There is a lot to love about Plan Toys. When Otto was around 18 months he loved the nesting cylinders and cube, and their new shape puzzles are well aligned with Montessori. In Montessori toddler classes we have used various Plan Toys like the pegging toy and punch and drop ball set. Plan Toys have a lovely range of materials with a built in control of error and also open ended materials like blocks.
While I'm not suggesting they replace Montessori materials (nothing will do that) many Plan Toys are found in and suitable for Montessori home environments especially, for toddlers and preschoolers. One of the main differences I notice (above) is the isolation of a single property through a single sense, in the Montessori circle puzzle the circles are all the same colour, only the size is different. In the Plan Toys circle puzzle the circles both the colour/shade and the sizes are different. Same with the cube and box and the shape sorter. I have not found this to be an issue in our home environment and I've found Plan Toys to be fantastic quality, their materials are solid and have a good weight to them. If you (or friends and family) are looking for good, accessible toys, Plan Toys might worth checking out. Here are a few of my favourites.
For Toddlers (12-14months-3yrs):
- Miracle Pounding Toy
- Hammer Balls
- Punch and Drop - this is popular now and no our shelves at 22 months.
- Geo Matching Blocks
- Nesting Cylinders - love these at around 18 months.
- Nesting Boxes - to begin you can present the smallest two boxes for the child to gain coordinated movement and build concentration much like the Montessori box and cube.
- Circle Matching Puzzle
- Square Matching Puzzle
- Triangle Matching Puzzle - also see the coloured Shape Matching Puzzle.
- Geo Lacing Beads
- Trio Stacking
- Shape and Sort
- Sort and Count Cups - wonderful for colour sorting.
- Creative Peg Board - for fine motor skills and developing pincer grip.
- Geometric Sorting Board
- Preschool Creative Blocks - for a toddler I wouldn't present all of these blocks at once, start with a few in a basket and build up from there.
- Water Blocks - for open ended play.
- Unit Block Set
- Marble Run - Standard or Deluxe
- Eco Dollhouse - Plan Toys have a good range of dollhouses suitable for pretend and role play. Caspar had this exact one in his 6-9yr Montessori classroom for language/grammar work. We also have this one at home for Otis. Plan Toys also have other buildings that could be used for the same work, depending on the child's interests like a Fire Station.
- Lacing Board - many older toddlers would be able to use this too.
- Shape Matching
- Fraction Fun
- Mosaic Tiles - for patterning and open ended play.
- Spinning Tops - good for developing fine motor skills. These are good stocking stuffers.
- Traffic Signs - these are fantastic learning tools to use during block play.
With Montessori materials I always recommend buying through a reputable store, make sure you know where and how they are made. You can find our more about where and how Plan Toys are made here. In the UK Babipur has a large selection of Plan Toys. In Australia we use Modern Teaching Aids.
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