Hi and welcome to My Montessori Online. Our previous post explained the different areas of the Montessori curriculum as well as an idea as to what materials can be used per area to enhance our toddlers social skills, language, math and more. There are many materials that can be created and bought to be able to create the perfect Montessori area, whether it be at home or in a school. Many activities for learning won’t include any particular materials but some can be used to further improve their knowledge. The best part are all the learning activities and material for toddlers that are both educational and fun. Making learning a whole new adventure.
Visiting the world from one place – Cultural studies
- World maps and globes allows the child to see and trace the world providing the ability to identify different continents, countries and states depending on the maps.
- Classified cards with pictures helps the child to be able to identify different species, locations and elements. These may vary from different types of animals and what country they originate from, different people and cultures, states, flags and more. The cards with labels can be used to help the child better identify the pictures.
- Puzzles are a big part of learning for every category since they help with concentration, eye-hand coordination and a few other skills. A few puzzles that are frequently included with Montessori materials are:
- United states puzzle
- World map
- A specific area for a varied amount of animals will teach the toddler how to classify animals from different countries as well as making them more aware of their surroundings. For example, being able to classify home pets and outside animals such as birds. There are big amounts of figurines that can be included in the curriculum. Those that may be included are animals from safari, insects, farm animals, and bugs.
- Cycles activity sets (butterfly, bee, worm, frogs and others) that include objects and photos are great to teach about growth, stages and the different ways animals grow. The frogs grow from a tadpole, the butterfly from a cocoon and so on.
- Animals that hibernate are a good way to learn about different habits animals may have in different seasons of the year.
- Herbivores, carnivores and omnivores activities are a fun way to learn what animals eat. Sorting games are a good way to keep the children entertained while they learn that all animals eat and the difference between them.
- Real plants throughout the classroom can help children learn about plants as well as taking responsibilities. This is also a practical life activity which is important and helps children learn how to take care of part of the home. This practice also helps our young ones strengthen their hand-eye coordination and equilibrium.
- Exploring dinosaur fossils and well as learning their history through cards with pictures or using models is a way to help children learn about the different types of dinosaurs and their classification. They can be divided in different kind – name, species, what they eat and when they lived. There are also different kinds of classifications that children can learn.
- Musical instruments are present in all cultures and varies between countries. Children are incline to dance, sing, move and create music which helps them express their unique, creative ways. Learning about different instruments and their history is a great way to learn about different cultures and where different music styles came from. It also helps children refine their coordination and appreciate different sounds the instruments make. Some instruments that are included in schools are maracas, bells, tambourines and drums. Musical instrument cards with pictures are also a great learning material for toddlers.
- Art is another wonderful way to have children express themselves and show their creativity. The history of art cards set is an educational material that provides the story of different artist as well as pictures and the history of many masterpieces.
Materials for toddlers to emphasize their senses- Sensorial activities
Sensorial activities are those that help improve the five senses (tactile, visual, olfactory, gustatory and auditory).
- Board with graduating texture like rough and smooth boards helps the children be aware of different textures.
- Fabric boxes may contain different types such as wool, silk, cotton and more. The idea is to have the children match the fabrics. Wool with wool, cotton with cotton and so on. This way they can learn about different textures and be able to classify different types of fabric.
- The triangular boxes helps children experiment with various geometric shapes by creating them with the different sized and shaped triangles. These can be matched by colors. For example: two similar triangles makes a square and two other make a rectangle.
- Color tablets provides the child with an ability to be able to recognize colors, sort them by similarity and by lightest to darkest or vise-versa. It’s also a way to appreciate beauty and different colors that surrounds them.
- The geometric cabinet is used to develop the child’s visual sense in recognizing different shapes and forms. It holds removable drawers that contains different shapes such as triangles, circles, polygons and more. Its helps children to be able to see the different shapes that surrounds them every day.
- Providing cups with different smells such as coffee, spices, essential oils and flowers develops consciousness of different odors and fragrances.
- Tasting cups teaches the children different flavors besides what they have at meal time. It helps them distinguish between salty, sour, sweet and bitter. It also helps make a connection between smell and taste.
- Sound boxes help refine the auditory sense in a controlled and engaging way by having them match sounds at a distance and by guessing the sound. The sounds from the cylinders in the boxes varied from very soft to very loud.
Working with numbers – Mathematics
There are plenty of materials that help children be able to learn and understand numbers.
- The pink tower is a material that can help toddlers understand the abstract mathematical concept. They can learn the difference between large vs small or long vs short by adding or subtracting pieces from the tower.
- A classic clock in home or at school with movable hands demonstrate that moving the minute hand causes the hour hand to move forwards helping them get a sense of time.
- Cards and counter typically includes cards with numbers one through ten and the child places the amount of counters shown in the cards. It helps them feel the materials as they count.
Phonic approach – Language
We should constantly speak and listen to children since language is an important part in the process of thinking. It is human tendency to want to communicate with others, therefore, activities to enrich children’s language development are included in the Montessori curriculum. Reading stories and using vocabulary cards helps them understand new words and add them to their vocabulary. Additionally, singing to children as well as playing sound games may help them understand and learn new words.
Montessori materials for toddlers
This is a small list and explanation of some materials that are used in many Montessori homes and schools. It is not a complete list since they’re a huge amount of materials that can be used for different areas of education. This type of learning is very hands-on and helps children built a sense of confidence while learning about the world, math and others categories.