Montessori inspired toys: the GOULA cubes

Carlotta Cerri

Many of you have been asking about Montessori-inspired toys, so I’m preparing a few posts with a selection of Oliver’s and Emily’s favorite toys since birth.

As you can see on our shelves, we never bought many toys for the kids and the few we did buy were Montessori-like, wooden and with no lights or sounds: I think it’s good for babies and kids to develop their own way of playing with toys, instead of playing the way the manufacturers eant them to play.

All the toys that you find on La Tela are like this: made of natural materials, they promote imagination, concentration, problem solving, they’re versatile, they don’t sing nor light up. And I promise, your kids will love them!

GOULA stackable woodland cubes

Today I want to start with one of Oliver’s all-time favourites: the Goula stackable woodland cubes. He received them as a present for his first birthday and he’s still using them today that he’s 18 months.

They’re a fun take on the Montessori pink tower, but in my opinion they are much more versatile: you can pile them, make a tower to knock over, put them one into the other and make a box that can be easily stored away (Oliver is big on tidying up) or lay them horizontally on the floor and set the animals go on a train ride.

These cubes are made of very strong cardboard, resistant to chewing and throwing and stepping on! When the tower is built, you can see the animals in the house on one side, climbing a ladder on the other side and count the numbers from 1 to 10 on another side (for when Oliver is a bit older).

And they’re a great learning tool: they develop problem solving skills, promote size and shape recognition and improve minor motor coordination skills.

For the first few months, Oliver simply loved to knock over all the towers I’d build for him (possibly before I finished building them), but over time, through trial and error, he learnt how to pile them up, how he couldn’t balance a bigger cube on top of a small one or fit a big one into a small one. When he could finally build the whole tower by himself with no help, by standing on his tippy toes to reach up and put the smallest cube on the very top, his proud face was just priceless (and of course I got it on camera :-)

I think these cubes make a great first birthday gift: although the recommended age on the package is 2+, I watched Oliver and all his friends enjoy them already when they were one year old and play with them for a long time, while developing and improving new and exciting skills.

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