Montessori toys are helpful for all ages, especially for babies, and they can help your child with a wide variety of developmental skills, including motor skills.
The best Montessori toys are very specifically designed to target specific skills that a child needs to work on. In this list of Montessori toys for babies we’ve included 12 different toys that will be beneficial for your child’s development.
Our favorite item in this list is Lovevery Baby Play Kits. For a monthly subscription you get a curated set of toys that are targeted for your baby’s age. If you don’t know where to start, this is a great option.
- What Are Montessori toys?
- 12 Amazing Montessori Toys for Babies
- 1. Lovevery Baby Play Kits
- 2. Manhattan Toy Skwish Classic Rattle and Teether Grasping Activity Toy
- 3. TOP BRIGHT Wooden Hammer Toy, Pounding Bench Toy
- 4. See, Touch, Feel: A First Sensory Book
- 5. Infantino Textured Multi Ball Set
- 6. Lewo Wooden Rainbow Stacker Nesting Puzzle Blocks
- 7. Hape Beaded Raindrops
- 8. Elite Montessori Object Permanence Box
- 9. Lovevery The Play Gym
- 10. Melissa & Doug Rainbow Stacker
- 11. Jonti-Craft Infant Coordination Mirror
- 12. HABA Musical Eggs
- How to Choose The Right Montessori Toy for Babies
What Are Montessori toys?
Montessori for babies helps them with their development. From birth to about six years of age, children are in what Montessori calls “sensitive periods”, in which they act upon inner compulsion, seeking out objects and relationships that help them develop certain skills.
The first sensitive period happens from birth to age one, and it’s all about learning to control movement and fine motor skills. Babies at this age love to hold and taste everything, so Montessori for babies is a great idea.
The “right” toys for babies under a year old are educational – they educate the child in some way and help the baby learn about their senses and movement, and they are attractive – they encourage babies to play with them through color or shape, thus enhancing baby’s visual skills.
But what is a Montessori toy? Is it just any toy off the shelf? Actually, Montessori toys are very specific, based on self-directed, collaborative play method developed by Maria Montessori. Montessori-inspired toys are the perfect fit for all these criteria because they are specifically designed to meet all of your baby’s needs during their sensitive periods.
Note: Materials used in a Montessori classroom and “Montessori toys” are two different things. What we will be referring to in this article are Montessori-inspired toys suitable for creating a Montessori playroom rather than actual Montessori materials.
The best Montessori toys are made with the following criteria:
Natural materials. The Montessori method makes a point of everything the child uses is made from natural materials such as wood, metal, cloth, etc., so that the child can learn about the world around them. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any plastic at all, but plastic is limited. Wooden building blocks are a good example of toys based on the Montessori approach that helps your kids develop spatial awareness.
No bells and whistles. Montessori toys encourage children to engage in independent, explorative play. Instead of toys that move on their own or make noises, Montessori toys encourage the child to physically manipulate them, and let the baby explore and use their imagination, for example, a pull or push toy.
Purposeful. Montessori toys allow children to engage in activities that are real-life like hammering a nail into a block of wood, or sweeping the floor. The toys allow baby practice a specific skill such as opening and closing, and also help the child hone their problem solving and concentration skills.
Realistic. Montessori toys are always realistic. The Montessori method is rooted in reality instead of pretend, because young children find reality very fascinating and aren’t able to differentiate between real and pretend.
Montessori toys don’t have cartoon or fantasy images, and whenever possible they are real objects, such as a real glass cup. Even if it’s a picture book of animals and vegetables, it will be depicted as realistic as possible like how they exist in the real world.
12 Amazing Montessori Toys for Babies
Before diving into our 12 selections of best Montessori baby toys, here is a quick summary of our 5 favorite Montessori toys:
1. Lovevery Baby Play Kits
Lovevery’s Baby Play Kits are among the best Montessori toys out there if you don’t know what you want to get for your baby. The hands-on kits are subscription-based and come every 2 months. Each kit is based on a specific age: for example, the first kit is for weeks 0-12.
All of the Lovevery’s toys are made from sustainably-sourced wood, organic cotton fabric, and are completely safe for your baby.
