Skip to main content

Montessori Friendly Play at 2.5-Years-old

It's been awhile since I have shared the work that Gus has been using. As a reminder when I say work, I mean the same things as "toys, activities, materials." It's all his work. I see no distinction between work and play, and this reminds me that his play is as important as any work that I may have to do. Read my last shelf update at 25 months here

A look at the Montessori friendly toys we are using at 2.5-years-old.

Gus is 2.5-years-old now (32 months). These items have been chosen based on his interests, abilities, and things I have observed in him. Much of it is fine motor work which he seems particularly drawn to as he strengthens his hands. I'll go into detail below! 

I also want to make it super clear that this is only a small part of what Gus spends his day doing. Most of his day is spent involved in practical pursuits, reading, or playing outdoors. The materials are only a small part of how we incorporate Montessori into our home. 

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

A look at the Montessori friendly toys we are using at 2.5-years-old.

So here's a look at what's on his work shelf right now (top to bottom, left to right):

Ravensburger Frame Puzzle - Hands down his most favorite work. He does this puzzle multiple times a day and it's been out for months. It has so many great language opportunities that I really don't mind! I find it so interesting that he has almost no interest in jigsaw puzzles or more complex puzzles than this. At this age, Nora was far past this point and couldn't get enough of jigsaws. It just shows you that every child will be different! 

Clothes Line and mini pins - This is just a small string tied between two handles of a tray with a small number of frog shaped clothes pins. This work is great at refining a pincer grasp. 

Car Layer Puzzle - This is simple but great reasoning for him. I love that it's self correcting by size and not because they are matching a color. 

Pegging Puzzle {similar, but uses different shapes} - This was an old Target dollar store find, I hear they have had something similar lately, but I haven't seen it in my store. The puzzle matches pieces based on the number of pegs. It would be a bit better if all the pieces were one color, but this is a fun challenge for him and he starting to become more and more interested in counting. 

Lacing Card {similar} - Another difference between Gus and Nora is that she was much more adept at sewing by this age. But Gus has a lot of interest in these lately. He doesn't do it perfectly, but loves to string in and out. 

Ring Stacker {similar} - Gus has always loved pegging, and this adds a counting dimension that is fun for him. Our stacker is pretty old, but it's well loved. I will say Gus used this a lot more a couple months ago, and I almost recently removed it but then he was using it again. So I left it on, but he's definitely starting to move on from it. 

A look at the Montessori friendly toys we are using at 2.5-years-old.

Biggie Bead stringing - This is another current favorite. Gus will sit and string these beads until the lace is full, over and over again. It's great pincer work and he's been doing some interesting exploration of color matching and patterns. 

Locking Coin Box - A Montessori classic, that I probably could have introduced earlier. Gus has used a lock and key for a long time, but the coins are a new feature for him. This is one of the newest works on the shelf. He can complete it easily but is very drawn to it. 

Nuts and Bolts - Another very popular work, just large nuts and bolts, he loves threading them on. Again, great finger work. 

DIY Color Pegging Work - This is probably the least popular work on the shelves right now. In fact, I may even remove it in the next couple of days for something else. Gus can match colors (the main objective of this work) but doesn't for some reason. He will peg but ignores the colors completely. He's just not that into it. But, he will occasionally use. 

A look at the Montessori friendly toys we are using at 2.5-years-old.

Hape Twist and Sort - Another extremely popular toy with Gus (that somehow didn't make the main picture - oops!). He has used this for months, moving from just one shape to all 4. He still loves and uses daily. 

And, that's it! He has access to some open ended toys too that all the children can use. But as far as tray work goes, this is what we have!

A look at the Montessori friendly toys we are using at 2.5-years-old.

What is your 2.5-year-old using right now? 


megan said…
How did you introduce the Hape twist puzzle? We have that toy and I'm not sure when or how to introduce it to our 21m.

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2019

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!

2019 UPDATE: This post has been updated to include a variety of brands and new product finds! Just a reminder that no one child will be interested in all of this or needs all of this. These toys are just here to spark ideas and give you a feeling for some Montessori-friendly options available! 

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 to…

Which Open-Ended Toys are "Worth it?"

As a Montessori parent, I try to provide a mix of materials in our home to engage my kids! That work that will spark joy, concentration, and repetition. It's not always an easy task, as Maria Montessori said, "Life is mysterious...only the choice of life can choose the work that the child truly needs. Therefore, the teacher respects this mysterious process and knows to wait with faith." So, there does sometimes feel like there is a bit of trial and error when it comes to choosing materials that your children need. 

For us, the right balance is easier to find when I spend time deeply observing my children. Watching their interests, sitting on my hands if I have to, letting them struggle a little with things, and letting them get bored. And what I have personally found is that here at home, a combination of open ended materials and more structured work have been the right balance. Open ended toys wouldn't necessarily be found in a Montessori classroom, but they are perf…

A Montessori Approach to Purging Your Toys

Becoming a Montessori family has been life changing in so many ways, most obviously with the amount and type of materials we use in our home. Once you see why having so many toys is a problem, or when you make the decision to move towards Montessori, it can be completely overwhelming. But, taking a Montessori approach to purging your toys is possible! And, it doesn't exactly mean that you have to throw away everything you have and start over with only expensive wooden toys. It will mean taking a hard look at what you have and whether it really fits with Montessori.

One note, however, Montessori is at its core about following your child's own path and respecting your child as a whole person. So, if your child has a toy, lovey, book, or whatever that your child super loves or is super attached to, but it doesn't fit Montessori ideals, don't take it away. Follow your child, that is more Montessori than whether or not you own some specific consumer product. 
How to Purge You…