If your child loves his Montessori preschool, you may be tempted to buy the specialised learning equipment he uses, so he can continue to learn at home. These are pricey because they’re made to last for years and withstand constant use at school, explains Connie Cho, former founder of Brighton Montessori.
She suggests what to buy if you can afford it, and how to look for cheaper replacements at home. Make sure it’s age-appropriate and of the best quality. But leave out academic equipment such as phonics and mathematics – these need the help of trained teachers.
Equipment like the Pink Tower and Binomial Cube are made with the following elements in mind: size, shape, temperature, sound, taste and so on. It should come with detailed sensorial labels.
Pay for the Montessori Sandpaper Board. It’s useful for teaching different textures, as it’s made up of different grades of sandpaper strips and introduces labels such as “rough” and “smooth”. Later on, your child can learn about “rougher” and “smoother” when he makes comparisons.
At home, look for different textures of cloths or clothes to show the same concepts.
Many of the equipment in this category can actually be made from daily household items.
Pay for the Montessori “Dressing Frames”, which teaches skills such as buttoning, zipping, doing up the hook and eye, and snapping on buttons.
At home, use your child’s own clothes instead.