As parents, we all want to provide our kids with the best environment for developmentally appropriate learning and growth. There are so many “learning toys” on the market these days, but most involve screens, lights, sounds, or a combination of all these. As fun as these flashy toys may seem, they are not healthy for a child’s development.1 It turns out that the simplest of toys are the best toys for our kids. One learning method, the Montessori method, has focused much of its educational approach on these beautifully simple toys.
What Is Montessori?
Montessori is an educational approach developed by an Italian physician, Maria Montessori. It has been rising in popularity for over 100 years. This educational approach focuses on independence, hands-on learning, and a thoughtfully prepared environment that allows children to grow and learn in all the main developmental areas: practical life, sensorial materials, language, and math.
How Are Montessori Toys Different?
Montessori toys have specific elements. They are simple, made of natural materials, reality-based, and functional. They are essential in allowing babies and children to learn about the world around them on their own. And they require the child’s active participation and often replicate relationships and structure in the natural world.
20 Montessori Toys To Buy Now
1. Work Mat
Work mats are used in Montessori as a clean workspace for little bodies. The mat should be small enough for little ones to roll and unroll by themselves.
2. Tracing Board
Young kids use tracing in Montessori to develop muscle memory. A tracing board is a great way to introduce this concept to your little learner.
Wood puzzles are key for hand-eye coordination. These animal puzzles are also good for teaching students about nature, an important component of this teaching style.
Learning about weather and time becomes a hands-on experience with this wooden clock board.
5. Balance Board
Let your toddler burn off some energy and work on their balance on this fun wooden balance board! It can be a slide, seesaw, tunnel, boat, rocker, table, stepping stone, lounge chair, fitness equipment, soccer goals, teeter popper, or bridge! There are endless possibilities for free and creative play with this balance board. Practicing their balance stimulates their vestibular system, which supports the muscles responsible for correct posture. It also develops their sense of balance and supports the development of their sense of proprioception.
6. Sensory Bin Tools
Sensory experiences are fundamental in Montessori-style classrooms. Use these tools in all kinds of sensory bins for hours of learning fun.
7. Wooden Climber
This is another great option for your kiddos to get some wiggles out and work on gross motor skills!
8. Counting Tray
Counting is more fun with colorful manipulatives like this one. This toy is a fantastic way to introduce math and logic concepts.
9. Infant Puzzles
Even smaller babies can experience Montessori with simple wood toys like these. This set is designed for 8 to 12-month-olds and includes the palmar block, the ball and cup, the pincer block, the single circle puzzle, the three first shape puzzles, the three peg block, and the four stacking blocks.
10. Animal Toys
Create a world of opportunity for imaginative play with these adorable wooden animal toys.
11. Kid-Safe Knife
A big component of Montessori learning is having kids participate in everyday life as much as possible. Snack and meal prep time is an important part of that. This kid-safe knife is the perfect tool for having your kiddo learn to help in the kitchen.
12. Counting Board
Older kids can practice counting up to one hundred on this beautiful wood counting board. This chart will help your child learn to count, recognize numbers, and find patterns. It’s an amazing hands-on learning tool and fun too!
13. Play Gym
The smallest of babies will love one of these sweet wooden play gyms.
14. Rainbow Stacker
This 12-piece large wooden rainbow stacker is a building toy, a sorting toy, and a stacking toy. Practicing stacking improves coordination and encourages imagination. It’s a simple and beautiful design inspired by nature to promote learning through fantasy play.
15. Beautiful Printables
If you have a dedicated space for learning, these beautiful printables are the perfect Montessori addition to that space.
16. Wooden Blocks
Plain wooden blocks help kids develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, creative thinking, and cause and effect.
17. Number Puzzle
This wooden number puzzle set will give your kiddo many opportunities to practice numbers and put together puzzles.
18. Screwdriver Board
Encourage your little learner to fine-tune their fine motor skills with this screwdriver board.
19. Sorting Pie
Sorting is a basic skill young children start to learn early. This adorable sorting pie takes learning to a fun new level!
20. Ribbon Wand
Your kids will love jumping around, dancing, and playing with these ribbon wands! They encourage creative play and exercise at the same time.
Not only will these toys be great for learning, but they will also be pieces that will grow with them and last for years to come!