I look for toys that support fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving skills when shopping for Montessori-inspired toys. The Montessori philosphy transcends into our home through our environment, including the toys and activities we bring into it. Offering a Montessori-aligned toy will be sure to engage your child in a way that supports their developmental stage. Here are some of the best Montessori toys for babies, toddlers, and kids. Any of these would be the ideal gift for any occasion.
Here are some of the classic Montessori baby toys that have been a great way to support development in the first year. From teethers to a walker wagon, these toys have been some of the best for our twins as babies!
Montessori Baby Mobiles
Montessori baby mobiles are the perfect addition to any home with a newborn baby. There are options to purchase these mobiles or make them yourself. I have full video and blog post tutorials about making these mobiles and how and when to use them with newborns. Each mobile offers engaging elements that are perfect for working on tracking objects and building concentration. The Munari mobile is the first high-contrast mobile. The octahedron is the mobile that introduces color.
Baby Paper is high contrast, engaging, and safe for babies to play with. It makes a very enchanting crinkling sound that babies love. Offering some baby paper in a movement area is a great thing while doing tummy time or playing on their back. The sound the paper makes when it is crunched will encourage the baby to interact even more with the paper because they get feedback on their actions with the sound it makes.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.
This was my boy’s favorite teether. It is made of natural materials and has many places for the baby to hold onto. It is a great toy when a baby is teething and needs something soft on their gums to soothe the pain. If you are looking for baby gifts for an upcoming baby shower, this is a great option!
The best way to encourage tummy time is by offering a mirror that the baby can look at themselves in. We have and love this mirror, we set it up in our Montessori movement area and it also will grow and change with our boys because the orientation can change. There are so many benefits and uses of a mirror in a Montessori home, and babies love looking at themselves in mirrors.
A bell rattle is a beautiful and simple Montessori-inspired toy. What makes it Montessori is the fact that there is an aspect of the toy that isolates and focuses on one thing, making the bell jingle. It also rolls, which is a fun element when your baby starts to crawl. This naturally promotes movement which is so important for our babies.
A simple rattle and grasping toy like this Skwish rattle is lovely for a baby to explore. The wooden beads gently glide across the strings and the structure can easily squish but then will return to its’ shape. This rattle is lightweight and easy for a baby to grasp and bring to their mouth. The wooden knobbed corners were a strong point of interest for my babies when they would explore with this rattle.
Spike Ball Teether
Having a variety of sizes, textures and characteristics of tethers can be a fun way to offer variety and see what teether your baby prefers. This spike ball teether is a nice option because the spikes are very fun for the baby to put in their mouth but they also can work on holding the ball from the spikes as they refine that pincer grip later on.
A basket of balls can help promote movement for a crawling baby and hand-eye coordination for an older baby or toddler. A fun way for a little one to learn to toss or catch a ball, and modulate force.
A classic Montessori material is a spinning drum. This is a great material for younger babies, even 4 to 5 months old. While they are doing tummy time, they could spin the drum to get the bell inside to rattle. This toy stayed in rotation for many months on our Montessori shelves.
Cylinder Ball Roller
A cylinder ball roller is the perfect toy to promote crawling and movement. As they push it away it rolls and they can move after it.
Object Permanence Box
The object permanence box is a classic Montessori toy. The object permanence box is a wooden box with a hole in the top for a ball to go into. The ball then rolls out the small door at the front of the box. This toy is a great tool to isolate the concept of object permanence, which is the idea that even when something goes away it still exists. This toy is a good example of a toy that aligns with the Montessori philosphy by isolating one skill.
A walker wagon is a great toy that will support a baby who is on their way to walking! This wagon is very durable and doesn’t tip easily. The sides are removable which creates a very fun expereince climbing in and out of the wagon. A toy like this allows the child to learn how to walk at their own pace.
When a baby starts pulling up to stand they may be ready for a ball tracker. This large ball tracker is a great way to Promote movement, as they stand up and squat down to grab the ball.
Chunky Knobbed Puzzles
Puzzles with large knobs are ideal at this age because the baby can grasp the knob to pull the puzzle piece out. At this stage, they are more interested in pulling the pieces out of the frame rather than replacing them. I find my role often is to reset the puzzle pieces so that they can repeat the process.
A simple bead mover is a great toy for a slightly older baby. We introduced it around 10 months old, but it could have definately been used before that. The beads move along the wires easily and are a great way to develop fine motor skills and dexterity.
A simple ring stacker will support concentration, problem-solving skills, and fine motor skills.
Panda Crate (0-36 Months Old)
KiwiCo is a company that supports the natural creativity and curiosity of children by providing subscription-based toys and activity crates for all ages. The Panda Crate is for ages 0 to 36 months old with 7 different crates to be delivered to your doorstep with engaging materials to entice sensory exploration.
Young Toddler Toys (12 -36 Months Old)
Pop-Up Peg Toy
This pop-up toy is perfect for older babies and toddlers. It allows them to explore with cause and effect. They figure out that when you push the pegs down, they spring back up! One of the best things is watching their excitement when the peg guy pops up into the air and falls on the floor. It is so exciting for them. The harder the child pushes down, the higher the peg will spring up! This simple toy is the perfect toy to offer to a curious child.
