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Favorite Toys and Materials for Home

Updated: Feb 3

As a Montessori educator and mother for a few decades, I have developed a fondness for certain toys and materials. I know many of you are shopping for children during the holidays or throughout the year. I encourage you to get something different and special for the child in your life.


Here are some of my favorites.

 


For Infants


Favorite materials include wooden rattles, wooden books, and a black and white wool ball.








From the time children start sitting at age five or six months, they enjoy having an appropriately sized wooden table and chair. Until ten or twelve months, the chair should have sides or arms in case the infant starts to lean. The table and chairs are an important purchase, used instead of a high chair.


Provide beautiful dishes, small silverware (available at Ikea stores), a cup without a lid, a tiny pitcher, and tiny cloth napkins.

 




 For Toddlers and Up

 

Once the child walks, the hands are free to work, and are developing coordination rapidly. Involve children in daily food preparation starting at 15 or 18 months. A lettuce knife or Crinkle Cutter is a handy tool in the kitchen and a tool that a toddler is able to use with adult oversight.




 

Other important Practical Life activities include cleaning and care of the environment so look for small mops, brooms, cut down sponges and cleaning cloths to fit tiny hands, small spray bottles, and so on!

 

I recommend the cooperative games, available from Montessori Services, for age four and up. I observed that my children continued to cooperate long after the game ended.

  

Stacking toys are a great way to build fine motor skills. The Wooden Stacking Tower from Tag Toys is a favorite!



In preparation for the holidays, I will soon be rolling candles from sheets of beeswax, along with children age two and up. I help them make candles as gifts for their parents. The wax and wicks is easily available at craft shops and websites.

 

I love the feel and scent of beeswax, and a favorite of mine is modeling beeswax, available from

 

It’s hard to stop! There are so many wonderful toys, but far more inappropriate toys on the market. Have a long look at the sites I have mentioned. Choose natural materials over plastic. Choose real, satisfying activities for children.

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