Best Montessori Toys For Toddlers (18 Best Montessori Toys)

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Toddlers are very active and full of energy. If you let them, they will spend all day, running around, exploring, and playing constantly.

You can harness that energy, curiosity, and the need to discover new things by giving them the right tools so they can channel that energy into good use. Toys are the best tools to use to keep your kids active but calm and learn while they are having fun.

What are the best Montessori Toys for toddlers? The best Montessori toys for toddlers are those that promote child development. It should help them develop independence, resilience, and confidence in their abilities. It should nurture the child’s natural inclination to learn and do things on their own. Montessori toys are meant to capture the young one’s attention and ignite their curiosity about their world and the people around them.

What is a Montessori Toy?

Montessori classroom toys are intentionally designed with the aim of supporting a kid’s development, rather than solely providing entertainment.

These toys are tailored to promote specific aspects of a child’s growth, such as fostering independence, enhancing fine motor skills, stimulating problem-solving abilities, or cultivating concentration skills.

Maria Montessori advocated for toys and books that reflected reality, as opposed to those centered around fantasy or pretend play.

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    For instance, opting for a lifelike figurine of a cow is preferable over a whimsical cartoon depiction of a cow riding a bicycle since the former align more accurately with the way cows exist in the real world.

    Best Montessori Toys for Toddlers

    Choosing the right toys is the secret to helping kids meet their developmental milestones. Toys keep children engaged and having fun not realizing that they are learning and sharpening their essential skills.

    Here is a list of the best Montessori educational toys that your kids will love!

    1. Montessori Wooden Climber

    Montessori wooden climbers come in different designs. There is a climbing arch, a climbing triangle, and other designs. They all are effective and fun.

    Montessori wooden climbers are designed to enhance gross motor development by strengthening the muscles in their arms, legs, and core.

    They also provide vestibular stimulation to improve balance, develop spatial awareness, and promote proprioceptive learning or physical self-awareness. It is an open-ended toy because despite it being designed as a climber, children can become creative and make it into anything they can dream of.

    2. Wooden Montessori Counting Boards

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    Instead of using books to teach a toddler about numbers, why not use a more experiential approach? Wooden counting boards are fun and exciting for kids because they can touch, feel, move, and play with the pieces while learning.

    Counting boards help with dexterity and fine motor development. It teaches about number value and placement. It develops number recognition, and formation skills, and introduces number operations like addition and subtraction.

    3. Montessori Cleaning Set

    Giving kids their own cleaning set may not seem like a big deal but it actually plays an important part in your kid’s development. It teaches valuable lessons they can bring with them as they grow.

    Cleaning and doing chores build self-esteem and independence. It teaches the importance of completing a job and emphasizes the value of keeping things clean and organized.

    Having their own cleaning set helps establish a routine in their daily lives. It gives them responsibility. Having that gives them a sense of being an important part of the household. Cleaning also develops gross and fine motor skills.

    4. Wooden Bead Set

    Wooden toys help calm an energetic toddler down. It allows them to relax, sit down, and focus on an activity.

    It helps with different developmental aspects like:

    • Fine Motor Skills – wooden beads help children improve their grasping skills. Beads encourage kids to use their pincer grasp, strengthening the small muscles of their fingers and hands.
    • In-Hand Manipulation Skills – playing with wooden beads requires kids to pick them up, manipulate, shift, rotate, and do other small movements with the use of the thumbs and fingers. It strengthens their finger and hand muscles.
    • Visual Perceptual Skills – creating wooden bead pieces like bracelets and necklaces develops visual discrimination, scanning, and visual memory. Kids will need to plan a beading pattern, select the beads that fit the mental image of their design, and scan through multiple selections to start creating.
    • Visual Motor Skills – working with beads develops hand-eye coordination.
    • Cognitive Skills – creating masterpieces with their wooden beads require mental planning and problem-solving skills. The more they play, the more they develop and improve their cognitive skills.
    • Math Skills – beading requires basic math skills. Children need to determine how long the string will be and how many beads they need to use. Solving functional math problems helps improve their academic skills.
    • Social Skills – playing with beads is a fun activity to do with family and friends. It develops cooperation, communication, and positive character traits.

    5. Child-Sized Table and Chairs

    Most of your furniture and other household objects are too tall, too big, or too high for a kid. Given their curiosity and natural inclination for independence, it can be difficult for them.

    Giving kids their own table and chair that is appropriately sized will empower them. It promotes independence and creativity. It teaches practical skills like feeding, cleaning, organization, and table manners.

    Having their own space encourages healthy interaction with family members and friends. It also promotes good posture.

    6. Bead Stringing & Lacing Toys

    You have the option to either purchase a lacing toy or create one at home. These toys can come in natural or colorful variations based on your preference. It’s important to choose appropriately sized beads to avoid excessive frustration for your children. Setting them up for success will help boost their confidence in their own abilities.

    Bead stringing and lacing toys promote the development of fine motor skills in kids. They also teach important skills such as decision-making, patience, and perseverance. Engaging in this activity together can also provide an opportunity for language practice. You can discuss colors, shapes, the number of beads on the string, and the remaining beads.

