I recently had the pleasure of receiving a weekend invitation from my friend to go to Mitsuwa Japanese Market. Mistuwa Japanese market is located in America at very select locations. If you have the luxury of having one near you, or one located somewhere you might be visiting, it is a place that a Montessori AMI guide or a parent Montessori enthusiast would appreciate. Journey into the bookstore/ stationary section to uncover some adorable and awesome Montessori finds for your child’s environment.
My favorite finds included:
~the buddha board, which is an awesome and ver ideal first painting activity for infants and young toddlers. The buddha board is paired with watercolor pens filled with water.
~the too cute selection of realistic stamps which I might include for a toddler art activity. I confess that this year, attempting to introduce stamping was a complete disaster. The group I have right now could NOT handle the privilege of using an ink pad. Ink ended up everywhere. But if your group is well behaved and has a higher degree of self-control, these stamps are so beautiful and cute. Every class I have guided in the past was able to handle a stamp or two, and ink as an art activity.
~ a Kent Displays Jot boogie board. This would be awesome for a before-care or after care art-like activity for scribbling without the mess or paper replenishment needed; and is like one degree away from being too technologically advanced yet functionally similar to a magna doodle where you push a button to erase it).
~ Some beautiful music boxes with an amazing selection of songs. Classical, beautiful songs.
~ books that Montessorians would appreciate, on the topics of bento lunch boxes (inspiration for snack ideas), Japanese embroidery (you know how much we love embroidering our placemats!), a book on the art of paper cutting (some of the paper cuts would make absolutely amazing mobiles), and books on Japanese minimalism (beautiful household display ideas, and storage solutions).
~ pens that look like flowers. I can’t express how often our pens are disappearing from the classroom; so it would be nice to have really distinct “dedicated” pens that stay in our classroom foyer area for our families to use when writing me notes about their child’s morning or day.