EssentialMontessori

Essential Montessori Handcrafted Materials

Worcester, Massachusetts On Etsy since 2013

Buyers are raving!

This shop got multiple 5-star reviews in the past 7 days.

EssentialMontessori

Essential Montessori Handcrafted Materials

Worcester, Massachusetts | 17,001 Sales

Announcement    We handcraft wooden Montessori learning materials in our workshop in Worcester, Massachusetts. We make our materials using birch hardwoods sourced from the U.S. and sealed with a custom organic beeswax/olive oil blend. We have also developed natural homemade vegetable dyes that can be used to add subtle color to any material using local, organic ingredients. We are continuing to develop new products and are open to customizations and suggestions if you contact us. Thank you for your support and be sure to join us on Instagram @EssentialMontessori.

Update November 2020: Thank you for your kind messages! Our shop is still open and shipping orders made to order and shipped in 3-6 business days. You will receive a tracking number as soon as we have made your items and packed them up to ship. We ship USPS and while there are some delays, they remain the most reliable and inexpensive way to get our handmade Montessori materials to your doorstep. If you are making an order from outside of the U.S., please check this website to see if USPS is currently accepting packages shipped to your country (https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/international/welcome.htm). Please include your phone number for customs and to assist with delivery, and consider upgrading to Priority to get faster delivery. From our family to yours, we hope this message finds you well, healthy and in a place of peace. Thank you for supporting our small family business.

"The use of wood instead of plastic helps the child appreciate the natural world, the colors, shades and grains of wood, and the varying weight of wooden toys in a variety of sizes and densities. Quality shows a respect for the child and teaches the child respect for belongings. Beauty and durability are important at all ages for the child's tastes are being formed at this time of life. People who learn to appreciate living with beauty early in life can more easily lead us in creating a beautiful home, and perhaps, a beautiful world, when they grow up." -The Joyful Child

Announcement

Last updated on Nov 4, 2020

We handcraft wooden Montessori learning materials in our workshop in Worcester, Massachusetts. We make our materials using birch hardwoods sourced from the U.S. and sealed with a custom organic beeswax/olive oil blend. We have also developed natural homemade vegetable dyes that can be used to add subtle color to any material using local, organic ingredients. We are continuing to develop new products and are open to customizations and suggestions if you contact us. Thank you for your support and be sure to join us on Instagram @EssentialMontessori.

Update November 2020: Thank you for your kind messages! Our shop is still open and shipping orders made to order and shipped in 3-6 business days. You will receive a tracking number as soon as we have made your items and packed them up to ship. We ship USPS and while there are some delays, they remain the most reliable and inexpensive way to get our handmade Montessori materials to your doorstep. If you are making an order from outside of the U.S., please check this website to see if USPS is currently accepting packages shipped to your country (https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/international/welcome.htm). Please include your phone number for customs and to assist with delivery, and consider upgrading to Priority to get faster delivery. From our family to yours, we hope this message finds you well, healthy and in a place of peace. Thank you for supporting our small family business.

"The use of wood instead of plastic helps the child appreciate the natural world, the colors, shades and grains of wood, and the varying weight of wooden toys in a variety of sizes and densities. Quality shows a respect for the child and teaches the child respect for belongings. Beauty and durability are important at all ages for the child's tastes are being formed at this time of life. People who learn to appreciate living with beauty early in life can more easily lead us in creating a beautiful home, and perhaps, a beautiful world, when they grow up." -The Joyful Child

Items

 

All Items

J J Sylvia IV

Contact shop owner

J J Sylvia IV

Reviews

Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
(2321)
See reviews that mention:
quality 503 shipping 242 customer service 125

About EssentialMontessori

Sales 17,001
On Etsy since 2013

Montessori Inspired Wooden Toys

J.J. is a philosopher and his partner Lea is an educator, and they quickly realized that the Montessori educational philosophy is a common point of interest in their studies. When they found out they were expecting a daughter, J.J. began searching for Montessori toys, but realized just how difficult it was to find them available for purchase.

This inspired him to begin creating some of his own toys, many with the help of Lea. It was an exciting journey launching the shop together as they prepared to meet their daughter!

All of their items are finished with a homemade natural beeswax and olive oil blend, and can be stained with all natural homemade dyes in the following colors: pink, orange, green, yellow, and purple. The dyes use organic natural ingredients such as blueberries, red cabbage, onions, beets, and turmeric. The colors are more subtle than commercial dyes and paints, giving the pieces a vintage look and keeping them completely natural.

The goal is to create durable, beautiful products that will last for years to come.