- Convenient subscription
- Each kit contains eight toys
- Each toy is carefully vetted for child’s age-appropriateness
- The toys are beautiful and well-made
- No need to go shopping for toys
- You don’t get to choose which toys you get for your little ones
- Slightly on the pricier side
Lovevery Baby Play Kits
- Enter your child’s birth date to find just the right Play Kit to start with
- Subscribe to The Play Kits starting at the right stage
- Receive a subscription box every 2-3 months
2. Manhattan Toy Skwish Classic Rattle and Teether Grasping Activity Toy
Manhattan Toy Company’s Skwish Classic is a great toy for teething as well as tactile, sensory play and development of fine and gross motor skills.
The rattle is made out of rubberwood and elastic cords. Your little one can bite, pull, squish, and rattle it, and it will always return to its original shape. You can also hold it in front of your baby’s face slightly away from baby reach to help them practice eye tracking.
- Multi-use toy
- Can be used for teething
- Covered with non-toxic paint
- Comes in four different color options
- Sturdy rattle design
- Can be hard to clean
- Paint can come off if chewed
- MULTI-SENSORY CLUTCHING BABY TOY: Classic, multi-sensory clutching rattle encourages grasping and reaching which are important for gross motor skills; the lightweight wooden dowels, smooth finish, and elastic ties make it easy for little hands to grab.
- BABY WOODEN RATTLE: The Skwish is surprisingly lightweight, allowing little ones the ease of sliding the beads back and forth on dowels, producing a very pleasing rattle sound and allowing baby to explore sound and learn cause and effect.
- DEVELOPMENTAL TEETHER TOY: The highly-regarded design of wood construction and elastic ties allow the unique rattle and teether to flatten, or "squish", and always return to its original shape.
3. TOP BRIGHT Wooden Hammer Toy, Pounding Bench Toy
The House Pounding toy is great for little ones who are at a hammering stage. Little kids need heavy physical activity, and hammering fulfills that need. The house is made out of sturdy wood and painted in bright colors.
It comes with a hammer and four wooden balls in primary colors that correspond to the colors of the holes on the house for color matching to help your child grasp the concept of color identification.
- Provides hammering practice
- Provides fine motor skill practice
- Provides color matching practice
- Sturdy design
- Non-toxic paint finish
- Fun for a variety of ages
- Takes a while to break in the holes so the balls go through easily
- Small hands can get stuck in the holes
- CHILD SAFE: Made of natural environmental protection materials and stained with non-toxic water-based paints, this wooden hammer toy with well-polished surface is safe for toddlers. And the wooden hammer and balls are large enough that there is no need for moms to worry about the safety of babies while playing. What’s more, the one year old boy toys have tested to match and exceed all ASTM safety standards
- DEVELOP FINE MOTOR SKILLS: The pounding toy for toddlers is specially designed for little hands and suitable for an easy grip, which is ideal as gifts for toddlers boys and girls. The learning ball hammer toy for 1 year old can help promote their hand-eye coordination, improve dexterity and exercise muscle while pounding balls
- COLOR RECOGNIZE AND MATCH: Balls of the wooden hammer toy for one year old are painted with four different vibrant colors. Each ball has a designated slot for its respective color on the top of the wooden house, which is a great feature that helps your baby recognize and match colors. And the gifts for 1 year old boy decorated with cute flower patterns and rattling sun gear can easily attract little ones’ attention
4. See, Touch, Feel: A First Sensory Book
Books are always a great experience for children of any age, and it’s beneficial to start your baby out early. A book like See, Touch, Feel is one of the best sensory toys as it stimulates your baby’s curiosity.
The book is full of colorful pictures with different raised textures for more realistic images, finger trails, and mirrors so babies can interact with it and discover independently. All of these things help your baby develop their fine motor skills and assist your little one in language development at the same time.
- Sturdy design
- Different textures to stimulate baby’s touch
- Large size
- Combines words and pictures
- Good for fine motor skills and language development
- Some parents report paper cuts from the edges of the pages
- Not a lot of variety in the pages
See, Touch, Feel: A First Sensory Book
- As your baby grows, See, Touch, Feel will help your child develop language recognition and motor skills, as they learn to interact with the book in new ways. With lots to explore together, See, Touch, Feel is an ideal first book to share with your baby.
5. Infantino Textured Multi Ball Set
Every baby loves to play with balls, and Infantino’s set of six textured multi balls can not only be fun for your little one, but they can give your baby a sensory experience.
Babies need and love to explore different textures (texture is a big part of baby Montessori), and it stimulates their sense of touch and helps them differentiate, which is good for their brain development on the whole.
