Montessori Toys For Babies, Toddlers & Big Kids – Tot Gift Guide

Looking for an educational toy for your little one? Early Learning Educator, Christina Clemer, shares her list of the best Montessori toys for kids of all ages – babies, toddlers, and big kids.

Child playing with Montessori wooden blocks

Did you know that Montessori is so much more than just a type of school? For some, it’s also a way of life.

The Montessori school philosophy, created by Maria Montessori, focuses on how to best support a child’s independence and learning in preparation for life. A big part of this philosophy centers on creating a beautiful environment full of well-made objects that will spark a child’s desire to learn.

There are many ways for parents and caregivers to create the same environment at home that helps to encourage independence right from the beginning.

In this guide, I’ll go over:

  • What Montessori toys are
  • The best types of Montessori toys for babies, toddlers & kids
  • My favorite Montessori inspired gift picks

Scroll down to learn more!

 

What are Montessori Toys?

Montessori toys are designed to help parents and educators use the Montessori Method.

 

What is the Montessori Method?

Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was one of the first women in Italy to be granted a diploma as a physician. She devoted her life to studying the physical, social, cognitive and emotional development of children around the world. From her observations, she developed the Montessori Method of education, which encourages natural curiosity, self-directed activity and hands-on learning in a supportive, nurturing environment. Her method has been used around the world for over 100 years.

 

What makes a toy fall into the Montessori category?

  • It is made with natural materials.
  • It allows for open ended play.
  • It has simple features. (Avoid flashing lights and sounds.)
  • It demonstrates control of error. (e.g. a puzzle)

 

Essentially, Montessori toys are any type of toy or material that encourages curiosity and learning in children — an integral part of child development.

 

The Best Montessori Toys For Babies

The best Montessori baby toys are simple with a calm aesthetic. They are designed to ignite a baby’s curiosity without overwhelming them.

Here are a few examples:

Scroll down to see my product picks for each.

 

The Tot Play & Learn Sets

 

Designed to help your baby reach important developmental milestones, The Tot Play & Learn Sets come with a booklet of activities, advice and tips! They also include six toys that can be played with in a variety of ways!

 

 

Play & Learn Bundle 0-3m

 

The Tot Play & Learn Set 0 – 3 Months

 

$120

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The Tot Play & Learn Set 3-6 months

 

The Tot Play & Learn Set 3 – 6 Months

 

$120

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The Tot Play & Learn Set 6-12 months

 

The Tot Play & Learn Set 6 – 12 Months

 

$120

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The Tot Play & Learn Set 12-18 months

 

The Tot Play & Learn Set 12 – 18 Months

 

$150

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The Tot Play & Learn Set 18-24 months

The Tot Play & Learn Set 18 – 24 Months

 

$120

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Wee Gallery Explore Organic Playmat

 

Playmats are a soft and safe place for babies to practice tummy time or simply play. Made from organic cotton, which is farmed without the use of chemicals like pesticides, the Wee Gallery Explore Organic Playmat takes the educational fun further with high contrast black and white illustrations which will help strengthen your tot’s eyesight.

 

Wee Gallery Safari Explore Playmat

 

Wee Gallery Explore Organic Playmat

 

$89.95

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Lovevery Play Gym

 

Lovevery Play Gym

 

So many activity gyms are completely overstimulating, crowded with different toys and bright colors that overexcite.

The Lovevery Play Gym presents a more calming alternative that grows with your child. It includes everything you need – from batting to teething to learning to focus – for your baby’s first year of play.

The best part: it transitions into a toddler tent!

 

Lovevery Play Gym

 

Lovevery Play Gym

 

Lovevery Play Gym

 

$140

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Montessori Infant Activity Gym 

 

Created by mother and Montessori teacher Zahra Kassam, this kit was specially designed for infants 0-3 months old. The materials in Monti Kids Level 1 nurture your child’s visual skills, motor development, concentration, physical coordination, body awareness, and strength right from birth.

