Montessori children are actively learning things through every action, behavior, and environment. Toys play an essential role in the education of children. You can start educating very young children and buy baby toys for their learning. These toys help your child learn various new concepts and develop essential skills while playing. So whether you are a parent or a teacher, you must know how to use Montessori toys effectively for the learning of your child.

For effective use, it is important that you buy Montessori toys that have a purpose. Every toy has a different purpose in terms of what skills it imparts to your child. In the early stages, when your child is in a developmental phase, he or she is learning unique skills in different ways. During this time, age-appropriate toys are very important to improve and stimulate their learning. Learning can be in several aspects of their life, such as walking, talking, socializing, and gaining knowledge. So Montessori toys motivate your children to learn by experimenting.

There are various categories of toys like learning toys, pull toys, puzzles, play sands, and many more. Every category contributes differently to developing the unique skills of a child. For example, educational Toys like building blocks help to develop fine motor skills while pull toys like a walker or simple doll mover help in developing or enhancing walking skills in a child. Hence, toys are much more than just something to play with. Nowadays it is very easy to buy toys online in the US for your kids. But it is almost as easy to get lost in the myriad of different options available to you as a parent. Do your research before spending your hard-earned cash on toys that provide little to no benefit to the growth of your child as a better human being.

Following is the list of some basic Montessori toys that play a vital role in the development of various skills of your child.

Pull Toys

Pull Toy Minivan Pull toys are designed to be pulled along the ground while making a sound. These include walker wagons, doll strollers, pull-along plastic or wooden animals or trains, etc. Pull toys are very beneficial for Montessori children as these toys help develop fine motor strength and body coordination. Generally, pull toys enhance walking skills, balance, and muscle strength of a child. However, these also help your child to differentiate between distinct sounds of the materials when they are dragged on the floor.

Most often, pull toys comprise natural materials like wood or metal and are available in different shapes and sizes. You can buy toys for kids in different shapes, like animals, vehicles, or even trains, depending on your child’s interest.

Learning and Development

Pull toys are more difficult to play with than push toys. When pulling a toy, a toddler may bump into many things. However, because of this exact hurdle, the toddler will strengthen his larger muscles. While the toddler bumps into things while pulling a pull toy, he also learns and enhances his balancing skills. Lastly, they will develop their skills to avoid obstacles and bumps while pulling an interesting toy.

Age Group:

Pull toys are suitable for babies at the age of 15 months and above. By regularly playing with them, your toddler will master the skills of pulling or pushing around their second birthday.

Pros

  • Pull toys aid in the physical growth and growth of limbs.
  • They help in the cognitive development of toddlers.
  • Children who use pull toys develop a better grasp and holding ability.
  • Pull toys are a great tool for balance.
  • They enhance decision-making and problem-solving ability in toddlers.

Cons

  • The child may become tangled or lose balance.
  • Long cords and strings pose many hazards for babies.
  • If a child trips over a pull toy, he may get injured

Wooden Blocks

Wooden Blocks Wooden blocks are a versatile learning medium for growing brains. Blocks can be made of a diverse range of materials, including wood, plastic, or foam. They play a key role in the cognitive, physical, and emotional development of preschoolers.

Toddlers who often play with blocks develop better hand-eye coordination and have superior problem-solving abilities. Besides, blocks have letters printed on them that help improve your child’s vocabulary and reasoning ability as they grow.

It is important that when you choose a toy for very young children, you try to pick something that is made of natural materials rather than man-made stuff. This helps kids feel closer to nature and provides ease of mind for parents. After all, you never know what is in the plastic or the foam used in making the blocks.

Learning and Development

Blocks make it easier for your children to learn the names of various colors, shapes, and sizes. Letting two or more children play with blocks together will enable them to learn the concept of sharing and independence, eventually boosting their social skills.

Age Group

Children 6 months old and above can play and learn with blocks. They come in countless variations. Parents and teachers can choose the blocks that fit the developmental stage of a child.

Pros

  • Blocks offer an opportunity to develop scientific thinking in preschool children.
  • It helps toddlers in developing their self-esteem and confidence. They break, build, and break again to design something better.
  • Blocks significantly improve the attention span of toddlers.
  • The essential mathematical skills such as the concept of balance, symmetry, length, comparison, number, and measurement are taught to the little minds.
  • Blocks help develop vocabulary, reasoning, and problem-solving abilities.

Cons

  • Wooden blocks, if made from cheaper material, pose the risk of injuries because of the splinters coming out from them.
  • Low-quality plastic blocks contain toxic compounds such as BPA and lead. Constant use of such toys may eventually harm children.

