The Montessori method continues to conquer parents all over the world thanks to its child-centered philosophy and its emphasis on autonomy and innate ability to learn. For this reason, in the Montessori method , exploration, manipulation and curiosity play a leading role since its objective is to give the child freedom to express her preferences and abilities while exploring the environment. In this context, Montessori games and toys play an essential role.
What distinguishes Montessori toys? The role of materials in the Montessori philosophy
In the Montessori method, games and toys have a different meaning from what we know, since they are understood as tools that develop fine motor skills and stimulate creativity, knowledge and abstract thinking. This explains why the materials of toys are especially relevant: they are used to stimulate sensations, which are essential during the first years of life to establish and reinforce the neural connections that form the basis of new learning.
From this perspective, Montessori toys are not designed solely for entertainment, but must also develop a skill or capacity in children. Its use should bring new knowledge to the little ones, awaken new sensations and help them develop cognition. Hence, Montessori toys have specific qualities that distinguish them from the rest:
- They are made mainly with natural materials such as wood, cotton, metal or glass.
- They adapt to the age of the children so that they can handle them easily.
- They have sensory qualities that awaken new emotions in the little ones.
- They have a playful aspect so that children have fun while they acquire new knowledge or skills.
- They are progressive and versatile, so that children can use them in different ways as they grow, always with a higher degree of complexity.
A Montessori toy for every age
One of the main peculiarities of Montessori toys is that they must be adapted to the evolutionary stage of children to stimulate their abilities to the maximum. However, it is worth clarifying that it is not an unalterable quality since this will depend on the development of each child and the functionalities of the toy. In any case, there are Montessori toys that have been designed with age in mind and that encourage the skills of children according to their level of maturity.
Montessori toys for babies from 0 to 6 months
During the first months of life, children begin to discover their environment mainly through touch, but they also use their feet and mouth a lot. For this reason, they have a special preference for toys that are easy to grasp and manipulate, such as balls and teethers. However, they also interact very well with visual or sound toys, such as rattles or crib mobiles.
1. Hanging Crib Rattle
It is a beautiful hanging rattle in the shape of animals with a rattle sound, perfect for attracting the baby’s attention while he is in the crib. Its black and white design is not only very cool, but also stimulates visual development by helping to focus the eyes, while its soft texture is perfect for exercising motor skills and improving grip. Without a doubt, it encourages the baby to play and discover his environment, also stimulating eye-hand coordination. It is worth noting that this rattle is made of natural cotton and is free of toxic substances and heavy metals, making it completely safe for the little ones at home.
2. Wooden balls to manipulate
The little ones at home will love this ball toy that they can easily twist and manipulate while training their gross motor skills. Its multicolored wood design is not only very cool but also draws children’s attention and stimulates their senses because it also includes a rattle. It is worth noting that the colored finish has been made based on non-toxic water.
3. Multicolored wooden rodari
It is a very versatile ecological toy that children can use for several months to develop their gross motor skills. Its wooden balls emit a tinkle with the movement that stimulates the senses of the little ones and motivates them to want to take them with their hands. And thanks to its round design, they can continue to use it as they grow, rolling it on the ground as they chase it.
4. Wooden rain stick
Its wooden design with bright colors will captivate children’s attention from the first moment. Specially designed to stimulate the senses of the little ones, it includes inside vibrant beads that emit a sound similar to that of falling raindrops, which has a calming effect on the emotions of children. Its elongated design makes it easy to grasp and allows little ones to comfortably explore the toy while developing their gross motor skills.
5. Ball of manipulable fabric
Ideal for stimulating babies’ sense of touch and gross motor skills, as well as hand-eye coordination, this ball is a great choice for little ones. Being made of fabric, it is very soft and easy to manipulate, so it encourages the exercise of hands and legs while the little ones explore their holes and bumps. In addition, it is very versatile since as the baby grows, he can play throw and catch it or roll it on the ground.
Montessori toys for babies from 6 to 12 months
At this age, children continue to discover their environment, but in a more active way since they have greater ease of movement and, in most cases, they begin to crawl. For this reason, they tend to be especially interested in toys that roll like balls and, thanks to their greater coordination, they are able to interact with more complex toys. At this stage, children tend to be especially curious, which is why they also love treasure baskets.
1. Manipulable sensory balls
Perfect for arousing curiosity in children and stimulating their gross motor skills, these sensory balls will become a great ally during the crawling stage. By having different shapes, textures and colors, they motivate the little ones to manipulate them while promoting the development of their coordination. As they can roll on the floor, they will be a great stimulus for the little ones to be encouraged to crawl.
2. Wooden treasure basket
Made of quality beech and boxwood, this collection of different pieces is essential for children who are discovering their environment. Made by hand, the lot contains pieces of different sizes and shapes that awaken the senses of the little ones, stimulate their fine motor skills and develop their hand-eye coordination.
3. Wooden musical bench
It is an ideal toy to stimulate the spatial perception and musical ear of the little ones, while training hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. It is also an excellent entertainment to develop critical and logical thinking. It works through a system of balls that, when hit with the hammer, fall on the xylophone producing a pleasant symphony. And to keep children using it as they grow, the xylophone can be removed for direct play.
