Very Informative Post About Toys in Montessori

The New Mommy Files blog has a very thorough post about toys/materials in Montessori philosophy. Please check it out! Her whole blog is worth reading.


These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

This balloon is just ducky! It survives from my baby shower almost three weeks ago.

These baby bottle favors from my shower were made by my husband’s aunt. She molded white chocolate and added the color with toothpicks. I haven’t had the heart to eat them!

This little lamb was the first toy purchased for the baby. I saw it early in my pregnancy and couldn’t pass it up.

This adorable giraffe plays Brahms’ Lullaby and slowly moves its head. It also has the same colors as our nursery.

This piggy bank was brought back from Italy by some friends. He looks unassuming but has expensive taste.

This was worn by my husband as a baby, and will be worn home for the first time by our little one.

This is my diaper bag. It is currently packed with all the things baby will need for coming home after birth. I like the colors and style.

We’ve got everything else… now we just need the baby!

On Dignity and a Giant Raccoon

I have a goal going into parenthood of providing an environment marked by beauty, order, and simplicity for my child. It has long been a given that there will be no garish colors, no big cartoon characters, nothing of questionable taste. This morning, though, I have been thinking about a beloved toy from my childhood that today would not meet my standards for my child’s environment: a giant, unnaturally colored stuffed raccoon. When I received it as a gift at three years old it was bigger than me. The fur was a pinkish purple color and it looked like it was wearing a rainbow colored vest. It was only identifiable as a raccoon by the black patches around its eyes. If I saw something like it today I would think it hideous. At three years old, though, I thought it was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen. It was big enough to use as a chair. I could sleep on it. It could sit at my child-sized table sipping invisible tea without need of a seat. It took up a lot of room. The other stuffed animals were subject to it. (Except Huggy Bear, a polar bear who was missing a nose and had stitches above one eye and was the undisputed king of the toys.) I loved that strange raccoon until I was bigger than it and the fur was rubbed raw in many patches. It finally went to where all good toys go when they begin to disintegrate, and I grieved its loss.

I am sure I would not choose a toy such as my old companion the raccoon for my child. However, if the child receives such a thing as a gift I will be okay with it. While I still want to create a Montessori-style simple, beautiful, natural environment for my child, I will not obsess on perfection. My goal is to raise a child who is dignified and has an appreciation and preference for things of value and substance. My friend the strange raccoon did not prevent these desires in me, and thinking about that wonderful, awful toy helps me relax and realize that a less-than-model environment will not lead to undignified taste.