Abacus

Abacus Abacus is one of the most effective toys that help enhance kids’ mathematical skills and is also helpful in color/ pattern recognition.

This versatile educational toy will help your child grasp the fundamental concepts of subtraction and addition. Moreover, the eye-catching colorful beads arouse a child’s instinct of curiosity.

The abacus helps children to learn to count by shifting the beads from one side to the other. For older children, the abacus helps in developing the concept of sums by simply counting and stacking beads at one side.

Similarly, the concept of subtraction can be explained to a child by taking all beads to one side and then removing them back one by one. Also, some abacuses come with built-in equations on the wooden blocks that help in the learning of older kids.

Learning and Development

If you use an abacus for homeschooling, your kids will have enough arithmetical knowledge for their age. In fact, in many countries, an abacus is an essential part of Montessori classroom learning.

Age

Abacus is suitable for preschoolers of age 4-6 years. Although older kids can also further develop their math skills with an abacus. The abacus makes kids learn basic counting skills in a fun and easy way.

Pros

  • Most effective learning tool for kinesthetic learners.
  • Shifting the beads develop fine motor control.
  • It helps in developing hand-eye coordination.
  • Abacus makes learning addition and subtraction easy and fun.
  • It increases the mental capabilities of preschoolers.

Cons

  • You need to know how to teach with an abacus.

Puzzles

Puzzle

I always consider puzzles a very effective Montessori teaching tool. They come in various types and sizes to help children in developing shapes recognition, size variation, number, and alphabet recognition.

For younger kids, peg and wooden tangram puzzles are most suitable. At this age, kids are still developing their pincer grasp. But as kids become older, normal jigsaw puzzles become more enticing.

For older children, jigsaw puzzles are the most suitable as it indulges them in a fun-filled learning opportunity. Jigsaw puzzles help develop complex mental skills, such as consistency, memory, and problem-solving skills. It also strengthens their fine motor skills due to which they learn to use their fingers more effectively from a very young age. Besides, puzzles enhance focus in kids and keep them engaged for hours.

It is important to choose safe and non-toxic wooden puzzles for your child so that they play and learn healthily. Offering your children various puzzles instead of screens is the best thing parents can do.

Learning and Development

With the help of different types of Montessori puzzles, you can teach a lot to your child. Puzzles develop the concept of whole and its components in children. At the same time, these toys also improve patience, concentration, and focus in toddlers.

Above all, puzzle toys prepare your child for attending school as they develop their basic skills like shape recognition, goal setting and achievement, and hand-eye coordination.

Age

You can give puzzles to your child from the age of 2. However, these should only have 3 gigantic pieces. Later, as your child’s cognitive and motor skills develop, you can introduce more complex puzzles. Some very complex puzzles are interesting enough to appeal to teenagers and adults.

Pros

  • Puzzles are a minimalistic learning resource. You can conveniently use them in a classroom, kids’ playroom or in a homeschooling setup.
  • They are a great way to increase a child’s concentration span.
  • Puzzles boost the cognitive development of a child.
  • Puzzles help develop fine motor skills.

Cons

  • Puzzles with too many parts may overwhelm and confuse children. It is necessary to choose age-appropriate puzzles for your children.
  • Puzzles with small parts may have a danger of choking.

Stacking Rings

Stacking Rings Stacking rings toys are an absolute need in every home with toddlers. This classic toy is popular for a reason as it helps develop a multitude of motor and mental skills in preschool kids.

Stacking rings is a valuable resource for developing eye-hand coordination and enhancing problem-solving skills. They help kids learn size sequencing and color recognition at the same time.

These stacking rings are totally safe for very young children as they are made from high-quality wood. There are no sharp edges that may hurt your child and all surfaces are smooth and well-rounded. The exceptional quality construction makes this toy a best seller among all Montessori toys.

Learning and Development

Stacking helps encourage the use of different muscles, thus enhancing the fine and gross motor skills in babies. It also helps with developing better hand-eye coordination.

In addition to these skills, stacking rings also help the toddlers learn about shapes, colors, sizes, and spatial relationships.

Age

Most babies gain the ability to stack rings at 13 to 15 months of age. If your toddler does not start stacking rings at this age, you can teach this skill to him or her by playing games. For example, ask your kid to hand over all the rings to you, then stack them in front of your child. Practicing this a couple of times and then having her do it on her own is not only a fun activity, but also helps develop her confidence.

