Monday, November 16, 2015

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure! 

So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. 



First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created toys, but only works for classroom settings. While there are many works that I recommend for home school use, you won't find these on this list. 

Instead, these are developmentally appropriate, natural (where possible), open ended toys! Many of these we actually own and many are on my own wish list for my children!

Babies and Young Toddlers {0 - 18 months} 

When shopping for Montessori babies, I suggest, keeping materials as simple and as natural as possible. Avoid things that are too flashy, heavy or complicated. Instead, focus on beauty and function!

Cuddly

Lovies
Play Silks -- high on our list!
Baby Paper
Rainbow Ball 

Fine Motor to 12 Months

Double Bubble Bead Run
Object Permanence Box  -- Nora has played with this from 8 to 18 months!

Fine Motor to 18 Months
Gross Motor  

Radio Flyer Walker Wagon -- Family favorite! This has been used daily for a year.
Hape Little Pounder 
Radio Flyer Tiny Trike
PlanToys Push and Pull
Sensory Balls -- Number 1 recommendation for babies! We love them and used them still today!
PlanToys Rocking Horse

Musical 

Plan Toys Solid Drum
Egg Shakers 
Glockenspiel -- xylophone -- a favorite in our house!

Books

Helen Oxenbury Set 
Indestructibles
Smile!
Black and White Books
Everywhere Babies -- we're reading this daily right now!

Practical 

Black and White Images
Activity Gym
Sophie the Giraffe Teether -- LOVE. Perfect for teething gums!
Raspberry Teether
Natural Teething Ring
Swan Mobile -- A great addition to traditional mobiles
Natural Teether Ball
Wooden Pacifier Clip

Splurge

Learning Tower

Toddlers {18 months - 3 years}

Here, remember that every toddler is different, and unique. Try to follow your child's own interests and abilities when deciding what works for them! What is appropriate for one child, won't work for another! Some might be ready for something at 1-year-old and others not until 4.


Fine Motor 

Bead Lacing
Ring Counter
Disk Counter
Lacing Sheep -- very nicely made and challenging enough to last a long time.
Cone Pyramid
Stacking Tree
Latches Box
Wooden Peg Board -- I love that this comes with two sizes of pegs to last a long time
Buddha Board
Simple Shape Sorter -- a personal favorite!  

Gross Motor

Strider Bike -- Henry has used this nearly daily since he was 2, one of the best purchases we've made.
Tactile Disks
River Stone Climbers
Balance Board
Large Foam Blocks -- These blocks see so much play for kids of all ages!
Bean Bags
Roll and Play Game
Trampoline -- used so much at our house!

Building and Block Play 

Unit Blocks -- A must have for open ended play! These are perfect for years to come.
Stacking Pyramid 
Grimms Rainbow -- Family favorite with both Nora and Henry
HABA Ball Run
Grimms Stacking Boxes
Rainbow Blocks 
Peg Board

Puzzles 

Chunky Boat Puzzle
Farm Animals -- Love the realistic images! This is on Nora's list!
Wild Animals
Cylinders
Kid O Color Steps 
Shape Puzzle 
Color and Shape Sorter Puzzle
Construction Vehicles Puzzle
2 piece Matching Puzzles Set -- perfect introduction to jigsaw puzzles for advanced learners!
Simple Jigsaw Puzzle Set
Eeboo Baby-Adult Matching
3 Piece Shape Puzzles -- a great Montessori choice
Guidecraft Color Stacker
Nesting Cube Puzzle

Dramatic Play and Language Development
Musical 

Hand Bells
Large Drum -- Very loud clear drum!
Tambourine
Hand symbols

Practical

Garden Tools -- We have these! Perfect size and they have held up well with real gardening!
Paint Brushes
Pantone Color Cards
Color Paddles
Hape Easel
Natural Finger Paint
Beeswax Crayons

Preschoolers {3 years - 5 years} 

Follow your child's interests! By preschool age, many children have strong preferences, follow them! There are natural choices available to fit every interest and budget!

Building and Dramatic Play

Multi-Cultural Children -- These have been very popular with Henry and Nora!
Community Worker Figures
HABA Marble Run
Legos
Magnification Blocks 
Grimms Large Spiral Puzzle -- how amazing does this look?!
Slot Building
Magnetic Blocks
Magnatiles -- One of the most used toys we have.
Hammer Tap Building
Castle Blocks
Grimms Wooden Cube Blocks 
Rokenbok Building Blocks -- These are my new favorite, allows curved building!
Child Sized Tools

Puzzles and Games

Seeds for the Birds Cooperative Game
Eeboo Never Forget a Face Game
Community Cooperative Game -- very fun building and strategy game
Bird Memory Game
Bird Bingo
Space Floor Puzzle
Janod Body Puzzle
USA Puzzle -- Henry loves this puzzle, I love that it includes all 50 states!
Sequencing Puzzle
Find and Seek Puzzle
Community Workers Puzzle

