MTA’s 2024 must-have resources in sensory, cultural, motor skill and creative play
It’s not long until it’s a new year, and so now is the ideal time to turn your attention to 2024 and new resources to bring energy and learning into your early childhood and care service.
If anyone knows what’s “coming in hot”, it’s Modern Teaching Aids (MTA). MTA’s team sources quality and value resources from around the globe – and sometimes, they develop the products themselves with their own exclusive brands (Teachables, Creatistics and Max & Rosie nursery essentials to name a few).
With an emphasis on specialty educational resources that are playful, safe and interactive, MTA has gathered the must-haves for 2024.
Sensory play must-haves
Our senses help us to investigate, explore and make sense of the world around us. Sensory play resources support babies, toddlers and preschoolers to process information through touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. They also encapsulate balance, movement and spatial awareness, encouraging children to learn, develop and grow whilst they’re having fun. The benefits of sensory play are incredible.
Keep curious minds engaged with this fun activity centre
The brilliant Baby Path Activity Kit lets you create an exciting activity centre (or attach panels to the wall) which guides the youngest learners through sights, sounds and tactile sensory exploration. There is endless fun and discovery to be had.
With the Colours panel, toddlers learn about early numeracy with size and colour. The colour bars can be turned 360º which adds movement to exploration, providing both a kinetic and a visual challenge. With the Guitar panel, the world’s smallest musicians can produce pleasant sounds using strings of different lengths. The Tinkle panel allows the bars of different lengths to chime and create brilliant sounds. (Suits children aged 12+ months.)
Support creativity and nourish open-ended play
The rainbow has never felt so in reach before! These Teachables Rainbow Squares Sensory Pads are a fun, sensory resource that can be used on light boxes, or as a calming fidget tool. Children press on the squares and watch the coloured oil move through the coloured liquid squares for mesmerising exploration. These squishy, captivating sensory pads are a wonderful way to support children’s creativity and open-ended play. (Suits children aged 3+ years.)
Exploratory sensory play comes to life
A light box is a true must-have for any early childhood service, and makes the perfect backdrop for exploratory sensory play. This Teachables light box is the perfect size to allow little hands to try different items on the surface and create shapes and amazing light shows. The clever design is not only compact and light, it also has an outer raised edge to support messy play. It includes a USB adaptor and can be used with mains power or with a power bank.
Understanding our world and accepting different cultures is an important skill for any child. MTA is passionate about providing multicultural and Indigenous resources from all over the globe that cover topics such as food, landscape, clothing and art. These resources allow children to understand their local communities, as well as the larger world through creativity and play. MTA works closely with First Nations artists to ensure that resources for early learning environments are original and truly authentic.
Foster a strong sense of belonging and cultural perspectives
A must-have resource to support cultural learning and early literacy is this gorgeous Indigenous Board Book Pack. This collection of beautifully illustrated board books strengthens cultural perspectives and helps to foster a strong sense of belonging for all children. The board books in this pack include six titles: My Country; I Love Me; My Body; What Do You Call a Baby…? ;Tjitji Lullaby; Animals in My Garden.
Develop hand-eye coordination and problem-solving
Everybody loves a puzzle, and when you’re young, educational puzzles represent an opportunity to understand problem-solving in a fun way. This Aboriginal Animal Peg Puzzle Kit includes two gorgeous peg puzzles with Australian animals. They have been authentically designed by Aboriginal artist Leanne Watson Redpath, a Dharug woman known in the Aboriginal Community as Mulgo, meaning Black Swan. Each hand made and hand-cut puzzle helps children to build on their cultural knowledge, as they also develop fine motor skills, visual memory skills, sorting skills and of course, have fun. (Suits children aged 2+ years.)
From a cockatoo to a kangaroo, embrace these animal dress-up capes
Every service needs a dress-up box, right? These could be the 2024 must-have additions for yours! This set of five colourful Aboriginal Animal Dress-up Capes features stunning authentic Aboriginal artworks from Leanne Watson Redpath. Each lightweight, flowing cape has a hook-and-loop closure and is machine washable. So if you’re ready for little kangaroos, magpies, emus, crocodiles and cockatoos to play, imagine and interact in your service, this set is for you. (Suits children aged 3+ years).
Motor skill must-haves
MTA has pulled together some exciting new 2024 must-have resources that promote both fine motor and gross motor development. Construction resources, puzzles and games are a wonderful place to start to promote motor skills and cognitive skills, such as problem-solving and logical thinking. Through resources that actively support both fine and gross motor skill development, children harness the potential and power of their bodies as they learn and grow.
