The External Work Cycle

During this session of Montessori Mondays with Holly, we talked about 3 ways to find Montessori toys your child will engage with. Watch the show above and click here to join the Facebook group. 

When I got started with Montessori there was nothing more frustrating than spending money on a material that my child would not even look at. Even though I thought it was the coolest toy ever my child did not agree. 

Now I want to teach you how to make sure this doesn’t happen to you again!

It can be such a bummer when your child just isn’t interested in their materials. But there are 3 ways you can help stop this from happening.

Montessori toys that your child will engage with


First Things First Observe Your Child

You may have heard me talk about this before but it is so so important I will never stop telling you to observe!

When we observe our children we are able to see what their interests are. Even if we don’t understand them. Like continuously wanting to push buttons, take lids off, or cover their heads with blankets.

Although these actions might seem pointless to you they are important to your child. It’s then your job to try to match them up with materials or activities that will help satisfy that same need. BUT without observing your child you won’t know what those interests are. 

This is exactly what we do inside the Montessori By Age Workshops, find unique activities for your unique child.

If you could easily find the exact activities your child is interested in, would you?


Second Is To Know The Sensitive Periods

 If you are new to Montessori sensitive periods are like development stages. Knowing what sensitive periods your child is in right will greatly help you narrow down activities they might be interested in.

For instance, did you know that the sensitive period for order starts around the age of 1? This is a time you might start to notice your child likes things to be put back where they belong. Or maybe they are lining all their toys up.

I remember my 2 yo daughter used to always line her food upon her plate before she ate it. I would just chuckle and say yup that’s the sensitive period for order! But what knowing that did allow me to provide the right prepared environment with materials and activities that supported that sensitive period.

Again this is something we focus on in all of our Montessori By Age workshops because each age between 0-3 is so different it is so important to know how you can support your child through that sensitive period.

Third Is To Know When Your Child Is Misusing A Material

What I mean by this is that if your child is throwing or misusing a material then they are communicating to you that it does not meet their needs at this time.

Now going back to step 1 you can observe your child and see if the material is too easy or too hard. If it is too hard you can try scaling back. If it is too easy you can uplevel.

For instance, if your child is throwing puzzle pieces across the room then you can do 1 of 2 things. Remove that puzzle and replace it with a smaller piece puzzle or replace it with a larger piece puzzle. Either way, you will be able to observe if your child is frustrated again or actually concentrating and engaging with the material.

Now that we’ve covered 3 ways to find materials that will actually get used. You’ve got two choices.

I’ve essentially given you everything you need to get started with finding the perfect materials for your child. You can go out today and implement what you’ve learned and started making progress.


Montessori toys that your child will engage with


If you have any questions about Montessori toys let me know in the comments. What toys do you notice your child engaging with right now?

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below
Nancy Jones Reply

Just wondering if you are a certified montisorri teacher?

    Holly Reply

    Hi Nancy,
    Thanks for your message. I have two wonderful children whom I have raised both with Montessori and consider myself an expert with Montessori at home. However, I do not hold a Montessori teacher certification.
    Holly xx

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