Montessori Homeschool materials

Where to buy Montessori materials in Malaysia & Singapore

by mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com on June 8, 2012

After getting the furniture and shelves, it’s time to fill them up with materials.

  • Practical Life: Most materials can be found around the house or from shops such as Daiso.
  • Sensorial: There’re several materials specifically designed for Montessori use. For instance, the Pink Tower and Knobless Cycliners. I buy the essential ones and try to make the “easy” ones such as smelling / tasting / sound bottles.
  • English: I plan to make most of the materials from Karen Tyler’s Language album and reading kits.
  • Math: I plan to buy the essential ones and make wherever possible.
  • Other subjects: pending to be explored

Here are some shops selling Montessori materials and DIY supplies:

1. Bambini Montessori

  • Website: http://www.bambini-montessori.com/
  • Email: bambini@bambini-montessori.com
  • Tel: +603-41433734 / +6012-2150818 (Sam)
  • Address: 2-2-46, Wisma Rampai, Taman Sri Rampai, Setapak 53300, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Not a showroom)

My experience with it:

  • Bought a range of Sensorial materials. Every piece was meticulously wrapped (e.g. every cube in the Pink Tower). Quality relatively good. (E.g. Knobless Cylinders are excellent; however Red Rods and Brown Stairs aren’t “perfectly” calibrated.)
  • For the relatively big order, 5% handling charge was waived plus free delivery to my KL place
  • Have referred friends and will be returning to buy more materials

Updated feedback:

  • The knobbed cylinders, knobless cylinders, red rods, geometry cabinet, metal insets, movable alphabets (acrylic) are fine.
  • The pink tower has pointed corners that chipped easily. I saw that USL Education’s pink tower has rounded corners, may withstand more “abuse”.
  • Brown stairs unfinished, very light brown. USL Education’s brown stairs has dark brown finishing.
  • A few geometric solids cracked, I’m not sure if it’s because I left them near the window exposed to sunlight. Still usable though.
  • Sells miscellaneous bead materials, which I bought to supplement those extra ones I couldn’t get from USL. Also bought the binomial & trinomial cubes.
  • Contact person is Sam. Service is prompt, just less personal.

2. USL Educational Supplies

  • Website:  http://shop.usleducation.com/
  • Email: info@usleducation.com
  • Tel: +603-8737 7323 (Kajang)
  • Address: G-55, Jalan Perdana 3A, Taman Kajang Perdana, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia (Another branch in Subang Jaya)

My experience with it:

  • I visited the huge store at Kajang, served by Ms. Leow. Good service.
  • Geometry cabinet frames are yellow, I prefer the wooden unfinished ones from Bambini.
  • The large number rods, complete bead materials and bead cabinet quality are fine. The bead cabinet was missing the 2×2 beads, I emailed Ms. Leow and she sent a replacement by courier.
  • Some discounts from USL are not stated online. Email your wish list directly for best quote. May get 10% off if buying more. Most Geography map puzzles were at 50% clearance discount, so I bought them too, missing 2 maps I think.

3. EnRighten.com

  • Website: http://enrighten.com/
  • Email: info@enrighten.com
  • Tel: + 65 97591452
  • Address:Blk 1092 Lower Delta Road #03-15, Singapore 169203

4. Daiso

  • Address: The larger stores in KL are at The Curve (Unit 209/210/211/212) and Pavilion (Level 6)

What I bought:

  • Trays (I like the wooden grain and cream-coloured ones)
  • Felt
  • Plastic transparent shoe boxes (Bought LOADS until out of stock, haha! Great for storing raw supplies,  loose practical life items, linking memory cards, flashcards, etc.)
  • Miscellaneous items such as pegs, pom-pom balls, buttons, etc.

5. IKEA

  • Address: KL Damansara, Singapore Alexandra and Tampines

What I bought:

  • Floor rug (I bought one which is just the right size, at least 1m, and plain-looking.)
  • Kid-size cooking utensils

6. Growing Fun

This shop sells a wide range of Montessori-inspired manipulatives and materials.

  • Website: http://www.growingfun.com/
  • Address: KL 1Utama Parkson, several branches in Singapore

What I bought:

  • Plastic tangrams
  • Geoboard
  • Teaching clock

7. Czip Lee Books & Stationery

Czip Lee sells a huge range of stationery, including paper. Must check it out for DIY materials.

  • Website: http://www.cziplee.com/
  • Address: 1 & 3 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur (Another branch in Kajang)

What I bought:

  • Very thick coloured vanguard sheets to make sandpaper letters
  • Laminating machine (I’m using this: Fellowes Cosmic 9.5 Inch Laminator*)
  • Paper cutter (I’m using Rexel SmartCut A425, with pre-printed dimensions, save lots of time cutting in bulk)
  • Children’s books (I’ve bought so many ever since Vee was a toddler that the owner can recognise him. Ha!)

