If you've got a special toddler in your life, there are probably times when you want to buy him or her a gift, whether it is for the holidays, a birthday, or just because. While there are a lot of choices that make noise, light up, and seem like fun, those are often the toys that are quickly discarded. Sometimes some of these simple gifts are used the most, and they complement a toddler Montessori education, based on the premise that children learn through hands-on, self-directed learning.
- Blocks. Any type, whether they are small wooden ones, large cardboard ones, or even some you make yourself out of milk cartons are terrific for toddlers. Not only can they have a blast making simple structures, they will love knocking them down too. They will also use them in a variety of ways, lining them up, grouping them, and pretending they are something else altogether.
- Sensory table. One of these tables enables a child to explore different things in a supervised setting. Fill it with rice, beans, or water, and some of a child's favorite toys, whether it be dinosaurs, cars, or animals, and watch him play for hours. It's also a great place to put things like pine cones, leaves, and other items from nature that a child can explore safely.
- Simple puzzles and shape-sorters. As a child learns, simple puzzles will not only help with eye-hand coordination, but with some higher-level thinking.
- Art supplies. Crayons, paper, watercolors, and fingerpaint, are timeless items that allow children to use their budding creativity to create masterpieces.
- Role-playing supplies. Children's imaginations will flourish as they work in a kitchen, dress up like a firefighter, or pretend to give their stuffed animals a check-up with a stethoscope. Give them some simple props and let their imagination do the rest.
- Books. You can never have too many books, and children are learning essential pre-reading skills even at this young age.
When looking for a gift for a young child, simple is often better. Most adults remember playing with some of these gifts as a child, and remember the enjoyment they got out of them. Not only are they timeless and educational, but they usually are easy on the pocketbook too.
For more information on how a Montessori education can benefit young children, contact us.