Maria Montessori developed the Montessori educational philosophy in 1897. This philosophy emphasizes hands-on age-appropriate activities for your child to nurture their physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development.
And although this child-focused educational technique was meant for classroom settings, it’s now possible to introduce it to your toddler or baby through play. And the best way to do this is by buying your little one a few Montessori-inspired toys.
What sets a Montessori toy apart from other toys?
You may be wondering what you need to look out for to know that a toy is Montessori friendly. Well, here are a few pointers that will help you know what to look out for when buying a Montessori toy.
- Toys made from natural materials – Maria Montessori emphasized using natural classroom materials that a child can touch, explore, and connect with. Thus, toys made from natural materials such as ceramic, metal, cotton, wood, and wool are the best. These materials are also safe for your child, and their different textures help define your child’s senses.
- Purpose-driven and realistic toys – The Montessori philosophy emphasizes the use of realistic toys that are purpose-driven. The toys should be a representation of something real. For instance, if you were to choose between a unicorn and a rhino figurine, you should go for the rhino figurine. Further, the toy should allow your child to engage in meaningful play.
- Simple but engaging toys – Toys that are free of distractions are the best. Think toys with no bells, batteries, or whistles. The toy should be passive, encouraging your child to manipulate it to make a sound. They should also be simple but encourage your little one to explore and engage in self-directed creative play
- Toys that hone a skill – Montessori toys should teach your little one a skill or build on one. This helps create a good foundation for advanced learning in your child’s later years. A good example is a shape puzzle that teaches your little one concentration or shape recognition.
Now that you know what to look for when buying Montessori toys let’s look at a few amazing Montessori-inspired toys you can get for your child.
Grabbing toy for babies who are starting to reach for things
- Manhattan toy Skwish natural rattle
This rattle and teether toy is perfect for your little one who is yearning for something to hold and touch. The toy is lightweight, making it ideal for tiny hands to grab, plus its unique shape makes it easy to reach. Besides, it produces a gentle rattling sound that allows your little one to explore sounds and understand cause and effect.
The fact that it’s made from wood with a smooth and baby-safe water-based acrylic finish makes it safe for your little one who is teething. This is also a toy that won’t break when banged as it’s made from quality and durable wooden material.
Rattling roller for crawling babies
- PlanToys wooden rainbow baby roller with sound
Is your little one just starting to crawl? Then, it would be best if you got them a toy that encourages their gross motor skills.
This wooden rainbow baby roller from PlanToys is perfect for tiny hands to pick up, plus it’s beautiful when it rolls, keeping your little one interested.
Moreover, this toy has a rattling sound that ensures your baby doesn’t give up crawling even when the roller rolls away. The wood sound is soothing and not distractive.
The rainbow colors further stimulate your baby’s sight, and since this product is made from quality chemical-free rubber wooden material, you can rest easy knowing it’s safe and it will serve many generations.
A memory toy
- Montessori and Waldorf Inspired Sea Life Matching and Memory Game – 18 Piece Set
This matching sea life matching and memory game from Playskills Toys is perfect if you want to encourage your child to concentrate or focus on a task.
This game also improves your child’s short-term memory and nurtures their creativity. Since this memory game is based on linking two related images, your child’s visual discrimination will also improve.
The 18 piece set of sea animal cards are made from non-toxic wood, so you don’t have to worry about your child getting sick after putting one or two cards in their mouth.
Letter writing toy
- Montessori Safari Animals
These wooden safari animal figurines keep in line with the Montessori principle of giving your child lifelike playthings to spark their creativity and interest.
With a realistic-looking lion or giraffe, you allow your child to experience what a real lion looks like before visiting the zoo. It also becomes easy to name all the animal body parts if you’re homeschooling. Besides, since your child is also supposed to match the figurines with similar-looking flashcards, they learn to concentrate, which improves their memory.
This sturdy set of safari animals and matching flashcards is made from natural wood with a non-toxic child-safe paint finish. It’s best suited for children who are age three and up.
In closing, this isn’t a comprehensive list of all the Montessori toys available in the market. But these five toys and games are some of our highly recommended Montessori-friendly ones. Besides, they are suitable for different age groups, making them ideal if you have children of different ages in your home. Get your child one of these toys, and we can bet they will fall in love with it.