Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Montessori materials

To answer to the question I am getting most often...
Where do I get my Montessori materials from:
Note: This is my honest opinion, I didn't get anything for free, or would get anything for free in the near future (one can only hope!)
The first thing I did was to order a Neinhuis Montessori catalog.  No, I was not going to order from them. I would have to save for months before being able to afford anything from Neinhuis.  Seriously, what do they put in their stuff?  Everything is so expensive! I guess the lasting factor is important to some (if you have more than 5 kids??) and after reading many reviews I understood that it is not the case for my family. I only have two gentle kids.  I also have visited Montessori schools and their materials look exactly like mine even!  mine just lack the brand name.
The second thing I did was to get my Montessori Handbook and really pay attention at the dimensions of the materials.  I think Dr. Montessori wrote this book so others could make their own materials.
With my two tools for accuracy in hand (Neinhuis catalog and Montessori's Own Handbook), I searched the internet for reviews of the more homeschool-budget friendly providers.  I couldn't find much info, expect not to buy from Adena.  So I didn't.  Maybe all the reviews were bias, maybe not.  I just couldn't risk the money I was investing on my children's learning!
So far I have ordered from three companies: Montessori services (MS), Montessori Outlet (MO), and Kidadvance (Kid).  I have had a wonderful experience with all three suppliers.  I do have to mentioned that for the impatient ones MO will take a very long time to send you the materials, where Kid and MS ship right away.  If you need something fast, skip MO. But if you have the time, it is worth the wait.

Items by category:

Sensorial:

Pink tower: MO and stand: Kid


Brown Stairs: MO

Cylinder blocks: MO This one I really researched for.  I wanted one that followed Dr. Montessori's measurement. The ones I got are pretty accurate. You can buy these blocks separately.

Knobless Cylinders: Kid

Red rods and its stand: Kid.  Do you need the stands? No!  But it is nice to have them there taking less room and my kids happen to love putting the rods in the stand.


Color tablet 1 and 2: I made my own.  Really this is not hard to do if you can go to a paint store and have a laminator.

Color tablet 3: Kid

Tasting exercise: Kid

Smelling bottles: MO (instead of being dark and light gray with black caps, like the ones from Neinhuis, they are white with red and blue caps) I personally think these are cuter.

Sound boxes: MO. Note: the ones from Kid advance do not look like the ones from the Nienhuis.

Constructive triangles: Kid

Geometric solids: Kid

Binomial cube: Kid


Language

Metal insets: I actually have plastic insets that I got from Amazon.  They look just like the ones from Neinhuis, and were recommended to me by a Montessori teacher. I purchased the stands from Kid.  It keeps them in one place.

Paper box for insets: Kid
Pencil holder: Kid (My daughter loves this one and uses it for all writing/coloring activities)

Sandpaper letters: I got mine from Amazon.  They are not Montessori, and are simple print.  I will be getting the cursive Montessori sandpaper letter after my daughter turns 4.
Sand tracing box (known as sandpaper letter tracing tray) got a wooden box and sand at the craft store.
Movable alphabet and its box: MO (in Spanish)
3D Wooden Grammar symbols with tray: Kid (we are not using this ones yet... I don't know why I bought this so early)

Mathematics

Number rods: MO

Spindle box: MO. Note: the one from Kid is split in two.  I kind of liked the idea of just one box.

Small numerical rods: MO

Sandpaper numbers: Amazon
Numbers and counters: MO

Teen and tens board: Kid

Hundred board: Kid
Addition Snake game: MO

Addition strip board: Kid

Colored bead stairs: Kid

Color bead hanger with bead stair tray: Kid

Teen bead hanger with teens bead stair tray: Kid (in storage... sorry no pictures)

Biology

Botany puzzles: Kid (note: you can also get the root puzzle there and not from MO, and I made my own 3 part cards.  Ups! the root is upside down.



Horse puzzle: MO (note: this item came damaged and MO send me a replacement right away... Nice costumer service)

Wasp, fly and lady bug puzzles: Kid. My only issue is that wasps wings are yellow not blue!


Geography

Land and Water globe, and continent part globe: Kid

World continent map: Kid.  Tracing circle not shown: MO

Colombian map regions: educativos pinocho. A Colombian company that sell Montessori materials.





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