8. Art Friend

Art Friend sells a huge range of art and craft supplies. Must check it out for DIY materials.

  • Website: http://www.artfriend.com.sg/
  • Address: The Gardens (Third Floor Lot T-213), several branches in Singapore

What I bought:

  • DMC Sewing Frame (for Practical Life, to hold fabric with zip / buttons / etc.)
  • DMC Bobbins Organizer Box (for Sensorial, as Tactile Fabric Box #3) (It looks similar to this box at Amazon: Deep Organizer Box With 50 Plastic Bobbins*)

9. Milagro Trading

I was searching high and low for empty bottles and actually found them at my beloved cloth diapers supplier!

  • Website: http://www.milagrotrading.com/store/ (Look under Empty Bottles/Jars)
  • Feel free to mention you’re referred by Mummy’s Reviews for the best deal

What I bought:

  • Amber glass bottler with dropper (for Sensorial, tasting bottles)
  • White powder bottle with shifter (for Sensorial, smelling bottles)

Tips for Buying Montessori Materials

  1. The full-size materials (especially Sensorial) will help achieve the full learning objectives. The size and weight have been designed by Maria Montessori after closely observing children’s learning outcomes. As an example, I’m amazed at how 1+ year old Jae learns when he carries the relatively heavy Knobbed Cylinders to the floor rug and works with them.
  2. Quality and finishing of materials may be different from different suppliers. If possible, make a visit to view product samples before buying.
  3. Look out for quality / safety of paint finishing, whether it chips too easily if dropped accidentally (which happens often with young children). For natural wood finishing (non-painted), look out for smooth finishing (that is, no splinters).

If you know of any other shops selling Montessori and DIY materials, please add them in the comment box below. Thank you!

P.S. For DIY materials, do visit our Montessori Resources page for printables.

Disclosure: Mummy’s Homeschool™ is an informational website that receives compensation if readers make purchases from affiliate links (these are marked with an *). If we receive compensation from the companies whose products we review, this would be disclosed. These compensation help to maintain and grow Mummy’s Reviews™. We test each product thoroughly and give ratings according to our experience with it. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica June 12, 2012 at 9:42 am

Hi MieVie,

This new site is an excellent idea. I had always enjoyed you post on your homeschooling journey. You are very dedicated.

We implement simple Montessori activities at home (my boy just turned 2) since he was about 9 month old with simple home made activities. I am planning to purchase montessori materials for our home practise when he turns three. So this post has been really helpful.

Currently, we are doing a blend of little reader, montessori/tot trays, right brain. Do you mind sharing your homeschooling schedule as I would love to learn more from people along the same line.? I am working full time so time is of essence.

Reply

mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com June 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Hi Jessica, thank you for your encouragement. :) 3 years old is a good age, when the child starts to be able to handle the materials better because he’s more logical.

Our schedule has been shared at http://www.mummysreviews.com/2012/03/17/homeschool-schedule-toddler-baby/. We only do 1-2 hours or “school” each day involving a variety of activities, usually between breakfast and lunch. This is enough for toddlers and preschoolers. The rest of the time is play, play and more play! :)

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Manorama June 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Hi Mie
first of all “Congratulations on another fantastic and most useful blog.
My daughter turned 3 months old (today!) and we are keen to give her the macimum possible inputs, so for us this blog comes at the rught time.
I am still to read through all the articles but could you mention where you bought the memory flash cards and other flas cards?
Thanks!
Manorama

Reply

mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com June 14, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Hi Manorama, thank you for your support and congrats on having a young baby! :)

Here are the places to get flashcards:
– Shichida centre (sold only to students)
– Flashcardsfactory[dot]com: I find it pricey, bought a few sets before we were enrolled into Shichida centre
– Figur8.net/baby under Resources: print, stick onto card stock (A5 or 1/2 A4 for images, A4 for dot cards)
– Make own flashcards / exchange with other mummies

Just in case you’re interested in joining Shichida programme, need to be put on waiting list early, cos it typically takes 6 months to get a seat.

Hope this helps. :)

Reply

Manorama June 15, 2012 at 10:48 am

Hi Mie,

Thanks for your reply, the comments are working now :)

I apologise for the typos: all thanks to iphone!

I downloaded the B/W flash cards, I think you had mentionned this link in one of your comments. The flashcards are great and my daughter loves them and recogonises them the instant we take them out!

Regarding the Shichida programme, I did call up the centre here in Sg. Unfortunately my call was taken by an extremely arrogant and listless customer service lady. She told me that there’s a waiting list (of course!) and she would email me the details of the course, fees etc which I am still waiting for. So looks like they are not interested in getting more students, huh?
I also read certain reviews which mentionned that the quality of teachers has gone down past few years (here at the sg branch) which is very disappointing.
Do you know any students here in Sg attending the class and if yes what do the mummies have to say?
My husband and I are very keen that she join a development program so I will try again at Shichida, else I will look out for alternate classes. It’s the method that’s important after all and not the brand! And there is a dearth of social interaction here in SG anyways so it’s very important!