4. Box shaped piggy bank
This wooden box-shaped piggy bank is an excellent option for children to learn the concept of object permanence. In addition, it is a very useful toy to train fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Its drawer system is very easy to use, so that children can retrieve the coins they put inside on their own. The game is completed by five wooden coins that the little ones can easily manipulate.
5. Tobbles Neo Stacking Balls
With these amazing stackable balls, kids can have fun trying to build a tower, knocking them down and changing their position, a perfect training for their gross and fine motor skills, as well as their hand-eye coordination. They are an ideal size so that children can hold them without difficulty and, thanks to their irregular shape, they do not slip out of the hands. Plus, they’re painted in bold colors that will immediately catch your eye.
Montessori toys for children from 1 to 3 years old
From the first year of life, children gain more autonomy as they begin to take their first steps and discover the world around them. That is why they show more interest in toys that represent reality and help them understand it, such as strollers. Likewise, toys with a certain level of complexity, such as construction games, attract their attention and, as they will begin to make their first strokes, crafts also attract their attention.
1. Wooden children’s car
This beautiful stroller is perfect for stimulating children’s gross and fine motor skills, as well as their hand-eye coordination. Made of wood, without BPA, PVC or heavy metals, it is completely safe for children, so that they can even put it in their mouths without any risk. Thanks to its hollow design, it has a good grip and is very easy to handle so that the little ones can have fun rolling it on the floor for a long time.
2. Geometric wooden stacker
With this wooden stacker, children will not only learn colors and basic geometric shapes, but also develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It is a versatile toy that tests children’s creativity as the figures can be stacked in different ways to create houses and castles or any other figure. Made of solid wood and water-based painted, it is completely safe for children because it does not contain toxic substances.
3. Wooden Tangram Puzzle
Thanks to this fun wooden puzzle, children will develop their fine motor skills, as well as their memory and logical thinking. The game comes with 12 different puzzle shapes, comes in 6 different colors and includes 10 numbers, so it’s perfect for getting kids familiar with math from an early age. And it is completely safe since it is made of wood and painted with water, so that it does not release toxic substances. In addition, the surface of each piece has been carefully polished, so that there are no chips.
4. Wooden learning tower
With this learning tower children will achieve greater autonomy and independence. Made by artisans trained in the Montessori system, it adapts to the height of the child as he grows so that he can easily access places that are difficult for him to reach, in this way they have greater freedom to use the bathroom or be in the kitchen without risks. Thanks to the fact that it is made of quality birch panels and without additives or solvents, it is a completely safe accessory for children.
5. Wooden building blocks
Made of wood, these building blocks are an ideal alternative for children to train their manual skills, improve their balance and encourage their logical development. They are also an excellent resource for them to let their imagination and creativity run wild, creating designs freely. Thanks to its translucent color detail, the little ones can create beautiful colorful designs by contrasting them on a neutral background.
Montessori toys for children from 3 to 6 years old
Although at this age it is still important to stimulate children’s motor skills through toys that train their motor skills, such as bikes without pedals, games that develop intellect and cognition are also particularly important. In fact, it is common for children from the age of three to become interested in board games and role-playing games that help them get a clearer idea of the world around them.
1. Puzzle-Wooden Board
With this wooden puzzle and its 68 magnetic shapes and numbers, children can write, draw or exercise their math skills. It includes 10 cards with different combinations so that children can represent them in the puzzle, but if they prefer they can also unleash their creativity and create other patterns. In fact, it is an excellent toy to develop fine motor skills, but also spatial memory, logical and critical thinking in the little ones at home.
2. Puzzle board with beads and toothpicks
Perfect for children to learn colors and counting, it also stimulates creativity and enhances logical thinking. In addition, it is an excellent game to promote hand-eye coordination and train manual skills and fine motor skills that, later, will help children to learn to use the spoon, tongs and chopsticks. The game consists of reproducing the drawing patterns by placing the colored basins in the corresponding holes. It is worth noting that it is made of wood and that only water-based paints, free of toxic substances, have been used in its decoration.
3. Wood cleaning utensils
This six-piece toy set gives kids all the tools they need to keep the house clean. Ideal for encouraging responsibility from an early age and encouraging role play, these utensils are an authentic miniature reproduction of the broom, mop, duster, dustpan and hand brush used by grown-ups around the home. Its design with a natural wood handle gives it extra resistance, while its support, also made of wood, allows you to always keep your utensils organized.
4. Wooden dominoes
This is an excellent toy to stimulate the development of logical thinking and math skills in children. It is also an ideal resource to teach children to manage their emotions and have the patience to wait their turn. The game consists of 28 wooden pieces on which drawings of colored animals and numbers are represented. The objective? Match the different pieces, either by their shape, number or color, until you run out of chips.
5. Bike without wooden pedals
Bicycles without pedals are an ideal alternative to stimulate balance in children and make them responsible for their own mobility, while contributing to the development of their autonomy and self-confidence. This model made of wood is not only very light and safe but also versatile as it has an intelligent design that allows it to be used as a quad as well as a tricycle or normal bike. In addition, it has an ergonomic saddle and pneumatic wheels so that the little ones feel much more comfortable.