Toys

21 Montessori Toys For Toddlers: Having Fun While Learning

Updated on 12 minute read
montessori toys for toddlers

 

Overview

Montessori toys for toddlers can let your child learn in a fun way.

Studies show that playing can help children develop optimal skills. They develop cognitive learning and motor skills, plus social interaction, language, and self-regulation. (1)

What are Montessori toys? These are educational toys made of natural materials, particularly wood. Toys that comply with the Montessori method are usually simple, high-quality, and designed for repetitive use by little hands.

These toys are based on the real world as opposed to Waldorf toys that promote make-believe and fantasies.

We’ve prepared this gift guide to 21 Montessori-inspired toys that can make playtime more interesting for young children.

 

The 21 Best Montessori Toys For Toddlers

Cognitive & Learning Toys

1. Montessori & Me Single Shape Puzzles (babies and toddlers)

(source: montessoriandme.us)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Wooden shape puzzles with knobs designed for little hands
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic, kid-friendly adhesive; free from formaldehyde
  • Materials: Wood
  • Age Range: Babies and toddlers
  • Educational Value: Problem-solving, cognitive thinking, fine motor skills, visual discrimination, pincer grasp, coordination, and concentration
  • Extra Features: Self-correcting puzzle pieces
  • Certification: Not indicated
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews: None yet

 

2. LOVEVERY The Thinker Play Kit (11-12 months)

(source: lovevery.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Montessori play set for your little one’s budding imagination
  • Product Safety: Free from heavy metals (e.g., cadmium and lead) or phthalates
  • Materials: Wooden blocks and strings
  • Age Range: 11-12 months
  • Educational Value: Imagination, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, pincer grasp, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) concepts such as object permanence
  • Certification: Global regulatory safety standards
  • Made In: Specific countries not indicated, only identified as Asian supplier network
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews:

We love the play kits and especially were excited about the thinker kit because it introduced my daughter to her first doll. I love that we had the option to choose the skin tone of the doll.” – reviewer on LOVEVERY

My daughter loves the thinker box. The only thing I would suggest changing is the pincer puzzle and the pouch. Both help with pincer so I would choose one or the other. My daughter doesn’t care for these two items but she loves the rest.” – reviewer on LOVEVERY

 

3. Woobiboo Montessori Kids Puzzle (12+ months)

(source: woobiboo.eu)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Pastel-colored wooden puzzle
  • Product Safety: Eco-friendly and safe paints
  • Materials: Wooden plywood
  • Age Range: 12+ months
  • Educational Value: Problem-solving skills and fine motor skills
  • Extra Features: Different colors
  • Certification: Not indicated
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: The puzzle pieces come in only one shape
  • Customer Reviews: None yet

 

4. Geometric Stacker Toddler Toy (2+ years old)

(source: melissaanddoug.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Multi-shaped and multicolor stacker and peg puzzle 
  • Product Safety: Free from lead (a heavy metal) and other toxic materials
  • Materials: Wood
  • Age Range: 2+ years old
  • Educational Value: Color and shape recognition, problem-solving skills, logical reasoning, and fine motor skills
  • Extra Features: Large puzzle pieces to reduce choking risks
  • Certification: US and EU (European Union) safety standards, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), and CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act)
  • Made In: China (according to Amazon)
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Some complaints about quality
  • Customer Reviews:

Quality is great and it will keep them thinking and growing and playing for months!” – reviewer on Melissa & Doug

The base arrived chipped and required sanding to be safe.” – reviewer on Melissa & Doug

 

5. Janod Crescendo I’m Learning How to Count Game (2-5 years old)

(source: janod.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Wooden blocks and sloped car tracker
  • Product Safety: Child-safe, water-based paint
  • Materials: Natural wood
  • Age Range: 2-5 years old
  • Educational Value: Counting, color recognition, sequencing, and STEM learning (e.g., gravity)
  • Extra Features: Biggest blocks create a hidden garage
  • Certification: FSC-certified wood; US and European standards
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Some complaints about the size (smaller than expected)
  • Customer Reviews:

We love this. The blocks are magnetic and fairly sturdy. While it is a little smaller than I expected, it is still young child friendly.

