makers or soft toys, which help babies understand how their bodies can influence the space around them.

  • Rattles

All shapes and sizes of rattle come recommended by Montessori programs. Finding those with bright colors and different sounds is a great idea. But, always think of how big the infant’s hand is when deciding. For a two month old, many rattles are too big to easily grasp and explore. Small, simple objects are all that babies need. Try to buy or create a “set” that will grow with the infant through the course of the year.

  • Counting & Sorting Toys

Even from young ages, children are able to sort items or stack them in different configurations. There are tons of wooden toys available that span throughout this age range. Finding sets with different shapes, sizes, and colors will help keep engagement high even as the child grows. Rainbows of nesting squares, stacking rings, or pyramids are all wonderful choices for the very young ones in your life.

 

Montessori Gifts for 2-4 Years

  • Blocks

Classics never die. Blocks will always be fundamental toys for brain growth. Developing ideas and creating structures in three-dimensional space is a serious opportunity for the youngster. Plain blocks have everything you need but you can add extra beauty and stimulation by looking for blocks with colorful transparent interiors or mirrored surfaces in the center. Children build castles and cars with the beauty of stained glass windows, which can keep some more destructive tendencies at bay. A durable set of different shapes and sizes will be a part of the family’s toy collection for years (or generations) to come.

  • Magnetic Letters & Surface

It’s never too early to introduce language into a child’s world. Early books with thick pages are great for this too. The magnetic letters give parent and child more control over the words they arrange and display. Having a magnetic space of their own where letters can be endlessly rearranged exposes the brain to these shapes and makes them more familiar over time. Make sure to keep the magnetic surfaces at a child’s height or consider making a tray with a magnetized surface where the letters can also be stored. Very young children can get these down to play with themselves and will often surprise you with what they learn on their own.

  • Learning Tower

No need to wait for the 24-month mark—once a child is standing and walking, you can introduce this structure. A learning tower is a hybrid of a high chair and a stepstool—the toddler can climb in and out without assistance but they stay secured so they won’t fall out of it. Its main purpose is bringing the child up to countertop level so they can discover the wonders of the kitchen. Instead of hanging around your knees, desperate to get in on the action, they can stand and observe, as well as handle age-appropriate tasks. Children can also eat meals at the family table standing up in the tower, which is much more enjoyable for their energetic bodies. You can purchase one fully assembled or use some DIY tips to build one of your own.

Montessori Gifts for 4 to 6 years

  • Instrumental Toys

Music is one of the creative practices strongly encouraged in Montessori education. It crosses lots of boundaries, from art into mathematics and science. Though simple instruments have likely been introduced, children can handle more complexity at these ages. Consider a set of color-coded hand bells, a size-appropriate hand drum, or a ukulele for small hands itching to learn. Some sets will come with instructional books or videos but there are lots of free resources available on YouTube and learning websites too. Helping the child understand the instrument and learn to play it with proficiency will be an engaging activity for the adult as well!

  • Books

Now is a critical period for developing literary love. Reading to children of all ages is a must for Montessori education. These are for children to own and discover with limited assistance. Young children often enjoy books with large pictures and engaging but simple stories. Some children can handle more complex word configurations than others at different ages. If you aren’t sure about the child you’re giving to, try to find books that cover different age ranges, including vivid picture books and early chapter books. Having a variety which are easily accessible at home just makes it easier for them to fall in love with reading.

  • Puzzle Blocks

Taking block play to the next level, there are a wide variety of options when you’re searching for puzzling blocks to occupy a child’s mind. Small piece sets with different geometric shapes, called “pattern blocks”, are like little mosaics the child can rearrange. Changing configurations and colorful shapes provide hours of engagement at a time. Another path is to take this method into three-dimensional space and add more physics with a set of wooden marble run blocks. These blocks have tracks and holes at one end. Children arrange these into towering mazes and then drop marbles down the tracks and watch them roll. They’ll learn how to create different tracks and have the visual satisfaction of watching one of their structures become fully functional.

Education in the home often appears as play because this represents so much of how children learn and absorb information. Finding toys that children enjoy is about exploring their possibility to be used to teach new lessons and be enjoyed differently. These are the toys that tend to keep children coming back again and again!

Informally Montessori: Home-Based Techniques for Child ExplorationMontessori Education Basics

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