The SpinAgain toy is a very appealing toy with its bright colors and watching the disks spin onto the spindle. As the child places the disk on the top of the corkscrew, it will spin down the dowel on its own. It is a captivating toy that also refines fine motor skills when the child is working to post the disk onto the dowel.
Little hands love to stack and knockdown. These Spoolz are perfect for constructing colorful and balanced towers. They also roll down ramps and stack in different orientations.
The Montessori approach has an emphasis on giving young children toys that are based on reality. These Schleich animals are perfect for so many differnet things. They can be used for imaginative play but are also great for language development and offering new vocabulary. These animals are of great quality and will stand up to the test of time.
HABA Rainbow Whirls Wooden Sorting & Stacking Rings
Fine motor development happens through repeated opportunities to use puzzles and tools with precision. This HABA sorting and stacking puzzle is a high-quality toy perfect for fine motor skill development and color matching.
There are so many different latches to navigate that a latch board is a perfect toy to offer practical life expereince with opening and closing the different latches. Opening and closing activities like a latch board are great work for the hand.
A shape sorter is a way that a child will continue to understand the idea of object permanence, when something goes away, it comes back again. A ball in a hole, like the object permanence box, is the start to shape sorters. Then they will be able to use the cylinder and move on to more challenging shapes like the cube and triangular prism.
A Montessori climbing triangle is one of the best toys for an active toddler. It supports gross motor development and problem-solving skills as they work to navigate their way up and down the Pikler triangle safely. Check out this blog post for how to choose a Montessori climbing triangle and this blog post to get more recommendations for the best climbing toys for toddlers.
Threading beads onto a string is a great activity for a child to use both of their hands together. To make this activity more simple or difficult you can adjust the size of the beads and the string. The larger the beads and string, the easier it will be.
Young Kid Toys
First Orchard Game
The First Orchard Game is a perfect first game for a toddler. Appropriate for ages 2 and up, it will give opportunities for the child to expereince winning and losing while playing cooperatively with other players.
A large drum is a fun toy for children of all ages. Musical instruments can be used all on their own or be a fun accompaniment when other music is playing. Many creative games could be thought up with a large drum like this.
Magna tiles are such a perfect toy for all ages. I have witnessed my nieces and nephews, all of varying ages, love these tiles. They are easy to construct and simple to use. I find myself enjoying building with them as well!
A marble run engages the child’s engineering and mathematical mind as they construct pathways for their marbles to travel through.
This wooden barn is a great set for all of the imaginative play that a young child has! This timeless and high-quality barn offers the perfect environment for play animals.
Jigsaw puzzles make great gifts for a large age range. The toddler years and beyond are the perfect time to offer lots of puzzles to challenge the child’s mind and problem-solving skills.
Koala Crate(3-4 Years Old)
The Koala Crate is for ages 3 and 4. These subscription-based crates will send you hands-on activities about topics such as farms, rainbows, and camping! Complete with everything you need to do the activities, they are engaging and such a fun package to receive on your front doorstep.
Kiwi Crate (5-8 Years Old)
The Kiwi Crate is for ages 5 to 8. Every month is a new surprise theme, but activities are things like building a vacuum cleaner-like sweeper or setting up a claw activity. These crates encourage self-directed learning through exploration.
Kinetic sand is moldable sand that sticks to itself but not to you! A very fun sensory play idea for young kids.
Older Kid Toys
Atlas crate (6-11 Years Old)
The Atlas Crate is a subscription-based activity crate from KiwiCo. Each month you will get 2 globally-inspired projects that help build a sense of adventure. This crate focuses on helping your child develop an appreciation for world cultures through hands-on STEAM activities, which stand for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.
Yummy Crate (6-14 Years Old)
The Yummy Crate is all about helping your child gain more confidence in the kitchen. In this crate, KiwiCo offers 2 to 3 new recipes each month as well as the opportunity to experiment with a specialty kitchen tool. You’ll also get your child thinking about the shopping list through their easy-to-use shopping list.
Tinker Crate (9-16 Years Old)
The KiwiCo Tinker Crates are equipped with fun and exciting activities that align with STEM. Through science, technology, engineering, and math, critical thinkers are created. These crates will have a new surprise theme every month. Things such as the Coin-Eating Robot or a Drift Motorcycle.
Eureka Crate (14-100 Years old)
The KiwiCo Eureka Crate is all about how everyday objects are designed and engineered. Each month’s crate comes with instructions, and all the supplies to build the project. As well as the history of it all!
Doodle crate (14-16 Years old)
KiwiCo’s Doodle Crate will introduce your child to differnet crafting tools and techniques. Each month they will get instructions for projects in their crate as well as additional activities and online tutorials.
Janod Body Magnet Puzzle
This body magnet puzzle is an engaging puzzle for any older child who loves to learn new things. It comes with a magnetic puzzle board and magnets and cards for the four body systems: skeleton, muscle, skin, and organ. The cards come in 12 different languages making it a great educational toy.
Snap circuits are a perfect child-centered approach to toys that introduce your child to electrical engineering. This box creates many electronic gadgets. When combined with other kits there are even more options of what can be built!
The Montessori philosphy is all about offering our children an education as an aid to life. Learning how to tie knots is a very practical life skill that will be helpful for a child’s future.
Encouraging exploration and curiosity can be increased with this pocket microscope. The perfect thing for your child to take along with them for their next hike!