Many things make the Montessori kindergarten unique from a traditional one, and those include not only the activities that students engage in but also the toys they play with. Learning about what separates Montessori toys and activities from others is a great way to get some perspective on what makes the Montessori philosophy unique altogether.
To get a better idea of what the Montessori philosophy is all about, take a look at this guide to the kinds of toys and activities your child will be engaging with at their Montessori kindergarten.
What Is a Montessori Toy?
The kinds of toys that your kindergarten student will play with at their Montessori school will not necessarily be shockingly different from the average toy, but these toys share a few basic characteristics that align with our educational philosophy. Those characteristics include the following:
A Connection to Real Life
The Montessori philosophy places high value on toys that can help children bridge the gap between their current world and the one that awaits them outside. This means that our toys will be representative of the real world.
Instead of cartoon versions of animals, they’ll play with realistic versions of them. Instead of picture books full of fantastical imagery, they’ll look at images of the real world.
Many toys for kindergarten children are designed to encourage learning. But while some of those toys will incorporate multiple skills in that learning process (e.g., counting, identification, and matching), a Montessori toy will focus on a single skill at a time. This allows children to give all of their attention to the acquisition of that skill without the opportunity for distraction.
A Lack of Electronics
Children are easily engaged by electronics and flashing lights, but that engagement isn’t necessarily useful. By playing with toys that don’t use these particular tools to garner attention, your child will be able to place more focus on the educational activity the toy is designed for.
What Are Montessori Activities?
Every activity our kindergarten students engage in is designed to further their educational progress and encourage the development of useful skills. Below are some of the most important skills our activities focus on.
Engaging the senses is key to the Montessori philosophy. It helps children to cement the things they learn into their minds through multiple layers of perception and observation. For this reason, Montessori activities often focus on senses like feeling, hearing, and smelling.
Acquiring practical skills is as important an aspect of education as any — more important than most, really — and yet practical skills are not the focus in every classroom.
Montessori kindergartens place a lot of emphasis on teaching children how to do practical activities. As children improve their skills, they also develop the focus, self-confidence, and fine motor skills required for all practical activities.
We believe that getting young children engaged with the world of mathematics is best done through multidimensional activities rather than just numbers on paper. Our math activities focus on tangible objects that engage both the senses and the mind.
Learning about language involves more than acquiring the skills of reading and writing. It’s about communication. Our language activities do focus on sounding out letters, forming sentences, and reading to ourselves, but they also address the ways in which people use language with one another.
Interested in Montessori Kindergarten?
If you’d like to know more about Montessori toys and activities, reach out to Montessori School of Flagstaff today.