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150 YEARS ON FROM MARIA MONTESSORI'S BIRTH

"If you want to teach, you have to inspire emotion". This is one of the most famous quotes by Maria Montessori, the educator from the Marches area who introduced a new approach to teaching in the early twentieth century and left a lasting legacy through a method that is extraordinarily modern and effective still today.

2 years ago we meditated on this quote and launched a research and study course on the Montessori method, which allowed us to develop a range of products that showcases this brilliant method.

Our Montessori range perfectly exemplifies the approach that we adopt when designing and creating a game or a toy. By carefully listening to the market (teachers and parents), we understood that Montessori was becoming a trend outside the classroom as well.

So, we investigated and researched the main pillars of the method, the most important of which was independence: "Help me to do it myself" was Maria Montessori's motto. She thought that children should be left free to experiment and have independent control of error while they play and learn; there should be no pressure or interference from the adult who should just watch quietly on the sidelines.

And, although independence is a cornerstone of the method, tactile experience is no less important. “The hand is the instrument of human intelligence", Montessori used to say. This statement takes on a whole new meaning today.

Even apparently abstract subjects like mathematics can be internalised through touch. As far as possible, materials must be truly tactile: solid, well-defined, rough, smooth, warm, cold or natural - these different textures will be a unique experience for children, helping them to acquire knowledge through body memory.

This is why our Montessori games and toys have been tested by certified teachers who guarantee that all the principles underlying the famous method have been duly followed.

 

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Maria Montessori's birth, we wanted to pay tribute to this wonderful woman and teacher and to her immense legacy by broadening our range of products with “La Raccolta Giochi”(The Games Collection). This box contains 3 games which are an essential introduction to the Montessori method: letters, numbers and animals.

 

“La Raccolta Giochi” (The Games Collection) contains sandpaper cards, odd-and-even counters, nomenclature cards depicting animals and much more. Everything has been packed into a single box, so that children will be able to play on their own, enjoying the feeling of touch, identifying distinctive features and perceiving reality - all cornerstones of the Montessori approach.

Using the sandpaper letters, which have a special rough surface, children memorise the shape of the letters through touch, associating them with their sound. Then, they try to copy them on the blackboard with the chalk. After that, they match each letter with the card containing the image that starts with that letter.

In the same way, children will learn about numeric symbols when they touch the rough texture of the sandpaper cards, and they will also find out about quantities with the odd-and-even-number counters and the quantity cards to which they associate numbers from 1 to 10. The box also contains the nomenclature cards depicting animals.

Nomenclature is a typical Montessori activity which consists in matching cards depicting objects to the tags bearing their names. This enriches children's vocabulary during a development phase when they are extremely interested in language acquisition (age range 2/3 years). The cards inside the box depict three categories of animals: mammals, insects and fish. Some of the animals shown are in danger of extinction and this raises awareness in children, showing them the importance of respecting nature and our planet.

All the games in the Montessori range are appealing and curated down to the smallest detail (from the shape of the box to the graphic design). Designed to impart culture, information and education, they bring into play a world-class teaching method tested by certified schoolteachers, enriching families with the true tenets of independence, order and talent development as formulated by the famous Italian educator.

 

Each single game in the range has been meticulously researched and studied, because what prompts us to create toys is our desire to elicit a positive emotional response in children, so that they can learn while having fun. This vital concept is as true today as it was yesterday, and can be summed up in Maria Montessori's words 150 years ago when it all started: "If you want to teach, you have to inspire emotion. But many people still think that if you are having fun, you are not learning."

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