Thursday 19 November 2015

Favourite Montessori Style Open Ended Toys part I

On thing I always get asked around this time of year, is what kind of toys Ebi-kun has, so I thought I'd do a round up, the post got too big so I made it into a mini series. 

OK, first up... wooden blocks, I don't think you can go wrong with wooden blocks but there are some things to keep in mind. Not strictly Montessori but I feel they fit with the ethos and they can be used in so many ways.

I do recommend getting either natural or stained rather than painted blocks. The paint chips off the blocks easily so they end up looking tatty very quickly. Also, check on where the product is made, some cheaper blocks use dodgy lead based paint, another reason to go for stain or natural blocks.

Blocks in a walker 

This isn't the exact model that Ebi-kun has (yes, he still has it and still uses the blocks). He had the walker for his first birthday, if your child is using it to learn to walk with then make sure the handle is low so their weight will prevent the walker from whizzing off without them!
I remember having one of these as a kid and Ebi-kun has used his a lot, the walker can also be used for ferrying other toys around too!

Available from Amazon

Mixed shape set

We don't have this actual one but it's beautiful. I love the mixed shapes set because it opens the imagination. Ebi-kun uses his to build all kinds of things from extending his marble run to making fancy structures. 
Available on Amazon

Generic Block Set
So, we actually have three sets of blocks, the ones in the walker, ones that are shaped with arches etc. and a pack that are stained but just standard sort of shapes. The combination of all three makes for a lot of fun. Ebi-kun is 10 now and the blocks still get pulled out, not as often as when he was little but they are certain still used. I doubt we will ever pass them on, we will keep them for Ebi-kuns kids in all those years in the future.

Coloured Windows

We don't have these, they came out to late for us really but I have friends that love them and would be a good one to add to the mix.

Alphabet Blocks
I added these into the mix with a word of warning... there are a lot of letter blocks out there and some are beautiful BUT if you are going for alphabet blocks find a set with lower case letters. 97% of what we read is in lower case so you should be introducing lowercase first. 
This rules goes for any toys, with years and years of teaching experience, I know that kids will pick up uppercase with out any help and that those who learn uppercase first then have to unlearn it when they are starting to write a school (they naturally write words in uppercase if that is what they learn first)

Full disclosure, I have used affiliate links and I do say whether they are to the actual products that we have or if it's a similar item. 

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