With this gym, you can continue the lessons from the Montessori classroom in your own home. A great bonus? It’s crafted from natural materials, including sustainably forested wood and non-toxic paint.

 

Monti Kids Play Gym with Add-Ons

Monti Kids Level 1 Activity Gym

 

$297

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Lily & River Birch Wood Climber

 

Lily & River Birch Climber White Ladder

 

Lily & River’s minimalist triangular climbing structure was designed to encourage babies and toddlers to gain confidence, stability and strength at their own pace by using their natural instinct to climb.

Available in both birch and bamboo woods, Lily & River climbers allow you to add a ramp or climbing wall for added fun!

 

 

Lily & River Climber Natural Rockwall

 

Lily & River Birch Wood Climber

 

Ranging from $350 to 533.95

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Available in more colors

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Lily & River Bamboo Climber Rockwall

 

Lily & River Bamboo Wood Climber

 

Ranging from $449.95 to $633.95

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Bajo Baby Walker

 

A boy pushing the Bajo Baby Walker

 

The Bajo Baby Walker is just the thing babies need to get steady on their feet! The best part: it transitions into a wagon meaning it’s something that will be played with for years, not months.

 

Bajo Baby Walker

 

Bajo Baby Walker

 

$175

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by ASTRUP Ball Pounding Toy

 

When it comes to honing hand-eye coordination, kids love the classic ball pounding game from by Astrup! Made of FSC-certified Teawood and plywood, it’s a must-have for demonstrating cause and effect.

 

by ASTRUP Ball Pounding Toy

 

$37

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The Best Montessori Toys For Toddlers

When a child hits toddlerhood, they’re in an intense period of gross motor skill and language development, and they feel a need for order in their world. You’ll want to choose toys that will help them to master these new skills.

Here are the top Montessori toys for toddlers:

Learn more about these gift ideas for preschoolers below.

 

 

The Monarch Studio Outdoor/Indoor Double Sink Mud Kitchen

 

 

The Double Sink Mud Kitchen from The Monarch Studio allows kids engage in sensory play both indoors and out!

 

The Monarch Studio Outdoor/Indoor Double Sink Mud Kitchen

 

The Monarch Studio Outdoor/Indoor Double Sink Mud Kitchen

 

$520

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Lily & River Little Steps

 

Lily & River Little Steps

 

Lily & River’s Little Steps make playing ‘Don’t Touch the Hot Lava’ even more fun! Great for teaching colors and coordination, they’re made from premium, FSC-certified hardwood and have a non-toxic, VOC-free finish.

 

 

Lily & River Little Steps

Lily & River Little Steps

 

$99.95

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The Tot Play & Learn Sets

 

As your tot gets more advanced, so do The Tot Play & Learn Sets. Now that we’ve mastered milestones like reaching and grasping, it’s time to work on shapes, cause and effects, colors and more!

 

 

The Tot Play & Learn Set 2- 3 years

 

The Tot Play & Learn Sets 2 -3 years

 

$150

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The Tot Play & Learn Set 2- 3 years

The Tot Play & Learn Set 3 – 4 Years

 

$150

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Rock Blocks Building Blocks

 

Rock Blocks Terra Set of 16 FW19

 

Blocks are one of the best gifts you can give a toddler because they encourage creativity, problem solving skills and dexterity and they will play with them for years to come.

These wooden blocks from Rock Blocks are particularly beautiful. They are made from a variety of wood and just the right size for little hands.

Rock Blocks

Rock Blocks Terra Set of 16

 

$64

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PlanToys Water Blocks

 

PlanToys Water Blocks

 

PlanToys makes classic block play even more engaging with their water blocks! Fun to stack and look through, they’re a great way to hone hand-eye coordination and teach kids about colors and shapes.