Pros:

  • Stacking rings are simple toys and require minimum storage.
  • They are easy to clean.
  • Staking rings enable children to make color and size-based classification.
  • They are essential for developing basic motor and mental skills in toddlers.

Cons:

  • Using toys made from cheap quality material is hazardous.

Montessori Sorting Toys

Montessori Sorting Toys Montessori sorting toys help toddlers recognize and sort out things into various categories. Sorting toys develop color recognition and hand-eye coordination. It also boosts brain development by increasing memory and perception in preschoolers.

The sorting toys are an invaluable resource for homeschooling your kids, as the kids learn a lot while they are playing. They are also ideal gifts for both preschool girls and boys.

In addition, the sturdy sorting boxes are made from non-toxic, safe wooden material with a solid structure that ensures a splinter-free, long-lasting toy.

Learning and Development

Sorting toys help toddlers master their fine motor skills and their hand-eye coordination. At the same time, because most these sorting games are based on categorization such as size or color, kids learn color coordination or size/shape recognition as the brain learns to differentiate between various colors, shapes, or sizes.

Kids even develop advanced vocabulary and decision-making capabilities through more complex sorting boards.

Ages

Children develop sorting abilities after 18 months, therefore, from 18 months, babies can sort simple items. So, you can buy these toys for babies at this age. However, Montessori sorting toys are also a great learning aid for preschoolers between the age of 3 and 6 years.

Pros

  • Develop hand-eye coordination
  • Develop reasoning and critical thinking
  • Teach object recognition and classifications
  • Enhance fine motor skills
  • Increase the concentration and focus in toddlers

Cons

  • Montessori sorting toys often contain small parts; therefore, you can’t leave your child unsupervised.

Shape Sorters

Montessori Shape Sorter Sorting shapes is another activity that boosts learning in Montessori children. It develops better hand-eye coordination and critical thinking skills in toddlers. Shape sorting toys enhance the imaginative perception in toddlers keeping them engaged for longer periods.

When you buy toys for kids, whether it is online or in a brick and mortar store, you should know that the toy shape sorter will make it easier for your child to learn about shapes. Just let the child experiment with different holes and point out squares, circles, and triangles in their right slots.

The most popular shape sorting toy is the shape sorting cube. This classic toy comes as a wooden cube with 12 colorful blocks and matching holes.

Learning and Development

The basic purpose of shape sorters is to lay the foundation for basic mathematical skills. Identification of various shapes is the greatest learning milestone that you can expect from a shape sorting toy. However, these toys will also enhance the overall motor and mental development in toddlers.

Age:

Babies older than 12 months can use a shape sorter toy. You will see that they start matching a shape with their respective slot very quickly. However, choosing the right size of shape sorter puzzle and hole for the age is essential. Moreover, shape sorter toys made from premium quality wood or high-quality plastic are safe for babies. So, avoid cheaper materials when buying Montessori shape sorting toys.

Pros

  • Shape sorter toys accelerate fine motor skill development in toddlers.
  • The toddlers will learn about cause and effect.
  • It develops independence and self-esteem in children.
  • Shape sorting toys are a great tool for shape recognition and color identification.

Cons

  • If the shape sorting toy has tiny pieces, you must not leave your child unsupervised with it as they may pose a choking hazard.
  • Bad quality wooden shape sorters may have splinters coming out of them.
  • Some shape sorters may have sharp edges, which may cause injuries.

Pretend Play toys

Doll House No one can deny the role of pretend play in the social and emotional development of toddlers. Doctor’s kits, play kitchens, dollhouses, and golf sets help kids express how they see the world around them.

During role-play, children imitate the actions of adults who inspire them. Toys that encourage pretend play have great significance as they teach the kids how to control their emotions in different situations.

Another key aspect of a kid’s development is the development of communication skills. Pretend-play toys help toddlers in building superior vocabulary and language. Research showed that children who are not offered opportunities to pretend play often lack confidence and communication proficiency.

Learning and Development

The major advantage of role-play toys is superior social and emotional development. With imaginative play, children learn how to communicate their feelings to others in an appropriate manner. This removes their anxiety related to their language development and gives them confidence.

Age:

Toddlers as young as 15 to 18 months start some sort of imaginative or pretend play. During this play, children act like adults whom they observe. Their interest in role-play toys fades away when they are about the age of 10 years.

Pros

  • Role-play toys boost imagination and creativity.
  • They help in developing social skills and giving better emotional control.
  • Playing with role-play toys improves language and communication skills.
  • Children who often play with role-play toys quickly develop thinking, learning, and problem-solving skills.
  • It also helps in the physical development of toddlers.

