For several years now and in all types of signs, we have seen toys and other Montessori objects blooming. The prices vary from single to double and we are therefore tempted to be seduced by the lowest prices. Corn buy cheap Montessori material, is it really a good idea ? How to know what the products stamped with the name of the famous woman doctor are worth when they are sold at low prices? As the name “Montessori” is not protected in France, brands can actually sell you any product by affixing this name. To know if buy cheap Montessori material is a good idea or not, follow all of our explanations.
Not easy to buy cheap Montessori material without being fooled by marketing
Even if it has never disappeared since its invention at the beginning of the 20th century, Montessori pedagogy has nevertheless experienced a resurgence of interest in recent years. In France, this is mainly due to the media coverage of Céline Alvarez and her work, as well as the proliferation of posts on social networks on the theme.
In addition, thanks to the marketing efforts brands that use the Montessori name freely, we have to buy any type of support, sometimes even without really knowing how to use it. Simply because it seems effective and educational, we let ourselves be tempted. Of course, by comparing prices, we may also want to buy cheap Montessori material!
Between Montessori activity notebooks, Montessori toys or even reading books presented in stores and on the Internet, a discerning eye will know differentiate what is or is not Montessori pedagogy. But for many parents it is not that simple and that, the brands have understood it well. A word of advice: don’t be convinced by the idea that so-called “educational” support is necessarily good or effective for your child. Without knowledge of the principles of pedagogy and the accompanying materials, you may be disappointed and think you’ve wasted your money.
Identify the “fake” Montessori material
An essential point to remember before shopping is that Montessori is a pedagogy. Maria Montessori has developed both a way of learning and installing learning with the children, as well as a whole very specific material with an order of presentation and a progression to be respected. Why insist on this? Because it means that all Montessori toys and games have only the name. Montessori is above all material made for learning.
Another key element to identify the “false” material: everything that Maria Montessori created, she did between the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. She therefore mainly used natural materials. Children learn through their senses, which is why it is important to familiarize them with wood, metal, fabrics, etc. If possible, avoid plastic items or low-end materials.
Indeed, there is a difference between handling plastic cubes, resistant to any test and others in wood which can be damaged more easily. Even very young, the child can see well whether he is given fragile material or not. Naturally, he will therefore concentrate less on handling plastic than more sensitive materials.
It is for this reason that one of the principles of Maria Montessori is touse quality media whenever possible. By explaining to the child that he is entrusted with such objects, he feels that he will have to take more care of them. It is also useful for self-esteem, as it shows that it is trusted.
Buy small Montessori imitations to pay less
If you’ve ever done some research to acquire Montessori gear, you’ve probably noticed that the price tag can go up quite quickly. This is why many sites offer materials that look like miniature Montessori material and at much more attractive prices. So, good or bad idea for small budgets ?
Well, we can say yes and no. Yes, if you know the principles of Montessori pedagogy and you do not have the financial means to buy the material with conventional dimensions. This makes it possible to take advantage of all the intelligence of the material created by Maria Montessori without suffering the sometimes high cost. To keep control of your budget, you can also make certain activity supports yourself using recycled objects that respect the classic dimensions. For the rest, small-format knockoffs can be of great help.
However, pay attention to the finishes and the freedoms taken compared to the classic material. If you pay less, but find yourself with material that is difficult to handle because of its size too small or that deviates a lot from the original progression, you may end up making a bad deal.
The colors used are also essential. The important thing is to keep a constant on all the supports offered so that the child can find his way around without risk of confusion. In language for example, it does not matter whether the vowels and the consonants are respectively red and blue or the reverse as long as it is identical in all the activities.
Buying cheap Montessori equipment: an interesting idea under certain conditions
For tight budgets, buying cheap Montessori equipment can be a good idea under certain conditions. First, don’t get lost in the shelves. Forget about toys and plastic materials, they often have little to do with the original Montessori pedagogy. Focus on the material that comes closest to the high-priced SKUs as possible. Check the dimensions and colors, as low prices can hold surprises. Finally, take the time to compare rates. Some brands claim to sell Montessori material which is in fact small format imitations that are not always well finished and strangely identical to those on Chinese sites. In conclusion, inform yourself as much as possible to get to know and recognize Montessori material. On the internet read the reviews, which will sometimes prevent you from being fooled by the marketing developed around this name.