When people think about Montessori learning, they immediately think of the word expensive. Everyone immediately assumes you must have spent an arm and a leg to create the perfect Montessori environment. They often are surprised that Maria Montessori first came up with Montessori learning for the poor communities in Italy.
Montessori learning is more than colorful, well designed wooden toys; it’s a way of living. It allows toddlers to harness their interests and move freely within their environment. It encompasses not only how we communicate but interact with our children.
Yes, Montessori toys can help toddlers gain skills through learned manipulation of those toys. However, having a large amount of Montessori inspired toys and teaching tools are not necessary, but a handful of fantastic Montessori learning essentials can be extra helpful and aid with teaching. Equally, giving you the confidence that you are doing things the Montessori way at home.
Scrubbing for Montessori learning
Maria Montessori saw a massive benefit in giving your 3-year-old purposeful work. She also believed that simple activities could teach children multiple things. This indicates that there are several layers of learning connected to one task.
For example, something as simple as scrubbing a table can have more than one thing for a child to learn. It teaches coordination, concentration, and motor control.
You can try giving your child a bowl of soapy water and a scrub brush and let them spend some time scrubbing and cleaning their toddler-sized table. This gives your child some purposeful work. My Preschooler and Toddler love scrubbing. In fact, they’ve spent hours focused on scrubbing their mini tables.
Tongs can be introduced to younger toddlers starting at 18 months. Tongs are a great way to build gross and fine motor skills when doing learn and play Montessori activities. Along with strengthening hand-eye coordination.
Wooden geometric solids for learning Montessori
Provide a great tactile way for shapes to be represented and enhance the world of your toddler. This is another favorite around my house. My toddler especially loves interacting with the pretty blue colored geometric solids. We’ve made sure to place them at a lower level on our Montessori shelves so that she can have access.
Realistic representations for Montessori learning
Moreover, an essential that ‘s important to have during Montessori learning is an accurate representation of living things. You can do this by purchasing cards with animals already laid out or grab some index cards and make your own. You can find well-designed cards for various things such as animals, automobiles, clothing, plants, etc. Having real representations of real objects allow for children to have close-ups and explore objects they have never seen.
Plants for Montessori learning
Now, I don’t have a green thumb, and plants generally don’t last longer than a few weeks in my possession. Yet, wanting my son to have a connection with nature, eat more homegrown produce, and be involved in early science education is forcing me to learn more about growing plants.
In Montessori education, plants help kids realize the importance of caring for a living thing. Plants allow children to understand the life cycle and seasons.
Another Montessori essential is sandpaper letters. Sandpaper letters are an introduction to handwriting for Montessori learners. You can find print or cursive letters for your child to trace along. The Montessori approach to using the sandpaper letters includes children learning the phonetics of letters while learning the feel of each letter. Generally, the lower case letters are learned first, since it’s seen more so during reading.
Moreover, the moveable alphabet is an essential preschooler tool within Montessori learning that allows children to manipulate letters into words. It enhances their ability to improve phonetics and build words. This sets the foundation for them to be strong readers in the future.
Now, this is more for children who have some understanding of phonetics and is ready to build on their understanding. So you don’t need this right away if you have a small toddler. But it’s a fantastic way for preschoolers to learn how to read.
My son loves this one. This one will make you feel like a Montessorian for sure. The pink tower is exact in its measurements, and children love to stack with it. It helps Montessori toddlers learn sequential ordering, concentration, and problem-solving.
Understanding the Earth
Now, a globe one is my favorite Montessori learning essential because we travel internationally often with our kids. Indeed, the globe is an excellent way to show our preschoolers where we are located and where we will travel too. It gives him an idea of where friends and family are in relation to us.
Having a globe is an essential Montessori tool because it also allows children to comprehend the shape of the earth.
As a child, it’s hard to understand that the earth isn’t flat. The solid, sphere feel of the globe gives children a concrete understanding of their place within the world.
Montessori focuses on supporting a child during their natural path of development and learning. Tools can enhance your teaching of the material. However, you don’t need to break the bank on Montessori tools.
If you have the extra funds and want to splurge, then invest in tools that you can use throughout your entire Montessori journey.
These are just a handful of the recommended tools to use. These tools listed are long-lasting if well cared for, and you can use them from child to child.