When you start learning about the Montessori practice you often hear (and see) a lot about wooden toys. But why are they so beneficial? Wooden toys spark your child’s creativity and is a form of open-ended play. Unlike plastic toys that can be over-stimulating with flashing lights and a set outcome. Wooden toys will provide your child with activities that do not have a set outcome. Building blocks, cardboard tubes, wooden kitchens, train sets and sensory/messy play are all examples of open–ended play, because they can play in a number of ways with no set outcome.
Encourages your child’s brain development
Not only do wooden toys inspire creative and imaginative play in children. It is also beneficial for your child’s brain development, helping to improve their cognitive and problem-solving skills. The natural textures of wooden toys stimulate the child’s senses as they encourage them to feel, touch and explore. Because of their simpler shapes, wooden toys also help children build hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
They’re strong and child safe
Wooden toys are also stronger than their plastic counterparts. They will not easily break, meaning no broken small pieces or sharp edges, which is ideal for babies who we know like to put everything in their mouths!
They’re better for your peace of mind and the environment
Of course, wooden toys are also much better for the environment than plastic! They’re non-toxic, but not only that they won’t pollute your home with excessive noise, win, win! As open-ended wooden toys help to keep children from becoming so easily distracted. By having natural wooden toys in your home, it actually keeps your home quieter and more peaceful. We’re all a product of our environment, so offering the best/calm environment for your child will therefore encourage their mind to stay calm and healthy.
English and Maths are both very important subjects. They’re the building blocks of everything we do. If your child or the child you care for can get a good grasp of these two subjects, then this will help them progress well in all of their academic subjects in the future.
Our 7 tips on how to help your child with their English and Maths:
Repeat, repeat and repeat
When it comes to English and Maths, repetition is a good thing! It will help your child get to grasp with the English language and those tougher Mathematics. As the saying goes, ‘practice makes perfect’.
2. Positivity is key
Staying positive when helping your child with their English and Maths is important. Try not to say things like “I can’t spell”, “I’m rubbish at English” or “I hated Maths at school” (even though it can be tempting). Your child may start to think the same way themselves.
3. Start young
Starting young is key. As soon as a baby is born, they’re like sponges (just think of all the things you don’t want them to pick up and how quickly they do, eek!). Reading to babies and toddlers regularly is great for building reading confidence, reading comprehension and a love for reading. Which in turns helps them to get a good understanding of the English language. It’s also a good idea to start Maths with your child at a young age too. Simple things like counting their little toes and using number blocks is paramount in setting your child up for a positive Maths and English journey.
4. Keep it fun
Try and keep it fun and relaxed. If it feels serious and tense all the time or like a chore. Your child will VERY quickly lose interest.
5. Don’t be too pushy
Although it can be easy to get frustrated with your child at times, especially if you think they’re not concentrating or they can do better if they just stayed focused. Being too pushy can make them even more disinterested, as they start to feel the pressure. Try not to push them to do more than they can. Doing short sessions can help them not to lose interest.
6. Utilise every-day life
To increase your child’s interest and knowledge of Maths. Point out the maths in everyday life, by including them in activities involving numbers and measuring, such as cooking, shopping and travelling.
7. Give your child regular praise
Last but not least, don’t forget to give your child praise when it’s deserved. But remember to not just praise them when you think they’ve displayed signs of being clever. Give them praise for their effort too. This will show them that they can always improve if they work hard.
We will continuously be adding activity sheets and educational posters to our learning resources pages, found here, which will help you improve your child’s English and Maths skills.
If you’re based in the US and your daughter is struggling with Maths, we came across a really good monthly maths subscription box called Black Girl Mathgic (this is not an ad, we just thought it was a great initiative!)
Good luck on your child’s English and Maths journey.