Cons

  • Some children may bully other children during pretend play.

Play Therapy Sand Tray and Sand

Play Therapy SandTray

The sand tray offers toddlers an opportunity to play with sand while remaining indoors. Many children do not have the privilege of going out into nature and play with sand. So, the sand trays provide them with a great learning and relaxing indoor activity.

Play with Sand tray is an inexpensive and simple learning activity for toddlers. Several different things lying around your house can be used in conjunction with Sand trays. For a sand tray activity, you will require the following material.

  1. A wooden or plastic tray of a fair size that can hold at least 15 pounds of sand.
  2. Clean sand or play sand.
  3. Few small objects such as toys, cars, pebbles, animal statues, colored blocks, and leaves.
  4. Cleaning towel.

How to use a sand tray for effective learning?

  • Put the sand in the tray.
  • Observe how your child wants to explore it. The child may find it interesting to trace lines or create letters on the sand. Also, they may make random patterns with the sand.
  • Placing some random toys or other objects in the sand tray will make the playtime more interesting for your kids.
  • The kids’ imaginative abilities will let them create their own world.
  • It is important for parents or teachers supervising the kid to ask the kid about what they are making in the sand.
  • Experiment with different objects every time to make the playtime more interesting.

Age:

Most often babies start enjoying sand play around their birthday. They may also eat some sand to explore its taste. Toddlers and children from 3 to 6 years will use the sand tray for imaginative playing and to calm themselves down.

Pros

  • Sand tray play has a calming effect on nerves.
  • It is also a great activity for imaginative play.
  • You can give sand trays to kids with limited mobility.
  • The experience of playing with sand is particularly helpful for children who are anxious or nervous.
  • It is a great activity for toddlers who don’t like social games.

Cons

  • You cannot leave your child unattended while they are playing with a sand tray.
  • Make sure that the toys you place in a sand tray do not have small parts, breakable parts or brittle sides that may pose the danger of choking and injuries.

Locks Boxes & Memory Toys

Lock Box Memory Toy

So how do you develop short and long-term memory in younger kids? The answer is through memory games or lockboxes. 

Playing with a lockbox, you can show your young child a favorite toy and then hide the toy in a compartment and lock it. The child can then use her cognitive abilities to figure out how to open the lock and get her favorite toy. You can expand on this game by hiding/locking the toy and distract him with other games. Later, you can ask him to get his favorite toy and that helps develop his memory.

Learning and Development

The lockboxes are great learning toys. They help enhance your child's memory as well as cognitive and logical skills.

They also help with your child's dexterity and developing her fine motor skills.

Age:

Lockboxes are recommended for kids 3 years and older.

Pros

  • When a preschool child is unable to fix or engage a lock correctly, he/she will learn the skill of self-correction.
  • Provides a sense of achievement.
  • The child remains engaged in the activity for a longer time.
  • Older children learn to keep their belongings safe, for example, boys can store coins and girls use them for storing their jewelry.
  • It is made of high-quality materials.

Cons

  • The tiny treasures your kids are storing in the slots might be a choking hazard.
  • Children will learn to unlock your storage boxes :)

Locks and Latches Toys

Locks & Latches Board Kids develop a significant interest in locks and latches from a very young age since they love to explore the locks and latches around the house.

When a child successfully unlocks a lock, you can see the happiness on his face. This sense of accomplishment makes the child motivated for more attempts. Moreover, it keeps them engaged for long hours.

The challenge of unlocking the locks also stimulates learning in kids with special needs. Toys with locks and latches are especially helpful for kids with ADHD and autism.

The sturdy structure and high-quality wooden material make the toys durable. Furthermore, the lockboxes come with handles that make them easy to carry around. Also, various compartments in the lockboxes enable your child to hide and find his/her tiny treasures.

Learning and Development

The locks and latches activity boards are great learning resources for kids. These educational toys enhance a child’s logical thinking ability as well as boost their decision-making capability.

Moreover, the locks and latches boards stimulate manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination of kids. Additionally, these toys encourage the use of your child's pincer grip.

Age:

Toys with locks and latches are recommended for toddlers of ages 3 and above.

Pros

  • When a preschool child is unable to fix or engage a lock correctly, he/she will learn the skill of self-correction.
  • This activity also gives them a sense of achievement.
  • The child remains engaged in the activity for a longer time.
  • It is made of high-quality materials.

Cons

  • Low-quality locks and latches boards that are made overseas may contain cheap materials that can hurt your kids.

List of Age Appropriate Montessori Toys and Their Benefits