best toys for montessori learning

Maria Montessori introduced more than a Montessori method to Montessori classrooms; she presented a lifestyle. The best Montessori toys for toddlers and babies help families adopt this learning approach to life in their homes.

The Montessori method uses toys and everyday objects to develop essential life skills. The purpose is to provide children with the help they need to grow into self-motivated adults with creativity, flexible thinking, and a love for learning.

We’ve researched the best Montessori toys for kids. The list features high-quality Montessori toys for toddlers who grab, throw and explore. We’ve also included Montessori toys for babies 6-months old, a play gym covering the first year of a child’s life, and subscription boxes for parents who rely on experts to choose suitable toys for their kids.

What Makes A Great Montessori Toy?

Parents can introduce their babies early on to Montessori toys. The elements of traditional Montessori-friendly toys ensure a fun, engaging play without having lots and lots of toys.

They are surprisingly simple– Montessori toys are designed to help children learn independently. Overstimulating toys can distract from the learning process. Montessori toys get out of the way and are a tool for learning rather than a competitor for attention.

They’re made of natural materials– Toys made of all-natural materials provide babies and toddlers with crisp information about their actual world. Toys made of wood and metal provide more sensory information to our children. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some plastics involved, but the emphasis is on nature.

They are based on the natural world – aka reality– Montessori toys provide organized information that replicates the structures and interconnections we find in the natural world. Children younger than six do not distinguish reality from fantasy. Toys with true results and consequences (like a car rolling down a ramp) allow children to learn how the world really is.

They require active participation – Montessori toys require children to be active in the moment. The best Montessori toys allow for fine motor skills to develop through open-ended play and exploration.

Top Picks For The Best Montessori Toys Compared

Elite Montessori Object Permanence Box
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Wooden Wobble Balance Board
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Wooden Puzzles Sorting & Stacking Montessori Toys
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Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon
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Little Partners Kids Learning Tower
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Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House Dust! Sweep! Mop!
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Fisher-Price Little People Caring For Animals Farm Playset
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Edushape See-Me Sensory Balls
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Best Montessori Toys Reviewed

Best Montessori Toys For Babies 6 Months: Elite Montessori Object Permanence Box

The Elite Montessori Object Permanence Box with tray and ball will become a playroom staple. The toys teach children cause and effect wonderfully.

Your baby has to drop the ball in the hole, strengthening their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Playing with the toy develops hand, wrist, and finger control refining your baby’s hand movements. Initially, it is a challenge for your baby, but as their hand-eye coordination improves, it becomes easier.

Although the ball disappears briefly, it reappears quickly, rolling out onto the tray establishing object permanence in your child’s mind; they grasp that objects continue to exist even if they can’t see, smell or touch them. According to psychologist Jean Piaget’s cognitive development theory, the concept of object permanence is significant and helps the child learn and understand their world.

Recommended Ages: 6 months and up

Best Montessori Toys For Gross Motor Skills: Wooden Wobble Balance Board

The Wooden Wobble Balance Board is a fun Montessori toy for exercise and body coordination development. The wooden rocker board is perfect for 18 months and older open-ended play.

Made from super-quality natural basswood, the balance board is sturdy and durable, featuring polished surfaces and smooth rounded edges that won’t scratch your little one’s skin. With a weight capacity of 480 pounds, a parent can play with a young child.

Typical of Montessori toys, the balance board inspires creativity and open-ended play. It’s a fun way to stimulate the vestibular system and develop gross motor skills and balance. A child’s natural curiosity will soon recognize the possibilities of using the board as a rocker, a bridge, a seat, and many more ways that will surprise their parents.

The balance beam is an excellent gift irrespective of the child’s age; your child won’t outgrow the toy. It could be one of their favorite toys for years; big kids can use it as an exercise tool in their daily routine. 

Recommended Ages: 18 months and up

Best Montessori Block Set For STEM Learning: The Block Set By Lovevery

The comprehensive Block Set by Lovevery is solid wood blocks in various shapes, sizes, and colors. Designed by a child development expert, the wooden blocks have more than 20 stage-based activities for your child’s development growth from 18 months old.

There are endless opportunities with this versatile block set. These high-quality toys encourage creativity and imaginative play. Kids can build a car, stack towers, explore physics with the ramp, make letters and numbers, or sort, match, and drop shapes.

The Lovevery Wooden Building Blocks seem like simple toys, but kids love exploring with open-ended toys. The blocks are the perfect size for little hands and the best toys for children to develop at their own pace.

