Skip to main content

Flip Fingers or Glitter Drum - Montessori Baby Week 21

When I was pregnant with Teddy I came across this fun looking material on Instagram called a flip fingers. Another Montessori family was using it with their infant and I was intrigued. I hadn't personally seen it in a Montessori environment before, but it seemed like a very interesting and engaging material. I didn't think much about it until Christmas came around and my mom asked from some ideas for Teddy. I put the flip fingers on his list and he received it as a gift. 

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

I pulled it out for the first time recently and let Teddy explore. At the same time, I pulled out our glitter drum and just thought I would take some time to compare them. The materials are similar in aim but there are some differences. 

Glitter Drum

Our Experience: The glitter drum is a material that we had with Gus. It was well loved with him and so far has been Teddy's preferred material (over the flip fingers). For my babies, it has started to become popular around 4.5ish months and lasted for a long time. 

What is it:  A classic material found in Montessori infant environments. The drum is made of wood with colorful strips around each side. The inside has a soothing sound (maybe wooden balls rolling around?) as it spins. It is great for visual tracking, tummy time play, and starting to control arm movement more intentionally. 

Where to get it: Our glitter drum is from Tag Toys, but there are other options available (like this one.) I really like the look of this mirror drum.

Downsides: It is an expensive toy, and I found heavy for a baby to move around when they are at the age of using it. So the adult has to take a more active role in placing it out. 

Positives: Total crowd pleaser, engaging in a really unique way - especially for tummy time. Spins very easily. Baby is in control of movement. Super beautiful to look at and listen to. 

Flip Fingers 

Our Experience: This is new to us and was just introduced to Teddy at 4.5 months. At this time, I will put it back in storage and rotate back in when he's a bit older. 

What is it: This consists of 5 wooden cylinders with a bell inside each. The cylinders spin around the central stand independently of each other. They are separated by smaller wooden rings that also spin.  They make a very pleasant sound and are sturdy. 

Where to get it: I found it here

Downsides: Also not a cheap toy. The flip fingers is larger than the glitter drum and the cylinders are harder to turn for a baby at this age. Teddy's arm got stuck in between two cylinders and he pulled the whole toy onto his face, startling himself, a couple of times. I think it's just likely better for a slightly older baby. 

Positives: Really engaging toy, even Gus played with it for a long time. Would be super great for engaging both hands at once (something Teddy can't quite do at this point). I also think it would be really engaging for a child that sits. Solidly made and sturdy.

In the end, these toys aren't significantly different from one another. Not so much that I would say it's necessary to have both. But, they are different enough that they will engage a baby for a long time. Right now, Teddy will continue to have access to the glitter drum, and I think I will bring the flip fingers back out when he is sitting, or closer to it. 

A look at two Montessori friendly baby toys - the glitter drum and flip fingers

Have you had either of these toys? What did your baby think? 


Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2019

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure!

2019 UPDATE: This post has been updated to include a variety of brands and new product finds! Just a reminder that no one child will be interested in all of this or needs all of this. These toys are just here to spark ideas and give you a feeling for some Montessori-friendly options available! 

So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. 

First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created to…

Working from Home with Kids - A Montessori Schedule

One part of my life that I haven't talked a ton about here on The Kavanaugh Report is how I'm a work-from-home parent. Eight years ago I started to work at home while parenting full time. For the first several years, I worked as a legal writer while maintaining this space on the side. When Gus was born, I moved into working on sharing our Montessori life full time. It has blossomed into a full time career sharing content here, teaching courses, and now the podcast! Through it all, my kids have been home with me. 
This all seems more relevant to so many of us now that Covid-19 has closed schools and forced parents to stay at home and work while caring for children. I'm not going to lie - it's tough. It's hard to balance work and kids, especially when children are used to a completely different routine. But, it's not impossible! And, it can even be enjoyable. 

As I talk about in my podcast Shelf Help, we block our days into 3 hours groups. It helps me remain fle…

Which Open-Ended Toys are "Worth it?"

As a Montessori parent, I try to provide a mix of materials in our home to engage my kids! That work that will spark joy, concentration, and repetition. It's not always an easy task, as Maria Montessori said, "Life is mysterious...only the choice of life can choose the work that the child truly needs. Therefore, the teacher respects this mysterious process and knows to wait with faith." So, there does sometimes feel like there is a bit of trial and error when it comes to choosing materials that your children need. 

For us, the right balance is easier to find when I spend time deeply observing my children. Watching their interests, sitting on my hands if I have to, letting them struggle a little with things, and letting them get bored. And what I have personally found is that here at home, a combination of open ended materials and more structured work have been the right balance. Open ended toys wouldn't necessarily be found in a Montessori classroom, but they are perf…