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Why does Montessori use wooden toys?

Early childhood is not just about learning letters and numbers, but also a crucial time to develop motor skills, life skills, and emotional intelligence. The babies and toddlers are like sponges ready to absorb the information and happenings of the world around them. They should be provided with a conducive environment to develop all their senses optimally.

Montessori way of learning is one such way that provides ample opportunities for a young child to explore and experiment in his way.

What is Montessori Methodology ?

Montessori pedagogy is more than 100 years old, it is still the most unique and innovative alternative to the conventional way of learning.

Developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian educator and doctor, after many years of experimentation and observation, this method of learning is intended for early childhood and primary education.

What are the benefits of Montessori toys?

The Montessori approach to learning plays a significant role in fostering the long-term psychological, physical, and social well-being of a child. It is very much aligned with a child’s natural way of learning. The Montessori settings facilitate the most scientific and favorable environment for the children to grow and evolve. Here learning is child-guided and children learn by doing things independently which helps in the development of senses, motor skills, curiosity, and imagination.

Montessori learning emphasizes the use of wooden toys which are the essential learning tools in a Montessori setup. Wooden toys reinforce the principles of Montessori education and hence are the most preferred and indispensable part of it.

Let’s see the reasons to choose Montessori wooden toys:

  1. Wooden toys are simple and open-ended

In contrast to the flashy, sound-producing plastic toys that overwhelm and distract a child in several ways, wooden toys are unstructured and open. They provide a child with ample opportunities to explore, learn and problem-solve.

When it comes to the number of toys, ‘less is more’. Fewer toys keep children focussed for a much longer period. They build independence, give freedom, and keep children self-motivated.

  1. Wooden toys provide wholesome sensori motor experience

Senses are the elementary tools in a child’s learning process: this lies at the heart of the Montessori philosophy. Wooden toys have a unique tactile dimension to them.

  • The weight and warm feel of the wood satisfy and nurture the senses in a way no plastic toy can do.
  • The natural grainy texture of the wood is very appealing to the eyes. Their raw scent is pleasing to smell.
  • When the wooden pieces rattle together, their soothing sound entices the ears, like our Wooden rattles.
  • When babies put wooden teethers or rattles in their mouths, they are not just safe ( as wood is naturally anti-bacterial ) but also impart a raw flavor that is earthy and satisfying for them.
  • The senses friendly wooden toys add to their developmental journey as they explore the world around them.

Hence the benefits of wooden toys in Montessori learning is immense.

  1. Nature made and nature-inspired

When you buy a wooden toy you bring nature home, close to your little one. Nature is always beautiful and so are these toys.

Maria Montessori believed that toys should be beautiful as they attract and enhance the experience of a child.

Montessori wooden toys also have an edge over plastic ones as they are safe not just for the little ones but are also kind to the environment. Being biodegradable, they easily mingle with nature and play their part in reducing landfills.

  1. Durable while supporting iterative learning

The fundamental aspect of Montessori learning is to learn by doing things repetitively. This helps a child explore and understand the patterns of cause and effect. The durability of wooden toys provides ongoing learning and enrichment for years, unlike plastic toys that’ll end up in junkyards much sooner. They’ll last through many years and even generations. This also makes wooden toys in India cost-effective and worthwhile to buy.

  1. Purposeful learning

Wooden toys capture a child’s attention and concentration that lead to more meaningful and sustained engagement. These toys provide hands-on experience in real life. Children learn to make mistakes and correct them on their own by making wise decisions.

Montessori toys provide deeper educational value in reasoning, cause & effect, cognitive, motor, and sensorial skills, language, and practical life concepts.

Whether kids are stacking or building with blocks, zooming a pull-along toy, balancing wooden animals, or manipulating puzzle pieces to solve a jigsaw puzzle, they are building hand-eye coordination, fine-motor precision, enhancing creativity, memory, and problem-solving in the process. They are learning early lessons in Physics and Mathematics like pattern matching, shape sorting, and balancing.

  1. Realistic and practical

Montessori upholds the idea that toys should portray the real world that is they should be inspired by the worlds around us. Children are naturally curious and creative in their early years. They don’t need any unrealistic or fancy toys that can be confusing or overwhelming for them.

Montessori-based toys are real, child-sized tools. The figurines are also real-like. Such toys help in better understanding the actual world independently at their own pace. Children can also easily apply the learnings that they take from these toys to real-life situations. Reality-inspired symbolic toys are unstructured and hence encourage imaginative play.

Rightly said by Maria Montessori, “The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence. What the hand does, the mind remembers.”

And so wooden toys India are the best tools in the hands of the young minds, that they can use to explore, learn and develop numerous skills.

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