    Since this activity requires focus and patience, it’s important to encourage your toddler and make it enjoyable. You can even create a necklace from the beads and wear it to show them how valuable their work is.

    7. Shapes on Pegs


    This toy offers long-term utility as your child can enjoy it for an extended period. Toddlers love finding the right place for each object on the pegs and identifying patterns such as shapes and colors.

    As your child grows, this toy can also be used for language development, counting, and other learning activities. It provides opportunities for your toddler to explore various ways of using it, including building towers.

    Having this toy available greatly benefits your toddler’s fine motor skills and fosters creativity.

    8. Stackers (rings, cubes)


    There are different variations of stacker toys available. Typically, they consist of a vertical dowel where babies can place and remove objects such as rings. More complex shapes like cubes or triangles can be added for older kids as well.

    Stacker toys are excellent for practicing hand-eye coordination, concentration, and the manipulation of small objects. It’s worth noting that stability is important for babies and toddlers, as some stacker toys may wiggle and cause uncertainty for the child.

    Once your baby masters the vertical dowel, you can introduce a horizontal one, which helps them develop wrist and body movement. These skills will later benefit them when they learn to write and dress independently.

    9. Cylinder Block Set


    This toy may appear simple, but it offers substantial educational value. Children notice visual differences between each cylinder within a block set and recognize distinctions between blocks.

    Later on, they can apply language to describe these visual differences, such as thick and thin, large and small, and tall and short.

    10. Realistic Doll


    Although dolls in dollhouses are not typically found in Montessori classrooms, they are commonly used in Montessori homes. Playing with dolls involves role-playing, which helps kids learn empathy.

    It is important to select a realistic and anatomically correct doll. Montessori education supports teaching children the proper names for body parts, including genitalia.

    11. Pikler Triangle Play Set

    Consider getting a pikler triangle or a climbing toy for your kid’s first birthday.

    These toys offer multi-purpose use and can grow with your child. The peak usage of a pikler triangle is generally between the ages of 1 and 3, although it can be enjoyed by children of different ages.

    12. Wooden Puzzles

    Wooden puzzles are timeless toys that provide valuable brain-building activities for children. It’s a super versatile toy that can contribute to the development of cognitive and motor skills while also being highly enjoyable.

    Even as babies, children can start with simple puzzles and learn about cause and effect. There are numerous options available for different ages and interests.

    13. Race Tracks and Ball Drops

    Race tracks are suitable toys even for babies, but toddlers particularly enjoy them. It is recommended for ages 11-16 months, although children can engage with them earlier if they don’t put small pieces in their mouths.

    Race tracks offer a variety of skill-building opportunities, including color matching, sequencing, and more.

    14. Nesting Dolls


    Nesting dolls are simple toys that can spark creativity in toddlers. These dolls come in different sizes and can be stacked together, played with separately, and used to learn about size variations.

    By nesting the dolls, your toddler will gain several benefits. It enhances their dexterity, promotes understanding of spatial relations between objects, encourages problem-solving, and develops visual discrimination skills. You’ll be amazed at how imaginative your toddler can be with these dolls.

    You can choose traditional nesting dolls or opt for plain wooden ones without faces.

    15. Busy Board


    A busy board is a sensory board inspired by the Montessori approach, featuring various activities for toddlers. You can select a theme-based board focused on learning to dress, including buckles, ties, and buttons.

    Alternatively, you can choose an all-in-one activity board with puzzles, hooks, snaps, bolts, felt pockets, tubing, mops, magnets, a whiteboard, or anything that aligns with your toddler’s interests.

    A busy board provides extended engagement as it offers numerous things to explore and discover. It benefits fine motor skills, logical thinking, concentration, independence, creativity, patience, and perseverance.

    16. Tent


    Toddlers enjoy having their own hiding place or a playroom to hide their toys.

    A tent makes a fantastic gift, especially for 2-year-olds who are starting to engage in more imaginative role-playing. It is also a way to incorporate different ways to play

    17. Wooden Rainbow


    The wooden rainbow is highly popular in the Montessori learning community, despite not being a Montessori-specific toy. It offers incredible possibilities for teaching children patience, imagination, and creativity. 

    18. Balance Board


    A toddler balance board, also known as a wobble board, is a curved wooden board that can be used for play or exercise activities. It’s a versatile and simple toy suitable for toddlers and preschoolers in various situations.

    It also helps develop fine motor skills and encourages hands-on learning.

    Importance of Montessori-friendly Toys for Kids

    Montessori-friendly educational toys play a significant role in supporting your little one’s development in alignment with Montessori principles.

    Here are some reasons highlighting the importance of Montessori-friendly toys for kids:

    1. Promote Independent Learning

    The toys are designed to encourage independent exploration and learning. These toys typically have a simple design and offer open-ended play opportunities, allowing children to engage in self-directed activities and discover concepts at their own pace.

