Toys

The 18 Best Montessori Toys For Early Learning (Arranged By Your Child’s Age)

Updated on 11 minute read
montessori toys

 

What Are Considered Montessori Toys?

Common characteristics of Montessori toys:

  • Educational toys for child development
  • Made of natural materials, such as wooden toys
  • Usually plain and simple toys but beautifully made
  • Teaches one skill at a time
  • Based on the real world
  • Useful and practical
  • Designed for a certain age group
  • Independent, open-ended play

 

Why Are There No Plastic Toys In Montessori?

Founder Maria Montessori created the Montessori philosophy using materials from the real and natural world, such as wood. Plastics are synthetic materials that can’t be used in the Montessori method.

 

Montessori Classrooms & Home Playrooms

Montessori classrooms are designed to let your child learn through open-ended, independent play. You can do the same thing at home by creating play spaces with different Montessori materials. Another option is to have a Montessori shelf with different toys that you change regularly.

Still, you don’t have to use 100% Montessori materials in your child’s playroom because many Montessori-inspired toys, such as those made of silicone, can still promote open-ended learning.

 

What Montessori Toys Are Good?

Examples Of Montessori Toys For Babies

  • High-contrast mobiles or flash cards
  • Peek-a-boo toys
  • Crinkle toys
  • Wooden rattles
  • Sensory toys (such as textured balls)
  • Egg with cup
  • Play gym
  • Baby-safe mirror
  • Pop-up toys
  • Push toys and walkers
  • Board books (some are made of wood)

 

Examples Of Montessori Toys For 1-Year-Olds

  • Object permanence box
  • Stackers (such as rings or cubes)
  • Lacing or bead-stringing toys
  • Shapes on pegs
  • Busy board
  • Cylinder blocks
  • Pikler triangle or other Montessori climbing toys
  • Wooden puzzles
  • Ball drops or race tracks
  • Nesting dolls
  • Realistic doll
  • Building block sets
  • Pull toys

 

Examples of Montessori Toys for 2-Year-Olds

  • Wooden rainbow stackers
  • Balance board
  • Realistic animal figurines
  • Tent
  • Toys for practical life skills, such as gardening tools or cleaning materials
  • Musical instruments

 

Examples Of Montessori Toys For 3-Year-Olds & Preschoolers

  • Counting boards
  • Learning tower
  • Other toys for practical life skills

 

When Should I Start Montessori Toys?

You can introduce Montessori toys to newborn babies.

Here’s a gift guide to some of the best Montessori toys you can pick for your little one.

 

The 18 Best Montessori Toys (By Age Group)

The Best Montessori Toys For Babies

Heirloom Kids US Montessori Collections (0-4 months)

(source: heirloomkids.us)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Montessori play set for babies
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic flaxseed oil or beeswax for staining
  • Materials: Wood and fabric
  • Age Range: 0-4 months
  • Educational Value: Reflexive grasp, focus, and early cognitive development
  • Extra Features: Includes teether
  • Certification: CPSC (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)
  • Made In: US
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: It can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews:

These items are even nicer in person than in the pictures. My 2 month old loves the black and white cards.” – reviewer on ETSY

Cute gift set, overpriced.” – reviewer on ETSY

 

Manhattan Toy Natural Classic Baby Beads (3+ months)

(source: manhattantoy.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Wood beads that can be manipulated into different configurations
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic, water-based finishes
  • Materials: Wood
  • Age Range: 3+ months
  • Educational Value: Sensory stimulation and fine motor skills
  • Extra Features: Elastic cord holds the wooden beads together
  • Certification: EN71 (European toy standard) and CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) safety regulations
  • Made In: China, Vietnam, or Thailand
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Requires adult supervision to avoid getting your baby’s fingers stuck or tangled with the strings
  • Customer Reviews:

This is a great toy, for babies, kids, or adults. Really fascinating and intriguing.” – reviewer on Manhattan Toys

After reading such positive reviews, I bought this for my baby for Christmas, now 8 months old and with teeth currently coming through, he still isn’t interested in this toy and neither is my 2-year-old.” – reviewer on Target

 

Plan Toys Roller (6+ months)