 

PlanToys Water Blocks

 

PlanToys Water Blocks

$50

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Raduga Grez Sand Small Arch Stacker

 

Raduga Graz Sand Stacker AW19

 

Fun to stack and nest on its own, the Raduga Grez Sand Small Arch Stacker can also be used to set the scene for loads of imaginative play!

 

Raduga Grez Small Arch Stacker

 

Raduga Grez Sand Small Arch Stacker

$30

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Banwood First Go! Balance Bike

 

Banwood Bikes First Go Balance Bike Coral and Sky Lifestyle Image

 

A balance bike challenges toddlers’ coordination and gross motor skills and can be a great way for your budding cyclist to join in on a family ride. You can purchase a helmet here.

 

Banwood Bikes First Go Balance Bike Sky

Banwood Bikes First Go! Balance Bike

 

$189

Available in more colors

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Small Foot Premium Nordic Toolbox

 

The Small Foot Premium Nordic Toolbox is fabulous for strengthening fine motor skills, honing hand-eye coordination and arming kids with the tools they need to develop important life skills and independence.

 

Small Foot Premium Nordic Toolbox

Small Foot Premium Nordic Toolbox

 

$54.99

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Balu Organics Indoor Ball Pit

 

Balu Organics Medium Ball Pit - Grey

 

The fun thing about the Balu Organic Ball Pit is that it can be used from birth as a soft place to do tummy time, learn to sit up or play. Once strong enough, throw the balls in and that’s where the active and/or imaginative play begins!

 

 

Little boy playing in a grey Balu Organics ball pit

 

Balu Organics Large Premium Ball Pit w/ 400 Balls

 

$289

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Lily & River Little Gymnast

 

Lily & River Little Gymnast

 

If you know a kid who loves building obstacle courses, then you’re going to want to get them the Lily & River Little Gymnast! Fun to play on solo or with friends, it’s great for encouraging balancing and critical thinking.

 

Lily & River Little Gymnast

 

Lily & River Little Gymnast Balance Beam

 

$129.95

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PlanToys Washing Machine

 

Household role play toys like the PlanToys Washing Machine are important because they help children gain life skills and independence! (They also make playing “House” way more realistic!!

PlanToys Washing Machine

 

PlanToys Washing Machine

 

$190

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Milton & Goose Play Kitchen + Food Toys

 

Milton & Goose Essential Play Kitchen White

 

Play kitchen and food toys are one of the best ways to expand a child’s vocabulary, encourage independence and establish healthy eating habits. They’re also a fun way to develop social skills.

Milton & Goose Essential Play Kitchen - Natural

 

Milton & Goose Essential Play Kitchen – Natural

 

$649

Available in more colors and configurations

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Milton and Goose Veggie Set

 

Milton & Goose Veggies Play Food Set

 

$58

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Small Foot Play Cash Register

 

If you’re looking for ways to teach your kids the fundamentals of finance and strengthen their numeracy skills, The Small Foot Play Cash Register is just the thing for play-based learning.

Small Foot Play Cash Register

 

Small Foot Play Cash Register

 

$29.99

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by ASTRUP Shapes Stacking Tower

 

Made of FSC-certified Beechwood, plywood, and Teawood, the by ASTRUP Shapes and Stacking Tower set includes 25 shapes and 6 activity cards that help children develop cognitive skills, concentration, memory, problem-solving, recognition, coordination, and imagination.

 

 

by ASTRUP Shapes Stacking Tower

 

$52

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Q Toys Solar System Wooden Puzzle

 

This truly heirloom quality solar system puzzle from Q Toys is a fun way to teach kids the names of planets and Earth’s proximity.

 

Q Toys Solar System Puzzle

 

Q Toys Solar System Puzzle

 

$69.99

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Franklin + Emily Toddler Tower

 

Franklin + Emily Toddler Tower

 

Once your tot is ready to take on a real kitchen, having the Franklin + Emily Toddler Tower on hand will be just the thing they need to help you wash fruit, vegetables or stir a delicious bowl of cookie dough!

