It is a wonderful feeling to see my child SO excited about an Montessori educational product that he HAS to take it out of the packaging by himself and work with it right away! Samuel couldn’t wait to work with this magnetic, dry erase board with magnetic shapes. The cards provided are prefect for his language and sensory development and the Imaginets Expansion Kit added to the excitement of his already curious mind.
(This original post was published on Confessions of a Montessori Mom and has been updated.)
To develop the clean movement for reproducing the letters, we use the geometric cabinet and the leaf cabinet for tracing the outlines with two fingers. This leads to a clear cut feeling of the form of the letters.
I have tried to enhance our Montessori home environment with activities that will help my children with their language development. To help develop the skills for writing and reading, children at the preschool age work with geometric shapes because these activities train the eye to see letter shapes. Samuel (age 3.5) is in the sensorial stage of development and I’m preparing him for the abstract/reasoning stage of development (which starts at age six to twelve) and reading, by giving him geometric activities.
For Small Hands provided me with the opportunity to review two of their quality products, the Imaginets and the Imaginets Extension Kit. This product came with a sturdy wooden case which has a latch and rope handles. It folds completely flat with all pieces safely inside. (This compact activity is VERY helpful in our little apartment.) Also provided are 42 colorful magnetic shapes and 25 two-sided design cards that range from easy to hard.
The Imaginets Extension Kit expanded our abilities for working with the Imaginets. We added 37 new magnetic shapes pieces to our set and 20 new pattern cards. All the added shapes work with the original pieces to create even more pictures.
After talking with Lisa Nolan about the Imaginets and Extension Kit, she reminded me of the myriad of add-on activities that can be demonstrated. Her training manual suggests, “…as a follow up exercises or game, activities are selected which will encourage the child to apply his newly gained ability, and to repeat, repeat, repeat.” As an example, the child is asked to bring a similar shape from in his own environment, like a square book. As pictured, I asked Samuel to group the same shapes with the corresponding label. Since the Imaginets is a dry erase board, I easily labeled right on the activity and he worked on sorting and grouping.