With so many options for Montessori toys, which are best for two-year-olds? We're going to talk about what Montessori is, the characteristics of a toy that makes it Montessori, the developmental skills for children at this age, and the best Montessori toys to buy.
What Is Montessori?
Montessori is a type of learning that allows children to learn and discover at their own pace. It is self-motivated growth and nurtures the natural desire for knowledge and understanding. Founded by Maria Montessori, she believed that children are more capable than we might think. Montessori learning gives children the space to become capable through exploration and hands-on play.
The skills that a child portrays are not predetermined, and creating an environment that is stimulating to further their development is important. Early brain development creates the foundation for every child's future learning ability. Establishing pathways and patterns at a young age is something that can benefit a person throughout their lifetime. This is why many parents like Montessori learning and Montessori toys.
What Are Montessori Toys?
A Montessori toy is a toy that encourages Montessori learning. They stimulate learning by encouraging children to experiment and discover. These toys often help young children develop fine motor skills.
Montessori toys are also typically made with natural materials like cotton and wood. Unlike regular toys which are usually made of plastic, Montessori toys made with these natural materials can inspire children to connect to nature and things in the real world while also offering an experience that includes sensory exploration. Some parents prefer toys made of natural materials as many plastic items nowadays contain harmful chemicals. Although not all plastics are harmful, checking the labels for any warnings is the best practice.
Montessori Milestones For 2-year-olds
By the age of two, children should be well developed in some fine motor skills like hand coordination, allowing them to do things like taking off a lid or turning a doorknob. They also may be able to hold writing utensils with a tight grip, although the grip might be a tad awkward. Nevertheless, by this age, they can be drawing lines, circles, and all the imaginary things that come to mind. In year two, you can see that they'll start to learn how to jump, kick a ball, climb on and off furniture unassisted, build tower blocks, pour contents into containers, etc.
For language and speech development, two-year-olds should start completing words, repeat words they hear, use simple phrases like “all done” and “nigh-night,” recognize and name familiar people and animals, and say two to four-word statements like “I love you” or “more please.”
Montessori Toys For 2-Year-Olds
So, knowing the skills that children are learning during this stage of development, what are the best toys that can further them along? Here are the five best Montessori toys for two-year-olds.
Wood And Hearts Montessori Climbing Gym
This indoor Montessori climbing gym is a great option at a decent price. For $275, or less when on sale, this climbing gym is made from high-quality birch plywood. Each part of the gym is sanded by hand and created with care. Made without harmful chemicals, it is safe if children lick it or bite it like a teether. This playground encourages development in agility and reaction skills.
Asweets Wooden Wobble Balance Board
This wobble balance board is on Amazon and offers various functions. It can be used as a rocker, a seat, a bridge to walk over, or to learn how to balance on one foot! This balance board is designed for smaller children so they can safely use it.
Double-Sided Tabletop Easel
This tabletop easel breaks down and fits on the table so it doesn't take up a whole corner of your room. Play with the whiteboard side or the felt board for multiple ways to play. On the whiteboard side, they can draw anything their hearts desire. On the felt side, they can play with shapes, numbers, letters, and symbols, sticking them to the board as they see fit.
Mushie Shape Sorting Box
You can find this Mushie Shape Sorting Box on Amazon. With 12 shapes in soft pastel colors, this toy encourages cognitive reasoning, language development, fine motor skills, and STEM skills. STEM skills include critical thinking, logic, creativity, and problem-solving. It's also a very pretty toy making it appealing to parents.
Quiet Activity Book
This customizable quiet book on Etsy is filled with different learning activities. Ranging from $92-$281, you can make it four or sixteen pages long, customize the cover, and add personalization. Quiet books help develop fine motor skills by encouraging children to tie shoelaces, button up buttons, use zippers, and many other activities.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Ground Picture/Shutterstock.com.