Best Montessori Toys for Kid’s Development, From Birth to 3 Years Old

Best Montessori Toys for Kid’s Development, From Birth to 3 Years Old

A study suggests that Montessori toys may be better for kids' development than traditional ones. This article will help you choose the best Montessori toys for your kid’s development, and explain the reasons behind each type of toy.

How Do Montessori Toys for Kids Differ From Other Toys

Montessori toys are named after Dr. Maria Montessori, the Italian physician and creator of a teaching technique with the same name. Her technique is a system that aims to develop a child’s natural interests and activities, instead of forcing a kid through a formal system.

In a Montessori classroom, children themselves choose what to play and rotate between different toy stations. For example, one toddler might be making a tower from blocks, while just a bit away an older child is mixing colors, and further again, another one learns to sew a button.

Dr. Montessori herself never created toys, only papers for teaching in class. However, the toys that bear her name are things that are firmly based on the principles of Montessori.

The important thing is to choose toys that are appropriate for a child’s age, encourage development, and where possible - natural.

What Montessori Toys Are Best for Kids Development

Montessori toys are usually made from natural wood and have a simple design. This type of toy is based on what exists in reality and is operated completely by a child - no blinking or talking, no anthropomorphic animals, no cartoon characters or automated flying helicopters.

The creator of the Montessori method spoke a lot about the potential of children, and their ability to learn and develop during the first years of life:

  • When the baby is just born, they see high contrast only and can’t change focus
  • At about 6 months, they are practicing grasp and release.
  •  18 months old child can generally walk and climb some obstacles.
  •  By 3 years, the child would be able to walk up the stairs, kick a ball, handle buttons, bottle tops. They would be interested in   self-care like dressing themselves and using a potty.

The Montessori method makes emphasis on “follow a child”, and assumes that every child is unique (including the timing when they learn to crawl, turn, walk, and so on). There are guidelines to guide the parents through the developmental stages and recommended Montessori materials to assist, but most important thing is to prepare a place where the child can explore and develop at his or her own pace.

Here is what every growth stage is about and what type of Montessori toys can help develop it.

Best Montessori Toys for Babies From Birth to 6 Months Old

Babies of this age are interested in exploring sight, sound, and touch. Near 6 months, they start learning to grasp and release with their hands.

Some of the activities they enjoy are:

  •  Watching and following slowly moving mobiles in contrasting colors.
  •  Free movement on the back or tummy.
  •  Observing the world and categorizing the objects around.
  •  Grasping materials.
  •  Listening to people singing.
  •  Drinking water from a cup.
  •  Materials on the shelf start attracting interest.

It is best to choose simple, natural, and functional Montessori toys for babies between 0 to 6 months old.

  •  Movement mat.
  •  Mobiles, starting from a Munari mobile (Montessori mobiles come in a specific order with the purpose of developing an infant's senses and concentration).
  •  Rattles.
  •  A separate zone in the house that is dedicated to the child.
  •  Shelf with a few toys for motivation.
  •  Interlocking disks.
  •  Nursing pillow for support.
  •  Teething ball.
  •  Kicking ball.
  •  Books.
  •  A cup.

Best Montessori Toys for Children 6-12 Months Old

Between 6 and 12 months old, children get curious about how things work. They start developing mobility - crawling, learning to walk - coordination, manipulative and fine motor skills.

The activities a child between 6-12 months can do and enjoy are:

  •  Start self-feed and sitting at the weaning table.
  •  Teething.
  •  Enjoy things that roll and object permanence materials.
  •  Like to pull on things, climb stairs.
  •  Would push things in order to get somewhere.
  •  Like things that open and close up close.
Kids at this age still put things into their mouths, so toys need to be safe from swallowing. Best Montessori toys for kids 6-12 months old:
  •  Basket of balls.
  •  Object permanence box.
  •  Ring on a peg.
  •  Pickler triangle.
  •  Walker wagon.
  •  Ball tracker.
  •  Rings on a rocking base

Best Montessori Toys for Kids 12-18 Months Old

Between 12 and 18 months, a child likes to test things out. They begin to copy the actions of adults. They play mostly alone but prefer to be somewhere close to adults.

  • Learn to dress with minimal assistance.
  • Interested in simple and practical life actions.
  • Can open containers with keys, walk up and down the stairs.
  • Enjoy posting toys and pegging materials.
  • Can brush their hair, teeth, wipe the nose.
  • Match objects with pictures.

Best Montessori toys for children 12-18 months old:

  • Basket of rings on a peg.
  • Toddler wardrobe.
  • Coin box.
  • Objects to sort and categorize.
  • Containers to open and close.
  • Self-care area.
  • Small watering can or a pitcher for watering plants.

Best Montessori Toys for Kids From 18-24 Months Old

18-24 months old children enjoy manipulating things, testing everything, and expressing their personality. They imitate more of adults’ behavior and explore.

The children would still play in parallel with other kids rather than together with them, but they already become more aware and pay more attention to their surroundings.

  • They practice and refine their hand movements.
  • Like to climb, run, carry things around.
  • Start to seek repetition, order, and routine.


  • Washing vegetables and fruits.
  • Washing dishes.
  • Organizing, placing and unloading dishes, cups, and utensils.
  • Pouring juice or water for themselves and others.
  • Meal preparation like pouring floor for pancakes or making the dough.
The best Montessori toys for children between 18 months and 3 years include:
  • Stack and sort board.
  • Containers and jugs to open and close.
  • Sorting sets, for example, sorting Montessori cups.
  • Nuts and bolts.

Best Montessori Toys for Children From 24-36 Months Old

The kids between 2 to 3 years need to be given more independence and their environment should encourage them to accomplish things for themselves

At this stage, children start to develop empathy and play together with others. They like to play actively, enjoy the texture, size, shape, and color of objects.

  • They throw and bring back things.
  • Kick and clutch balls.
  • Push themselves while riding toys with wheels.
  • Climb, roll, somersault and gallop.

Best Montessori toys for children 2 to 3 years old:

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