Montessori materials are always engaging and fascinating for children. The unique concept of engaging children in hands-on activities of Montessori works wonders for them.
One such toy is a Nesting Toy. Children enjoy stacking or fitting things inside each other while playing, and Montessori nesting boxes are much more than just fun.
These boxes not only provide entertainment to children but also help them explore and learn many skills.
So what are Montessori nesting boxes?
Read on to find out more about them.
What are Montessori nesting boxes?
Nesting toys are Montessori toys made of boxes of different sizes that can fit together. These toys engage children in nesting play and are fun for children of all ages.
Nesting boxes are used to explain concepts that help in developing various skills. You can introduce this to your children when they are as early as nine months.
Significance of Montessori nesting boxes and cosmic education
So, what is cosmic education?
Cosmic education is the founding ideology of Montessori philosophy. Dr. Maria Montessori believed that cosmic education was a stepping stone to early education because it gives children the understanding of a framework for their world and their place within it.
Cosmic education reflects how all things in the universe are interconnected. It describes the role of education as extensive, holistic, and purposeful to embody the development of the whole individual within the context of the universe.
Children learn to respect past studies, understand ethics, and value the contributions of others. Cosmic education is essential in teaching children to become aware of the interdependence of all things and develop a sense of gratitude. They learn to adapt to their environment.
Children who receive cosmic education in childhood become prepared to be independent as they grow up, and are socially responsible and emotionally intelligent humans.
It is possible as these children to understand who they are as individuals, as members of the human race, and as citizens of the universe.
It also provides children with insights into their moral responsibilities to address global issues that affect humankind and the environment. Montessori seizes every moment as an opportunity to develop an understanding of how the universe is integrated.
Maria Montessori believed cosmic education empowers children with the knowledge to transform the world around them.
Now that you know what cosmic education is, are you wondering how Montessori nesting boxes are related to it?
Montessori education focuses on learning new concepts by examining every part and connecting them to the whole so that children learn about the interdependence of everything around them. They understand the importance of their existence in this universe.
Similarly, the purpose of Montessori or cosmic nesting boxes is to teach children the existence of a place within a place. They illustrate and reinforce the concept of a child’s place in the universe.
How to present the Montessori Nesting Box to children?
There will be ten nesting boxes with corresponding labels. As the name ‘nested’ denotes, the largest nesting box of all the boxes contains nine boxes fitted and nested inside.
- When you present the nesting box to children, ask them to imagine they are in deep and dark spaces.
- You can tell them to imagine the large box as our universe or the Milky Way Galaxy as the whole, and we will explore what is inside it. Place a label inside the box.
- A smaller box is fitted inside. This smaller box represents our solar system. Take it out and show how it is a part of the Milky Way and still has its parts.
- Put the appropriate label on it.
- Next, ask the children to look inside the box that represents the solar system and find a star or sun inside it. Ask them to look for planets that revolve around the sun.
- Similarly, ask them to locate the Earth and pull it out of the solar system. Put a label on it.
- Then, find North America on the Earth and pull out the next box inside. Tell them the Earth has continents and water bodies, and North America is our continent. Label it accordingly.
- Now, you can locate the country of the United States Of America in the North American continent. Put a label on it.
- Similarly, find your state in the box inside and label it.
- The box inside the state will be your city, and the next box will be your school. Label all boxes appropriately.
- Tell him, the box inside the school is the child, that is you!
- You can pull out more boxes and show them as body parts and cells.
- Next comes the atoms, the building blocks of everything in the universe. Label it as atoms and show the child that this is the smallest and last box.
- Ask the child to do the activity similarly and label each box.
- You can observe and guide him as he does the activity individually.
- You can also try extensions of this activity by hiding some objects inside each box and letting the children find them when they pull out each box. It makes the activities more fun and exciting, adding the surprise element.
Benefits of Montessori Nesting Boxes
The nesting boxes are environment-friendly activities that have an element of surprise for the children and provide excellent learning opportunities.
Here are the benefits children enjoy while playing with the nesting boxes.
- They help to develop hand-eye coordination.
- They help in developing dexterity and fine motor skills.
- While stacking the boxes inside each other, children learn about balance and force.
- They help in developing counting, sorting, and sequencing skills.
- These boxes help children understand shapes and sizes as they fit the small box inside the big boxes.
- As the children navigate their way through the boxes, figuring out how the boxes of various sizes fit inside each other, they use their visual perception, visual discrimination, and spatial reasoning skills.
- They can also help to develop gross motor skills.
- Nesting toys help build concentration.
- The children develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills as they try to troubleshoot issues while fitting the boxes.
- Children develop language skills as they learn to differentiate between the terms big and small, size and shapes.
- Their grasp and release movements improve doing this activity.
- They support transporting or connecting schemas which are the natural schemas in children.
- Children can explore other possibilities and become imaginative and creative, like building blocks, forts, pyramids, and many more with the boxes.
- Montessori nesting boxes do not produce waste, and children learn the importance of being eco-friendly.
- Children have fun solving the mystery of the contents in each box and become engrossed and busy in the activity.
Where can you buy Montessori nesting boxes?
You can buy Cosmic Nesting Boxes from Waseca biomes at affordable prices.
Affordmontessori, Etsy, and Amazon also have Nesting boxes. You can choose the one suitable for your child and invest in a nesting box.
Making Nesting cups at home
Nesting cups are easy to make at home. You can join your kids to enjoy the craft of making nesting cups at home. All you need are boxes of different sizes that fit inside each other.
You can use cardboard boxes or recycled containers in your home or build them out of wood. You can create origami nesting boxes too. Baby stacking cups can also come in handy to use as nesting cups.
Montessori nesting boxes can be a perfect addition to your child’s play. They are engaging and help children understand where they belong in the universe. They learn many complex ideas by just spending time and fitting the boxes inside each other.
They learn concepts like the classification of living things, types of shapes to the structure of a home through play. You can help them reap these benefits of nesting boxes by introducing them at the right time.