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  • The Best Montessori-Inspired Toys for Your Child (6 Months to 2 Years Old)

    According to the Montessori method, play is self-directed, which means that children should be allowed to choose what kind of activity they want to do
    by Kate Borbon .
The Best Montessori-Inspired Toys for Your Child (6 Months to 2 Years Old)
PHOTO BY iStock
  • We all know how vital it is to provide kids with as many avenues for learning as possible, and play is your number one tool. That's why Montessori-inspired toys have always been popular with parents.

    What is the Montessori method?

    The Montessori method has often been associated with schools that follow the child-centered approach to education developed by physician and educator Maria Montessori. It encourages children to learn at their own pace by way of multi-sensory activities, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. The goal is to raise children as “capable people who will…have a strong sense of self, the ability to connect with others, and the potential to be productive throughout their lives,” writes the American Montessori Society.

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    The best Montessori-inspired toys for your toddler

    According to the Montessori method, play is self-directed, which means that children should be allowed to choose what kind of activity they want to do. Imagination is also essential since it gives kids a chance to be as creative as they want. The process lets children develop into confident learners who believe in their own abilities and are able to enjoy the process of learning.

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    The good news is you can apply Montessori in your home. The following toys can help give your child the play experience that the Montessori method encourages.

    Blocks

    Blocks, along with other construction toys like Legos, give your child the opportunity to exercise her creativity in building different kinds of structures and scenarios. These also allow kids to develop their fine motor skills, specifically in grasping objects and manipulating them using their hands.

    Dolls and figures

    Toys that allow your child to engage in pretend play encourage her imagination and sense of wonder. It might also be a excellent way for her to be able to express her emotions. Dolls and figurines of people and animals are great types of pretend-play toys as well as toy sets that are modeled after specific occupations, like doctor tools and cooking instruments.

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    Musical instruments

    We’ve stressed before how powerfully music can impact even the youngest of children — being exposed to music at a young age can help boost a child’s brain development, IQ, memory, and even language acquisition skills. Plus, it’s never too early to build an appreciation for music in your little one!

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    Try providing her with toys that she can manipulate to make different kinds of sounds, like mini-musical instrument sets. You might even want to try pots, pans, and wooden spoons.

    Wagons and balls

    Kids have a lot of energy, so it is essential to give them opportunities to move freely as much as they want. Since toddlers are at the age when they are only starting to walk, toys like wagons, which can help build balance and confidence, and balls, which improve a child’s motor skills, are very helpful.

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    Puzzles

    Puzzles help kids develop different skills such as spatial understanding, problem-solving, and resilience. Playing with puzzles also provides lots of opportunities for you to bond with your little one!

    Board games

    Playing with board games gives kids the chance to develop, for instance, cognitive functions like focus, memory, decision-making, and problem-solving, as well as their social skills since it involves taking turns and interacting with others. It will also be a fun activity for the whole family!

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    Sensory table

    Exploration and sensory play are some of the most important tenets of the Montessori method, and sensory tables filled with materials like sand or water can help your toddler engage in both. Aside from tables, you may also try using bins or baskets. Yes, sensory play will most definitely be messy, but it’ll be more than worth it!

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