Spinning Game

Montessori Child

$80.00 

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From the moment I laid eyes on this Spinning Game set I was utterly enchanted! The smooth wooden board lets the natural beauty of wood grain take centre stage, with the coloured spinning tops popping out like little treasures. I found there to be something irresistibly charming about a resource that is so simple and traditional, yet engaging and whimsical. I wasn't the only one - the minute I placed it in my prepared environment it was eagerly embraced by my Montessori preschool children. 

 

On the surface it is a simple idea - just a spinning top game, which by itself would already be a brilliant fine motor activity as getting the top turning requires the use of the 'pincer' fingers (also used for gripping a pencil for writing) with a smooth and highly controlled motion. The spinning tops alone would therefore be a useful addition to any home or classroom, but there are some additional unique features that reveal an incredible attention to detail...
 
Firstly, there is the clever progression from the indented circular frame on one side of the board, to the more elaborate labyrinth 'maze' pattern on the other side. The circle provides a secure arena for the spinning tops to turn without the risk of them spinning away or falling off. The labyrinth maze adds another level of interest as the spinning tops actually begin to wander through the grooves, looping and turning. When two or more spinning tops are placed on the labyrinth they interact, giving each other gentle nudges in other directions. I find that observing the motions of the spinning tops can become almost mesmerising and meditative, helping children to become focused and centred. It also provides a real-life demonstration of principles of physics, such as the transfer of momentum.
 
There are also enough coloured tops included (and in a variety of different colours) to ensure that an individual could progress through levels of challenge from the introductory level of simply spinning one to the 'master' standard of trying to get multiple going all at once - or to facilitate group experiences where multiple children spin a top each!

From the observations in my own Montessori classroom I've seen the Spinning Game being used in the following ways (and I'm sure I'll see many more)...
  • An individual child uses one spinning top at a time on the circular side to master the challenge of using the 'pincer grip' fingers to get it spinning.
  • An individual child times how long their top keeps spinning on the circular side by counting out loud (and tries to beat their own record with each subsequent spin!)  
  • An individual child tries to get multiple tops spinning all at once on the circular side (much harder than it sounds - it takes lots of dexterity and speed to make sure the later additions start spinning before the first ones have stopped!) 
  • An individual child sets a single spinning top in motion on the labyrinth side, observing closely as it weaves around the track.
  • An individual child sets multiple spinning tops in motion on the labyrinth side and watches in amazement as they journey around the board!
  • A group of children all spin their tops together on the circular side and observe the movement.
  • A group of children time how long their own top keeps spinning on the circular side and then engage in mathematical analysis, such as comparing which top spun the longest or making a chart to track the spinning times of different tops.  
  • A group of children all spin their tops on the labyrinth side and watch the mesmerising motion as they wind around the path and nudge each other off in different directions!

The wooden board measures approximately 25cm x 25cm with a thickness of 2cm (making it very solid and durable). It comes with 12 spinning tops in a variety of vivid and appealing colours. Each spinning top is around 3.5cm x 3.5cm. 

This is truly a special investment piece - something unique and utterly appealing that is of exceptional quality. 

 

 

Some of my Montessori Preschool children also informed me that the spinning tops and board are just like a "cool" program they watch. Apparently the show consists of characters who 'battle' with devices that work like spinning tops (but sound a bit more elaborate!) I have absolutely no idea what show they were describing, it's not something I've ever encountered personally, but it certainly seemed to make them incredibly enthusiastic about the game! They bonded over their recollections of the show but were able to take it from a dependence on that fantasy world into an experience that was real and in their control. 

 

 

This stunning piece is lovingly designed and crafted by the Creative Wood Company. The Creative Wood Company is a local, small business. It is operated in Australia by a husband and wife team who specialises in creating unique wooden educational toys and homeware products. They have a strong focus is on eco friendly, ethical and sustainable practices and materials. Their beautiful items are made by hand based on their original designs and are intended to offer safe and high-quality materials that inspire open-ended uses for children.

The Creative Wood Company aim to have the least amount of non-natural finish on our products. Food safe oils are used to bring out the colour of the wood or to add colourful features. Please note that wood is a natural material and will dry out over time, so oil can be used to rejuvenate it as necessary (Creative Wood Company recommends coconut oil but please consider allergy implications before using any food-based oil).