 

Creativity & Musical Skills

6. KiwiCo Panda Crate (0+ years)

(source: kiwico.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Curated Montessori-inspired play set
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic, baby-safe materials and paint
  • Materials: Wood and other child-safe materials
  • Age Range: 0-2 years old (box contents will depend on your child’s age)
  • Educational Value: Creativity, fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, and cognitive learning
  • Extra Features: Subscription crate that ships every month
  • Certification: Independent product safety testing labs
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey; some complaints about quality
  • Customer Reviews:

My Grandson has enjoyed all the boxes from birth to 2yrs. I looked forward to delivery just to have time to play and teach while having fun.” – reviewer on KiwiCo

Don’t like them, they fall apart easily.” – reviewer on KiwiCo

 

7. Little Play Kit Montessori Wooden Music Kit (1+ years)

(source: ETSY.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Wooden musical instrument set for children
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic, water-based, and food-grade sealant
  • Materials: Wood and metal
  • Age Range: 1+ years
  • Educational Value: Creativity, musical skills, fine motor skills, confidence, cognitive development, and self-expression
  • Extra Features: Includes a drawstring canvas bag and original watercolor fact card
  • Certification: Not indicated
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Requires adult supervision
  • Customer Reviews: None yet

 

8. LOVEVERY The Block Set (for 18 to 48+ months)

(source: lovevery.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: 70-piece Montessori building block set with different sizes and shapes
  • Product Safety: Free from heavy metals (e.g., cadmium, lead, etc.) and phthalates
  • Materials: Wooden blocks and strings
  • Age Range: 18 to 48+ months
  • Educational Value: Imaginative play, fine motor skills, creativity, and STEM concepts like gravity, force, and velocity
  • Extra Features: Includes parts for making a toy wagon
  • Certification: Meets global regulatory safety standards
  • Made In: Supplier network in Asia (specific countries not indicated)
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews:

Bright colors, so many pieces to build different things with, great quality!” – reviewer on LOVEVERY

The colors are good and the quality of the Material is very good. But do not feel it’s worth the money.” – reviewer on LOVEVERY

 

9. Manhattan Toys Beats To Go (18+ months)

(source: manhattantoy.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Montessori-inspired musical instrument
  • Product Safety: Child-safe
  • Materials: Wood and steel
  • Age Range: 18+ months
  • Educational Value: Creativity, musical learning, and cognitive development
  • Extra Features: Includes two drumsticks plus three legs for stability
  • Certification: EN71 and CPSIA safety regulations
  • Made In: Imported (country not specified, according to Target)
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Some complaints about quality
  • Customer Reviews:

I got this a week ago and our 14 month old Loves playing with it! He actually seems like he’s figuring out a rhythm! Also for parents, it’s not too loud or annoying, and it keeps his attention for about 30 mins. Highly suggest!” – reviewer on Manhattan Toy

I’m disappointed at the build quality for this price point. Dried glue coming out from under one piece, the xylophone keys fall to one side or the other and end up not making much more than a muted tone of anything.” – reviewer on Target

 

10. Rock Blocks Terra Set of 16 (2+ years)

(source: thetot.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Uniquely shaped, rock-inspired block set
  • Product Safety: Child-safe, eco-friendly, and non-toxic materials free from phthalates and formaldehyde; painted using milk paint (consists of plant and milk proteins)
  • Materials: Recycled wood (fir, pine, birch, yellow and red cedar, cottonwood, and spruce woods)
  • Age Range: 2+ years
  • Educational Value: Logic and reasoning skills, dexterity, fine motor skills, creativity, and early engineering
  • Extra Features: Multi-sided blocks
  • Certification: Not indicated
  • Made In: USA
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews:

Wonderful quality! Each are uniquely shaped, painted amazingly smooth and are so lightweight. Can’t wait to enjoy them for years to come!” – reviewer on Rock Block Shop

