Here at Montessori Education (@montessorieducation) we have been getting tons of questions from friends and family on what to get our children for Christmas. We subscribe to the "want, need, wear, read" for our Christmas list so as to not only indulge in material items that lose their value after a couple of months.
Luckily for us, both the "want" and "need" categories can be Montessori items that appear as toys to our daughter, but have substantial learning value. In this list that is the basis of our criteria.
The item needs to appear as a toy (cause, duh, Christmas) and have learning value that may or may not be perceived by the child.
Here we go.
We recently posted on our Instagram about Osmo and it is at the top of our list for good reason. Our daughter absolutely loves her Osmo and begs to play with it everyday. It creates a near perfect intersection of technology and tangible play. With Osmo, she can do tangrams, math, spelling, drawing, coding...etc. If your child is at least 4 years old, get them an Osmo, you won't regret it. (start with the genius kit)
Technology in the Montessori classroom has its opponents and proponents, you can probably tell from this list and our other posts which side of the fence we sit on. However, there is no arguing that being technologically literate is the wave of the future and being able to create things in code will be just as valuable as creating things tangibly. But, at an early age learning programming logic isn't easily accomplished on the computer. In comes Cubetto. This toy is amazing. It begins teaching children the basics of programming by allowing them to manipulate tangible objects. It will help set your child up for success in the future and develop some of those core Montessori skills.
The Littlebits set definitely caters to kids older than the toddler age most of our posts target, but not so old that they are immune to Montessori training (8 years old +). Littlebits encourages enormous creativity and allow children to build amazingly functional things in no time. You, the parent will play with them too, my husband has spent hours with them. They can build robots, Bluetooth controlled vehicles and tons of other things only limited by their creativity.
The Ozobot is a fun little robot that will interact with an iPad or other tablet. The Montessori principles run deep with Ozobot. You child will learn problem solving and enhance fine motor skills significantly by simply playing with the device. It is truly wonderful how interactive and education this toy is and would be a blast to play with anytime.
Bloxels, in our opinion, fit very well into the Montessori classroom. After all, there are always blocks everywhere. ;) Bloxels allow the child to arrange different colored block into the "Bloxels Grid" which allows an iPad or tablet to capture the arrangement and turn it into a game that they can then play. The Bloxels kit allows children to be creative in a different environment than they are used to and opens up whole new possibilities of play. We love Bloxels.