Manorama June 13, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Hi Mie,

I am unable to see any of the comments on this blog. Seems to be some problem?
I don’t know if you replied to my comment either. I did select the “notify me of followup comments via email, but no email so far…
Do let me know.

Thanks

Reply

mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com June 13, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Thank you for your feedback. I’m checking this out now. Please let me know when you see this comment via email.

Reply

Serena June 17, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Hi, mie vee,

for Bambini Montessori material, can we purchase together to get the free delivery & handling charge?
I stay in Ipoh at the moment, later will move back to KL.

Hope to hear you soon!

Reply

Serena June 18, 2012 at 12:00 am

Hi mie,

I like to ask where to download the black & white flashcard…

Reply

mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com June 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Please refer to your email for reply. :)

Reply

Homeschool@sg July 6, 2012 at 9:55 am

Oh! You can also get Montessori kits online from Enrighten :)

Reply

mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com July 19, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Thank you for the info! :)

Reply

Jums August 7, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I have bought Montessori Materials from : Enrighten
before and the quality and prices are quite reasonable .

Reply

mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com August 8, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Thank you for your feedback, Jums! :)

Reply

Cress August 18, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Hi Mie,
I chance upon your website and really had hope that I’d found it earlier! I’d been doing a lot of research about Shichida, Glenn Doman an Montessori too and have not really put anything into practice until my daughter is now 4 years old. I don’t want to miss the chance anymore with my #2 coming this December so I’ll certainly follow your blog closely and take up the online Montessori class!

Though I’m very enthusiastic, I still missed Shichida’s prenatal course due to my very bad morning sickness. Next class will be in September and I don’t really want to waste another month of waiting! Do you have any good suggestion on starting my prenatal with some self studies? Any blog, online resource or books to recommend?

Thanks in advance!

Reply

mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com August 25, 2012 at 9:28 am

Congratulations on your pregnancy, Cress!

For Shichida pre-natal education, you may find the book mentioned in this post: http://www.mummysreviews.com/2011/06/27/developmental-milestones-vee-28-months-old/

It’s in simplified Chinese, so hopefully you can understand it.

I missed the class during pregnancy because there weren’t enough people to fill up 1 class, so I relied solely on the book, thankfully getting positive results. My friend attended the class and said the principle (Mrs. Khoo) has modified the method, so it’ll cover tips not found in the book. She also had a smooth pregnancy and all-natural delivery.

For your 4 years old girl, you can still start right brain education with her, just that also need to do bridging to the left brain. Depending on her receptiveness, older child may need longer to see output, yet still possible. My friend started doing DIY right brain education (diligently) on her daughter at only 4 years old, and is seeing very positive output at 6 years old.

To share more at the FAQs… All the best! :)

Reply

Han October 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Hi MieVee,

My daughter is turning two end of the month. I am very interested to start the Montessori with her at home. Do you think it is neccessary to purchase the Pink Tower and Knobless Cylinder? We have a stacking cups set at home. Thanks.

Reply

mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com October 11, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Hi Han, I’d highly recommend taking up Karen Tyler’s Montessori Teacher Training Program reviewed here. Karen’s course covers how to use Montessori materials, prioritises which to buy versus make, and many more detailed activities, info and tips.

I purchased the Pink Tower and Knobless Cylinders. Vee, at 3 years old, enjoys working with the knobless cylinders a lot more than the Pink Tower. I think he finds them more challenging. Yet, I believe mastering the Pink Tower is an essential skill for younger children. There’re many ways of presenting each of the key Montessori materials, that’s why taking up a course is important, to make full use of each material, if you really like the Montessori Method.

Since the materials are costly, I rely a lot on Karen’s ideas on which to buy versus make, and which to improvise.

Hope this helps. :)

Reply

verarone April 17, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Hi MieVee, I’ve come across this website kids[dot]net[dot]my
Just wondering if you have also heard about them and any feedback about their products.

My ger is currently 15mths and I’ve just enrolled her to Heguru (Novena), I’m trying to start off with my home schooling and hope to get some ideas from you on the preparing of materials and activities.

Thanks!

Reply

mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com April 29, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Hi verarone, I’ve bought some books from the physical store of kids[dot]net[dot]my in Malaysia, haven’t tried other materials, so no detailed feedback. If you’ve a question on any specific area, feel free to ask and I’ll try to help. Jae’s 15-18 months update will be up in May, so perhaps you may get some ideas what we do at home. Happy homeschooling! :)

Reply

Rachael February 27, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Hi, Growing Fun is now available in Malaysia. If you would like to inquire for product info, please feel free to contact me rachaeltan [at] growing fun [dot] com

Enjoy the learning & teaching journey with your precious little one.