Design, construct and problem-solve in a beautifully expressive way
This Giant Octoplay Construction Set from Polydron represents giant fun. It’s excellent for large-scale constructions, as each of the 40 giant plastic octagons slot together. Watch children build large constructions quickly and easily with these natural-toned giant octagons. Polydron’s timeless products have earned the respect of educators and children around the world for over 30 years and are the foremost supplier of geometric construction shapes to schools and early childhood education centres. (Suits children aged 2+ years).
Encourage exploration of emotions
Happy? Sad? Angry? Worried? Encourage conversations and the exploration of emotions with this Giant Emotions Fishing Game. Children hook the discs with their fishing rods and identify the emotion they have picked. Engaging in collaborative play l provides opportunities for children to build on their motor skills and hand-eye coordination while developing critical social skills including empathy.
A variety of skin tones in the Giant Emotions Fishing game authentically communicates the values of equality and inclusion in children’s play.
Visually stunning rainbow bricks to captivate little learners
Watch children develop their fine motor skills as they build colourful designs with these Rainbow Wooden Bricks, designed to capture their imagination. Crafted from sustainably sourced rubberwood with a kaleidoscope of colourful transparent acrylic inserts, these blocks offer so many creative possibilities. The natural warmth and tactile appeal of the wood provides a sensory experience that stimulates young minds. With their perfect size and weight, these blocks are easy for tiny hands to grasp. The inserts encourage visual perception and introduce early concepts such as colour recognition and pattern matching. They’re also wonderful to use on a light box. (Suits children aged 12+ months.)
Sort, classify and work on hand-eye coordination the fun way
Perfect for hand-eye coordination and sorting skills while improving hand strength, the Sorting Bowls & Tweezers Set from MTA consists of six colourful bowls and matching tweezers. The tweezers help develop pincer grasp as well as fine motor skills needed for daily living. By working on grasping, picking up and releasing with the tweezers, children are developing hand-eye coordination. As a result, children become more proficient with tasks like handwriting, drawing and forming numbers. Time to get sorting! (Suits children aged 3+ years.)
Creative play must-haves
Open-ended play, role play, creative expression… these are crucial elements of the early childhood learning experience. Resources that act as a springboard to an individual’s creative play are important in so many ways. Play provides children with opportunities to explore, enquire and make discoveries, in turn making sense of the world around them. Play allows children to improvise and imagine, connect with social and physical environments, share experiences and learn from others in an interchange of knowledge.
The ultimate storytelling board to let imaginations soar
This enchanting Tell a Story Magnetic Board set encourages creative play and storytelling while opening up conversations on the different roles within our community. It’s versatile too, with both magnetic and chalkboard options that are perfect for open-ended play and role play.
With a generously sized hanging magnetic chalkboard as the background, this durable, long-lasting set includes 75 thick wooden magnetic pieces that represent a cross-section of people from different ages, genders, ethnic backgrounds and professions, as well as buildings, vehicles, trees, animals and more. (Suits children aged 3+ years.)
Cup of tea? Please! The must-have play kitchen to inspire role play
Built to inspire endless kitchen role play, MTA’s Stockholm Spaces Combination Play Kitchen includes a cooktop, oven, sink, fridge, microwave, cupboard and benchtop spaces all in one handy unit. It features turning knobs and realistic designs to inspire delicious imaginative role play.
The Stockholm Spaces range of wooden furniture is practical with an innovative design, made from birch plywood and lacquered for easy cleaning. Many furniture pieces in this range are made from sustainable Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) timbers. This results in an environmentally friendly and sustainable furniture choice for your service and the environment.
Dot, dot, dot… create art!
Dot art markers are a no-mess, water-based, non-toxic paint-style marker that are fun and easy to use, and are a 2024 must-have for your art trolley! MTA’s Dot Art Markers promote early childhood development and layered learning. Expressive art skills, planning, hand-eye coordination and colour recognition can be enhanced using these markers.
Gentle dabbing creates dazzling dot patterns, while brushing produces a painted look. Children can mix, layer and blend their paint colours while the ink is wet to create a unique mess-free masterpiece. Just as importantly, these bottles are easy to use with a twist-off cap and splash-free, no-spill bottle. Time to create!
To learn more about MTA’s new 2024 range of must-have resources, or see the full range of MTA products, visit their website here. To connect with your local consultant, reach out to MTA by phone on 1800 251 497 or email [email protected]
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