5 Ways We Incorporate Safari Ltd Toys In Our Montessori Home
In most cases, the toys you find in a Montessori home are wooden. But when it comes to choosing animals for your child to play and learn with, plastic toys tend to be more realistic, making them the better Montessori friendly choice.
In this blog post, I will share five ways we use Safari Ltd montessori toys in our home.
But first, let me share a few reasons why we love Safari Ltd. as a Montessori family:
- Their figurines are handcrafted.
- Animals are painted the correct colors.
- Animals are in proportion.
Now let’s dive in...
How we use Safari Ltd. Montessori Toys
1) LANGUAGE BASKETS
Safari figurines are a great way to introduce animal names and new vocabulary to your little one. Start by having 4-5 animals in a basket and label them as your child engages with them.
Once they have had the time to learn the names, ask them, “where is the _____?” inviting them to select it from the basket. Then you can introduce picture matching cards of the identical figurine for matching work.
Once they have had lots of practice, you can then introduce cards with real-life animals for matching.
2) SENSORY TABLES & INVITATION TO PLAY TRAYS
Children are exposed to sensory experiences throughout their day by washing their hands, helping in the kitchen, tasting foods, hearing all sorts of sounds, and our family favorite, being in nature.
In our home, we also prepare these opportunities through play. Although not a Montessori concept, offering this open-ended play opportunity sparks exploration, creativity, and curiosity.
It also helps refine fine motor skills and life skills such as pouring, transferring, and scooping. Sensory play can always get a little messy, and often the practical life work of helping clean up is a favorite part of the activity.
Safari Ltd. animals are often included in our sensory table setups and can be the perfect addition to an invitation to play tray.
Sensory Table Example - Washing Pets
Involve your child in the process of preparing this activity with the following steps:
1) Mud: in one bin, slowly mix: 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 cup flour, and about ¾ cups water or more if needed. Then add Safari animals to the “mud.”
2) Bath: in the other bin, add warm soapy water and provide a sponge, scrub brush, or cloth.
3) Have a towel set out for the animals to dry.
This activity includes many great learning opportunities:
1) Sensorial elements: exploring the different textures (warm, soapy water vs. sticky, gooey mud) and smells (chocolatey goodness and fresh soap).
2) Language: talking about the textures and sensations experienced: wet, bubbly, dirty, clean, muddy, etc. Naming the different animals being used and labeling the various body parts.
3) Practical life: mixing the ingredients in the bins, stirring, transferring, scrubbing, and tidying up when all done.
Invitation to Play Tray Example - In the Garden
There are many language opportunities, labeling the different materials, colors, and flowers. They experience different textures from the soil, wood slices, marbles, and pots.
3) COLOR MATCHINGThis color-matching activity is simple to create and a great way to learn new colors. Layout the color cards and have your child match the figurines to the corresponding color.
We used butterflies from the Butterfly Toob set, but this activity works with any figurines that are a solid color.
4) SONG BASKETSong baskets are a great way to connect with your little one and learn new vocabulary. We find (or makeup) short songs that pair with a Safari Ltd. figurine, like their Butterflies Toob, and place them in a basket together.
We have enjoyed the winter-themed song basket pictured below that includes songs about a bear, polar bear, and penguin making our Safari animals the perfect props.
5) BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
Safari animal figures make the absolute best props for any themed birthday party! We had a “party animal” birthday for our animal-loving daughter, and we DIY’d fun little party hats for some of her favorite animal figurines.
About the Writer:
Ashley is a stay-at-home mom of two girls. She and her husband discovered Montessori through Instagram a couple of years ago after their first daughter was born and fell in love with the philosophy. They started their Montessori blog and Instagram to share their journey and to inspire others. For more inspiration on how they use their Safari Ltd. animals, follow them at @our.montessori.journey on Instagram, and to learn more about our Montessori journey, check us out at montessorimethod.com.