French Family Montessori Friendly Gift List 2021
In Montessori there are four planes of developments. Both our girls are in very different stages in their development but they are in the same plane of development. How can this be? The first plane of development is called the absorbent mind and although it lasts from 0-6, it is broken into two sub-planes: the unconscious absorbent mind and the conscious absorbent mind.
Our 20 month old is in the unconscious absorbent mind phase and is very interested in exploring her environment, gross motor, practical life, creating order in the environment (wants to put things back where they go or clean up a spill for example), very verbal (not always annunciating yet – although she often does. She is very much still in a “no” stage as well), very independent and wants to do it herself, and is moving from simple shape knobbed puzzles to larger knobbed puzzles. She has done some object to object, object to picture, picture to picture matching work and will still gravitate towards this on the shelf some but I am not sure how popular it would be if sister wasn’t using her own three part cards.
Our 4.5 year old is in the conscious absorbent mind phase. She is curious and interested in learning about the world around her but is not driven to explore her environment as her younger sister is. Academically she is loving sound games and is so close to diving in with sandpaper letters. She is at the beginning of the mathematical materials in the Montessori scope and sequence and will begin basic mathematical operations this school year. She is incredibly curious, intrinsically motivated, and creative. In fact, creative play marks most of her day. She loves building with her blocks, creating with her art supplies, dress up play (play silks are her most used item here!), and writing her own stories.
When I am working on gift lists for the girls (whether it be for birthdays or Christmas) I think about where they are and where they are going interest wise and developmentally. I take some time to reflect on what I am observing in their day to day interactions and I revisit what comes next for them based upon this. I also revisit our toy philosophy. Our family looks for toys that are:
- Open Ended
- Not loud or obnoxious
- A natural material or a good quality plastic that is safe (although we try not to do much plastic!)
- Developmentally appropriate (for where they are today and where they will be in a few months!)
- Is not a duplicate
- Is Montessori friendly (not necessarily something found in a Montessori classroom)
- Not electronic (no tablets, games, phones, etc.)
If you are still developing your toy philosophy in your home, are wanting to pair down, or would like to start a toy rotation, I highly recommend reading Simplicity Parenting.
While we do appreciate it if our friends and family want to purchase materials for the girl’s homeschool, we don’t include those on our gift lists often. The only exceptions has been items that overlap with work cycle and play more than the traditional materials. For us that has only been Schleich animals and the fun Montessori knobbed puzzles that often grace 3-6 classrooms. These were not in the original scope and sequence but have been added to further explore the cultural curriculum.
My oldest daughter enjoys helping to currate her gift list now that she’s older. It is fun to sit down together and let her look through things.
So without further ado… let’s get to these Christmas lists! Check out th eoverlapping items at the bottom of the list.
Gift List for Young Montessori Toddler
Melissa and Doug Jumbo Knob Safari Friends
Gift List for Montessori Preschooler
Melissa Doug Sar Jumbo Puzzle – 24 pieces
Other Gift Ideas: