We have a huge range of Montessori toys here at Soren's House, so we wanted to explain to you why we love it as a method of play & learning.
What is the origin of Montessori?
The Montessori Method was developed by a founder of the same name, Maria Montessori, in the early 1900’s.
The method is a way for young children to learn through exploration of natural interests & activities, instead of a formal learning environment. Maria said that the following were human tendencies, in which we all develop & learn: exploration, manipulation, order, repetition, abstraction, and communication.
Based on her own observations, she found that children who were left to explore their environment freely (which had been prepared to suit the specific ages, & individual personalities of the children) developed optimally.
What are the five principles of Montessori learning?
• Respect for students - teachers are there to gently guide if needed & to cultivate curiosity.
• The absorbent mind - their minds are constantly learning.
• Sensitive periods - these are the times that the child is most likely to learn. Teachers are trained to recognise this period.
• The prepared environment - a well organised environment where children can freely move & explore.
• Auto-education - in short, a combination of the first 4 principles, can help children develop & teach themselves.
How can you use Montessori at home?
Setting up a Montessori environment is very simple to do. You want the toys to be easy for the child to access & choose themselves e.g. open shelving, baskets with a few of the same type of toys in, natural materials, loose objects and importantly, open ended toys. Also a clear space for the child to then explore that toy or activity.
What is Montessori parenting?
Montessori parenting is allowing your child to learn, explore & develop at their own pace, thus gaining confidence in themselves.
Respecting that they are capable to carry out certain tasks independently. Talking to them as your equal & not simplifying words or sentences. Guiding them to resolve an issue, if they get stuck with an activity, rather than rushing to find a solution for them.
Ensuring they have an environment where they can freely explore the world around them.
Our favourite Montessori toys:
Plan Toys beehives are a big favourite for us. A truly beautiful open ended toy; stack, make patterns, colour match, fine motor skills, scoop, hide.
The Wooden Alphabet by Oioiooi features amazing quality wooden letters & corresponding shapes. Perfect for letter recognition, matching, small world play, tracing, lining up, colour sorting.
Newclay finger paint is a must have for creative kiddies. Non-toxic & safe, use fingers, a brush, some sticks, a sponge, anything to let their imaginations flow.
We love the Plan Toys Family for small world play. Are they sitting round the table, driving a car, joining in with a story, playing with the animals or going on an adventure?! its all in your childs hands!
Wee Gallery Wild Animal Tower has lots to offer in open ended play. Your child can mix & match the blocks to make so many different characters, to make the tallest tower, to sort into size order, colour match, balance & develop fine motor skills.
If you're looking for toys that follow Montessori principles, you can browse our wide range of wooden Montessori toys