Once upon a lifetime, Mariel and I dreamed of being toy-makers. Together with another mommy-friend, we spent many an afternoon formulating and eventually coming up with a prototype that we successfully sold one Christmas season.
But life happened – Mariel had another child and I became a mom – and that project, together with many other ideas, was shelved. Here we are a few years later and wiser. And while it is still our dream to come up with our own original products, we are quite happy and content sharing our latest educational finds with you.
We discovered these handmade toys last year and we knew we had to find a way to bring it to all of you. Catering to the 1-7 kids’ group, these are the very toys that we would have made if we had the time! (Haha!)
We love how all the toys promote hands-on learning – very Montessori! – and support learners of different styles and modalities. We love the toys so much that we are now their exclusive distributor!
Designed by Bacolod-based teachers, Gretchen Varela and MM Cusi, the toys can be used in several ways. The parent’s guide that comes with each toy lists down the skills targeted by the toy and suggestions on how to play with it. This is aligned with T-MATO’s vision of “empowering mom to be her child’s best teacher.” Sounds familiar? 🙂
Oh, and each comes in a handy pouch, perfect for trips, long waits at the doctor’s clinic, and for easy storage.
We love T-MATO’s line-up, which includes Lacing Shapes and Stringing Beads (our bestseller!) which both promote fine motor skills, teach pattern-making, and reinforce color recognition.
The Energizer Bunny practiced buttoning skills using her Loop Bands. She also enjoyed making color patterns while designing “jewelry” with it.
Multi-sensory learners will enjoy the Color and Shape Beanies which can be used in various ways – sorting, learning about texture, target-throwing. Creative fun as your child learns pre-math skills.
Color Popsicles are also a hit with children during our events. They like pretending to eat strawberry or blueberry popsicles with these toys. Shh… don’t tell them they’re actually learning about colors!
Finally, we are excited to see their new toys, including the magnetic Fishing Game (we’re stocking soon!) which aims to increase focus and attention span.
These toys are definitely helpful resources for a fun learning time with your little one. And what’s more, these are Filipino-made!
T-MATO toys and educational materials are available at The Learning Basket Shop! You may check them out here.