    2. Develop Concentration and Focus

    Montessori toys often require children to concentrate and focus on specific tasks or activities. By engaging with these toys, children can develop their ability to sustain attention and concentrate on a particular task, fostering concentration skills that are vital for future learning.

    3. Support Sensorial Development

    Montessori places great emphasis on the development of the senses. Their toys often incorporate different textures, shapes, colors, and sizes, providing children with a sensorial experience that helps refine their senses and enhance their cognitive and perceptual skills.

    4. Foster Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking

    Montessori-inspired toys often present children with challenges and puzzles that require problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. By engaging with these toys, children learn to analyze, strategize, and find creative solutions, promoting their cognitive development and logical reasoning abilities.

    5. Encourage Fine Motor Skills

    Many Montessori toys are designed to enhance fine motor skills, which involve the coordination of small muscles in the hands and fingers. Activities like stacking, sorting, and manipulating objects in Montessori-inspired toys help develop hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and precision.

    6. Cultivate Order and Organization

    Montessori philosophy emphasizes the importance of order and organization in a kid’s environment. Montessori inspired toys often have a specific place or storage system, teaching children to take care of their belongings, tidy up after play, and develop a sense of order.

    7. Promote Realistic and Meaningful Experiences

    Montessori inspired toys tend to focus on providing children with experiences that are rooted in reality. These toys often represent real objects and activities, enabling children to connect with the world around them and learn in a meaningful context.

    By providing Montessori-inspired toys, parents, and educators can create an environment that supports a child’s holistic development, promotes independent learning and early learning, nurtures critical skills, and fosters a love for exploration and discovery.

    Things to Consider When Buying Montessori Toys

    When buying Montessori toys, there are several important factors to consider. 

    • Purpose and Developmental Goals: Montessori toys are purposefully designed to support specific aspects of a kid’s development. Consider the developmental goals you want to focus on, such as fine motor skills, sensorial exploration, problem-solving, or language development. Choose toys that align with these goals.
    • Open-Ended and Multi-Purpose: Montessori toys should be open-ended, allowing children to use them in various ways and engage in imaginative play. Look for toys that offer multiple uses, encourage creativity, and have no predetermined outcomes, promoting independent thinking and exploration.
    • Natural and Safe Materials: Montessori philosophy emphasizes the use of natural, non-toxic, and eco-friendly materials. Look for toys made of wood, metal, fabric, or other natural materials. Ensure that the toys are safe, free from harmful chemicals, and age-appropriate.
    • Realistic and Simple Design: Montessori toys often reflect real-world objects and activities. Opt for toys with a realistic design that allows children to connect with the world around them. Simple designs without excessive decoration or electronic features tend to be more aligned with Montessori principles.
    • Size and Manipulation: Consider the size and manipulability of the toys. Montessori toys should be sized appropriately for small hands to grasp and manipulate easily. They should challenge children’s fine motor skills without being too frustrating or overwhelming.
    • Durability and Longevity: The toys should be well-made and durable to withstand rough play. Choose toys that are built to last, as they can be used by multiple children or passed down through generations.
    • Engaging and Challenging: The toys should offer a level of challenge that is suitable for the kid’s learning stage. Look for toys that encourage problem-solving, critical thinking, and concentration. They should be engaging and captivating, capturing the children’s interest and sustaining their attention.
    • Organization and Order: Consider the organization and storage aspects of Montessori toys. Look for toys that can be easily stored, in clear containers or designated spaces. This promotes order and teaches children to take responsibility for tidying up after play.
    • Follow the Child’s Interests: Observe and understand your kid’s interests and preferences. Choose toys that align with their specific interests, as this will enhance their engagement and motivation to play and learn.

    FAQs

    What to look for when shopping for Montessori toys for toddlers? When shopping for Montessori learning toys, always look for ones that are age-appropriate and safe. Big kids still love to put toys in their mouths, so safety should be a priority. Choose toys that are interesting for your child. Consider what they are interested in. Factor in their milestones and the milestones they need to achieve.

    Why are Montessori toys important? For toddlers, playing is their life. It is how they pass the time and learn. Toys, especially Montessori learning toys, level up playtime so they can develop into healthy, happy, smart, and well-balanced individuals.

    At what age should I start giving my child Montessori toys? Montessori toys are good for all ages. The earlier you can start the better. There are toys for babies as soon as they are born.

    Are Montessori toys better for toddlers than electronic toys? Yeah, definitely! Montessori toys develop independence, movement, language, focus and concentration, and positive character traits. Electronic toys, on the other hand, does all the work and does not need the active participation of the child. Toddlers are a passive audience and do not learn as much as they do with these learning toys.

    Summary

    Remember, Montessori toys are meant to support a kid’s imagination, creativity, and gross motor skills among others.

    By considering these factors, you can make informed choices when selecting toys that best suit your kid’s needs and promote their learning and growth.

    The best Montessori method toys for the little one are those that promote child development.

    It should help toddlers develop independence, resilience, and confidence in their abilities. It should nurture the kid’s natural inclination to learn and do things on their own.

    Toys are meant to capture toddlers’ attention and ignite curiosity about their world and the people around them.