I admit to sometimes feeling insecure about my Montessori knowledge. It is for this reason I have stayed away from many specific Montessori materials. I always thought that you needed formal training to know how to use them or to know how to present them to your child.
While I am sure this is true for many materials, I have been tempted by the lure of Etsy to try some Montessori toys and mobiles for our new baby (due April 2011).
So far we have collected the
- Gobbi mobile (pictured above)
- Bell on a ribbon
- Interlocking discs
all from Goose Designs.
And while not specifically Montessori also pictured (below) is
- Organic wool ball with a bell inside - Nature Baby
- Crochet rattle - Pinkhouse Handworks
- Wooden teether - Little Alouette
A Munari mobile is next on my list. If you haven't seen one of these before you are not alone. The Munari is a black and white mobile that is used for a baby as young as 3 weeks. I have just found an Australian supplier of these and other materials At Home with Montessori, I have also noticed that they sell through Made It.
There are many good things about these products. Obviously the benefit of using developmentally appropriate materials. Many of these are made by people with Montessori training and include clear, precise instructions on when and how to use them. This makes me feel confident that I will be able to present them as intended.
Even if you don't follow Montessori, some of these products are truly beautiful (check out the Gobbi) and would make perfect, natural gifts. They are also all quality handmade.
I do have a dilemma in that I do not know where to hang the mobiles. I am not sure which rooms we will spend most of our time. Some people say to have a hook in every room, but I really don't want to install so many hooks (bedroom, playroom, living area, lounge). I welcome any suggestions.