Monday, September 24, 2012

Montessori Monday: Natural Materials

One of the things that makes Montessori classrooms so beautiful is the use of natural materials. Plastic or pretend things are generally avoided. Instead, the aim is for everything to be real and purposeful. Montessori felt very strongly that children should not be "given the world in facsimile," but rather that they should be given a manageable piece of the world that they can work and interact with independently. Instead of a play kitchen, children can delve into the mesmerizing activity of washing a table, and they do so with a basin, soap, pitcher and scrub brush, wearing an apron as they make bubbles. (Experiences like this are presented in an orderly and controlled fashion so that children can replicate the task on their own without frustration or a huge mess. ;) Throughout all of the activities offered, the materials that are used are natural and real wherever possible. Metal, glass, fabric, woven grasses and wood are lovely to touch, hold and see.
At home, you can follow this model in your child's toys. Coco has wonderful wooden blocks in a handwoven basket, the most beautiful cloth ball, and an indispensable silver rattle. Not everything is natural material, of course, but the difference in the weight, texture and feel of natural objects versus plastic makes them much more enjoyable and intriguing. What are your child's toys made of? Do you make a point of presenting your child with natural materials?

2 comments:

  1. Although I don't have kids, this is definitely the way to go! xoxo

    ReplyDelete

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