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A few of our favorite toys and books to share with you and your family.

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

The holidays are just a blink away and deciding on the right gift for a child can be a challenge! With endless commercials, toy stores and toy aisles stacked with so many options, how do we decide?

Observing your child's interests and what skills your child is developing can be a good guide to choosing toys that your child may enjoy and benefit from. Here's a few questions to help guide this decision:
- Will the toy promote independent play and exploration?
- Will the toy invoke curiosity?
- Is the toy engaging or entertaining?
- Are there too many components that could overwhelm the child?
- Will the toy allow for creative/ open ended play?
- Will my child manage to put away this toy with little or no assistance?

We want our children to actively engage with the toys and materials we buy for them. Being intentional with our choices and reflecting on the questions above will help make choices that are supportive of your child's development. Toys that offer opportunities in developing fine motor skills to open and close, stack and nest, place pegs in holes or lacing beads for eye hand coordination. Toys that can be manipulated and keeps the child engaged for long periods of time as they are starting to build their concentration are toys that are engaging and suitable for young children. We want to avoid toys that entertain at the touch of a button as they seldom provide any other engagement besides pushing buttons.

In choosing books for our young ones, we want to consider how children at this age (0-6) are trying to make sense of the world around them. It's important to keep it real. When choosing books on animals, vehicles, community, nature etc, choose books with real pictures of life around us. For very young children, books with clear and real pictures provide an understanding of life around us and provide a rich vocabulary. Animated animals or cartoon depictions of life around us is very confusing to a young child as they are are connecting these images to the real world around them. Choose books with rich language, rhyming words and beautiful illustrations. Sharing books with our children (0-6) on the awe and wonders of the world. Choosing books on how food is made, how plants grow, where different animals live, the functions of construction vehicles, the role of community helpers and so much more offers young children an understanding of the world we live in and how connected we are. It also invokes curiosity and an eagerness to learn more.

Reading to our children and building an early relationship with books offers opportunities for us to learn about their interests so we can support them and nurture their curiosity. It also lends so many wonderful opportunities for bonding, conversations, connections and fostering a deep joy of learning together.

Below are just a few recommendations, watch this blog for more, from time to time and feel free to share it with friends and family:

My topmost recommendation is my favorite book as an educator and a fantastic guide for any parent of a young toddler: "The Montessori Toddler" by Simone Davies. A perfect guide to understanding Montessori and your toddler.

Below are a few recommendations for ages 12months - 3 years, we hope you will find helpful. We will continue to update this and hope to include more recommendations for ages 0-6 in the coming months.

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