Recommended Ages: 18 months and up

Best Subscription Boxes For Play-Based Learning: Lovevery Play Kits

lovevery play kits

The Lovevery Play Kits are age-appropriate subscription boxes for newborn babies to a 3-year-old toddler. The Play Kits promote brain development and natural learning based on developmental stages.

Each Play Kit features toys, a book, and an instruction guide with tips, expert research, and activity ideas. The baby Play Kits are delivered every two months, just right for your baby’s age and developmental stage, and the toddler Play kits every three months. Based on the Montessori philosophy, introduced by Maria Montessori, these Play Kits are everything new parents need to assist their child’s developmental stages.

The toys are child-safe and made from sustainably harvested wood, organic cotton, non-toxic paint, and baby-safe plastics. With flexible payment plans, parents can skip or cancel subscriptions at any time.

Recommended Ages: birth to 3 years

Best Montessori Toys For Toddler Years: Wooden Puzzles Sorting & Stacking Montessori Toys

The Pebira Wooden Puzzles Sorting And Stacking Montessori toys for 1 to 3-year-old toddlers are educational toys ideal for preschool. This early education stacking puzzle features 20 pieces in bright colors and interesting geometric shapes.

Designed for babies and toddlers, the blocks are the right size for little ones. Each puzzle piece fits nicely in the holes and pegs. The child-friendly toy is smooth to the touch without rough edges, is non-toxic, has no harmful chemicals, and is environmentally friendly. Made from 100% wood with water-based paint, the toy is safe for babies and older kids.

The Montessori toy is excellent for toddlers to have fun. At the same time, they learn about geometric shapes, color recognition, spatial awareness and develop their cognitive skills, hand-eye coordination, and gross and fine motor skills. Stacking puzzles are great gift ideas for babies and an excellent choice for traveling.

Recommended Ages: 1 to 3 years

Best Montessori Baby Gym For Newborns To 1-Year: Lovevery Play Gym

lovevery play gym

The Lovevery Play Gym is the solution for new parents; it gives your baby play and educational toys from newborn to one year old. Some toys are open-ended and will last longer; your kid will find new, innovative ways to play with them. This Parents’ Choice award-winning activity gym features everything your baby needs from teething to tummy time, sensory play silks, a peek-a-boo mirror card set, and learning to focus.

The activity gym has five development zones on the Play Mat; parents can reveal and conceal zones to promote learning without overstimulation. The five zones focus on learning to focus, making sounds, how things feel, hiding and finding, and color identification.

Designed for usage from birth, the Play Gym is one of the best baby gift ideas for all new parents. Lovevery uses baby-safe materials without flame retardants or PVC and meets or exceeds all safety standards for babies and children. The activity mat and focus learn zones are machine washable; the legs disconnect and roll up with the mat for easy storage. Add the Play Space Cover, and you extend usage to 18 months.

Recommended Ages: Baby to 1 year, 18 months with Play Space Cover

Best Push Toys For Young Toddlers: Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon

The award-winning Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon is one of the favorite Montessori toys for babies, toddlers, and parents. The classic design features resist push technology and a furniture-friendly bumper – perfect for beginner walkers.

The push wagon is perfect for storing toys and ideal for indoor or outdoor imaginative play. As the child grows, the toy will encourage independence and exploration; at four years old, your kiddo pushes the wagon confidently and with toy passengers! Resistance clickers prevent the wagon from moving too fast; your child won’t lose their balance but can safely push or hold onto the wagon handle.

Loading and pushing the wagon help to strengthen your child’s fine motor development stages and hand-eye coordination. Pushing the wagon all over the house or neighborhood inspires fun adventures. Made from natural materials, the Montessori-inspired toy is ideal for little ones ages one to four years old.

Recommended Ages: 1 to 4 years

Best Montessori Style Board Book For 1-Year-Old: First 100 Words Padded Board Book

Books are essential for a child’s development, and the First 100 Words Padded Board Book is a must-have for your baby’s nursery bookshelf. Little hands can easily hold the pocket-sized book with a soft, padded cover.

The board book features 100 color photographs with easy-to-learn first words. Beautifully illustrated, the bright pictures will open a new world to your baby. The illustrations stimulate curiosity, encourage language development, and learn new words. Made from sturdy board material, the pages can withstand rough handling from toddlers and babies. Holding the page while reading and understanding the words, kids develop hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and problem-solving skills as they connect the pictures, words, and their world.

Recommended Ages: 1-3 years

Best Montessori Learning Tower For Independence: Little Partners Kids Learning Tower

The Little Partners Learning Tower is the original Learning Tower with its first to market design. A learning tower may not be the obvious choice when choosing toys for your child, but it’s one of the best Montessori toys for children.

