I mentioned previously that our daycare has a library of books for kids as well as parents so last week I checked this book out. Why? The set up of the infant room and my daycare's policies (based on the Montessori educational system) have engaged my curiosity. I believe that I see an impact on the way my girls are developing and I'm definitely interested in implementing some Montessori concepts at home.
The book itself is easy to read with lots of pictures. It does go up to the teen years but I limited myself to the chapters on infants and toddlers. It includes ideas on activities and materials that stimulate a child's sensory development.
The two main ideas that I'm taking away to implement from this book are
It's a bit too early to make any major decision on the type of educational system I would like the girls to be a part of, but for now the Montessori guidelines on developmental play work for me. If I do decide to continue on the Montessori path, I'll give this book a second read but for now it goes back to the library.
- Natural materials - The Montessori way encourages the use of natural materials. I am very open to that. I was looking for some musical toys for the girls over the weekend so I went to Babies R Us. I found myself feeling disappointed with the selection of bright, flashy, plastic electronic toys. They cost money to run (batteries) and are actually more interesting to me than the girls. I got this drum and I'm not sure it's a really valuable and educational toy. I'm definitely ready for some non-battery operated toys so my mind is already attuned to the Montessori way.
- Discovery Box - A discovery box is a box filled with 5-20 items and placed in a place that is easily accessible to the child. The number or items should be a function of the child's age. The idea is for the child to get used to going to the box and picking out items they want to explore or play with. It encourages sensory development and should incorporate different colors, textures, sounds etc. While doing that, the child also gets the concept of keeping toys away .