The Montessori approach to education is a child-centered educational method that Dr. Maria Montessori developed in the early 1900s.
It emphasizes the natural development of children and encourages independence, self-discipline, and a love of learning. Montessori books for toddlers introduce young kids to new concepts and ideas through interactive and engaging experiences. They’re typically hands-on, with bright colors and textures.
If you’re a parent, teacher, or caregiver looking for the best Montessori-inspired books to add to your child’s reading list, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ve rounded up the best Montessori books for children, but first, let’s learn about the Montessori approach to reading for toddlers.
If you’re seeking further information about integrating reading into your Montessori home, check out our article about setting up your Montessori bookshelf.
Reading books with your toddler serves several important functions including:
- helping them to develop a love of reading at a young age
- introducing them to new vocabulary and concepts,
- expanding their knowledge and understanding of the world around them.
Reading also helps toddlers to develop fine motor skills, such as turning pages, pointing, and touching, a benefit of reading that is easy to overlook.
If you’re looking to teach your child to read in a Montessori-aligned way, it’s important to remember that in a Montessori classroom children learn to write before they learn to read. Children are taught how letters correspond with sounds in an approach that helps them to develop something we call ‘phonemic awareness’. Phonics are taught in a sensory way, using materials like the sandpaper letters for children to trace letters and learn the alphabet.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for reading to with your child! The more exposure they have to reading with you from a young age, the more information they’re soaking up ready to put into practice when they start to learn to write (and eventually read for themselves!).
Montessori Books for Toddlers
Let’s first look at the list of the key characteristics of Montessori books:
- Hands-on: They’re designed to be hands-on, allowing children to touch, feel, and manipulate objects as they learn.
- Multi-sensory: Montessori books engage all the senses, using bright colors, textures, and sounds to stimulate the child’s senses and encourage learning.
- Realistic: They’re based on real-life situations, rather than fantasy-based ones.
- Sequential: Montessori books follow a sequence, gradually building on previous knowledge and skills to help the child progress at their own pace.
- Simple and clear: Theyr’e simple and clear, using language and concepts appropriate for the child’s age and level of development.
Research has shown that children who engage in multi-sensory experiences when learning to read have better reading skills and enjoy reading more than other kids. Multi-sensory experiences in reading help kids develop the skills they need to become confident and successful readers.
Now, let’s review some of the best Montessori-friendly books for babies, toddlers and young children.
Montessori Books vs. Traditional Children’s Books
Montessori and traditional children’s books differ in content, illustrations, and approach.
Differences in Content and Illustrations
Montessori books typically include factual information with realistic illustrations. They sometimes usually feature real-life photos, and if they use stylized illustrations they are based on real-life concepts.
On the other hand, traditional children’s books often have more fantastical illustrations and are more focused on narrative storytelling rather than factual information.
Simplicity in Montessori Books
Simplicity is key in Montessori education; this extends to the books used in Montessori classrooms. Montessori books have clear and straightforward content, focused on the essentials of a subject. Moreover, the language used is often simple.
The Bottom Line
I hope you found this article helpful in searching for Montessori children’s books.
Reading is a great way to enhance a child’s learning and development, and these books are a wonderful addition to any child’s library. Also, reading should be a fun and enjoyable experience for children, so pick books they will love and that spark their curiosity.