The Montessori Method of education is an eccentric world of pedagogical ideas and tools that facilitate the holistic development of the child. It can be quite bewildering for most parents to associate toys with education and curriculum.
While most educational institutions disregard the use of toys as a medium for facilitating education for developing minds, The Montessori method of Education embraces the use of toys in the classroom.
Dr. Maria Montessori strictly prohibited the use of synthetic and plastic materials, hence every toy, furniture, or material in the Montessori Prepared Environment is manufactured from natural substances like wood, steel, glass, or bamboo.
Just like the Montessori materials that are manufactured from wood, Montessori Toys are no different.
But why should one incorporate wooden Montessori toys in their child’s activity list at all?
There are a plethora of reasons one should add Montessori Wooden toys to their child’s curriculum.
To help clear your confusion and draw conclusions, here is everything one should know about Montessori Wooden toys.
What are Wooden Montessori Toys Exactly?
Before learning about why Montessori Toys are manufactured from wood it is requisite to learn about what Montessori toys exactly are.
Toys that are integrated into the Montessori Prepared Environment encourage the child to learn through experimentation and exploration.
In contrast to traditional toys that can be very distracting, Montessori toys are neither flashy nor noisy to avoid overwhelming the child.
Montessori toys are essentially normal toys that are in sync with the Montessori Philosophy.
Montessori toys should be easy to hold, handle, touch, and child-friendly. These toys are essentially based on Montessori Principles and should be made from naturally sourced materials like wood, bamboo, steel, glass, and cotton.
Montessori Toys should also facilitate the development of fine motor skills in children from a young age.
Ideally, these Toys should only promote sensory development and not make the child feel overwhelmed.
While Traditional toys help by providing children with specific directions with only one possible outcome, Montessori toys on the contrary have a built-in control of error that allows the child to draw multiple outcomes that the child is able to discover these outcomes.
What are the Characteristics of Montessori Wooden Toys?
Montessori Toys are not like common toys, these toys are aligned with the Montessori Philosophy and Montessori Principles to facilitate holistic education.
There are specific ‘Montessori Toys’ available in the market, but with an acute knowledge of the characteristics of Montessori Toys, you can easily distinguish a Montessori toy from common toys.
Here is a list of Characteristics of Montessori Wooden Toys:
1) Simple and Sweet:
Flashy, noisy, colorful, and complex toys can overwhelm or overstimulate the child. The chief purpose of Montessori Wooden Toys is to provide the child with an accurate amount of sensorial stimulation in order to keep the child engaged and attentive.
These toys are developed to facilitate the child with organized information as well as help isolate sensory stimulation.
Any Montessori toy that you incorporate into your child’s curriculum should be made of solid colors, should not comprise too many moving components, and should not be too flashy or noisy.
2) Based on Reality:
During these initial six years, the child is unable to differentiate between fantasy and reality.
In the initial stage, the child should be provided with toys based on real-life to develop the child’s imagination as well as secure the child’s relationship with the world.
Parents should choose toys for their children that teach the child about cause and effect.
The Montessori Method of education prohibits the use of plastic and synthetic materials.
Hence, Montessori toys should be made with paper, rubber, polished wood, metal, stainless steel, shatterproof glass, felt, or bamboo.
4) Functionality and Independence:
Montessori toys should be concrete materials that require the child to actively participate.
Montessori toys don’t have multiple parts or complex extensions and components that might confuse or overstimulate the child.
Montessori Wooden Toys should be easy to manipulate, hold and interact with as well as help with the development of the child’s decision-making skills, and promote independence.
The child should willingly pick up the toys and interact with the toys on their own terms.
What are the benefits of Montessori Wooden Toys?
Montessori Wooden Toys are an exciting element of the unique world of Montessori. But the question arises as to why Montessori Wooden Toys are so important or why should you incorporate them into your child’s curriculum.
In order to answer these questions and clear your doubts, it is best to take an account of the benefits that come with using Montessori Wooden Toys:
1) Sensorial Development:
Unlike traditional plastic toys that are hollowed out and have the same density overall, Montessori Wooden toys provide children with varied densities, sizes, and even textures that promote sensory development.
Montessori Wooden Toys allow children to explore different textures to enhance their tactile sense and allow them to discover varied dimensions.
Unlike common toys that are manufactured from plastic or other synthetic materials, Montessori Wooden Toys are Naturally sourced materials.
The Montessori Method of Education inculcates values of appreciation as well as respect in children towards the earth and nature.
In contrast to Plastic toys that usually end up in landfills, Wooden Toys or naturally sourced toys are easily broken down and recycled.
3) Based on Reality:
While having several multifunctioning components in a toy can be a pro, they often overstimulate and confuse the child.
Montessori Wooden Toys are simple with very few moving components to children conceptualize concepts and help them comprehend the real purpose of the toy or object.
Montessori Wooden Toys are straightforward and often depict real-life functions to help develop a sense of reality in developing minds.
4) Long-Lasting and Durable:
Montessori Wooden Toys are manufactured with the idea of repetitive play and exploration, Montessori Wooden toys are more than just durable!
Manufactured from good quality wood, Montessori Wooden toys are able to withstand and endure years of play.
Montessori Wooden Toys are often coated or varnished with non-toxic paint that won’t harm the child’s health.
These Toys are made from child-friendly materials that won’t hurt the child when they play with the toys.
Why should you Purchase Montessori Wooden Toys?
Montessori Wooden Toys are a unique addition to any child’s educational curriculum. Montessori Toys are simple, sophisticated, and masterfully crafted keeping the best interest of the child in mind.
Here is a list of reasons that will make you adorn your Montessori shelves with Montessori Wooden Toys:
1) Pleasing to the eyes:
The first thing you may notice when looking at a Montessori Wooden Toy is the simple and minimal design.
Contrasting to the appearance of common toys that fashion multiple moving parts and bright colors, Montessori Wooden Toys are aesthetically pleasing as well as calming to look at.
2) Multiple Uses:
In the world of Montessori Less is always more. When provided with a diverse range of toys babies and toddlers can become overwhelmed and overstimulated.
Montessori Wooden toys unlike other toys have control of error that help children explore new possibilities with the help of trial and error.
3) Introduction to Reality:
Montessori Wooden Toys are based on Reality, giving the child real-life lessons. Montessori Toys, unlike other traditional toys, depict real objects and materials to help familiarize the child with the real world.
4) Develops Concentration:
While concentration and active play may seem to be antipodals, Montessori Wooden toys help develop concentration in babies and toddlers.
But research suggests that children are able to develop prolonged periods of concentration by playing with wooden objects.
5) Knowledge of Cause and Effect:
Montessori Wooden Toys unlike Traditional toys have immediate cause and effect and promote children to solve problems through imaginative play.
How can Montessori Toys help your child?
Montessori Toys are traditional toys that align with the Montessori Principle to provide your child with an optimum learning experience.
Although unconventional The Montessori Method of Education takes every aspect of the child’s life into account, where their playtime and toys are no exception.
Montessori Toys are made from naturally sourced materials, are simple, and do not incorporate unnecessary components that may overwhelm the child.
Montessori Toys stimulate the child’s learning process and provide them with the right tools to experiment as well as venture out of their comfort zone.
Montessori Toys are also easy to hold and integrate components that can be held or manipulated to promote the development of fine motor skills.