One of the key elements of Montessori activities is having the appropriate learning materials for your child. Children learning is self-directed, but having the right materials helps them move in the right direction. This is especially true for kindergarten-age children.
Keep reading to find out how Montessori kindergarten learning materials can help your child gain confidence in their learning.
Montessori Kindergarten – The Basics
In Montessori, there isn’t necessarily a specific Montessori kindergarten curriculum as in the traditional kindergarten. But Montessori education typically starts in preschool, and for many children, kindergarten is their last year in a Montessori school. They will have potentially been following the philosophical learning program for years and have become comfortable with the idea of self-directed learning.
In Montessori kindergarten, children will have worked on:
- Critical thinking
Expect your child to continue mastering these skills as they grow, but Montessori kindergarten is where children learn the foundation of these important skills that they’ll use throughout their life.
Let’s talk specifically about the Montessori kindergarten materials that your child will use to enhance their learning.
Montessori Kindergarten Learning Materials
The Montessori approach emphasizes self-directed, product-based learning, so the materials you choose for your child are of great importance to their overall education.
When choosing Montessori kindergarten learning materials, you want to choose items that allow younger students to repeat their use until they master them.
Below are some popular materials for Montessori kindergarteners.
The pink tower is one of the most fundamental Montessori materials as it serves many purposes. The direct purpose is to help your child understand the size of objects through visual representation. Consequently, the indirect purposes of the pink tower are:
- To develop your child’s observation and concentration.
- To better control muscle movement.
- To improve hand-eye coordination.
The pink tower uses cube-shaped boxes, and each box is smaller than the one below it. The goal of the tower is for Montessori students to use coordination, order, and focus to compare the sizes and arrange the blocks in order.
This toy pink tower contains ten blocks and is made of wood, making it the perfect pink tower to get your child started on. Check out our full article for more information about the benefits of the pink tower.
Math is more difficult for children to learn independently, but special activities give children the extra help they need. One of those activities is beads, which have become an important part of Montessori kindergarten learning.
Colored beads visually represent quantities and how those quantities work together. You can use beads to show your child:
- Count quantities.
- Connect the quantity to a name.
- Perform addition and subtraction (multiplication and division as they get older).
- Introduce your child to numbers 11-19.
There are many different beads that you can choose from to help your child with learning math. Color bead stairs are a great option to show quantities and connect those quantities to a name as well as a written symbol.
If you want the option of variety in your child’s learning, you can opt for a set of colored beads, chains, and squares from Elite Montessori to give your child the control to learn the way that works for them. This set will keep up with your child as they become more advanced.
For more information, check out our article on How to Teach Math with Montessori Beads.
Puzzle maps, also known as movable maps, allow your child to physically see, hold, and trace sections of the map to identify each area represented in the puzzle. Puzzle maps usually represent the globe, which allows your child to explore continents and the contrast between land and sea.
Puzzle maps are interactive: using their tactile senses, your child has to fit the pieces of the map together and use their visual sense to compare their map to a color-coded globe to make sure that they put the pieces in the right place. Once they master this, have your child identify the names of the continents, as well as the oceans. Elite Montessori has a classic wooden puzzle map with all of the continents, which makes the perfect learning activity for your Montessori kindergartener. If your child’s mastered the continents, you can give them a new challenge and have them try this map of the United States.
Related: Why is Geography Important in Montessori?
Language and Classification Cards
In kindergarten, children usually have an understanding of letters and how they work together to form words. However, early childhood education shouldn’t stop there. Additional learning materials can help enhance this learning for your younger child.
Classification cards are a great way to help children learn the names of different objects in their world. Although Montessori philosophy values real-life experience, we know that it sometimes isn’t possible to have your child see everything in person.
Language cards are a great learning tool. They are also known as three-part matching cards and are basically vocabulary cards with photos of objects instead of words. They usually include three parts:
- Cards with only the name of the object.
- Cards with only the picture or the object.
- Cards with both the name and the picture of the object.
You can use these cards to help your child learn the name of objects, and in other circumstances, you can use them to help them learn another language.
These simple three-part cards from Maitri Learning introduce your child to the names of many non-living things, such as rocks and cookies. You can also make your own cards if you want to customize your child’s learning.
Learning Materials Enhance the Montessori Kindergarten Experience
Kindergarten is an important stage in a child’s development, and you must create an environment to foster your child’s learning during this period.
Having the right Montessori kindergarten learning materials ready makes this possible and ensures that your child has enough opportunities to guide their own learning.
There are many learning materials to choose from for your child during their kindergarten year, just be sure not to overwhelm your student with too many materials at once.