Montessori Toys & Learning
Montessori Toys and Montessori Learning are named after their Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman physician in Italy. Montessori preschools are meant for ages 3-6. Montessori schools are four-fold. They include: practical life, sensory, language and reading, and mathematics.
- Practical life skills include painting, cooking, and other activities.
- Sensory learning is built around learning visual discrimination through shapes, color and feel. This area includes stacking blocks and building towers.
- Language and reading starts with reading aloud to learn each letter.
- Mathematics is taught through hands on, tangible multiplication games using materials like beads.
Montessori learning is an independent approach allowing young ones to feel in control and important.
Waldorf Toys & Learning
The Waldorf teaching approach and waldorf toys focus solely on imagination. An Austrian scientist and philosopher, Rudolf Steiner, coined the term "Waldorf." He focused solely on the connection of the heart, head, and hands.
Waldorf teaching and learning is done in seven-year cycles. The first cycle focuses on pretend play and imitation. The second cycle is typically done with the same teacher from grades 1-8. Waldorf teachers lead creativity. This setting is very much like playtime at home.
Waldorf toys tend to be minimal in design so little ones can use their imagination and creativity. Pretend play is the best friend to this style of learning.
Both the Montessori and Waldorf styles of learning are great. It is up to you to choose what is the best for your little one(s).