"The use of wood instead of plastic helps the child appreciate the natural world, the colors, shades and grains of wood, and the varying weight of wooden toys in a variety of sizes and densities. Quality shows a respect for the child and teaches the child respect for belongings. Beauty and durability are important at all ages for the child's tastes are being formed at this time of life. People who learn to appreciate living with beauty early in life can more easily lead us in creating a beautiful home, and perhaps, a beautiful world, when they grow up." - The Joyful Child

Shop members

  • Lea Shell

    Maker, Customer Service, Owner

    Lea Shell has her M.Ed. with a love of curiosity, science, Montessori, natural dyes and woodworking.

  • J.J. Sylvia IV

    Owner, Designer

    J.J. Sylvia IV has his Ph.D. and is a philosopher and educator living in New England. He has a background in woodworking and e-commerce and began making Montessori materials with Lea when they were expecting their first daughter.

  • Athena

    Product Tester, Inspiration

    Athena is a voracious reader, loves math, fostering friendships and our universe.

  • Cora

    Product Tester, Inspiration

    Cora is a natural storyteller and brightens our studio with her epic block towers, jokes and art.

Shop policies

Last updated on July 12, 2020
We began Essential Montessori by making wooden Montessori materials for our daughter.

As a scientist and educator, Lea discovered the Montessori philosophy when doing research and fell in love with its primary tenants: natural materials, prepared environment, attention to aesthetics and following the child. As a philosopher and educator, Montessori speaks to his personal teaching philosophy of student-directed learning and inquiry.

Both of their experience working with wood with their parents and grandparents led to designing and creating wooden toys in their studio in Raleigh, North Carolina.

We work together to create handmade Montessori materials using US grown hardwoods and natural, food-based dyes made in small batches from organic fruits and vegetables and finished with beeswax and organic olive oil. Additionally, Lea makes mobiles based on the classic Montessori designs and proportions.

We love that we can share our handmade Montessori materials -- from our family to yours.

Accepted payment methods

Paypal Mastercard Visa American Express Discover Apple Pay Klarna Giftcard
Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
I gladly accept returns and exchanges
Contact me within: 14 days of delivery
Ship items back within: 21 days of delivery
I don't accept cancellations
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
The following items can't be returned or exchanged
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Digital downloads
  • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
Returns and exchange details
We want you to enjoy every handmade Montessori material you purchase from Essential Montessori. We are a small family business that thrives on word of mouth promotion from customers like you. If there is any issue with your order, please contact us as soon as possible.

If an item arrives damaged due to shipping, we will be happy to replace it at no cost to you.

If you are not happy with your purchase, we offer a full refund, less return shipping, on all unused and unopened items. Simply mail them back to us and we will issue your refund once the items have been received and it is confirmed that they are in new condition.

Conditions of return: Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If items are not returned in original, new, unwrapped and unused condition, the buyer forfeits their return. We are not accepting opened returns at this time for safety reasons due to the pandemic.

In the unlikely event that your item breaks within 45 days of purchase we will either replace or refund the item.

We want your child to enjoy our handmade Montessori materials and we will try to work with you to correct any problems.
Shipping
We ship via USPS mail. You can select the shipping method at checkout, though all orders over one pound will need to ship Priority as per USPS requirements.

International orders are shipped via USPS First Class Mail or Priority International with delivery confirmation for specific countries. Please note that, as the buyer, you will be responsible for any custom and duty fees that may be incurred. We will not mark your package as a gift or declare a lower value.

We ship using USPS, the most inexpensive and reliable way to ship our items to our customers. We provide tracking as soon as your item ships so you can keep track of your items. We recommend signing up for text updates through the USPS website using your tracking number.

Shipping prices will automatically calculate and combine for multiple items in an order, so you never pay more than you need to for shipping.

If you are outside of the U.S. please refer to this site to see if we are able to ship to your country: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/international/welcome.htm
Additional policies and FAQs
We do not offer wholesale.
Privacy
This Privacy Policy describes how and when I collect, use, and share information when you purchase an item from me, contact me, or otherwise use my services through Etsy.com or its related sites and services.

This Privacy Policy does not apply to the practices of third parties that I do not own or control, including Etsy or any third party services you access through Etsy. You can reference the Etsy Privacy Policy to learn more about its privacy practices.


Information I Collect

To fulfill your order, you must provide me with certain information (which you authorized Etsy to provide to me), such as your name, email address, postal address, payment information, and the details of the product that you’re ordering. You may also choose to provide me with additional personal information (for a custom order of jewelry, for example) if you contact me directly.

I rely on a number of legal bases to collect, use, and share your information, including:

1. as needed to provide my services, such as when I use your information to fulfill your order, to settle disputes, or to provide customer support;
2. when you have provided your affirmative consent, which you may revoke at any time, such as by signing up for my mailing list;
3. if necessary to comply with a legal obligation or court order or in connection with a legal claim, such as retaining information about your purchases if required by tax law; and
4. as necessary for the purpose of my legitimate interests, if those legitimate interests are not overridden by your rights or interests, such as a) providing and improving my services. I use your information to provide the services you requested and in my legitimate interest to improve my services; and b) Compliance with the Etsy Seller Policy and Terms of Use. I use your information as necessary to comply with my obligations under the Etsy Seller Policy and Terms of Use.

