For the activity cube, thanks are due to the famous Italian teacher Maria Montessori , who outlined the impact of playing with household objects on fine motor skills. It cannot be said that she was the only one who discovered it, but she managed to turn it into a system and create an educational toy that is now used by parents all over the world.
Types of activity cubes
An activity cube is a play cube , most often made of wood , that not only develops a child's fine motor skills but also allows them to become familiar with household objects and learn self-service skills from an early age. Here is a list of the most common elements in an activity cube :
- Closures: laces, velcro, zippers, buttons;
- Locks: locks with keys, door chains, bolts;
- mosaic with geometric shapes;
- switches, knobs, sockets;
- Light and sound modules.
Thanks to all these elements, the child learns to use certain objects correctly. But it is important that the child understands what they are there for. For example, locks should close and open some doors, switches should control light or sound elements, or fasteners should close.
What do Montessori activity cubes affect children?
If the Montessori activity cube is made correctly and of high quality, it will help children to develop the following, in addition to motor skills:
- concentration, perseverance and patience;
- Memory: memorizing and remembering actions, sequences;
- Imagination: For these purposes, manufacturers have also come up with cubes for staging fairy tales with mysterious fairy tale characters. This allows the child to play out the story in their own personal way and make up their own ending.
- understanding of cause-effect relationships (bolt pulled - door opened, plug plugged in - saw a glowing lightbulb, pressed a button - heard a call);
- study of numbers, letters, counting;
- safe handling of objects that one encounters in everyday life. In your apartment, for example, the bathroom is locked with a bolt. Children love to hide. Therefore, it is better to know that if the child accidentally locks himself in, he can open the latch from the inside.
Why you shouldn't build wooden activity cubes yourself
If you create a wooden activity cube yourself, you should understand that it should establish useful skills and, as mentioned above, develop an understanding of cause and effect relationships. Simply screwing the latch to the circuit board or attaching a regular socket - that's not enough. The child needs to understand what these things are for: the lock opens / the door opens, and not fingers, but a plug is inserted into the socket.
That is why it is recommended to buy such a toy, and not to make it yourself. The wooden activity cubes available from us in the Bim-ba.Shop usually take into account all the characteristics of early childhood development and contain the most necessary play elements.
How to choose the right activity cube
Pay attention to the basic material of a Montessori activity cube . The most reliable and safe material is here - plywood or furniture board. The rest, especially glued materials such as chipboard, MDF, do not meet the hygienic requirements. These materials contain glue and other substances harmful to the child.
The functionality of a wooden activity cube is the most important criterion that you should use as a guide when buying it. If everything is logical on the Montessori cube (shoelaces on shoes, albeit painted on, a lock on the door), then everything is fine - a good choice!
Toy safety is another fundamental factor. All details and elements must be well fixed. But think about the age of the child. For example, even a well-fastened key for the lock will not work for a one-year-old baby. If there are electronics on the business board, pay attention to the inaccessibility of the wires. All detachable parts should not be small and easily broken.
The quality of the product should be indicated by evenly machined openings or elements without burned edges that do not leave splinters. Only acrylic or water-based paints that are safe for children are used to color quality products.
Avoid mixing colors, color overload will scatter baby's attention. This mainly applies to busy boards with a large number of game elements. If we are talking about a board with minimal functionality, then, on the contrary, a riot of colors will be very useful.