The Best Montessori Toys For Babies and Toddlers
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Montessori toys encourage development and independence from a young age. They seem to have a magic touch, keeping your little one engaged in a way no other toy can. So what is so special about Montessori materials and which are best?
Maria Montessori developed her famous educational philosophy in Rome, Italy in the early 1900’s. Based on her observations of young children, Dr. Montessori developed a set of materials ideal for their unique developmental needs. Since then, Montessori schools have been founded all over the world, and the Montessori method can also be used at home, from birth.
What Makes Montessori Toys Unique?
Often you will see wooden blocks or other toys made from natural materials, but wooden toys are not automatically in line with the Montessori method. Montessori toys feature some very specific characteristics. These elements are what make them in-line with the Montessori philosophy.
Montessori toys are:
- Simple: Montessori toys are visually simple, not flashy. They focus on one skill at a time. Task-Oriented: Montessori toys invite the child to complete a specific “job”, such as fitting a set of differently sized pegs into their correct holes.
- Developmental: Children are enraptured when playing with Montessori toys because they address exactly which skills the child is naturally developing, whether that is learning to walk, hand-eye coordination, or fine motor skills.
- Accessible: Kids can work with Montessori materials without adult assistance. They can fix their own mistakes.
Our Top Picks
The Best Montessori Toys for Babies:
The Best Montessori Toy for Newborns: Montessori Set of 4 Mobiles
A Perfect Choice for Babies Who Like To Reach for Objects: The Play Gym by Lovevery
The Best Toy for Babies Struggling With Separation Anxiety: Elite Montessori Object Permanence Box
A Good Choice for Babies Who Are Just About To Crawl: CutiePieToys Montessori Rolling Drum
A Good Choice for Babies Who Want to Touch All of Mom and Dad’s “Toys”: Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube
The Best All Around Montessori Toy for Babies: The First Years Stack Up Cup Toys
A Good Toy for Parents Who Want to Introduce Their Little One to Music Early On: Goplus Classical Kids Piano
The Best Montessori Toys for Toddlers
An Ideal Choice for Pre-Walkers Who Almost Have It: Hape Block and Roll Cart
The Right Toy for Toddlers Who Only Want to Do What Mom and Dad Do: Melissa & Doug Dust! Sweep! Mop!
The Best Toy for Toddlers Who Want to Be By Mom’s Side At All Times: Little Partners The Original Learning Tower
The Best Montessori Outdoor Toy: Strider Classic Balance Bike
The Right Choice for Toddlers Who are Interested in Buttons, Snaps, and Velcro: YHZAN Learn to Dress Boards
An Ideal Choice for the Toddler Who Won’t Stop Reaching for Your Keys: Color Matching Lock Set
The Best Outdoor Practical Life Skills Toy: Gardening Tool Set
The Best Montessori Puzzles for Toddlers: Montessori Animal Puzzle Cabinet
Continue reading for a complete breakdown by age.
The Best Montessori Toys for Babies: Newborns to 6 Months
Only a small number of simple toys are needed in the early months of life. Newborns are sharpening their visual skills, so mobiles are a perfect choice for the first toy. As they grow, infants also enjoy toys that allow them to grasp and shake. Rattles help reinforce little one’s understanding of cause and effect.
The Best Montessori Toys for Babies: 6-12 Months
During the second half of the first year, most babies learn first to sit up, and then to crawl. They may be teething. They develop a pincer grasp and begin to eat solid food. The best toys for this age challenge little ones to manipulate objects with their hands in increasingly complex ways.
The Best Montessori Toys for Babies and Toddlers: 1 to 1.5 Years
Sometime after their first birthday, most babies take their first steps. This major milestone is preceded by lots of practice and mental exertion. It may seem like your little one forgets about everything in the world except his quest to walk. When he finally does it, a whole new world opens up. Early toddlerhood is all about wanting to imitate what adults do so real-life toys are perfect for this age.
The Best Montessori Toys for Toddlers 18 months-2.5 Years
While babies take in their world through their senses, toddlers begin to classify and mentally organize their world. They love patterns and repetition and are fascinated by small objects. Fine motor skills begin to develop. Toddlers gain a lot of independence over a short period of time, and they want you to know that! The Montessori approach allows children to do as much as they can or want to do on their own, so pause when you see them struggling with a button and wait for them to ask you for assistance. You just might be surprised at what they can do.