Toys

The 12 Best Montessori Toys For 3-Year-Olds (By Category) 

Updated on 6 minute read
montessori toys for 3 year olds

 

Overview

Are you searching for the best Montessori toys for 3-year-olds? We’ve prepared this list for you, arranged by category.

 

What Are Considered Montessori Toys?

Montessori toys are made of high-quality natural materials. Designed to meet the Montessori method, these toys are good for hands-on playing and learning.

Toys for a Montessori classroom and home are based on the real world instead of the fantasy elements used in Waldorf classrooms.

As a Montessori parent, however, you don’t have to use 100% Montessori toys and materials. Plenty of Montessori-inspired educational toys can also be great gift ideas for your child.

Follow your heart in creating Montessori at home.

 

What Montessori Toys Are Good?

All Montessori toys can be good for children, though they are usually best suited for the age group they’re designed for. 

Note that many Montessori materials and toys can be pricier than non-Montessori learning toys.

 

Which Toy Is The Most Appropriate For A 3-Year-Old?

Educational toys are ideal for 3-year-olds to prepare them for preschool, whether they’re going to a Montessori school or not.

Wooden toys for hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, fine motor skills, and practical life skills are also good for this age group.

You can find more ideas from our list of developmentally-friendly toys for 3-year-olds.

 

What Montessori Toys Should I Get A 3-Year-Old?

Some great Montessori gift ideas for 3-year-old boys and girls:

  • Stacking toys
  • Jigsaw and color-matching wooden puzzles
  • Sensory toys
  • Shape sorters
  • Building blocks
  • Montessori climbing toys
  • Toys for practical life skills (lacing or learning to tie a shoe, cleaning up, cooking, etc.)

 

The 12 Best Montessori Toys For 3-Year-Olds

Here’s a gift guide for 3-year-olds, arranged by category:

 

Montessori Toy Sets For 3-Year-Olds

1. LOVEVERY The Observer Play Kit (37-39 months)

(source: lovevery.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Montessori set for open-ended play and building emotional intelligence for your little one
  • Product Safety: Free from phthalates and heavy metals (lead) 
  • Materials: Wood and other child-safe materials
  • Age Range: 37-39 months
  • Educational Value: Architecture concepts, social-emotional learning, problem-solving skills, and imagination
  • Certification: Global regulatory safety standards
  • Made In: Asia (not specified)
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Offered as a subscription toy kit
  • Customer Reviews:

All my kids really enjoy playing with the kits, even tho they are older!” – reviewer on LOVEVERY

The kit is meant for older kids and my daughter is only 2,5 years old but she loves playing with it for hours on end.” – reviewer on LOVEVERY

 

2. KiwiCo Pretend Play + Early Math Bundle (3+ years old)

(source: kiwico.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Montessori-inspired play set for pretend play and early math learning
  • Product Safety: Passes rigorous tests for all toy safety standards
  • Materials: High-quality materials
  • Age Range: 3+ years old
  • Educational Value: Sequencing skills, pretend play, math learning, and practical skills (e.g., baking)
  • Extra Features: Includes a recipe book
  • Certification: Certified by independent product safety testing labs
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews: None yet

 

Popular Montessori Toys For 3-Year-Olds

3. deMoca Wooden Montessori ToysBusy Board for Toddlers 2-3 Years

(source: democa.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Montessori busy board
  • Product Safety: Smoothed edges
  • Materials: Wood and metal
  • Age Range: 2-year-olds and up
  • Educational Value: Problem-solving, fine motor skills, and practical life skills (e.g., lacing, opening locks, using buckles, etc.)
  • Extra Features: Includes a hole to create a handle
  • Certification: Not indicated
  • Made In: China
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Some complaints about quality
  • Customer Reviews:

It has several fun things for the toddlers to learn – zipping, turning, clipping, a shoe to tie and a bolt lock to open.” – reviewer on deMoca

Horrible quality, this broke within a week of having it.” – reviewer on Amazon

 

4. KiwiCo Sensory Dough (3+ years old)

(source: kiwico.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Colorful and scented Montessori-inspired play dough
  • Product Safety: Passes rigorous tests for all toy safety standards
  • Materials: Child-safe materials
  • Age Range: 3+ years old
  • Educational Value: Sensory play, fine motor skills, and object permanence
  • Extra Features: Reusable play dough with different colors and scents
  • Certification: Certified by independent product safety testing labs
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Customer Reviews:

Perfect for 3YO boy to stay busy for 15 min :).” – reviewer on KiwiCo

My 3 yr old soon to be 4 loved this.” – reviewer on KiwiCo

 

Montessori Puzzles, Stackers, & Building Blocks For 3-Year-Olds

5. Montessori Generation Wooden Stones (3+ years old)

(source: montessorigeneration.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Colorful rock set with different shapes
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic paint and smooth edges
  • Materials: Wood
  • Age Range: 3+ years old
  • Educational Value: Balancing, creative thinking, problem solving, spatial awareness, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination
  • Extra Features: Includes a bag
  • Certification: Not indicated
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Limited product information
  • Customer Reviews:

Wooden stones. Good quality, very well painted.” – reviewer on Montessori Generation

“…the goods came dirty and the paint in places as if to tear. Cracks on some parts.” – reviewer on Montessori Generation

