Yesterday I wrote a bit about our love of Montessori on Instagram (we are also really getting into Reggio– a play based approach to learning with a strong emphasis on nature, and have always had a fondness for Waldorf and the emphasis natural wood play materials as well as gorgeous classrooms and playgrounds!).
I recently got out all our Montessori materials and introduced them to Miss M. I mentioned in my post how I devoured books and the learning ideology of Maria Montessori when my oldest was this age. I really love the independent approach of having a child learn about and control their own environment. I also love the tactile and spatial learning approach – mixing math with toys, design and art. I know if I had been introduced to math in this way as a young child I would have been able to understand it much better.
I have often wished I could send my kids to one of these play based learning schools but either the tuition was out of our budget (when we lived in Southern Cali) or the schools wait lists are impossible to get on or they are really true accredited Montessori schools but rather loosely use that terminology, etc. Luckily I there are so many resources online that have helped me be able to supplement so much of it at home. I’ve also created a number of toys myself and much of what I do here on my blog and in my book Playful works perfectly for this type of learning. I’m such a proponent of kids playing creatively and how it enhances their learning.
If you’re looking for some good resources for play based learning I might suggest taking a look at some of these:
Read The Book Maria Montessori herself wrote
This is a good place to start learning about Montessori
These Stacking House Blocks are also a great learning toy
Lots of at home DIY’s for specific Montessori activities can be found by searching Pinterest. I would just say, that I’m a truest when it comes to materials. When you skip the wood toys and other natural items for plastic letters and laminated everything you loose the joys of tactile learning and the essence of what some of these philosophies are about.
Read more about the Reggio approach here
Great PBS article comparing the philosophies of each approach
I’d love to hear what you have found helpful and any links you might recommend as well!