Today I want to talk about an educational toy, a Montessori box set for toddlers that I came across while I was in a bookshop in Pistoia, the Italian city I come from. I used this activity, during my work as a private educator, with a sixteenth month boy. I can tell you with confidence that he loved it, and still likes it a lot even now (he is almost two years old).
The name of this line of educational toys bought in Italy is “I Piccoli Montessori”. Moreover, there is also the French edition, it’s called “Tout-petit Montessori“ in case your family is bi-lingual or someone speaks French to your child. Unfortunately, I did not find this line of activities in English. In any case, I will continue to look for similar activities that are also in the English language.
This Montessori box set contains:
- 18 pieces of felt clothes shapes
- 9 Montessori clothing cards
- 1 booklet for parents to guide them through the activity, written by Delphine Roubieu, educator Montessori AMI and founder of the first network of bilingual Montessori nurseries in France, Baby Montessori
Delphine Roubier explains how to introduce the activity to our child, using the three period lesson (basically a lesson in 3 parts), an essential concept in the Montessorian pedagogy.
- NAMING/DESCRIBING THE OBJECT. We introduce the clothing cards, one at a time, saying the name of each of the objects shown. We let the child explore the card in his or her own way.
- ASK THE CHILD TO SHOW US THE OBJECT THAT WE HAVE NAMED. Once the card has been laid on the table, we ask the child to show us the card with the name of the piece of clothing that we have said. If he or she is wrong, we avoid correcting them by saying “no”; instead, we simply say the correct name of the clothing in a natural way.
- ASK THE CHILD TO NAME THE OBJECT. Once the child knows the name of the card, take a card from the table and ask him: “What is this”? He needs to name it. If the answer is not known, we will say it in a natural way, presenting a new card and so on.
Moreover, you can arrange the cards on the table and suggest that the child match a felt clothes shape to the corresponding clothing card, or match a shape to its mirror image. There are several ways to use this box set.
What really matters in this educational toy is that the child learns to concentrate and gradually recognize the articles of clothing and be able to match them.
The activities of this box set will help your child to:
– develop his/her senses. Children need to touch that which surrounds them, at least until they are five or six years old, as they have the ability to absorb the environment in a natural way, using all five senses.
– learn new words and enrich his/her vocabulary. The child, from birth, is like a sponge that absorbs the sounds and words from the surrounding environment with great ease.
– heighten concentration
– improve the ability to recognize and match objects. Initially, they can match the themed cards with the clothing. Further on, they will be able to match the cards with their own clothes.
DIY ideas inspired by this box set
I have to say that, with do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, it’s easy to carry out activities similar to this one.
For example, you can take some on-line images of clothes, print them out on cardstock, and cut them out. Then position the images onto thick felt, trace the outline of the clothes and cut them out. Next, use some cardstock to create the clothing cards. Lay the images of the clothing onto the cardboard, leaving a space of at least 1 centimetre on all sides, and cut them again. Finally, glue each of the images onto the appropriate piece of cardboard.
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The Sakura tree will suggest a lot of other educational toys and Montessori activities that you can do with your children.❤️🌸