What Are Montessori Toys? Montessori FAQ-s Answered

By Emmy Stevens

Montessori is a trending learning philosophy developed by the Italian physician, Maria Montessori, and for good reason.

It aims to teach children to learn independently rather than to be guided by an adult in their learning.

This method is a fantastic approach for encouraging critical thinking skills, independence, imagination, self-confidence, and accountability in children.

Montessori Toys Definition

A Montessori toy is generally any toy that falls in line with the learning philosophy of Montessori.

The Montessori learning philosophy is intended for early-aged children that aims to encourage them to explore their natural interests rather than conforming them to the traditional methods of teaching.

Therefore, Montessori toys are toys that will encourage your child’s imagination and fuel their curiosity purposefully.

What are Montessori Toys?

Montessori toys are purposeful toys that require your child’s creativity and imagination to kick into overdrive.

Characteristics of Montessori toys include:

Simplicity.

The simpler the toy, the better when it comes to the Montessori learning philosophy.

Why? This is because a simpler toy will allow your child to focus on one task at a time, giving them the chance to fully master one skill before moving on to the next.

Toys that are full of flashing lights, sounds, and different activities may seem fun for your little one, but the sensory overload may hinder their learning experience.

Being realistic.

The Montessori learning philosophy aims to teach little ones all about the world they have just been thrown into.

Therefore, Montessori books and toys aim to teach the child about real consequences that are related to their actions.

Natural materials.

Montessori toys can also be made of tons of natural materials like wood, cotton, rock, and metal.

Different materials will offer your child more chances to learn about how different materials interact with their senses.

Purpose.

Montessori toys tend to be more intentional than other toys.

Montessori toys are typically used to teach your child how to do tasks that will be needed in their everyday lives as they grow older.

Where to Buy Montessori Toys?

Are you wondering where to buy Montessori toys? The toys are available in many different stores. If you are looking to buy in-store, Target and Walmart have a great selection that won’t hurt your wallet.

Some other affordable options that you can check out without having to go in-person shopping is Amazon and Etsy.

There are also Montessori-specific online stores, like LovEvery and Monti Kids.

Are Montessori Toys Better Than Traditional Learning Toys?

Traditional battery powered learning toys are typically full of sounds, gadgets, gizmos, and bright colors that try to push your little one to learn things like their ABCs and 123’s.

While this may seem entertaining and educational for your baby, it can actually hinder their learning experience.

Babies do not begin to attach meaning to letters before the age of three and numbers until the age of four, which means that all of this learning is nothing more than memorization.

While your child may be able to count to ten, they will not yet have a grasp on the concept of which numbers are more and which numbers are less.

Montessori toys, on the other hand, aim to teach your child accessible skills and information about the world around them, like how to distinguish differences in shapes, colors, and textures.

Babies benefit the most from exploring the world around them.

The simplicity of Montessori toys allows your child to explore their world without becoming overwhelmed by flashy “educational” toys.

How to Choose Montessori Toys by Age?

As your child gets older, they will hit milestone after milestone, developing new skills every day.

Having developmentally appropriate toys available for your child will keep them engaged and learning.


Every child is different, though, and may hit their developmental milestones earlier or later than others.

That is perfectly fine.

Just make sure to keep this in mind as you read about developmentally appropriate toys for your child’s age group.

Montessori Toy Ideas for Newborns and Infants

Newborns begin learning about the world around them straight out of the womb.

They may not need nearly as many toys to keep them occupied as an older baby or toddler, but having a few developmentally appropriate toys available will be extremely beneficial to them.


Black and white.

The stark contrast between the two colors will grab your newborn’s attention and be easier to see.

Black and white play gyms, mobiles, toys, and books have been said to improve your baby’s concentration skills and attention span.

Rattles and instruments.

Rattles and musical instruments offer your baby the perfect opportunity to begin learning about cause and effect.

As they shake the toy, they will learn that it will rattle.

It can also help baby build their grip and fine motor skills.

Textures.

Offering babies a chance to explore different textures as they play with their toys will give them the chance to explore their world through their sense of touch.

A baby-safe mirror.

Including a mirror in your baby’s playroom will allow them to develop a sense of self and encourage them to practice new skills as they watch themselves achieve new feats.

Montessori Toys for Toddlers and Young Children

As the first year zooms by, your child will have hit so many milestones and will likely need new and more developmentally appropriate toys.

Toddlers and young children are at the perfect age to develop their fine motor skills and coordination.

Because of this, including toys that encourage this development in your child’s toy rotation can be extremely beneficial at this age.

Puzzles.

Simple puzzles will help your child develop their fine motor skills, coordination, problem-solving skills, shape recognition, memory, and language.

Realistic toys.

Baby dolls, toy pets, play kitchens, play toolsets, and other toys like that can help your little one learn real-life skills like language, self-help, social, coordination, and other skills they will need in their real life.

Climbing toys.

Pikler triangles are booming in popularity right now due to the many gross motor skill and coordination benefits they can offer young children.

2 Montessori Games for a 3-Year-Old

Entertaining a three-year-old can be difficult at times.

Here are a few easy ideas for keeping your three-year-old entertained and out of trouble.

Washing toys.

This activity may seem overly simple, but it is a great way to entertain your three-year-old as you watch them learn.

Gather an old toothbrush, some soap and water, a towel, and the toy, and watch as your child goes to town.

Vocabulary Matching Games.

Whether you decide to purchase some vocabulary cards or make your own at home, creating a matching game will offer your three-year-old educational entertainment.

On one side, place all of the picture cards you have.

On the other, place all of the word cards.

Now, let your little one match the pictures to the word!

Why Does Montessori Use Wood Toys?

The first thing one thinks of when they think of Montessori is the beautiful wooden toys that seem to be a requirement in every Montessori playroom.

So why are wooden toys so important to the Montessori learning philosophy?

This is because wooden toys have tons of sensory benefits to offer young children.

Their weight and temperature change depending on size and external temperature.

On top of that they are made of natural materials, allowing babies to explore the feeling of their natural world.

Montessori Gross Motor Toys

Gross motor toys are great for helping your child hit developmental milestones like crawling, walking, and throwing.

A few great examples of gross motor toys that fall under the Montessori learning philosophy include:

A Pikler Triangle.

These indoor play gyms offer your child the chance to climb and explore, developing gross motor skills in the process.

A wooden balance board.

A wooden balance board can help your child develop their coordination, gross motor skills, balance, and imagination.

Montessori Car Seat Toys

You don’t have to keep Montessori out of car rides. There are tons of great Montessori car seat toys that you can choose from! They include:

Montessori inspired teethers.

Having a teether with them will help your child keep themselves entertained.

Meanwhile, the natural material will prevent them from becoming overstimulated, helping them remain calm.

Books.

Books are a great way to keep your child entertained!

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