We have arrived at the time of celebration and giving gifts to our loved ones. However, sometimes selecting items for the little ones at home can be difficult as we may not know what toys are suitable for their age or abilities.
Therefore, in this article, you will discover why Montessori toys are an excellent option for Holiday gifts. This is because you will be giving a unique item that will benefit the development of your children or nieces/nephews, while they have fun. In fact, at our Central Montessori Schools (CMS) campus, children will find various objects that foster their imagination and autonomy during classes. You can draw inspiration from these and provide similar materials for them to continue learning at home.
Why gift Montessori toys?
While most associate Montessori education with classes and activities designed to enhance children’s intelligence and independence, there are also objects that aid in making the learning process more practical.
Moreover, Montessori toys are very user-friendly and available for all ages and abilities of children. Additionally, this type of toy helps little ones start engaging in everyday life situations. Remember, Montessori objects stand out for being simple, functional, and realistic. Furthermore, most of these toys are made of wood, making them more durable and long-lasting.
Another advantage of gifting Montessori toys during the holiday season is that they encourage exploration of the environment and imagination in children. Therefore, experts in this type of education advise against buying toys with lights, noises, or solely decorative items. Instead, they recommend toys that are simple and manipulable, with all their pieces, enabling learning through play.
Toys to gift to children
Depending on the age of the child, choose a gift that suits them best. For example, if the child is a baby, between one and three months old, consider gifting Montessori-inspired mobiles. Unlike traditional ones with music and movement, these are not placed above the crib. Ideally, they should be installed on the ceiling in an area with more movement, at the baby’s belly level. Options include visual, tactile, contrast, and dancing mobiles.
Other gifting options according to age are:
For six to nine months
If the baby can sit or is in the process of doing so, consider giving them a stacking tower toy. These toys capture the attention of young ones and motivate them to search for the next piece to build a tower. The basic version consists of cylinders that can be placed on top of each other. As children’s abilities progress, this game can be modified by adding more cylinders or switching to rings of different sizes.
Another toy for this stage is flexible balls. These can be used at different ages and are very helpful in stimulating and improving various skills. For instance, they strengthen grip and hand strength, soothe the pain or itchiness of gums during teething, and when rolled, encourage the child’s interest in movement and, subsequently, initiate or improve crawling.
At this age, children have better control of their movements and are more interested in their surroundings. Therefore, take advantage of this stage to gift toys that are more functional and related to daily life. For instance, gift them a mini-kitchen where the child can wash their hands or help wash dishes, vegetables, or fruits. There are also small cleaning instruments for the home, like brooms and dustpans. Although it may seem like they are doing chores, imaginative play is very useful for concentration, problem-solving, and responsibility.
If you have space in your home, you can gift your child a Pikler triangle, which includes a rocker and ramps. This toy is considered a miniature gym as it allows children to climb, swing, and walk, improving motor skills. Additionally, you can complement your purchase with a learning tower. This is very useful for fostering independence in children. Furthermore, it can be used from the time the child is learning to walk to provide support. Later, when they are older, it can serve as a table with an integrated bench.
Toys for children aged two and above
From the age of two, Montessori-style toys focus on the schooling stage, reading, and writing. Therefore, select toys that help improve fine hand movements, such as sensory or sandboxes. At this age, you can also help the child enhance their memory and mathematical skills with Montessori toys. You can even refer to our article ‘Embracing the Montessori Method: Making Math Fun for Kids’ to learn how to teach your child mathematics in a fun way using the Montessori method. Additionally, you will find tools and toys that will inspire your Holiday gifts.
Finally, building blocks will always be an excellent gifting option, regardless of age. This is because they are useful for fostering creativity in children. Studies even suggest that they are a good way to alleviate mental stress, both in children and adults.
Undoubtedly, Montessori toys are very important at any stage, making them a great gift for the Holidays or birthdays. Do not forget that at CMS classrooms, you will find a support network to encourage your child through our specialized classes and workshops available for all ages. On behalf of the entire team that makes Central Montessori Schools possible, we wish everyone a very Happy Holidays!