(source: plantoys.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Wooden roller toy
  • Product Safety: Organic pigments, formaldehyde-free glue, and water-based dyes
  • Materials: Chemical-free rubberwood
  • Age Range: 6+ months
  • Educational Value: Auditory and sight stimulation, tactile, and fine motor skills
  • Extra Features: Can also be used as a rattle
  • Certification: ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and EN71
  • Made In: Thailand
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Some complaints about the size
  • Customer Reviews:

Easy take-along take along toy for tummy time.” – reviewer on Amazon

This thing is tiiiiiny.” – reviewer on Amazon

 

Essential Montessori Egg With Cup (8-9 months)

(source: etsy.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Egg and peg with cup set
  • Product Safety: Child-safe finish
  • Materials: Wood, olive oil, and beeswax
  • Age Range: 8-9 months
  • Educational Value: Logical thinking
  • Extra Features: Comes in a set
  • Certification: Not indicated
  • Made In: Worcester, MA
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Some complaints about the design
  • Customer Reviews:

Just as pictured! The egg and cup are perfect for my 8 month old to explore.” – reviewer on ETSY

I wish the egg fit into the cup a bit better, it just rests on top, not really in.” – reviewer on ETSY

 

The Best Montessori Toys For Toddlers

The Best Montessori Toys For 1-Year-Olds

Montessori & Me Ball Tracker (1-2 years old)
(source: montessoriandme.us)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Open-rail, large ball tracker
  • Product Safety: 100% non-toxic and safe
  • Materials: Natural, sustainably sourced wood
  • Age Range: 1-2 years
  • Educational Value: Coordination, fine and gross motor planning, problem-solving, logical thinking, and concentration
  • Extra Features: Large, colorful balls
  • Certification: Not indicated
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews: None yet

 

U+ME Kids Gardening Set (toddlers and older)
(source: ume-eco.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Kid-sized gardening tools
  • Product Safety: Smooth, sturdy handles with safety edges on the metal parts
  • Materials: Wood and metal
  • Age Range: Toddlers and older
  • Educational Value: Practical life skills and motor skill development
  • Extra Features: Includes a fabric tote bag organizer
  • Certification: Rigorous third-party lab testing
  • Made In: China
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Some complaints about the gardening tools being too small
  • Customer Reviews:

Seriously amazing little STEM/Montessori set of gardening tools. It’s like LL Bean gardening tools for a toddler. My almost 2 year old used them to help plant our veggie garden and waters the plants wither the pitcher. The canvas bag is so sturdy and cute.” – reviewer on Amazon

Purchased for my 4 year old grand child. I appreciated the green aspect of this purchase, and the set is very cute. But it was smaller than I hoped for, it needed something extra, I added a kids book about gardening.” – reviewer on Amazon

 

HABA Rainbow Ring Wooden Baby Fidget Toy (6-18 months)
(source: habausa.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Montessori-inspired rainbow ring clutching toy
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic water-based stain
  • Materials: Solid wood and elastic band
  • Age Range: 6-18 months
  • Educational Value: Fine motor skills
  • Extra Features: Changes to different configurations
  • Certification: PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification)
  • Made In: Germany
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Some complaints about quality
  • Customer Reviews:

Colorful, well made, attractive to the infant, will last through year 5 I think.” – reviewer on HABA USA

Pink Color loss after putting in mouth by a 6-month old baby.” – reviewer on HABA USA

 

LOVEVERY Block Set (18+ months)
(source: lovevery.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: 70-piece building block set with different sizes and shapes
  • Product Safety: Free from heavy metals and phthalates
  • Materials: Wooden blocks and strings
  • Age Range: 18 to 48 months or older
  • Educational Value: Montessori activities, imaginative play, fine motor skills, and learning STEM concepts like force, gravity, and velocity
  • Extra Features: Includes threading block pieces for making a toy wagon
  • Certification: Meets global regulatory safety standards
  • Made In: Suppliers in Asia (specific countries not indicated)
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews:

The block set is well made, super colorful with plenty of options for play. I do feel it’s pretty pricey for a wood toy set, but I’m sure we will use it for years to come…. unless we lose the pieces.” – 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

 

The Best Montessori Toys For 2-Year-Olds

Learning Resources Jumbo Jungle Animals (18+ months)
(source: learningresources.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Montessori-inspired realistic toy animal figures
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic 
  • Materials: Durable, non-toxic plastic
  • Age Range: 18+ months
  • Educational Value: STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) 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:

I really love the size of these animals compared to other toy animals! My children love to play with them. I would say they’re pretty durable, other than me having to glue one back together but that was only after a year of play. I haven’t had any problems since, they’re still a well loved set of toys in my house.” – reviewer on Amazon

I really wanted to like these! They looked great in the photos. They are just not good quality… There are big blobs of glue where the front and back halves join, and the horse barely stands up straight. It more often than not falls over sideways. They also smell really chemically. They do really look like the animals they represent, though. Just badly done.” – reviewer on Amazon

 

Guidecraft Screw Block (2+ years old)
(source: guidecraft.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Wooden screw block set
  • Product Safety: Lead-free and non-toxic
  • Materials: Rubberwood
  • Age Range: 2+ years old
  • Educational Value: Color matching and fine motor skills
  • Extra Features: Includes nylon interior rings to keep the screws in place
  • Certification: Passes rigorous tests 
  • Made In: Thailand
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Some complaints about the screws being too difficult to remove and the included screwdriver being awkward to use
  • Customer Reviews:

My 2 year old loves playing with this and enjoys trying to turn the screws. She loves using the screwdriver (it came attached to the block already and pulls out with ease) it’s fun and gets her brain working. Sturdy and Montessori approved!” – reviewer on Amazon

Not very impressed. I bought this for my 1.5 year old but it was too difficult for him to screw in. He’s very mechanically oriented but catched the threads proved difficult and he did not enjoy this.” – reviewer on Amazon

 

LOVEVERY The Enthusiast Play Kit (28-30 months)
(source: lovevery.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Montessori play kit for pattern recognition and spatial understanding
  • Product Safety: Free from heavy metals (lead) and phthalates
  • Materials: Wood, stainless steel, cardboard, and other child-safe materials
  • Age Range: 28-30 months
  • Educational Value: Early STEM learning, fine motor skills, learning basic shapes, peg-style shape sorter, and practical life skills
  • Extra Features: Includes a baby book and learning guide
  • Certification: Meets global regulatory safety standards
  • Made In: Asia
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews:

I had been skeptical about spending the money on toys but it is completely worth it! Our little man loves it and is learning so much. We plan to homeschool and many of the items will be able to be used for that as well.” – reviewer on LOVEVERY

I am extremely disappointed with the offering of the last kit that came our way. At 120usd for the kit plus courier it was almost 200$ yet what were inside the kit were neither creative nor different from what can easily be bought outside!! And if I were to buy each item individually it wld be way below the Kit’s price. In the past we got more wooden toys so I was okay becos wooden toys are expensive. But now we get MORE PLASTIC, even cardboard craft kits (less than 10$ for 1!) The quality of the last 2 kits are so disappointing and overcharged. I hope Lovevery will return to truly designing their toys and not be a copycats anymore.” – reviewer on LOVEVERY

 

The Best Montessori Preschool Toys

Avenlur Desk and Chair Attachment to the Hazel Pikler Triangle (1+ years)

(source: avenlur.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Foldable, easy-assemble extension set that can be used for the Avenlur Pikler triangle (Hazel)
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic BPA-free varnish; DCA-free (dichloroacetic acid)
  • Materials: New Zealand pine wood
  • Age Range: Not indicated but can be ideal for preschoolers (3-5-year-olds); the Pikler triangle set (without the table extension) is rated for 1+ years old
  • Educational Value: Strength, gross motor skills, balance control, hand-eye coordination, and creativity
  • Extra Features: Reversible rocker and arch plus slide and rock wall 
  • Certification: ASTM and CPSIA
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews: None yet

 

Q TOYS Natural Counting Board (3+ years old)

(source: thetot.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Natural counting board for learning numbers
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic dyes and inks, no added formaldehyde, no known harmful phthalates, and lead-safe
  • Materials: Sustainably-sourced plantation timber
  • Age Range: 3+ years old
  • Educational Value: Counting and math skills
  • Extra Features: Tray in the middle of the board for storing the counting balls
  • Certification: Strictest global safety standards
  • Made In: Not indicated; Australian-based company (ships to the US and is available on Amazon)
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Doesn’t include the wooden balls (but it can still be used without them)
  • Customer Reviews: None yet

 

Lewo Wooden Rainbow Stacker (3+ years old)