Expensive, but these are really beautiful blocks that I can tell will get years of good use. Worth it!” – reviewer on Rock Block Shop

 

11. Guide Craft Unit Blocks Set B – 56 Piece Set (2+ years)

(source: guidecraft.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Wooden block set 
  • Product Safety: Smooth sanded pieces
  • Materials: Rubberwood 
  • Age Range: 2+ years
  • Educational Value: Spatial thinking, problem-solving skills, fine motor skills, STEM concepts, and early engineering skills
  • Extra Features: Includes different shapes
  • Certification: Not indicated
  • Made In: USA or imported (according to Target)
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews: None yet

 

Fine Motor Skills

12. Plan Toys – First Stacking Ring Pastel (1+ years)

(source: plantoys.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Pastel-colored stacker
  • Product Safety: Chemical-free rubberwood, organic pigments and water-based dyes, and formaldehyde-free glue
  • Materials: Wood
  • Age Range: 1+ years old
  • Educational Value: Visual acuity, hand-eye coordination, concentration, sequencing, and fine motor skills
  • Extra Features: Large pieces to reduce choking risks
  • Certification: EN71 (European toy safety standard) and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) 
  • Made In: Thailand
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews:

It’s well-made and beautiful – perfect for younger babies.” – reviewer on The Natural Baby Company

I love the colors of the stacker. It is small, so make sure you look at the dimensions before ordering! Durable and lots of fun for babies.” – reviewer on The Tot

 

13. Adena Montessori Tracker Ball Drop (1-3 years old)

(source: amazon.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Montessori-inspired wooden ball tracker
  • Product Safety: Child-safe paint (according to Amazon)
  • Materials: Wood
  • Age Range: 1-3 years old
  • Educational Value: Fine and gross motor planning, left-to-right and right-to-left tracking, coordination, logical thinking, concentration, STEM learning, and problem-solving skills
  • Extra Features: Open rail tracker with rollers and tunnels
  • Certification: US and EU standards (EN71, according to Amazon)
  • Made In: China (according to Amazon)
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Heavy toy; needs adult supervision to reduce injury risks
  • Customer Reviews: None yet

 

14. Hape Creative Peg Puzzle (18+ months)

(source: amazon.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Montessori-inspired peg puzzle and stacker toy
  • Product Safety: Child-safe materials and water-based paint
  • Materials: Wood and ABS plastic (for the pegs; acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
  • Age Range: 18+ months
  • Educational Value: Problem-solving skills, fine motor skills, cognitive learning, logical reasoning, and sequencing
  • Extra Features: Includes more challenging pegs with grooves
  • Certification: Passes toy safety tests; FSC (according to Amazon)
  • Made In: China (according to Amazon)
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Not 100% made of wood because the pegs are made of ABS plastic
  • Customer Reviews:

This is a great puzzle for teaching a toddler problem solving as well as fine motor skills.” – reviewer on Amazon

“…I am very disappointed that the pegs are plastic and I feel like the pictures of the toy are misleading because they very much look like the same wood that the base is made of.” – reviewer on Amazon

 

Montessori Climbers, Walkers, & Other Toys For Gross Motor Skills

15. HABA Walker Wagon Push Toy (1-3 years old)

(source: habausa.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Wooden push walker
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic water-based stain
  • Materials: Wood with silicone wheel treads
  • Age Range: 1-3 years old
  • Educational Value: Gross motor skills
  • Extra Features: Includes a seat for toys or your baby to use
  • Certificate: PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification)
  • Made In: Bulgaria
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews:

 “I have both owned for our grandchildren, and given as gifts, this fabulous Haba Wagon Push toy. It is sturdy and great looking. The toddlers love playing with it!” – reviewer on HABA USA

It looked like something you might buy at Ikea, and the quality was not impressive. To top things off, the screws provided for assembly didn’t fit. I could have solved this with a drill or a trip to the hardware store, but at this price, that simply isn’t acceptable.” – reviewer on Amazon

 