 

 

Franklin + Emily Toddler Tower

 

Franklin + Emily Toddler Tower

 

$185

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The Best Montessori Toys For Kids

Montessori-friendly toys for young children should encourage creativity and exploration while helping them to learn about the real world and how to engage in it.

Here are my top Montessori picks for your growing child:

Shop these toys below.

 

 

Milton & Goose Hudson Dollhouse

 

Milton & Goose Hudson Dollhouse

 

Doll play with the Milton & Goose Hudson Dollhouse is one way kids can practice manners, work through emotions, think critically and ultimately develop a sense of self!

Milton & Goose Hudson Dollhouse

 

Milton & Goose Hudson Dollhouse

 

$349

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Q Toys Vehicle Play Set

 

Q Toys Vehicle Play Set

 

For lovers of things that go, the Q Toys Vehicle Play Set has everything they need to get on the road. The solid and sustainably-sourced plantation timber set includes:

  • 7 x different vehicles
  • 1 x bumpgate
  • 2 x traffic signs
  • 1 x bridge
  • 1 x storage box

 

Q Toys Vehicle Play Set

 

Q Toys Vehicle Play Set

 

$56.99

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Guidecraft Roadway System

 

Guidecraft Roadway System

 

The easy to clip together 42 piece roadway set from Guidecraft enables kids to hone their hand-eye coordination while exploring the development of social skills, dramatic play, construction, and engineering!

Guidecraft Roadway System

Guidecraft Roadway System

 

$79.95

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Luke’s Tot Factory Educational Truck – 4 Pack

 

Luke's Toys Educational Truck 4 Pack

 

Made in the USA from 30% sawdust and 70% safe, certified, clean plastic, Luke Toy Factory’s trucks are fun both inside and out!

Luke's Toys Educational Truck 4 Pack

 

Luke’s Toy Factory Educational Truck – 4 Pack

 

$69.95

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The Tot Play & Learn Sets

 

From the age of four, many kids are at preschool or gearing up for a more formal education.

As an advocate of play-based learning, I worked with The Tot to create these play and learn sets fro 4 to 6 year olds. Designed with a focus on developing literacy, numeracy, science and life skills, they come with a booklet packed with activities, advice and tips!

 

The Tot Play & Learn Set 4- 5 years

 

The Tot Play & Learn Set 4 – 5 Years

 

$150

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The Tot Play & Learn Set 5 - 6 years

 

The Tot Play & Learn Set 5 – 6 Years

 

$100

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Moon Picnic My Weather Station

 

Moon Picnic My Weather Station Toy

 

The Moon Picnic My Weather Stations allows kids to expand their vocabulary while learning all about the weather. By making it part of your tot’s daily routine, it can aid in helping them choose weather-appropriate clothing, which encourages independence.

 

Moon Picnic My Weather Station Toy

 

Moon Picnic My Weather Station

 

$57

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by ASTRUP Shapes and Fraction Game

 

Looking for a fun way to introduce the concept of fractions while honing hand-eye coordination? The by ASTRUP Shapes and Fraction Game is the answer. Made of FSC-certified Teawood and plywood, this 20 piece set is great for developing cognitive skills, concentration, memory, problem solving, number recognition, and understanding quantities.

 

by ASTRUP Shapes and Fractions Game

 

$37

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Make Me Iconic Role Play Sets

 

Make Me Iconic Dentist Kit

 

Make Me Iconic Role Play sets are made from high quality wood and child-safe paints. Sure to be heirloom toys passed on from generation to generation, your children will love learning about their bodies, health and empathy!