Information about my customers is important to my business. I share your personal information for very limited reasons and in limited circumstances, as follows:

1. Etsy. I share information with Etsy as necessary to provide you my services and comply with my obligations under both the Etsy Seller Policy and Etsy Terms of Use.
2. Service providers. I engage certain trusted third parties to perform functions and provide services to my shop, such as delivery companies. I will share your personal information with these third parties, but only to the extent necessary to perform these services.
3. Business transfers. If I sell or merge my business, I may disclose your information as part of that transaction, only to the extent permitted by law.
4. Compliance with laws. I may collect, use, retain, and share your information if I have a good faith belief that it is reasonably necessary to: (a) respond to legal process or to government requests; (b) enforce my agreements, terms and policies; (c) prevent, investigate, and address fraud and other illegal activity, security, or technical issues; or (d) protect the rights, property, and safety of my customers, or others.


Data Retention

I retain your personal information only for as long as necessary to provide you with my services and as described in my Privacy Policy. However, I may also be required to retain this information to comply with my legal and regulatory obligations, to resolve disputes, and to enforce my agreements. I generally keep your data for the following time period: 4 years.

Transfers of Personal Information Outside the EU

I may store and process your information through third-party hosting services in the US and other jurisdictions. As a result, I may transfer your personal information to a jurisdiction with different data protection and government surveillance laws than your jurisdiction. If I am deemed to transfer information about you outside of the EU, I rely on Privacy Shield as the legal basis for the transfer, as Google Cloud is Privacy Shield certified.

Your Rights

If you reside in certain territories, including the EU, you have a number of rights in relation to your personal information. While some of these rights apply generally, certain rights apply only in certain limited cases. I describe these rights below:

1. Access. You may have the right to access and receive a copy of the personal information I hold about you by contacting me using the contact information below.
2. Change, restrict, delete. You may also have rights to change, restrict my use of, or delete your personal information. Absent exceptional circumstances (like where I am required to store data for legal reasons) I will generally delete your personal information upon request.
4. Object. You can object to (i) my processing of some of your information based on my legitimate interests and (ii) receiving marketing messages from me after providing your express consent to receive them. In such cases, I will delete your personal information unless I have compelling and legitimate grounds to continue using that information or if it is needed for legal reasons.
5. Complain. If you reside in the EU and wish to raise a concern about my use of your information (and without prejudice to any other rights you may have), you have the right to do so with your local data protection authority.

How to Contact Me

For purposes of EU data protection law, I, J.J. Sylvia, am the data controller of your personal information. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact me at support [!at] essentialmontessori.com.

More information

Last updated on Oct 28, 2020
Frequently asked questions
Sizing details

All size information is in the product descriptions and our photographs accurately depict the size of the items that you will receive.

Custom and personalized orders

We're always happy to customize orders, since we make each item to order, send us a message with your request and we'll let you know what we can do! Thanks again!

Care instructions

Since wood is naturally anti-microbial you do not need to clean them nearly as much as plastic toys.

1. NEVER soak or immerse wood in water. Spray a clean cloth with a mixture of mild dish soap, vinegar (white vinegar or apple cider works well) OR other non-toxic multipurpose cleaner, diluted with water; wipe with the cloth and then air dry. Wood is porous so soaking will cause them to swell, change shape and break.

2. Drying in the sun is great as it speeds up the drying process and the sun is a natural way to kill more germs. However strong sunlight or prolonged exposure can lead to color fade.

3. This will likely remove the finish, sand and reapply olive oil/beeswax finish to maintain protection when necessary.

Gift wrapping and packaging

We love making your orders extra special for their recipients!

As a standard, our items will be individually wrapped in white tissue paper with washi tape. If you purchase additional gift wrap, then all items will be packaged in an organic cotton drawstring bag with a wooden tag that features our logo. We hand write all gift messages and attach them to our informational card and for gift wrap will include description tags behind the message with a note that "spoilers are inside" to not spoil the surprise for your family and friends.

Shipping and Delivery Costs

We ship using USPS, the most inexpensive and reliable way to ship our items to our customers. We provide tracking as soon as your item ships so you can keep track of your items. We recommend signing up for text updates through the USPS website using your tracking number.

Shipping prices will automatically calculate and combine for multiple items in an order, so you never pay more than you need to for shipping.

If you are outside of the U.S. please refer to this site to see if we are able to ship to your country. https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/international/welcome.htm