16. PICCALIO Acrobat Balance Beam (12+ months old)

(source: piccalio.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Montessori-inspired low balance beam
  • Product Safety: Free from toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, lead, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
  • Materials: Wood
  • Age Range: 12+ months old
  • Educational Value: Balance, coordination, and muscle and gross motor skill development
  • Extra Features: Adjustable beam to build different configurations
  • Certification: FSC certified, ASTM, Prop65 (California Proposition 65 for cancer-causing chemicals), and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration)
  • Made In: Small factories in Asia and Europe
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey; some concerns over possible choking risks
  • Customer Reviews:

Product arrived quickly and as described. Appears to be of quality materials and build. Works great as a bridge for toy cars as well as the intended use.” – reviewer on Piccalio

The only concern I have is that the small pegs that hold the boards in place on the connectors are loose, my son easily pulls some of them out. This is somewhat of a safety concern, as children may try to put them in their mouth. Alternatively, they may get lost, which would make the connectors useless.” – reviewer on Piccalio

 

17. Avenlur Wood Small Triangle Climbing Set (1+ years old)

(source: avenlur.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Pikler triangle set with a reversible ramp and rocker
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic and free from BPA (bisphenol-A, a harmful chemical in plastic manufacturing) and DCA (dichloroacetic acid)
  • Materials: New Zealand pine wood
  • Age Range: 1+ years old
  • Educational Value: Gross motor skill development, balance control, and creativity
  • Extra Features: Set includes a rocker and Pikler triangle
  • Certification: ASTM and CPSIA certified 
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews: None yet

 

18. Lily and River Little Steps (18+ months old)

(source: lilyandriver.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Montessori-inspired, pastel-colored rainbow stepping stones
  • Product Safety: Child-friendly sealant
  • Materials: Hardwood
  • Age Range: 18+ months old
  • Educational Value: Physical activity, gross motor skill development, balance, and coordination
  • Extra Features: Includes furniture-grade anti-slip pads
  • Certification: FSC-certified hardwood
  • Made In: Arizona, USA
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews:

Not only are the Little Steps great for gross motor development, they are also a lovely open-ended toy and can be utilized for counting, shapes, color recognition, and imaginary play. My toddler loves them!” – reviewer on Lily & River

Returned. Colors are very bright and not as soft as the picture.” – reviewer on The TOT

 

Toys For Practical Learning & Pretend Play

19. Grimm’s Large Rainbow Natural (1+ years)

(source: grimms.eu)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Jumbo-sized, rainbow-shaped stacker
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic plant-based oil finish
  • Materials: Wood
  • Age Range: 1+ years old
  • Educational Value: Gross motor skills, imaginative play, sequencing, and logical thinking
  • Extra Features: Can also be used as rockers for dolls, tunnels for toy cars, and other imaginative options
  • Certification: ASTM and EN71
  • Made In: Swabian Alps, Germany
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews:

We have several other Grimm’s rainbows and we were excited to add the natural tunnel to our collection. My 22-month-old loves to stack it high and use it as a tunnel for his toy vehicles. I’m sure when his little brother is old enough, they will both get plenty of play out of it!” – reviewer on The Natural Baby Company

I gave my daughter this tunnel for Christmas and she loved it right away. The drives her cars under it and stacks them to use with her Grimms friends. Definitely one of her favorites.” – reviewer on The Natural Baby Company

 

20. OLLI ELLA Strolley (18+ months old)

(source: us.olliella.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Convertible toy stroller and carriage
  • Product Safety (according to The TOT): Free from lead (a heavy metal), formaldehyde, BPA and BPS (bisphenol-S), phthalates, and PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
  • Materials: Hand-crafted rattan weave and steel frame
  • Age Range: 18+ months old
  • Educational Value: Imaginative play, gross motor skills, and cognitive development
  • Extra Features: Removable and replaceable handles
  • Certification: Not indicated
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews:

I bought this for my granddaughters 1st Birthday and it is lovely , so well made and so cute with the bedding and her first doll (also one of yours ) , very pleased with my purchase !” – reviewer on OLLI ELLA

