When you are a Montessori parent, it can sometimes be difficult to decide what products make their way into your home. This problem can be compounded by a desire to keep toys -- especially many mainstream products -- to a minimum. Yet, it can feel like there is always something happening where a gift may be needed.
I know that I personally struggle with this. It feels like every couple months it's a birthday, holiday or special occasion. And, before we know it, there are just too many toys. So, I wanted to create a list of some non-toy gift options for families who just have plenty of toys. Or, for families who may just be starting on their Montessori journey who are looking to equip their environment.
When I call this an "ultimate" list, I in no way want to imply that this is an all inclusive list. I hope that I have included a nice selection of products from across the board. But, it would be virtually impossible to include every possible item that could be used in a Montessori home. So, if you love something and it's not on this list that doesn't mean it doesn't fit wonderfully into a Montessori home.
I also want to clarify that I created this list specifically for home use. These are just products that you may want to consider to prepare your environment to meet the needs of your child. It's so difficult to break these things down by age, so the most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to follow your child in making purchasing decisions!
There's just not much you need for a Montessori baby! I've really come to learn that less is more. But, here are a few things that we have loved, or that can help make an environment more welcoming for an infant. Many of these things can be used well beyond baby-hood.
Sleeping and Living
Mirror -- this is a shatterproof one, but a glass mirror hung at the child's height will also work in a movement area
Wooden Brush Set -- we love our set, perfect for little babies
Weaning Table -- I love that this table can grow with your child
Small glasses -- these are the glasses we used with Nora and will use again with Augustus
Black and White Images
Tripp Trapp High Chair -- this is one where I go back and forth, its great to have, but we choose to sit at the weaning table instead
Montessori Beginner Basics
Here are some basic products for Montessori homes. Don't take the word "beginner" too seriously, anyone can use these products but they are some of what I would consider most essential for preparing a home. Some can be introduced to young toddlers, where others may be more suitable for older kids. Again, follow your child their abilities and their interests when choosing.
Crinkle cutter Knife
Nylon knives -- these are perfect for older children who are just starting to use knives as well as toddlers that have more knife experience.
Tongs -- Their small size makes them perfect for practical transferring for toddlers
Small Metal Pitcher
Small Glass Pitcher
Large Glass Pitcher -- My absolute favorite pitcher, used daily by my children. We've had ours for years.
Apron -- there are so many beautiful handmade and commercial options, this is just one example
Table Linens -- any small linens can work, placemats and napkins come to mind
Soap Dispensers -- These could be used for hand washing soap, shampoo, lotion, or other personal care items.
Dressing Chair Toddler -- very well made chair for the price, works great for Nora and Henry
Dressing Chair Preschooler
Full Length Mirror
Care of the Environment
Swiffer -- just remove one of the handles to make this child sized
Broom -- an adult broom or mop cut to size will also work, height will vary on the child's age
Carpet Sweeper Vacuum
Hand Broom -- a personal family favorite, the adults and children love this one here
Spray Bottle -- can be used for cleaning, or watering plants
Forward facing bookcase -- these are so great for displaying books, from babyhood all the way through childhood
Learning Tower -- I go back and forth on this one, its one of those things that might be nice to have, but not a necessity
Stool -- I can't say enough good things about this step stool, this is what we use daily in our home
Light Switch Extender
Plant -- pick one that fits your space, your environment and can withstand treatment by your child
Small Gardening Tools
Large Gardening Tools
Experienced Montessori Families
Don't be afraid of the "experienced" language here. These products are for everyone! But, many of these may work for families that already have a lot of the basics and want something extra. There is, however, nothing about these products that wouldn't work for people who are new to Montessori!
Toaster Oven -- for independent baking
Serrated Knife -- a variety of small knives can be introduced starting in toddlerhood, depending on the child's experience
Mortal and Pestle
Mini Cooking Utensils -- I love that these look just like the larger ones I use
Kitchen Scale -- I want this for myself
Wardrobe -- for real clothes, accessible to the child
Hand Washing Set
Care of the Environment
Vacuum -- both my kids absolutely love using a hand vacuum to help around the house
Bud Vase -- perfect for flower arrangements and nature finds
I'm sure there are so many great products that are missing from this list! If you have others you would add, I would love for you to leave a comment below!
Are you looking for Montessori friendly toys? Don't miss my Ultimate Montessori Toy List!