Are you looking to find the best educational toy for your child? Or perhaps you're familiar with the Montessori method and you want to implement those strategies with your child as she or he grows and develops. If you'd like to introduce your kids to new activities and inspire them to play creatively, Montessori toys can be a fun investment.
Montessori toys allow your child to safely, independently, and practically learn and create. These toys do more than simply entertain, they give children a chance to develop and explore by following the Montessori educational method.
If you're looking to purchase Montessori toys specific to learning and development, you may have lots of questions. What are the benefits of these toys and how are they different from other items on the market? Let's take a closer look at the 5 best Montessori toys you can buy that promote education and growth.
What is the Montessori Method?
If you're new to the Montessori method of education and lifestyle, you may be wondering how developmental toys fit into the equation. The Montessori method was created by Dr. Maria Montesori, an Italian physician and educator who lived in Rome in the late 1890s. The goal of Montessori education and lifestyle is to focus on giving children a sense of independence and choice.
Many Montessori schools exist around the country and feature mixed-aged classrooms, collaborative play, and hands-on learning. Montessori schools don't create their curriculum based on standardized testing. Instead, teachers and classrooms guide individual students, and children are evaluated on their own level of learning.
Children in Montessori environments become self-directed learners. They don't wait for a parent to push them to learn a new skill. Instead, they learn when they are ready, just like when they learn to walk or crawl. Montessori schools and home environments inspire freedom and creativity.
What Sets Montessori Learning Toys Apart?
The largest difference between Montessori toys and many of the playthings found on the market today is the simple and natural characteristics of the toys. Montessori toys tend to be made from wood, glass, or ceramic, whereas other toys are made from plastic. That's not to say that plastic doesn't have a role in the Montessori world, but it's much less prevalent.
Additionally, Montessori toys are much simpler, leaving the creativity up to the child. These toys inspire children to ask, “What can I do with this?” rather than “What does this do?” They serve a purpose rather than becoming another item to provide entertainment.
Overall, Montessori toys are simple and natural, and foster creativity and independence in your child. They offer a chance for your child to learn at their own pace and better understand the world around them.
Benefits of Montessori Learning Toys
You don't have to be a follower of the Montessori method to enjoy the benefits that come from choosing Montessori toys. These toys are educational in purpose and naturally designed to benefit children of all ages and groups. By choosing Montessori toys for your child to foster learning and development, you can expect to see these benefits:
- Simple, less distracting, or overstimulating toys.
- Toys that are more closely connected to nature with their naturally made materials.
- Playthings that foster creativity as Montessori toys tend to be more open-ended.
What to Look For Before Purchasing Montessori Toys?
There are a plethora of Montessori toys on the market today. When it comes to knowing which ones are best for your child and what you should buy, you'll need to get a firm grasp on what you're looking for, and what promotes the Montessori lifestyle in your home. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to get started:
- Are the toys made out of natural materials? Not all Montessori items are, of course, but naturally made toys foster a child's connection with nature.
- Are the toys realistic and simple in nature? You'll want to avoid toys with too many bells and whistles as this can reduce concentration and discourage problem-solving skills.
- Is the toy you're considering being purchased for a specific purpose? Be sure the toy you purchase contributes to your child's overall well-being and development.
- What does your child need right now? If you watch your child, you may notice patterns that indicate what education toy they're ready to try.
The 5 Best Montessori Toys for Learning and Development
Now that we better understand the Montessori method of education and what ultimately sets Montessori toys apart from others, let's take a look at some of the best ones on the market today that promote learning and development.
8-in-1 Wooden Toys
This set is best for small ones ages 6 to 18 months and includes a shape sorter, coin box, and an object permanence box which is one of the most popular Montessori items available on the market. Each item is made from wood and offers convenient storage with its stylish design. This set also changes and can grow with your baby as they enter toddlerhood. Reviewers appreciate this set's educational properties and have even purchased this item for kids up to 4 years old.
- Includes many different activities including the object permanence box.
- Grows and changes along with your child.
- Easy and convenient storage.
The Block Set by Lovevery
This Block Set by Lovevery offers an abundance of opportunities for kids. With 70 pieces and more than 20 different activities in this set alone, it's easy to see why this set has nearly 900, 5-star reviews. The set offers STEM learning for kids of many different ages and its packaging promotes easy, convenient storage. Reviews state that this set is sturdy, beautiful, and a wonderful addition to a toddler's educational journey.
Magnet tiles are a wonderful toy to promote education and growth for your child. This specific set features 52 pieces, an idea booklet, and a bag for easy storage. The corners of each tile are also curved instead of pointed for safety and are made of transparent geometric shapes. Reviewers appreciate how this kit leaves room for children to explore, get creative, and learn STEM activities.
One item that strongly promotes the Montessori method is a sensory kit. This 12-piece set comes with a wooden bin and 11 utensils for play. Parents can fill the bin with anything from rice to grain or rocks and sand. The materials are made of natural wood and allow a child to explore real-life textures and learn how to pour, stack items, and practice using kitchen tools. Reviews state that this item has provided lots of fun for kids and is commonly purchased for 3-year-olds.
- Includes a box plus 11 tools for play.
- Can be filled with any sort of natural material.
- Teaches children how to pour, stack, and use kitchen utensils.
Skoolzy Peg Board
This 38-piece toy promotes color sorting and shape matching for toddlers and young children. Often found in Montessori schools, this peg board features chunky shapes that promote fine motor skills. This set is also able to grow with your child. Young ones can improve dexterity while older children can enjoy learning games. With over 6,000 reviews, this is clearly a popular item to purchase from Amazon.
- 38-piece set.
- Includes chunky shapes that allow children to easily pick them up and use them.
- Different colors and shapes promote shape and color sorting.
Whether your child is ready for building blocks or a peg board, all of the toys here will promote their sense of learning and development. Also, keep in mind that there are no set rules for what constitutes a Montessori learning toy. You can use these guidelines to help, but rather than overcomplicate things, simply purchase toys that align with the Montessori values that you hold dear.
More Montessori Articles
- The 6 Best Montessori Toy Storage for Taming Mess
- The 3 Best Montessori Beds for Independence
- The 3 Best Montessori Children's Houses for Play
- The 4 Best Montessori Kitchens for Play
- The 5 Best Montessori Learning Towers for Independence
The image featured at the top of this post is ©FamVeld/Shutterstock.com.