Montessori is an educational approach that emphasizes hands-on learning, exploration, and collaboration. Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori developed it in the early 1900s.
The Montessori method has since been used in schools all over the world. But you don’t need to send your child to a special school to benefit from Montessori principles. Instead, you can incorporate them into your home through thoughtful play and purposeful toys.
The Montessori method encourages hands-on learning, exploration, and creativity. And the best way to do that is with thoughtful play and purposeful toys. So, if you’re looking for ways to incorporate Montessori principles into your home, consider adding some of these toys to your child’s collection.
When it comes to thoughtful play, few things are more important than choosing the right toys. And while there are plenty of great options out there, some stand out above the rest when it comes to encouraging kids to think about what they’re doing.
If you’re looking for Montessori-approved toys that will help your child develop important critical thinking skills, here are 7 Montessori Toys to Help Your Child Learn Through Play
- Wooden puzzles. There’s nothing like a good puzzle to get kids using their brains. And while there are plenty of great options, we love wooden puzzles for their durability and classic appeal.
- Building blocks. Another great option for encouraging thoughtful play, building blocks are perfect for kids who like to create and explore.
- Shape sorters. Shape sorters are another classic toy that helps kids develop important problem-solving skills.
- Nesting dolls. They are fun to play with and help kids improve their fine motor skills and learn about different sizes and shapes.
- Stacking toys. Stacking toys are perfect for kids who like to build and experiment. They can also help develop important hand-eye coordination skills.
- Magnets. Magnets are a great way to encourage kids to experiment with cause and effect. They’re also perfect for kids who like to build and create.
- Maracas. Lastly, maracas are a great way to encourage kids to move their bodies and get active while they play. They’re also perfect for introducing kids to music and rhythm.
What are the benefits of Montessori-friendly toys?
When finding the best toys for your child, it is important to consider the benefits each type of toy can offer. For example, Montessori-friendly toys encourage thoughtful play and help children develop important life skills.
Here are some of the benefits that you can expect from these types of toys:
- Encourages independent play. One of the biggest benefits of Montessori-friendly toys is that they encourage independent play. This means that you can be able to explore and learn without needing your constant supervision.
- Develops fine motor skills. Playing with Montessori-friendly toys can also help to develop your child’s fine motor skills. These skills are important for tasks such as writing and using scissors.
- Teaches cause and effect. Montessori-friendly toys can also help children to understand cause and effect. They will start understanding how their actions can lead to specific outcomes.
- Encourages imagination. Another benefit of these toys is that they encourage imagination. As your child plays with the toy, they will be able to create their scenarios and stories.
- Promotes concentration. Montessori-friendly toys can also help to promote concentration. This means you can focus on the task and not be easily distracted.
- Builds self-confidence. Playing with Montessori-friendly toys can also help to build your child’s self-confidence. As they learn new skills and accomplish tasks, they will feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.
- Teaches patience. One of the most important benefits of Montessori-friendly toys is that they teach patience. Children will learn that some tasks take time and cannot be rushed.
- Encourages cooperation. Montessori-friendly toys can also encourage cooperation. Your child will learn to work with others to accomplish a task.
- Develops social skills. Another benefit of these types of toys is that they help to develop social skills. For example, as your child plays with other children, they will learn how to communicate and interact with others.
- Improves problem-solving skills. One of the most important benefits of Montessori-friendly toys is that they can help improve problem-solving skills. As your child encounters new challenges, they will learn how to think creatively to overcome them.
The different types of Montessori toys
One of the great things about Montessori toys is that they come in all shapes and sizes. There are Montessori-inspired toys for babies, toddlers, and older kids. And there are various materials used to make Montessori toys.
The most important thing to remember when choosing a Montessori toy is that it should be safe and encourage thoughtful play. Below, we’ll discuss some types of Montessori toys and how they can help your child learn and grow.
Montessori toys for babies
Safety is always the most important consideration when choosing Montessori toys for babies. Look for baby toys made from natural materials like wood or cotton. Also, avoid toys with small parts that could be swallowed or inhaled.
Some of the best Montessori toys for babies include:
- Wooden blocks
- Soft dolls
Montessori toys for toddlers
As your child starts to explore their environment and develop new skills, they’ll need different types of toys to help them learn. Look for toddler toys that encourage problem-solving, fine motor skills, and creative thinking.
Some of the best Montessori toys for toddlers include:
- Shape sorters
- Nesting dolls
- Building blocks
Montessori toys for older kids
Older kids will need toys that can help them continue to develop their skills and challenge them as they grow. Look for toys that encourage critical thinking, cooperation, and imagination.
Some of the best Montessori toys for older kids include:
- Board games
- Card games
- Role-playing games
- Building sets
- Art supplies
No matter your child’s age, there are plenty of great Montessori toys to choose from. Just remember to focus on safety and encouraging thoughtful play, and you’ll be sure to find the perfect toy for your little one.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.