(source: lewotoy.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Giant-sized rainbow stacker for little hands
  • Product Safety: Non-toxic wood with child-safe, water-based paint
  • Materials: Wood
  • Age Range: 3+ years old
  • Educational Value: Early engineering, problem-solving, gross motor skills, pretend play, creativity, size and shape recognition, and logical thinking
  • Extra Features: Includes six different stacking pieces
  • Certification: ASTM and CPSIA
  • Made In: China
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Some complaints about quality
  • Customer Reviews:

 

This quickly became a favorite toy for my toddler. The pieces are thicker and sturdier than I would have imagined and it has been fun watching my toddler find different ways to play with the pieces. Would definitely recommend.” – reviewer on Amazon

Waste of money. I ordered this rainbow stacker in the hopes that it would be similar to the Grimm’s rainbow stacker. It sucked. The pieces of wood are not carved properly for stacking and the wood is painted not stained so they are slick and slide when you try to stack them. The pieces are too heavy. Spend the extra money on the Grimm’s rainbow. It’s well worth it. And yes this brand is made in China from who knows what. It looks cute but not fun to play with. You have been warned.” – reviewer on Amazon

 

The Best Montessori Toys & Practical Equipment For Big Kids

Piccalio Surfer Wooden Montessori Balance Board (12 months to 8 years)

(source: amazon.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Versatile balance board and rocker
  • Product Safety: Free from toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, lead, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
  • Materials: Wood
  • Age Range: 6 months to 6 years; up to 132 lbs
  • Educational Value: Gross motor skills, grip strength, imaginative play, independent play, and self-confidence
  • Extra Features: Folds up for easy storage
  • Certification: FSC certified (Forest Stewardship Council), Prop65 (California Proposition 65 for cancer-causing chemicals), ASTM, and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration)
  • Made In: Designed in Venice Beach, California; built in small factories in Asia and Europe
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be pricey
  • Customer Reviews:

Such a fun toy, children love it! The board is very sturdy and adults can use it too which is great. Wood is beautiful and very high quality.” – reviewer on Piccalio

This is well made, but is hardly protected during shipping and came damaged bc of it.” – reviewer on Piccalio

 

Little Partners Learning Tower (2-6 years old)

(source: minilandgroup.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Adjustable step stool for helping in the kitchen
  • Product Safety: Child-safe, non-toxic paint; free from heavy metals (lead) and phthalates
  • Materials: Wood
  • Age Range: 2-6 years old
  • Educational Value: Practical, hands-on learning
  • Extra Features: Adjustable height
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Can be bulky; some complaints about possible safety issues
  • Customer Reviews:

This is such a beautiful, sturdy, safe learning tower! My toddler LOVES it and so do I. We use it all the time. It is absolutely worth the money.” – reviewer on Amazon

Terrible chemical smell!!! Major off gassing! All over my son’s hands just from standing in it for 5 minutes. When my husband opened the box we both covered our faces the smell was so strong. For a “natural wood” product being hyped as “the safest way to raise a child” with “non toxic” varnish this cannot possible be 100% natural. Something on/in this thing is just wrong. And it’s definitely made in China per the box, although it seems they go out of their way to hide that information.” – reviewer on Amazon

 

Manhattan Toy Decorative 5-Piece Wooden Pretend Housekeeping Cleaning Set (3+ years)

(source: manhattantoy.com)

 

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

 

MerryHeartWoodenToy Wooden Rainbow Multiplication Board (older kids)

(source: etsy.com)

 

  • Pros & Best Features: Wooden multiplication board and block set
  • Product Safety: Water-based paint
  • Materials: Beechwood
  • Age Range: Older kids (grade school) learning multiplication
  • Educational Value: Math skills
  • Extra Features: Colorful and coordinated blocks
  • Certification: Not indicated
  • Made In: Not indicated
  • Product Recall: None
  • Cons: Some complaints about the size
  • Customer Reviews:

Super clever and beautiful. Our 6 year old has been wanting a multiplication table and of course loves it!” – reviewer on ETSY

The color are really nice but the size of the board is too small.” – reviewer on ETSY

 

Where To Buy The Best Montessori Toys

Some places to buy Montessori materials and toys:

  • LOVEVERY
  • Montessori & Me
  • ETSY
  • Amazon
  • Manhattan Toys
  • Heirloom Kids
  • HABA USA
  • Learning Resources
  • Plan Toys
  • Little Partners

 

Other Montessori Toys

 

 

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