This stroller feels SO cheap. To the the hood is SO hard to move, as an adult I struggled so a child will likely not be able to adjust it. Once you actually get to adjust it it gets stuck on the bottom because its too tight, as if stroller proportions were off.” – reviewer on the TOT

 

21. Little Wooden Wonders Wooden Toy Lawn Mower (toddlers and older)

(source: littlewoodenwonders.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Wooden lawn mower toy
  • Product Safety: Organic jojoba oil wood finish and homemade natural beeswax 
  • Materials: Wood (red oak, walnut, birch, and hard maple)
  • Age Range: Toddlers and older
  • Educational Value: Pretend play, gross motor skills, and STEM learning (cause and effect)
  • Extra Features: Creates a sound when pushed
  • Certification: Not indicated
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews: None yet

 

FAQs

What Are Montessori-Approved Toys?

These are toys that follow the method created by Italian pediatrician Maria Montessori.

Some of the common characteristics of Montessori toys:

  • Educational toys for your child’s development
  • Made of natural materials, usually wood
  • Often plain and simple but beautifully made
  • Teaches one particular skill at a time
  • Based on real life or the real world
  • Useful
  • Practical
  • Designed for a specific age group
  • Created for independent, open-ended play

 

What Age Is Appropriate For Montessori Toys?

You can start even when your baby is still a newborn. 

Although they’re still unable to grasp or play with the toys using their hands, you can introduce them to Montessori play gyms with high-contrast mobiles.

We’ve prepared this list of Montessori toys for babies to help you choose some for your little one.

The Montessori method isn’t just for babies and toddlers. 

Montessori classrooms designed for preschoolers, such as 3-year-olds or 5-year-olds, are often equipped with age-appropriate toys for your child to learn while playing.

You can equip your toddler’s playroom with these toys, but you don’t have to use 100% Montessori-approved materials strictly. Many parents find Montessori-inspired toys useful in promoting open play and learning at home.

It’s up to you to provide your child with toys that you feel can provide them with a well-rounded learning environment.

 

What Are Montessori Toys For Toddlers?

Plenty of different Montessori toys can be ideal for your toddler. Some Montessori baby toys can still be used for older age groups.

Some of these baby toys include:

  • Infant coin box
  • Object permanence box
  • Stackers
  • Sensory toys

 

Some examples of Montessori toys for 1-year-olds:

  • Ball drops
  • Bead stringing and lacing toys
  • Building block set
  • Busy board
  • Cylinder blocks
  • Hammer box
  • Knobbed cylinders
  • Montessori busy board toy
  • Nesting dolls
  • Pikler triangle or other climbers
  • Race tracks
  • Rainbow stacking rings
  • Realistic doll
  • Shapes on pegs
  • Sorting and sequencing toys
  • Stackers (rings or cubes)
  • Walker
  • Wooden building blocks
  • Wooden musical instrument set
  • Wooden puzzles

 

You can find more Montessori toys for 1-year-olds from our list.

 

What Montessori Toys Do You Get A 2-Year-Old?

Some ideas for Montessori toys for 2-year-olds:

  • Alphabet tracing Montessori toy
  • Balance bike
  • Balance beam
  • Balance board
  • Montessori knobbed cylinder sorter
  • Montessori number learning sets
  • Realistic cleaning set
  • Realistic safari animals
  • Realistic toys, including a toy stroller
  • Tent
  • Wooden dollhouse
  • Wooden rainbow

 

Where To Buy Montessori Toys?

There are plenty of places to find Montessori-friendly toys for your toddlers. Some examples include:

  • LOVEVERY
  • Montessori & Me
  • Heirloom Kids
  • KiwiCo 
  • Janod
  • ETSY
  • Manhattan Toys
  • The Natural Baby Company
  • HABA USA
  • The TOT 
  • Amazon

 

Montessori Gift Guides For Young Children

 

 

 

References

(1) https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/142/3/e20182058/38649/The-Power-of-Play-A-Pediatric-Role-in-Enhancing?autologincheck=redirected

 

 

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