It is no secret that Montessori materials equip children with the best of their abilities in the early stages of development. They focus on the overall development of the child and allow them to learn at their own pace.
A Montessori ball tracker is one such material that can be a great addition to the children’s play space.
Are you curious to know more about this versatile ball tracker?
Let us dig more to know about it.
What is a Montessori ball tracker?
A ball tracker is a simple wooden toy for toddlers. In this toy, children put balls through a hole on top of the tracks and watch them as they run down to a collecting tray.
When children drop the ball at the top, it rolls down in a zigzag manner. They can then collect the ball from the bottom and start over again.
At what age can children play with the Montessori ball tracker?
The large ball trackers are suitable for children around 18 months when they can stand so that they can drop the ball into the frame. Toddlers around three to four years old can enjoy playing with the ball tracker.
These are ideal for the home and classes or playgroups, where many children can play and enjoy together.
How is the Montessori ball tracker played?
Ball trackers are around thirteen-fifteen inches wide and approximately thirteen inches tall or taller. The tracks are about five inches individually.
The balls usually come in different colors, such as red, blue, green, and yellow. The ball track in the ball tracker may sometimes be colorful.
The collecting tray is an essential feature of this toy. It catches the balls that children put in through a hole on top so that they can send them back to the tracks repeatedly. As the ball disappears for some time at the bottom of the ball tracker, it is often referred to as object permanence. It makes the activity exciting.
It also prevents the balls from rolling around the room and causing a distraction to the other students.
Children can experiment in several ways while playing with the Montessori ball tracker. They can experiment with what can roll and what can’t roll, what will go fast and what will go slow, and who will win. It is so much fun for children as they experiment with the cause and effect.
They get more creative as they play gradually.
Benefits of Montessori Ball Tracker for Children
Being made with natural materials like wood and timber, the ball tracker is beneficial for the physical and cognitive development of children.
It develops tracking skills
The ball tracker helps your child learn how to track objects by focusing on the moving ball. Children learn to visually follow the ball as the ball rolls down the track.
It will help them prepare for reading and develop visual skills.
It helps to build concentration
The subtlety of color helps children develop an ability to concentrate. Toys that are loud, flashy, and too colorful overwhelm and overstimulate children, making it difficult for your child to develop concentration.
It builds coordination
As the children focus on tracking the ball, they coordinate their body movements and their eyes. They also develop hand-eye coordination as they grasp and release the ball with their hands.
It helps learn problem-solving skills
While playing with the ball by grasping it and releasing it, children anticipate different movements in the ball. It helps to develop logical problem-solving skills.
Develop math skills
Ball trackers provide an excellent opportunity to practice counting, thus developing math skills.
Learn concepts in science
Dropping the ball will make it roll down or fall, helping children learn concepts of gravity. Also, they understand cause and effect while playing with the tracking balls.
Develop gross motor skills
As the children grasp the ball, squat, and move up and down, they develop gross and fine motor skills through the movements.
Learn more about Gross Motor Skills: https://mymontessorimoments.com/gross-motor-skills/
Helps develop bilateral integration skills
Many children face delays in using both hands and sides of their bodies with comfort. Montessori ball tracker helps use and coordinate both sides of the body.
Children may pick the ball up in one hand and pass it to the other hand while playing. It helps to cross the midline or develop bilateral integration skills.
Develops core stability skills
Children coordinate their movements to get the ball from the collection tray back to the top of the tracker. By squatting and moving up and down, picking up the ball, and standing independently, children can develop core stability with the coordination of movements.
Strengthen eye muscles
Tracking is an essential skill for children to develop. Language development, hand-eye coordination, and reading skills depend on eye strength.
As children focus on tracking the ball down the tracks for long periods, they strengthen their eye muscles.
Where can you buy a Montessori ball tracker?
As you understand the potential benefits of the ball tracker, do you want to invest in one?
Are you clueless about where you can get the best Montessori ball tracker?
Read on to find the best deals and best ball trackers available.
The best tracker depends on your needs. Some may be appropriate for younger children, and some may be suitable for older children. Before purchasing the Montessori ball tracker, ensure that they have the characteristics mentioned and accomplish the task for which they are designed.
Ball Track from Montessori Child is another choice to purchase a Montessori ball tracker. It is suitable for children of 3 years of age and older.
Alternatively, you can also DIY a Montessori ball tracker.
DIY a Montessori Ball Tracker
Let us see how to make a ball tracker at home.
- Cardboard box
- 24 craft sticks from Dollar Tree
- Small ball
- Glue gun and sticks
- White duck tape
- Cut the box leaving the top portion attached.
- Then, cut a circle for the ball to be inserted.
- Next, glue the craft sticks and increase the length and width to almost double. You may create a wall/barrier to prevent the ball from dropping.
- While gluing the craft sticks, ensure to glue with an elaborate slant so that your child can enjoy while the ball slides.
Now your ball tracker is ready at home for your toddler to enjoy with it.
Montessori ball trackers are the perfect toys to add to your child’s play area. Be it at home or school, these eco-friendly toys provide wholesome entertainment while constructively engaging your child.
There are many other tracker toys available, like Car Ramp Tracker, Elite Montessori Ball Tracker, Ball Tracker with Drawer, and Amazing Tracker Ball Maze Toy. You can check them out.