If you’re on the lookout for open-ended, engaging toys for your little one, Montessori inspired toys could be right up your street.
We’ve been searching high and low for the very best toys for your little one this Christmas – there are so many beautiful finds to pick from, and there is something for children of all ages here too! We’ll be taking a look at what exactly Montessori is, and showcasing our top finds.
What are Montessori Inspired Toys?
Montessori inspired toys are playthings that fit in with the ‘Montessori approach’, which was created by Dr Maria Montessori. There isn’t such a thing as an actual Montessori toy as it isn’t a brand, just toys based on her philosophies and ‘manipulatives’ (read more below).
- Encourage explorative, pragmatic play
- Encourage resourcefulness
- Be made from natural materials (most tend to be wooden but this isn’t explicitly the only material Montessori toys can be made out of)
- Not include loud, distracting features like flashing lights, noise etc as these distract from imaginative open-ended play.
- Be focused on one single focused skill/concept in different levels, but with different levels of challenge posed to the child (some toys that are labelled Montessori inspired may not necessarily fit this exactly, but if they meet all other prerequisites most parents would agree that the toy could be called Montessori inspired). Stacking blocks are a good example!
- Be ‘natural’ and realistic – for example, animal and people figures need to be relatable to the real thing and not out of proportion!
- Help a child participate in real life tasks; child sized tools like brooms, screwdrivers, play kitchens etc are great examples.
- Be hands on and help teach the foundations to more abstract concepts (mathematics is one example).
The Benefits of Montessori Inspired Toys…
Montessori inspired toys are becoming more and more popular due to the benefits!
- They’re not easily broken and last longer than most plastic toys!
- They don’t contain toxic ingredients like many plastic toys do.
- Montessori inspired toys tend to have different textures and be more appealing on a sensory level.
- They also encourage open-ended, imaginative play as they require a child to experiment and create their own ‘story’ for the toy rather than being distracted by or restricted by flashy features.
- They’re hands on; most children learn more effectively by ‘doing’. The building and crafting element of most Montessori inspired toys is great for coordination, motor skills, concentration and critical thinking.
- They’re more environmentally friendly due to being made from natural materials, rather than plastic.
Montessori Inspired Toys For Babies
Here are our top finds for babies and smaller toddlers – these picks are all so attractive and dynamic without any bells & whistles (you’ll save a fortune on batteries)!
Transport Themed Montessori Toys
Cars, planes, trains… If your wee one loves all things transport, here are some fab finds.
Educational Montessori Inspired Toys
Why not use Montessori principles to teach your child their numbers and alphabet? Or perhaps help them to learn where their food comes from.
Montessori Inspired Imaginative Roleplay Toys
One big element of Montessori play is encouraging children to act out real life tasks – these roleplay toys are perfect!
Play kitchens are super popular at the moment; what about this gorgeous find and accessories?
You could set up your own roleplay village with these finds ; a post office in one room, a corner shop in another, a mechanics garage in the garden and a Doctor’s surgery in the bathroom! Invite your friend’s children over for a playdate and watch the magic happen.
These figures are bright, attractive and great for for evoking the imagination. The trees are absolutely gorgeous!
Montessori Inspired Puzzles
Get their little cogs turning with these hands-on puzzle activities!
Active Montessori Inspired Toys
These larger toys require lots of movement, which is great for active children! The pikler is a top buy for children who love to keep moving but can’t go to the park when the weather is poor – just use it on a rug!
We hope that you’ve loved our finds as much as we do – happy shopping!
Love from Katie & Team BBY. Xx