Handmade Holidays: Quality Montessori

We live in a plastic, blinking, noisy, battery operated world, and while I have some appreciation for those things, I really think there’s something special about simple, natural, hand-crafted toys that will last forever. That being said I’m SO excited about what we got for Leolani this Christmas. I’m also excited that I actually ordered it before December. I’m usually one of those crazy people shopping on Christmas Eve but this year I want to do my part to allow retail employees to stay home on Christmas Eve, AND support small businesses.

I’ve also been totally enamored with Montessori inspired toys. I think they’re so beautiful and completely in line with my clean and simple aesthetic. I’ve done some reading on the philosophy and teaching style and while that appeals to me as well I haven’t gotten myself organized enough to really do it. Despite my reluctance to start, I’m often browsing Montessori toys on Etsy. Quality Montessori is one shop I always end up looking through, and I decided to take the opportunity that Christmas brings to pick something up for Leo, and while it was difficult to choose, I decided on the  Montessori Baby Toy Gift Set.

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It arrived a few days ago, and I was probably more excited about it than Leo will be. I thought I would wait till Christmas to open it, but I couldn’t resist and tore open the box as soon as it arrived. It is just as lovely in person as it was in the listing photo. Smooth, small and light weight but still sturdy. I won’t give it to her till Christmas (silly, I know) and I can’t wait to see her little fingers wrap around them! By then she should be reaching for objects in front of her and it’ll be so fun to watch her play with her first Montessori toys. I’m pretty addicted now to this sort of quality toy and will be buying more!

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. When you place your baby in the play area, offer only one activity. Offer only one picture (on the wall or in a book) to look at. Or offer one mobile to gaze at. Or offer one toy to play with. Or offer music to listen. All of these are examples of one activity at a time. Babies are unable to take things in quickly so they need time to process. If we offer too much stimulation at one time, the baby cannot distinguish what is important to take in, and takes in all of it. It ends up not being clear for the child and feels like a jumbled mess. TV has so many quickly changing images and sounds that a baby simply cannot process it. The child may become overwhelmed and cry. Or the child quietly shuts down and doesn’t take it in as there is just too much. With too much stimulation, the baby is unable to take in the good opportunities to learn and develop. As Andrea gained the ability to move towards a toy she wanted, I began offering her a choice between two toys. She would move to one, explore it briefly, then move to the other toy and explore it briefly. She would then settle on one toy and contentedly play with it, eventually going back to the other toy and then playing with it contentedly. Thinking that it would sustain her longer if I offered three toys, I did so but consistently she would bounce between the three toys, not staying with any of them for a decent length of time. I went back to offering only two toys and watched her determination and concentration increase as she engaged her muscles to reach for and play with the toys, one at a time.

    1. So interesting! Thanks for sharing that Nicole. I will make sure to introduce these objects slowly. My three year old often bounces between activities, not really sticking with one. I will try limiting the activities she’s exposed to as well.

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