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Is anyone else feeling Christmassy? I guess I get into the Christmas spirit a bit early, but as soon as it turns cold I start whistling Christmas tunes. I just love Christmas! And Little Bean will be turning two at the beginning of November, which in my mind sets the festivities rolling.
We started thinking about birthday and Christmas gifts a few months ago. Of course, we wanted things that she would enjoy, that would be right for where she’s at but would also last her a while. We also wanted things that were attractive, of a high quality and that were Montessori friendly (as much as possible). With that said here is a look at what Little Bean might find under the tree this year.
Puzzles are great for building so many skills: fine motor control, visual discrimination, matching skills and problem solving to name a few. Most toddlers love puzzles and Little Bean is no exception. It’s great to have one’s with realistic images, although I’m no stickler for that rule.
These are a wonderfully diverse and enticing pre-maths tool that will hopefully last for years. There are a variety of simpler pattern block mats available that would be suitable for an older toddler (see PreKinders for some great examples). NOTE: If your little person is still mouthing objects then these will not be suitable.
Practical Life Tools and Materials
Along with the sensorial activities, practical life activities are an important area of work for toddlers. Little Bean should have fun developing her skills and independence with these lovely practical life tools and materials.
What toddler doesn’t love musical instruments? These are great for getting a handle on beat and rhythm and for some good ol’ fun.
I’m big on open ended, imaginative play and these Schleich animals are perfect. Beautiful and realistic, they also make great educational tools.
We love a good book around here! Great for developing language skills, finding out about things and just snuggling up together books are a vital part of any toddlers journey. We opted for mostly non fiction as we already have a lot of great fiction books and we are keen to build our homeschool library. Although some of these books are not aimed at toddlers we will still have lots of fun looking at and talking about the pictures (a great range of non fiction books which are aimed at toddlers are the Peek Inside range by Usborne books).
Shape and Colour Sorting Board – a nice wooden board for sorting shapes by colour, shape and size, great for working on fine motor skills, colour recognition and visual discrimination. It also has an in-built control of error (UK link/can’t find anything like this on Amazon.com, sorry!).
Red Dog, Blue Dog Board Game – We love board games in our house and it’s about time Little Bean got in on the act! Board games are great for learning grace and courtesy skills like turn taking, saying please and thank you and how to be a good sport. This game also works on colour and object recognition and naming, and matching skills. It is suitable for ages 2-5 (UK link/US link).
Phew, that’s a mega list. Not all of these things will find their way into our house, we would need to build an extension if that was to happen! I’m also going to make a Waldorf doll for my baby loving Little Bean, we’ll see how that goes….