Typical of the Montessori method, the learning tower promotes age-appropriate activities. It raises them safely to the counter height offering independence. Children can participate on the same level as the family at the kitchen counter. They can join family conversations at eye-level or help mommy with everyday household activities in the kitchen.

Made from high-quality, sustainably harvested wood with non-toxic paint and finishes, the learning tower is child safe; it is Greenguard Gold Certified and meets the Federal safety standards for children. The learning tower supports up to 500 pounds, features a roomy platform, and is adjustable to four positions. Children can safely climb in and out without adult help.

Recommended Ages: 2 to 6 years

Best Toddler Cleaning Toys For Pretend Play: Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House Dust! Sweep! Mop!

The Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House Dust! Sweep! Mop! Set is designed to motivate child independence and for imaginative play fun. The realistic wooden cleaning toys build skills and confidence and inspire self-directed activity.

Perfect for your toddler and older kids, the toy set includes a mop, duster, brush, broom, dustpan, and organizing stand. Each item looks like the real thing but is in kids’ sizes. The colorful red dustpan clips onto all the handles and items hang on the stand with sturdy cords.

Kids love playing house and mimicking grown-up actions. When parents choose toys made by Melissa & Doug, they know it is a recommended brand for early childhood play. Their wholesome hands-on toys inspire creativity, early brain development, and imaginative pretend play. This beautifully designed wooden toy set is ideal for a screen-free, fun time that sparks creativity and imaginative play.

Recommended Ages: 3 to 6 years

Best Montessori Toys Caring For Animals: Fisher-Price Little People Caring For Animals Farm Playset

The classic Fisher-Price Little People Animal Farm Set features Smart Stages technology, lights, music, and sounds. The Montessori-inspired playset is the perfect toy for your toddler and preschoolers.

The playset features a farmer figure, four animal figures, and two food pieces. Your toddler learns the responsibility of taking care of animals and excellent preparation for having pets. While playing, the Smart Stages technology introduces fun animal facts and early math through phrases, sounds, and songs.

Fun phrases encourage taking care of the animals. Tuck the horse into bed with the soft blanket; turn the silo to feed the chickens, and find the discovery button that hatches eggs. The animal farm inspires imaginative play, and the Smart Stages levels grow with your child.

Recommended Ages: 1 to 5 years

Best Montessori Toys For Sensory Activities: Edushape See-Me Sensory Balls

The budget-friendly Edushape See-Me Sensory Balls are designed for sensory stimulation from 6 months old. The four sensory ball set is the perfect gift to stimulate little ones, and little basketball fans will love the gift.

Playing with a sensory ball enhances physical and mental development. Throwing, bouncing, squeezing, and rolling, the ball strengthens the child’s motor coordination, concentration skills, logic and reasoning, and tactile sense. A bright, colorful design stimulates visual senses, and babies learn color identification skills.

Its nubby texture makes it easy for little hands to grab and provides excellent sensory and dexterity-building play; the sensory toy engages the senses and improves tactile development and fine and gross motor skills. The sensory balls are made from BPA and phthalate-free plastic; the value for money toy is child-safe.

Recommended Ages: 6 months and up

What Are Montessori Toys?

Montessori toys (aka Montessori friendly toys) are toys that follow one or more of the principles of Montessori education. The simplistic design help helps a child learn independently without overstimulating and distracting the child from the learning process.

Montessori toys are age-appropriate toys that nurture emotional, social, cognitive, and physical development. The reality-based Montessori books, blocks, and toys teach children about the real world.

Made from natural materials, Montessori toys for babies and preschoolers are engaging, active participation toys supporting child development.

What is Montessori Education?

The Montessori philosophy is a child-centered approach to learning and child development. Montessori education provides a Montessori-style room inspiring hands-on learning and multi-sensory play. Monti-kids learn at their own pace; a Montessori teacher or parent guides the child without directing their play. Italian physician Maria Montessori developed the Montessori method in 1897.

The proper environment is a prepared environment eliminating obstacles and providing Montessori classrooms or playroom at home that is a safe place for the child to learn. Toys and books are within your child’s reach, allowing them the freedom of choosing toys.

According to a 2017 study, Montessori kids enjoyed learning more than non-Montessori preschoolers. Kids from the Montessori classrooms had higher academic achievement, and their social skills and executive function were better than children not exposed to the Montessori method.

Have you introduced your child to the Montessori method to help them interact with the environment to follow their path of development naturally? Which Montessori toys are your child’s favorites?

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