Let's recap what Montessori materials actually are, and then I'll list where you can find Montessori materials in the UK!
Montessori materials means things that you can use with your child to enhance their learning in a Montessori way. Montessori materials are not always things you have to buy! Montessori materials can be as simple as a tray, a wooden spoon + a saucepan, or a clothes peg. Montessori materials often refers to toys and learning resources that are aligned to the Montessori principles of education.
Check out my blog about Montessori Toys – because this terminology may well be an oxymoron. Sometimes when people say “Montessori Toys”, they may only mean “wooden toys” or “educational toys”, so this should be used and searched with caution. You may be better off searching for “Montessori aligned materials”, but even then, you should check if they really align with the principles of Montessori education.
Many people think that a toy just has to be wooden to be called Montessori. Wrong!
Simple – not overstimulating (not too many colours, elements or stimuli like buttons and sounds)
Realistic – based on reality or using real images (no cartoons)
Natural – made from natural materials (this is why there is a common misconception that Montessori materials should be made from wood)
Functional – have a genuine use
Closed-ended – another popular misconception. Montessori materials should offer children a clear goal
Benedykt & Sylvester products are all Montessori aligned. If you haven’t already, you should check out our shop! We have a massive array of learning resources, from our bestselling Montessori Learning Tiles, to our practical life gifts such as our placemats and baking sets.
Our Montessori Learning Tiles are currently available in 21 different popular topics and are available in several languages – some are even available with 2 languages. Our Map of the World set is concurrent with other Montessori geography resources!
We pride ourselves on using realistic images, clear fonts (print and cursive typeface available), and natural, responsibly sourced oak faced wood.
To further enrich our customers, we have recently developed and expanded our learning tiles to be available in a comprehensive subscription service. Choose to receive your box every 1 or 2 months (quarterly for international customers), and receive a jam-packed hands-on activity pack with your Montessori Learning Tiles in every box.
Additionally, our beautiful Montessori 3 Part Cards (wooden tiles) are available exclusively to Premium subscribers!
Catkin Toys is a beautiful small business ran by the blogger from Montessori at Home UK https://www.montessoriathomeuk.com . Catkin stocks some of my favourite brands such as Yoto Play, Pebble Child & Kinder Woodcraft (beautiful wooden Montessori learning toys!). Catkin stocks the most beautiful and eco-friendly brands. They also have these lovely rainbow building blocks which Benedykt & Sylvester LOVE!
Hoopoe are a wonderful company that sell beautiful, unique wooden designs. Many of their items are aligned with the Montessori method. Our favourite item is their wooden Solar System Model.
Montessori aligned materials shouldn’t be confused with Authentic Montessori Materials. The latter refers to the actual designs of materials that Maria Montessori designed and used herself in her own classrooms. These materials were all designed to help children learn particular skills and should be used in a classroom environment in certain orders (in most cases) to help children flourish. Remember, when buying Montessori classroom materials for your home, you should remember that you are buying them for your home, not a classroom.
Absorbent Minds stock a wide range of authentic and original Montessori materials and their service is speedy for UK customers. Beware that their website displays prices EXCL. VAT so you may have a surprise at the checkout if you don’t take that into consideration. AM stocks Neinhuis Montessori Materials, as well as budget options. I have purchased sandpaper letters and the Montessori Globe from AM, and I am very pleased with them.
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