The Child is Much More Spiritually Elevated.

The child is much more spiritually elevated that usually supposed. He often suffers, not from too much work, but from work that is unworthy of him.
— Maria Montessori

“Spiritual” can be a misleading word to use at times.  In this case I take it literally, meaning, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things

Every so often I will take a little stroll through the toddler age designated section of Target.  Each time I leave feeling sad for the children that have to develop their minds using such mindless materials. 

The materials, filled with plastic, lights, “bells and whistles” do not call to the child’s inner sensitivities and tendencies, but in fact do the opposite and simply entertain and over stimulate.

Toddlers need life being lived.  Toddlers need rich language and reality.  Toddlers need experiences in nature.  Toddlers need authentic (and not synthesized) musical experiences.  Toddlers need wooden puzzles and beautiful toys (bless you Melissa & Doug). Toddlers need silliness, hugs, high fives and books!  But plastic-light-up-gadgets, toddlers do not need.

Next time you find the urge to buy your child something new, keep in mind this quote, and take a stroll through the Michael Olaf or Montessori Services catalogues.  Or plan a walking trip in the foothills for the afternoon to collect rocks, leaves, sticks, etc. to make an art sculpture with.  Go to your local bookstore or the library and restock the household bookshelf.  Or experiment with a new recipe with your child. 

Just make sure that whatever experience you provide for your child is worthy of their rapidly developing mind. 

www.montessoriservices.com

http://michaelolaf.com/store/

http://www.hearthsong.com/wooden-toys/wooden-toys.htm