Reply

mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com March 3, 2014 at 11:42 pm

Thanks, Rachael. I’ve yet to visit your Malaysian branch, will try to do so some day. :)

Reply

Rachael March 4, 2014 at 8:56 am

Dear MieVee,

Our outlet has yet to open. We are working on internet order or through me. Feel free to contact me if you need any infomation. I am in KL/PJ. website: growingfun[dot]com

Yean December 16, 2015 at 10:58 am

Hi MieVee,
May i know where can i get the montessori shelf you shown at the above, where we can put pink tower? Tks.

Reply

Yean December 16, 2015 at 11:00 am

Hi MieVee,
May i know whete can i get the montessori shelf you show above in sg? The 1 which can fit in the pink tower nicely. Tks.

Reply

mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com June 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Hi Manorama, haha… I can’t stand the auto-correct function too! :)

Even before our first encounter with Shichida, I’ve read online regarding negative experiences with the centre, be it in Singapore or KL. We first visited the Singapore centre, watched the free video preview (it happened to be a quiet timing there) and spoke to the staff. We were well-received and had a good impression.

Because we were due to return to KL shortly after, we subsequently visited the KL centre for info, and enrolled on the waiting list there. We were proactive and called the school before term started to check for vacancies. Fortunately, there was 1 after only 1 term. Until today, 2+ years later, we’re still happy with the staff and sinseis.

I think there’s a lot of requests to join the waiting list (just look at me telling so many people about the method!), and that particular staff may be caught in a busy period or bad day? Yes, no excuse for bad customer service. But I’d suggest going down to the centre to experience it for yourself.

As for quality of sinseis, I realized that new (and less experienced) ones tend to be assigned to younger/baby classes. Baby Jae is starting class next term and we’re expecting a new sinsei. The older classes (3 years old & above) tend to get more experienced sinseis because of the increasing complexity of materials. Fortunately, so far, our sinseis have been fine and getting better because of the progression.

To me, the weekly class is really for the parent to learn the method, see how the materials are used and learn how to make home practice materials. Often, there is a cranky baby/child, including my own, who’s unenthusiastic in participating. I don’t expect the sinsei to handle such situation, the parent is supposed to calm the child in class or bring him out for a while then return. The child truly learns during home practice. Until today, Vee’s behaviour in class is vastly different from home practice. For e.g. He loves doing linking memory at home but doesn’t do it much in class. So now, I put little emphasis on the sinsei, as long as she’s passable.

Reply

mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com June 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm

In KL, the language ability of sinseis is also a big issue. Most sinseis are fluent in Chinese and/or Malay, but less so in English. So it’s common to hear less than standard spoken English. It’s only 1 hour a week, so I’m ok with that but I’ve put it down on the school’s feedback form. Again, the child learns the language from his caregivers at home.

There’re also typo / grammar errors on the materials sometimes. Every time I spot one, I’d feedback to the sinsei to correct the material. Again, the child is exposed to the material once to a few times, so I’m ok. Such typo / grammar errors are all over the country (even shopping mall signboards), so I see it as my duty to teach my child.

The Shichida Method is not just a brand, the method is unique, comprehensive and progressive with new research, from our understanding and conversation with the principal. Hubby had the privilege of chatting with the principal while I was in class once, and she gave a good impression. Even from the first time I heard her speak at the Parents Education Course (2 weeks after 1st class), I knew she makes sense and the method is what we’re looking for.

There’s a Mummy with a boy in Singapore’s Shichida centre, same age as Vee, and is doing very well. Again, it’s the parents’ dedication to home practice and loving the child using the method. Her blog is here: http://www.bubble-learning.blogspot.com/2011/05/notes-on-shichida-part-1.html She has written a lot about the Shichida Method, so take your time to digest all the info.

To us, after 2+ years of learning and reading on the Shichida Method, I’ve still not seen any other alternative comparable to it, not even close. Especially when KL has even more right brain education enrichment centres than Singapore. I’d say there’re many centers that try to emulate what Shichida is doing, but they only skim on the surface, not reaching the main goals of the philosophy. Shichida is really a parenting philosophy, much more than a programme to make the child brainy for personal achievements.

Reply

Manorama August 10, 2012 at 11:43 am

Hi Mie,

First of all, I am extremely sorry for this very late reply.
Thank you SO MUCH for giving all this information, this is why I am a fan of your blog(s) that there is very clear detailing!
Also the link you have given for Shichida (Bubble learning) is great! I will go through it in detail, will let you know if we do decide to enroll our daughter in Shichida.

Reply

mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com August 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm

You’re most welcome, Manorama! :)

Reply

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