 

6. Fat Brain Toys Montessori Woodwerks Nature Blocks (3+ years old)

(source: fatbraintoys.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Organically shaped wood block set
  • Product Safety: Passes toy safety standards
  • Materials: High-quality solid wood
  • Age Range: 3+ years old
  • Educational Value: Creative building, spatial reasoning, problem-solving, fine motor skills, and critical thinking
  • Extra Features: Unconventional block set
  • Certification: ASTM and ICTI (International Council of Toy Industries) 
  • Made In: China
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews: None yet

 

Montessori Toys For Climbing & Gross Motor Skills

7. Avenlur Redbud – Wobble Balance Board

(source: avenlur.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Exercise and yoga balance board
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic BPA-free varnish (free from bisphenol-A, a toxic chemical used in plastic manufacturing); DCA-free (dichloroacetic acid)
  • Materials: Wood
  • Age Range: Not indicated, but balance or wobble boards can also be considered a baby toy or for 1-year-olds and older children
  • Educational Value: Balancing and gross motor skills
  • Extra Features: Reversible rocker and arch
  • Certification: ASTM and CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act)
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews: None yet

 

8. RAD Children’s Furniture DeskEasel Triangle Set

(source: radchildrensfurniture.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Pikler triangle with parts for use as a child’s desk or easel 
  • Product Safety: Formaldehyde-free and zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
  • Materials: 13-ply Euro birch wood
  • Age Range: 2.5 to 6 years old
  • Educational Value: Gross motor skills, creativity, fine motor skills, and confidence
  • Extra Features: Includes 90’ roll-down paper for painting or drawing
  • Certification: FSC certified and CARB 2 (CARB II compliance) compliant for formaldehyde emissions
  • Made In: Los Angeles, California
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Requires an electric drill for assembly 
  • Customer Reviews:

My 16 month old loves climbing it and we’re glad we got the ramp to add as a new twist in the future.” – reviewer on ETSY

The quality is nice, but I was disappointed to find that the slide/ladder can only be rested against the triangle on one side, because the opposite end does not have the small pieces of wood across to hold it in place.” – reviewer on ETSY

 

Montessori Learning Equipment & Toys For Practical Life Skills

9. Avenlur Desk and Chair Attachment to the Hazel Pikler Triangle

(source: avenlur.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Foldable and easy-assemble extension set for the Avenlur Pikler triangle (Hazel)
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic BPA-free varnish; DCA-free
  • Materials: New Zealand pine wood
  • Age Range: Not indicated but can be ideal for preschoolers (3-5-year-olds)
  • Educational Value: Gross motor skills, strength, balance control, and hand-eye coordination
  • Extra Features: Reversible slide and rock wall plus rocker and arch
  • Certification: ASTM and CPSIA
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews: None yet

 

10. Manhattan Toy Decorative 5-Piece Wooden Pretend Housekeeping Cleaning Set

(source: manhattantoy.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Montessori-inspired kid-sized cleaning toys
  • Product Safety: Meets or exceeds toy safety regulations
  • Materials: Wood and polyester
  • Age Range: 3+ years old
  • Educational Value: Practical life skills (cleaning-themed role-play), imaginative role-play, motor development, and social learning skills
  • Extra Features: Includes a stand to keep all the learning toys
  • Certification: EN71 (European toy standard), ASTM, and CPSIA safety regulations
  • Made In: China
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews: None yet

 

11. Melissa & Doug Wooden Project Solid Wood Workbench (3+ years)

(source: melissaanddoug.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Wooden workbench set
  • Product Safety: Free from lead (heavy metal) and other toxic materials
  • Materials: Natural wood
  • Age Range: 3+ years
  • Educational Value: Learning practical life skills and imagination
  • Extra Features: Includes sturdy wooden workbench
  • Certification: FSC certified and CPSIA; complies with US and EU safety standards
  • Made In: China (according to Amazon)
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Some complaints about quality
  • Customer Reviews:

This is a great solid and easy to assemble childs work bench . He liked it alot !” – reviewer on Melissa & Doug

Some of my son’s pieces are peeling and my son broke the vise.” – reviewer on Melissa & Doug

 

Realistic Toys For 3-Year-Olds

12. Learning Resources Jumbo Jungle Animals

(source: learningresources.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Montessori-inspired realistic animal figures
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic 
  • Materials: Durable, non-toxic plastic
  • Age Range: 18+ months
  • Educational Value: Learning about the real world
  • Extra Features: Dishwasher-safe toys
  • Certification: Not indicated
  • Made In: China
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Some complaints about quality
  • Customer Reviews:

My son is obsessed with animals and has about every set but this is his absolute favorite.” – reviewer on Learning Resources

I took off a star because giraffe has a little trouble standing.” – reviewer on Learning Resources

 

DIY & Budget-Friendly Montessori Materials

Some budget-friendly DIY Montessori projects for your 3-year-old:

  • Lacing kit
  • Buttons for sensory kit
  • Sandpaper letters and numbers

 

Guide In Creating a Montessori Environment For 3-Year-Olds

Choose the following:

  • Toys for critical thinking & creativity
  • Toys for fine motor skills
  • Toys for gross motor skills
  • Toys for independence

 

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