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Montessori is an Italian-developed learning philosophy used in Montessori schools around the world. Unlike traditional Western pedagogy that emphasizes teacher-based learning, Montessori believes that children are already equipped to learn everything they need. It is a child-centric model encouraging exploration, problem-solving and cognitive development.
In Montessori, teachers create classrooms that are set up with different toys and materials. It is tailored to promote child development and learning at different stages. Dr. Maria Montessori wanted to inspire children to be independent and self-motivated. In a Montessori preschool, toddlers' have a chance to explore for themselves and learn at their own pace. Their emerging learning style is nurtured, not countered, and they are gently guided and encouraged along the way.
In a Montessori preschool, toddlers in particular are given a wide range of sensory toys to foster healthy development. Before they turn a year old, babies learn primarily through visual and oral stimulation. That's why textures seem to always excite, delight, and surprise babies. It's the reason they always stare and can't stop putting things in their mouths.
Toddlers are similar, but their greater range of motion and rapidly developing brains require more stimulation and diversity. Sensory play is fundamental to the growth as it gives children a direct connection with the world around them. Concepts are acquired through experience, not words and ideas. Think about how to teach your toddler learn themselves. Instead of repeating the same sounds over and over, you can set out steps for them to understand it for themselves. For example, showing various visual cues, drawing, combining vowel and consonant sounds.
The same principle applies to other learning toys for toddlers. The greater sensory stimulation they have, the more they acquire. Sensory play encourages movement and cognition, helping toddlers build greater connections between themselves and the outside world. They learn to translate thoughts into actions and vice versa. Remember, through sensory play, preschoolers develop the most valuable skills they'll need to progress through childhood.
Skills your toddlers can learn through play:
The Pikler Triangle is one of the most diverse toddler toys you can buy. Your child can start using it as early as 6 months of age and can continue until they are around 4 or 5 years old.
It's an all-in-one toy that babies, toddlers, and preschoolers instinctively know how to use. Little ones can build motor skills by climbing while older toddlers will slide and find ways to turn the triangle into a tent or anything else their imaginations conjure.
The simplistic design promotes greater use of the imagination. In a digital age where children are using tablets, smartphones, and computers as early as 2 years old, the need for traditional toys has never been greater. Child development can be enhanced through videos and music, but technology cannot replace the need for natural play and sensory stimulation.
The first seven years of childhood shape an individual for the rest of their life. They may not remember much of what happens to them during their earliest years. However, their self-esteem and trust are being built every day. Child development toys are more than just a way to pass the time. They are a toddler's gateway to the world, molding their idea of what they can achieve and expect. They provide security, comfort, and opportunity for a little person in a big world.
When observing child development with toys, you'll find that it's far easier to understand a child through their interactions than anything else. The way they choose to engage with a toy speaks volumes about their mental state, developmental stage, and emotional growth. Toys can help encourage a shy toddler to build more confidence and speak. They can help an energetic toddler express themselves in productive and meaningful ways. Toys help teach children patience, build confidence, and learn to trust in the power of their imaginations.
Toddlers will outgrow toys, but they'll never outgrow the skills they learn from them.
This was actually a pretty informative and interesting post! Thank you! I’ve got 3 under 3 right now so we are going through everything you described currently.