Art Supplies

Water Colors -- Must have at our house.
Easel 
Clay
Sun Art -- so cool! Perfect way to combine science and art.
Large Roll of Paper
Rainbow Scratch Paper
Loom
WikiSticks

Gross Motor

Hilltop Climbers -- Absolutely, hands down our favorite gross motor toy!
Seesaw Balance
Fort Building Clips
Balancing Disk

STEM

Pocket Microscope
Animal X-Rays -- I love that this can be a matching game or just exploration.
Human X-Rays
Fun with Magnets
Skeleton Floor Puzzle -- On Hen's list for this year!
Geometric Solids
Balancing Scale
Wooden Pattern Blocks
GeoBoard
Magnetic Marble Run
Simple Machines
Snap Circuits -- Henry getting these this Christmas!

Language and Culture

Globe
World Wall Map -- on Henry's list!
Letter Construction
Global Children Floor Puzzle
Lowercase letter puzzle -- love this one, I wish we had it when Henry was younger.
Cash Register
Schleich Woodland Animals
Magnetic Letters

Books

Animalarium -- this book is so nice! Its big and heavy and beautifully illustrated.
Maps
Home
Farm Anatomy
Bob Books -- Perfect for emergent readers, Henry loves them!

Splurge 

Light Table


I hope this post helps you make some Montessori inspired choices this holiday season! There are so many great choices to fit every child, and every budget!

Looking for Non-Toy Choices? Don't miss our Ultimate Montessori Non-Toy Gift Guide






*This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you*

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17 comments:

  1. What an awesome gift guide. There are so many beautiful toys here that kids will love to play with.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for this list. I am not a Montessori parent by the label, but I try to keep an open mindset for my girls. In doing so, I find that I fit in with the Montessori crowd the most. When we were looking at preschools for our older daughter, we looked at everything with the intention of sending her to a traditional school. Turns out, we let her choose and she chose the Montessori School because her personality fit well with their program. We loved it because the school wasn't cluttered, and it just felt so peaceful compared to what we grew up with. Both my girls went to Montessori, and are very free spirited, well behaved and in general calm girls. I am somewhat attracted to toys that are Montessori, again, it's just something I realized when I was googling. I am not anti plastic, just anti music. I try to stick to non mainstream toys because I find that they offer the most benefits for kids. My favorite brands are Hape, Haba, Plan and Green Toys. My daughters love blocks....lego, lincoln logs, dominos, unit blocks and magformers. I was SO happy to find this list from you because I have a 5 year old like you do, and well she asked Santa for boxes for Christmas. I was like boxes? She said if she asked for a toy, she will only get that toy, but if she asked for many boxes, she can make ANYTHING she wants. It was so cute, so I will be getting her boxes. I wanted some more ideas though and your list has helped me out tremendously, so thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much for this post! I hope you have made a lot of money off me using your links because, um, yeah. My credit card is crying. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Play is regular for children and folks ought to empower it by giving right apparatuses. Wooden squares for children were helpful even in the past days. They are famous even now due to their solid and innovative craftsmanship.Kids' block brand

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  5. A baby is a nice addition to the family. While you can cuddle the baby to your heart's content, you must not forget to bring the newly born loads and loads of gifts just to express your ardent love.

    ReplyDelete
  6. A fine list of toys for every child age group. Thanks that you have segregated all these baby toys perfectly. New parents around the world would find it very useful. Often, we get confused what to give gifts in the baby shower ceremony, marriage ceremony and in birthdays. Before some moths I was in the supermarket to buy some gifts for my close friend's baby shower ceremony. But it's sad to say that i chose such an embarrassing gift that I couldn't forgive myself.
    kid steals

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kids love toys. Toys are more than just fun and games for kids and most toys provide at least some opportunity for children to learn. The best toys engage a child’s senses, spark their imaginations and encourage them to interact with others.
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  8. Kids like to play with stuffed toys because it’s soft and fluffy. They are doing whatever they want, they can kiss or hug those toys, and also when their asleep hugging their lovely toy. A stuffed toy can help a child feel comfortable and safe. It always helps to improve their physical development by punching or throwing it. When they feel alone they are playing with their toys and talking with the toys. It is helps to develop their emotional.
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    ReplyDelete
  9. Kids like to play with stuffed toys because it’s soft and fluffy. They are doing whatever they want, they can kiss or hug those toys, and also when their asleep hugging their lovely toy. A stuffed toy can help a child feel comfortable and safe. It always helps to improve their physical development by punching or throwing it. When they feel alone they are playing with their toys and talking with the toys. It is helps to develop their emotional.
    Cheap Toys

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow, this all Toys is perfect for my 2 years old boy, I learn what toys i buy, thanks for this post.

    ReplyDelete

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