Features of Montessori Inspired Toys

Features of Montessori Inspired Toys

Montessori Inspired Toys

#montessoriinspired #montessoriinspiredtoys …..You may see these hashtags in some of our social media posts, what does it all mean?

Who is Maria Montessori?

Maria Montessori was an Italian educator, physician, and innovator. Maria was acclaimed for her educational method that builds on the way children learn naturally.

What Are Montessori Inspired Toys?

At NEST Fun Creations, we have toys and tools in our various collections that are Montessori inspired. Therefore, we feel it’s important for our customers to understand what this actually means, and what differentiates these toys from so many other toys you will find at the shops.

Here are some characteristics of Montessori inspired toys that we have compiled for you:

Simplicity 

Montessori toys are not complicated, they are simple and they make sense!

Don’t use Batteries

Montessori inspired toys do not use batteries, as it is believed that if a toy is using batteries to entertain a child, this does not necessarily teach your child the connection between actions and consequences. For instance, if you press a button on a battery operated toy vehicle and it moves by itself, this is doing all the work for your child! Whereas a toy that requires your child to push it along the ground will teach them about motion: moving slow, moving fast, turning, stopping, and so on. These are all natural forces of the world! When playing with such toys, their minds are able to explore and learn new skills.

Also, have you ever noticed that once a toy’s batteries die, that toy becomes boring and your child may no longer show an interest in playing with that toy? Yes, I have seen this over and over again with my own child!

Example of a wooden toy car that needs to be physically moved by the child!

Wooden Train Engine Toy at NEST Fun Creations 

Made of Natural Materials

Montessori inspired toys are usually made from natural materials such as wood, bamboo or metal. Children playing with toys that are made of natural material will have the added benefit of learning about things in the world and environment, much more than a plastic toy. For example, wooden toys may have different textures, smells, and weight, in comparison to a plastic toy. 

Promotes Independence

The Montessori philosophy focuses on empowering children to learn independence in caring for themselves and their environments using age appropriate and real life tools (obviously, these have to be safe for the child). Children using real life tools will feel empowered to be contributing members of the family and the communities they are part of. It is important that they are supported and respected as capable contributing members during this process.

Example of a toy that promotes independence skills!

Learn to Dress Toy/ Toddler Busy Board at NEST Fun Creations 

Portray Reality

Maria Montessori discovered that children need to be exposed to items or concepts that are representative of the real world, before making the mental leap to fantasy!

Therefore, Montessori inspired toys portray reality, not fantasy! Younger children are not fully capable of being able to differentiate between fantasy and reality. For them to explore and develop their imagination, they need to learn what the reality of the world is truly like, not fantasy. Toys and books are one of the best mediums for children to learn about the reality of the world.

Younger children are often more drawn to what they find familiar, as familiarity can be relatable to them. Therefore, you can incorporate toys or tools that offer that learning opportunity and familiarity for your child. For instance, a toy kitchen set with pretend cooking utensils, plates, cups, food etc is relatable to children, as they see you preparing food in the same manner.

Example of a toy set for pretend play that portrays real life activities.

Tin Tea Set in Fruit Design at NEST Fun Creations 

Montessori Inspired Toys are Functional

Montessori inspired toys provide learning opportunities for children in that they allow them to explore, experiment, build, and manipulate concepts that are found in the world or things they may see in their natural environments.

Example of a toy that promotes learning and exploring in the natural environment!

Wooden magnifying glass in bee design available at NEST Fun Creations 

Learning One Skill at a Time

You will often find that Montessori inspired toys will help your child learn and master one skill at a time. The toy is simple and does not involve unnecessary items or distractions that take away from the skill development. A simple toy focusing on learning a certain skill helps your child concentrate better during the play/task.

Example of a toy that promotes learning one skill at a time. 

Wooden Learn to Tie Shoe Laces Toy available at NEST Fun Creations 

 

So when you see hashtags like #montessori #montessoriinsipred #montessoriinspiredtoys tagged in any of our social media posts, you can remember these characteristics we have just discussed, and you will see how different that toy is in providing a learning opportunity for your child!

** This blog post is intended to be informative in explaining the philosophies and characteristics behind Montessori inspired toys, not to claim that Montessori inspired toys are the only tools that promote learning through play. Ultimately, we recommend you support your child in a way that will allow them to be truly free to

PLAY, EXPLORE, and LEARN!

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