Skip to main content

Play Silks and Why We Love Them

Yesterday was a pretty typical Minnesota winter day here. Cold, icy, grey. We had been outside, we had been inside but we were all still in need of some movement. So, we grabbed our play silks. And over the next hour Nora, Gus, and I giggled out faces off as we watched steaming colors fall from the sky. And as we played, I really started to think about how much I have come to appreciate and love play silks. They were the perfect, colorful, warm antidote to an otherwise dull day.

How we use play silks in our Montessori home and why I love them as a parent

I didn't always understand the beauty of play silks. What were they for? Why did we need them? Couldn't the kids just use blankets to play? Aren't these just expensive pieces of fabric? But, I tried them because so many people said they were amazing. And, what do you know, I'm a believer now too! They actively engage my kids in all sorts of activities and are use so often here. And, they are one of those open ended toys that can be safely used by children of a bunch of different ages which I super appreciate! We've built our collection slowly over the last couple years and they have become one of the most used toys.

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

Play silks, how do we use them?

If you were like me and new to play silks that you are certainly wondering how children use these "toys." Here are some of the ways that my kids use them:

  • Maximum effort and movement - you read that right! It takes a surprising amount of effort to throw these light flowy silks into the air. They move sort of erratically as they fall leading to all sorts of movement. This is what we spent so much time doing yesterday. Throwing and catching. Gus, in particular, loves this game. 
  • Rhythm and Dancing - they are perfect for accessory for a dance party
  • Peek-a-boo - Gus still enjoys this a bit, but he's getting old for it. But as a baby, play silks make great peek-a-boo covers. See more on babies and play silks here
  • Sensory type play - put a bunch in a bin or box and let all the sensory play happen, sensory play doesn't have to just be hard objects, but soft and silky works too!
  • Dress Up - I have basically replaced all our dress up costumes (we didn't have that many anyway) with these. Play silks can be anything from a cape, to a shirt, to a skirt and tie. And they tie and untie so easily so the kids imagination really drives this play instead of a costume with one specific use. 
  • Fort Building - We use to use big blankets to make forts but those are so cumbersome that the kids always needed help! The play silks are so light and easy to use that this has become an independent activity for them. Our giant play silk is especially popular for forts.
  • Pretend Play, landscape building - water, grass, fire, rock - my kids often pull these out as accessories to other open ended play, again, I love that their imagination is in control
  • Decoration - and I personally love them because they look beautiful on the wall! We recently started storing them in a hanger meant for play silks and they add the perfect pop of color for our long winter days! 

After throwing the play silks around yesterday and running around after them, Nora suggested we get dressed up in them and have a parade. We each were assigned an instrument and paraded around shouting and dancing. It was great fun. But, with their movement needs met, Nora and Gus started to slowly drift away into their own independent play. It was a lovely reminder how simple play can be and how just the right material can make all the difference in engaging both their minds and bodies! 


Do you have play silks at home or school? How do you use them? Are they well loved?

How we use play silks in our Montessori home and why I love them as a parent

---

Comments

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2021

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! 2021 UPDATE: Please be patient with links this year, with supply chain issues things are selling out faster and restocking slower. I anticipate some of the specialty toys will not restock once they are gone. Puzzles, in particular, have been difficult to find in stock. 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 toys, bu

Montessori Toddler: Favorite Toys and Activities 18 to 20 months

I've been putting off this post for a little while because I felt a little disappointed that I didn't have more to share. See, Teddy just isn't that into materials, especially those on the shelf. He tends to return to a couple of favorites over and over again and ignore all other attempts at shelf work. But, really that's my own adult feelings getting in the way of Teddy's own interests, and developmental path.  It's also me subconsciously valuing fine motor skills and stillness as more important than gross motor play and movement. I working hard not to do that, and want to normalize that all toddlers are different. All children have different interests and that concentration doesn't have to mean sitting still for long stretches of time.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. With all that said, here are some of Teddy's favorites over the last couple of months. Favorite Montessori Toys 18 to 20 Months I'm listing the toys that have be

Our Family's Montessori Christmas Gift Lists 2021

It's hard to believe another holiday season is upon us again. Every year I enjoy putting together my kids' Christmas gift lists. It's really a good time to observe them, see what they are interested in and what they might be ready for during this coming year. It's one of the few times a year that I purchase new materials for our home so it's always really exciting. IF YOU NEED MORE IDEAS DON'T MISS MY ULTIMATE MONTESSORI TOY LIST OR MY 2021 DEALS PAGE ! When considering these lists, please remember that these were curated based on my own children. Use them for inspiration but they are heavily influenced by what my children are into and interested in. And for my older second plane children, what they have asked for!  Here's a look at our family's Montessori Christmas lists for 2021!  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Theodore (Toddler) Teddy is just over 2-years-old. Being our fourth baby, he is really hard for me to think of unique