I've written so many gift guides lately I feel like I need to add a disclaimer. Whatever gifts you buy - please make them beautiful. Buy gifts that will add to your child's life, buy gifts your child can connect with and that will last.
Montessorians are known for their love of wooden toys. Although we do have some plastic toys in our home I really love creating natural learning opportunities. I love to have the bulk of our toys and materials being natural and authentic. Toys add to the overall feel of our home and I want our home to feel warm, comfortable, colourful and interesting. Not only are these toys more aesthetically pleasing, they are often much nicer to touch and play with and are often better quality. I want our toys to last and withstand years of play!
I look for open ended toys that lead to creative thinking. I need to be convinced that the toys have more than one point of interest. That they will hold my child's attention and meet their developmental needs.
I also love to observe my children playing. Otis (4 years) is really into construction and building however it's become obvious he is very interested in social interactions and elements of communities (what makes up a community, how it operates, governance and services). I am not sure if this is an interest or a developmental stage however having a few toys that support this is really important.
So I would say that it is through observation that I think about which toys and gifts to source for my children. Often these are not the kind of toys you see in a shopping mall toy store and require a bit of research and looking around.
It goes without saying that I also love gifts and toys that will promote movement, that will assist with the child's developing fine and gross motor skills. Regarding these pictured blocks I also love that they teach colour theory (which since starting art classes has become a really significant part of our work and play) - showing they are multi-dimensional.
Our Natural Spaces See Through Coloured Blocks are c/o Child.com.au. Otis has been quite rough with them, some of them have fallen on the hard tiled floor and they are proving to be unbreakable. They are also really beautiful! A huge thank you to Child.com.au for supplying us with so many wonderful materials this year.