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February 13, 2020

Montessori Friendly Baby Toys - Flip Fingers or Glitter Drum

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. 

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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 bought it on Amazon but here is a similar version 

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? 

This post was week 21 of my Montessori baby series with Theodore. 


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