 

Make Me Iconic Surgeon/Pharmacist Kit

 

Make Me Iconic Surgeon/Pharmacist Kit

 

$64.99

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Make Me Iconic Dentist Kit

 

Make Me Iconic Dentist Kit

 

$64.99

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Make Me Iconic Doctor Kit

 

Make Me Iconic Doctor Kit

 

$64.99

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Make Me Iconic Doll Accessories

 

Make Me Iconic Doll Accessories Kit

 

$79.99

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Wobbel Balance Board

 

The Wobbel - with felt

 

The Wobbel gives children an outlet for their boundless energy even on the coldest winter days. Not only is it fun, but it also helps children develop balance and strong muscles.This versatile wooden toy is great for babies and toddlers too!

Wobbel Original Board

 

Wobbel The Original

 

$149

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Lovevery Play Gym

Wobbel Original with Felt

 

$189

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Guidecraft Hollow Blocks

 

Guidecraft Outdoor Hollow Blocks

 

Block play will be at a whole new level (literally) with Guidecraft’s Hollow Blocks! While they offer the same developmental benefits of classic block play, they can also act as a set for imaginative play!

Guidecraft Hollow Blocks

 

Guidecraft Indoor Wooden Hollow Blocks

$199.95

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Guidecraft Outdoor Hollow Blocks

 

Guidecraft Outdoor Wooden Hollow Blocks

$999.95

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Kid Made Modern Craft Library

 

While it may not look as cute as a perfectly planned Pinterest activity, creating a work of art from open-ended art supplies gives children an entirely different experience. Let your kid lead the way with this set of materials that will inspire creativity and hours of child-led art exploration.

Kid Made Modern Arts & Crafts Library

Kid Made Modern Arts & Crafts Library

 

$39.99

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Twee Sidewalk Chalk

 

Take the fun outside with Twee Sidewalk Chalk! From creating a hopscotch course to free-styling a masterpiece to writing a welcome home message to Mom, kids will love the uniquely shaped chalk!

Twee Dragon Egg and Scales Sidewalk Chalk

 

Twee Dragon Egg and Scales Sidewalk Chalk

 

$45

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TWEE Boxed Planets Chalk

 

Twee Mason’s Planets Sidewalk Chalk

 

$39

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Dough Parlour Non-Toxic Scented Play Dough 

 

Dough Parlour Garden Set

 

Handmade in small batches, Dough Parlour’s non-toxic scented play dough is the ultimate sensory experience for kids! Available in a range of sets and scents, it’s both a calming and creative activity.

Dough Parlour 3 Pack Set - Fruit

 

Dough Parlour Citrus Set – 3 Pack

 

$22

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Dough Parlour 3 Pack Set - Fruit

 

Dough Parlour Fruit Set – 3 Pack

 

$22

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Dough Parlour Collectors Set

 

Dough Parlour Collector Set

 

$80

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Babai Play Tent

 

Children love hideaways — a cozy nook that’s just for them. This teepee makes a perfect spot to keep a few beautiful picture books that encourage a love of reading.

 

Babai Play Tent Beige

Babai Play Tent

 

$129.99

Available in more colors

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Modular Robotics Sets

 

Montessori is all about hands-on learning and this robotics discovery set lets children experience just that. It encourages problem solving and critical thinking while providing a foundation for basic coding skills.

 

Modular Robotics Discovery Set

Modular Robotics Discovery Set

 

$139.95

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Modular Robotics Curiosity Set in box

Modular Robotics Curiosity Set

 

$249

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BabyNoise Instruments

 

Musical play is important for developing rhythm and coordination. It can also be calming, empowering and all sorts of fun! I love these options from BabyNoise & Green Tones because they’re made of child-safe wood and non-toxic finishes.

 

 

Baby Noise Band In a Bag - All instruments

BabyNoise Musical Trio Set

 

$75

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Babynoise Hand Held Drum

 

BabyNoise Hand Held Drum

 

$32

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BabyNoise Rattan Double Maraca

BabyNoise Rattan Double Maraca

 

$32

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Green Tones Melody Glockenspiel

 

Green Tones Melody Glockenspiel

 

$40

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