Established in 1967, many of us who grew up in the Philippines probably know the store PAPEMELROTI. Named after all the children of the Alejandro family (owners of the company), this store has been a major source for crafts, Filipino-made products, pasalubong, etc for me – it carries a lot of very affordable products! It has several branches in Manila, and a few provincial branches as well, but my absolute favorite would be their main branch along Roces Avenue, Quezon City!
Eversince I became a birder, I grew to love this store more because they carry a lot of products that feature our native and endemic bird species. Why? Because one of the Alejandro children, Robert, is a birder, too! And an artist! So you can just imagine the kind of cool works he creates for their store.
It’s also worth noting that if you are looking for all sorts of Philippine culture representation, say, an artwork of our food, or figurines of people in Filipiniana, this store probably carries it. This is also one of the reasons why I truly love them — so much Pinoy goodness in here!
Anyway, this is the second of my series of Montessori-friendly materials found in our local shops.
This is my attempt to share my finds with parents who are just starting out in their Montessori journey, in the hope that instead of getting overwhelmed and intimidated with this beautiful philosophy, it encourages us to look for Montessori-friendly materials in our everyday things and usual stores.
I admit, sometimes, I tend to depend on online stores, specialty stores, or on the other side of the world for Montessori-friendly materials, but as we have been going out more often to the malls for errands, I have come to realize that if you look hard enough, many materials are very accessible, and often, with much friendlier price points. We just really need the eye for it, and the knowledge on how we can make them work for our approach.
While this blogpost contains specific materials, may these serve more as inspiration than a checklist of what you need to have at home. I decided to limit the number to 5 items per post, or else it will be a very long one. I may just make another post on the same store next time if really needed.
These may not work for your child right now, and they may not catch his/her interest, that is why, as always, before anything else, observe your child so that you may provide materials that answer his/her current developmental need.
Now, presenting my 5 finds for this post:
- BOXES – they have a lot of small boxes for anything you want to put (miniatures included), but these would also work great for opening-closing work, stacking work, or shape recognition.
2. MINIATURES – They make a lot of miniature decorations, though they are quite pricey if for language objects purposes. I really love the bike and rocking chair, though!
For older children (since these are breakable and they’re not necessarily a need for very young toddlers), it’s also worth looking at their mini-figurines of different Philippine culture representations, like a sorbetero (ice cream vendor), or coconut vendor, or figurines in traditional Filipiniana wear, etc. They have a lot of stuff that would work great with lessons on culture and geography, or even just as an artwork displays.
3. MINI EASEL – such a great size to display postcards — I usually buy postcards of artworks and having this easel completes the display of the material. I bought a mini-easel from Common Room PH before, but the one Papemelroti has is cheaper. I’m just not sure if they’re the exact, same size. You can also buy postcards of Philippine destinations here for about PHP 15.
4. COIN CANS – Their coin cans (come in small and large) can work great for posting work! Just like the traditional coin banks though, you have to destroy the can to get the coins, so I’m thinking this could be a can for the family, where anyone can place a coin they see lying around, or extra coins they have. This could be a simple tool to introduce saving to a child, and also separating other materials (like wooden coins/fake coins/poker chips/etc) for posting, and actual coins for saving.
5. KINETIC BIRD MOBILE – Last but definitely not the least, my favorite from this store is their Kinetic Bird Mobiles! I discovered it from a fellow-Montessori mom (Mommy Jo) when she posted about her son’s Philippine Cockatoo mobile! I was so thrilled to know there were more endemic birds to choose from! I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to go for the Indigo-banded Kingfisher or the Rufuous Hornbill. In the end, I went for the hornbill, but I’m thinking about purchasing the kingfisher, too! Haha.
What I love about this mobile is that you operate is manually. You have to pull the string to make it move! It is pretty much in line with the Montessori principle of working with manual mechanisms first to have a better understanding of how things work. Of course the plus there is that this specific line of mobiles features endemic species.
What we did was after hanging it from the ceiling, we added a string and a wooden ball (since I have one) below the original string to lengthen it and let Pablo pull it himself. I realized that this mobile is a great tool to work on hand and arm control! In the morning, because our electric fan somehow reaches the bird, we see it moving gracefully moving from the fan’s wind, which really, is such a treat for us bird lovers here. So much love for this product. It costs PHP 1200! Definitely worth the money for us!
PS: If you’re wondering if this could be a good infant mobile though, my answer is I don’t think so. You don’t see a lot of the features of the bird from below (the angle your infant would be looking from), so I’d still go for other mobiles for that purpose.
Anyway, I hope this blogpost was helpful! There’s a lot more to pick in Papemelroti, so I’d probably feature them again someday soon. I hope you can also share your finds there with me! Till the next post!