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If kids are in your life, you know that there are countless toy options out there and the choices can be overwhelming. And sometimes it can be hard to separate the trendy toys from the meaningful ones. Ultimately, you want something that they'll love to play with again and again, and bonus points if it has educational value and a low price tag. This is where Montessori-inspired toys enter the chat. As a parent, I've heard the term "Montessori" used quite often when it came to toys, but wasn't sure what it meant, or why it was supposed to be good. But after some research, I've found that the best Montessori toys can encourage your child's natural curiosity, help them reach their developmental milestones, and support their desire for exploration. And they don't have to cost an arm and a leg.
From sensory balls that stimulate a child's touch and sight to musical instruments that can inspire creativity and rhythm, I've put together a list of Montessori-inspired toys that will spark a sense of play in babies and toddlers alike. And all of these toys align with the Montessori philosophy, meaning they may be made of natural materials, are designed to highlight a single learning concept, and promote a child's independent play. So keep on scrolling for the best deals on Montessori toys for the little one in your life.
Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone
When a child (12 months+) plays with this wooden xylophone they're not only developing their sense of creativity and rhythm, but also working their eye-hand coordination. Best of all, it's two toys in one -- play with the xylophone on it's own or use the included hammer to hit the balls so they hit notes on the xylophone.
KMTJT Shape Sorting Toy
Featuring adorable fruit blocks, carrots and worms, this wooden toy is great for kids (12 months+) to develop fine motor skills, and improve identification of colors, shapes, and fruits. Several reviewers reported that it kept their children entertained for hours (music to a caregiver's ears).
Baby Bauhaus Set, 4 Soft Objects
My five-month-old son loves this block set. Everything is super soft for sensory play, features high-contrast graphics that draw the eye, and the ball includes a sweet little chime for cause and effect learning. Plus, it comes with Montessori-inspired activities for parents.
Hape Scoot Around Ride On Wood Bike
Start to develop your 1-year-old's mobility and active motor skills with this wooden push bike. It features four rubberized wheels that won't scratch your floor and a low design for little riders. One reviewer reported, "Easy to assemble. So cute. Well constructed." And right now it's on sale for 56% off.
Ulanik Balls in Cups
This Montessori-inspired ball and cup set is fun to play with, and looks great, too. Featuring 12 wooden balls of different colors, 12 wooden sorting cups, a bowl, spoon, storage bag and a wooden tray to keep them in place, it's great for kids 12 months and older to develop their motor skills, hand-eye coordination and color recognition.
Andy Warhol Crinkle Fabric Stroller Book
Just attach this soft book to your child's stroller with the included ring and the crinkly texture can engage their tactile and auditory senses, while supporting exploration and curiosity. Plus, it features Andy Warhol artwork (for budding art lovers) and another option includes adorably animated food (for budding foodies).
Adena Montessori Object Permanence Box with Tray
Help infants as young as 6 months develop object permanence with this wooden box and tray. It includes three balls with different textures for tactile stimulation, and as a child drops the ball in the hole (which is great for eye-hand coordination), they understand that objects continue to exist even when they go out of sight.
The Senser Play Kit
If you're looking for a series of toys that can help target your child's developmental milestones, then the Lovery Play Kits are a great choice. Just enter in your child's birth date, and you'll receive a new play kit every two to three months with toys and activities that are chosen specifically for your child's age group. Featured here is the Senser Play Kit for 5 to 6-month-olds, but there are kits available for 0 to 4-year-olds.
teytoy My First Baby Tissue Box
Promote sensory play and keep little ones entertained (for hours, according to one reviewer) with this tissue box. It features crinkly pages and soft scarves for auditory and tactile exploration, plus they can pull them in and out of the box for fine motor coordination.
Lovevery Colorful Animals Wooden Book
Babies starting at four months old can start to enjoy this wooden book. It includes realistically-drawn images of a ladybug, clown fish, duckling, frog, bluebird, butterfly, squirrel, and zebra to help little ones develop language skills and provide a sensory experience. A free digital play guide is included.
What Are Montessori Toys?
Technically, there's no such thing as a "Montessori toy." However, there are toys that have been inspired by the Montessori philosophy or align with their principles. These toys are designed to highlight a single learning concept (like counting, sorting shapes, etc.), may be made of natural materials (like wood or soft wool), and will promote children to learn and play on their own. Anything that lights up or requires batteries, is probably not aligned with the Montessori philosophy.
What Are The Benefits of Montessori Toys?
Some benefits of Montessori-inspired toys are that they'll nurture a child's natural curiosity and promote a love for learning. They're educational tools, crafted with intention and purpose. The best Montessori tools will support a child's specific developmental milestones and encourage independent play. They'll also help to shape a child's understanding of the world and enhance their problem-solving abilities.
Now that you've got something for the kids, check out the perfect gifts for new moms.