Friday 6 January 2012

New on the shelves

(Goblin is 26 months)
I have two new toys for Goblin on the shelves this week. The first is wooden cutting fruit. You may have come across these before. Melissa and Doug do a huge range but these are actually a slightly cheaper version from U wood toys.
Montessori methods seem to promote doing the 'actual' activity where possible rather than pretending to do the activity. I like this principle and therefore resisted buying this toy for ages on the basis that if Goblin wanted to play at cutting fruit I could give him a banana and a butter knife and let him do the real thing. And we do do that often. But you can't leave a peeled banana on a shelf all week - well you can but you wouldn't want your toddler eating it at the end of the week!
When we went to a friends house before Christmas Goblin discovered her velcro fruit and spent ages 'cutting' it. I noticed how many different skills it utilises - accuracy, fine motor, pressure, patience, balance, matching (to put the fruit back together). I realised that my adherence to my interpretation of this Montessori principles was daft - and probably wrong. So I bought Goblin a set of fruit for himself. It comes in a lovely wooden box so that you can put it straight onto the shelf rather than use a tray or basket.  I'm happy to report that Goblin loves it.

Goblin's other new toy was a Christmas present from Nanny. A set of scales. We had looked at the aesthetically pleasing wooden ones that hang.
But we realised at the age he is the strings would get in the way and be frustrating. So we opted for a slightly less pretty but much more practical plastic set from Amazon.
 At the moment they aren't being used as scales, just as a play thing. But he likes the seesaw motion and is starting to understand the consequence of putting something in one side and not the other. So there is learning involved in this play even when its completely unstructured.

I will be linking this to
Montessori Monday I Can Teach My ChildTot School


  1. I love the idea of a scale as a toy. Hadn't thought of that.

    Dropped in from 1+1+1.

  2. Thanks for sharing this at WOTT :) I am so glad that you got motivated with Goblin's shelves! I saw another site with a scale on a tray but I couldn't find the one she had. The one Goblin uses is the one in my amazon cart. How do you like it? Hope to see you at WOTT again this week :)

  3. Thanks for sharing your experiences with the cutting fruit toy and scale. I know a lot of parents also use wooden fruit cutting to teach fractions later on, too, and your scale will have lots of uses! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page:

  4. We had the exact wooden scale you've pictured and I can tell you, you've made the right choice! Sadly ours ended up getting caught in a vaccuum cleaner and all the stings broke beyond repair - but before that it really was too unwieldy for small children (and me - never did get it to balance properly!) and spent most of its (far too short) life in pieces ;-)

    I avoided the velcro cutting fruit too, wish I hadn't now! Thanks for sharing all your finds!


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