What Montessori education is and why we hear even more often about its importance? It defines the educative system developed by the Italian pedagogist Maria Montessori and it generally refers to a new setting of school environment but, most widely to a new philosophy of childhood.

The educational approach devised by Montessori changed forever the educative system and also the world of toys, so let’s see some of the main features and elements of this educational approach and why it is considered so important still today.

First of all, Montessori Method adopts a child-focused approach: it is based on the idea that children are naturally eager for knowledge and most important, are and must remain free.

This means that you don’t need to force children to some inner principles, because they are naturally led to learn the world around. Moreover, as adult, you are an observer and a guide and your main task is to help them develop confidence and to stimulate them learn.

“A place for everything and everything in its place”

Maria Montessori believed that children who are free to choose and act within the right environment would act spontaneously for optimal development.

So, at school and at home, what’s really important is that adults prepare a correct environment, in order to create a stimulating setting for learning and inner discipline.

When you designate a place for everything, your little ones quickly learn where everything goes and this is a very useful tool in order to help them acquire independence.

So if you want to adopt Montessori approach at home start making things more accessible for your child, putting store clothing in low drawers, placing step stools in the kitchen and in the bathroom so that they can start washing their hands themselves.

Separate toys into different baskets, so the items can be easier to find, and place them where your toddler can access them with ease.

In the Montessori approach, parents are also encouraged to rotate kids’ toys and books every few weeks, in order to keep their curiosity fresh and prevent boredom. If  they get excited about the Space and the stars, for example, then include toys on this theme, but after some time their interest about Space will probably wave and something new will make them more enthusiast, so you can introduce Pets or Vikings, for instance!  Satisfy their new interests and don’t stop encouraging exploration and creativity, through play!

What about Montessori method in toys?

According to the Montessori approach, children can learn plenty of things through play.

When children are free to explore and play, they learn many precious principles, so important for their growth. So, that’s the rule number one: fewer but higher quality toys for children!

When choosing toys for your baby and toddler, “the less-is-more” principle is preferred by Montessori-inspired approach: choose toys made by natural materials, to teach them not only the pleasure of having fun and enjoying a new toy, but also the respect for the Nature or toys that can grow along with your child, such as this cute Grow-with-me rocking horse.

Toys are also a very powerful tool for knowledge and cognitive development through play and senses!

A good Montessori toy encourages imagination and creativity. An example? With this lovely All-in-1 easel:  toddlers can paint, write or draw on a double-sided wooden easel , which can be adapted to their height.

And what about this Magnetic Art box?

91 magnetic shapes to place on the scene pictured on the inside lid and children can have fun creating everything children can imagine!

Both these toys are inspired by Montessori method, because they encourage imagination in children and help them freely express their inner world.

Beyond the school system and toys, the greatest achievement of Maria Montessori is the “Discovery of the child”: in a time when children received a notional teaching in an unsuitable environment, she affirmed the need of a child-friendly environment, where kids can freely move and learn according to their attitudes. This revolutionary  idea that every child is unique is also what inspired Peter Handstein when he founded Hape Company, and his “Love Play Learn” claim.

Made in natural and sustainable materials, our toys encourage cognitive, emotional and motorial skills and help children grow since 1986, because we believe in the powerful of play in learning process!

So what do you think about Montessori method and how do you think to apply it in your family? Let us know!