- Durable design
- BPA-free plastic
- Good for teething
- Good for sensory play
- Not recommended to immerse in water as moisture can get into the hole in the ball and cause mold
- Design: Easy-to-grab, bright and textured design for babies to develop tactile senses while having fun
- Developmental benefits: Soft and textured material featuring 6 varied sizes and shapes which encourages baby to reach, bat, grab and enjoy sensory play
- Great for gifting: This set is packaged in easy-to-wrap packaging and is a suitable gift for any occasion including baby showers, birthdays, Christmas, Easter and more
6. Lewo Wooden Rainbow Stacker Nesting Puzzle Blocks
The rainbow stacker helps with color recognition and stacking, as well as size and shape recognition. Each arch of the rainbow is made of sturdy non-toxic wood and paint, and the ends are flat so that the arches can be stacked on top of each other.
Children can also use these blocks to create artwork, or use them to make tunnels and bridges for toy cars in their playroom. Because of the different shapes, there are so many ways to use these blocks, which make it a great open-ended toy for any age.
- Multiple ways to play
- Sturdy design
- Non-toxic paint finish
- Good for color and size recognition
- Paint might come off easily
- Arches can be heavy for small children
- STACKING RAINBOW TOY: Lewo rainbow blocks are flat that makes standing them up well. The nesting & stacking rainbow block set in 6 different colors and sizes. Perfect Learning toys for your kids.
- LARGE SIZE: The 6 pieces nested together measure 10.4" x 5.1" x 1.2"(26.5 x 13 x 3cm). Colorful, arched building blocks offer different possibilities than conventional building blocks or planks.
- INSPIRES CREATIVITY: This will be great for creativity, imagination, pretend play, and color/size/comparison recognition. Rainbow arches can be pretend as bridge, tunnels, bikes, beds for little dolls... let your imagination free.
7. Hape Beaded Raindrops
The Beaded Raindrops Rattle is a fun toy for a baby because not only will it make noise when shaken, it makes a soothing rain sound and baby can see the beads falling inside the clear center.
It can help your baby develop their gripping skills as well as their listening and musical skills.
- Soothing sound
- Good for sensory stimulation
- Good for gripping practice
- Engaging toy
- Some parents report that the paint comes off easily
- Not suitable for teethers
- SOOTHING RAINDROP SOUNDS: Turn this rainmaker over and stimulate senses with vibrant trickling beads and soothing raindrop sounds
- ROBUST DESIGN: With an easy-to-grip design, your baby can use the toy easily, developing their grabbing abilities as they play
- BRIGHT COLORS: The shake and rattle rainmaker features bright blue and green colors that will leave your little one in awe as the beads trickle up and down
8. Elite Montessori Object Permanence Box
We all know the stage that babies go through where they just LOVE to drop things. By doing this babies are learning that objects don’t disappear forever when they’re dropped.
The Montessori Object Permanence Box is a toy that you’ll find in most infant/toddler Montessori classrooms. Babies drop the ball into the hole at the top of the box and it rolls out into the tray. It helps them with hand-eye coordination as well as with knowing that the object did not disappear.
Most babies enjoy this toy around 8 months.
- Real Montessori material
- Sturdy design
- Simple design
- Made of all wood
- Helps with hand-eye coordination
- Requires supervision as small hands may get stuck in the hole
- Only one color
- 🌱A child has to drop the little ball into the hole in the box. The ball will roll out of the box and into the attached tray thus allowing the child to experience object permanence by seeing that the ball did not just disappear.
- 🌱It practices precise hand movements while sending information to the brain as well as develops hand, wrist and finger control - also known as "refined hand movements".
- 🌱With repeated use of this material, the child learns how it feels to succeed when he has achieved a goal on his own.
9. Lovevery The Play Gym
The mat and all of the accessories are made from 100% organic cotton, silicone, and non-toxic polyester.
It comes with a high-contrast ball, a batting ring, a cotton teether, silicone teething rings, black-and-white images cards, mirror cards, common object cards, and faces cards.
It can entertain your baby during tummy time or play time while also being good for their development.
- Safe, non-toxic materials
- Comes with everything your child will need for a year, from high contrast items to mirror and teether
- Stimulates many different senses
- Customizable to your baby’s age
- Machine washable
- Takes up a lot of space
- Mat is made out of polyester and gets dirty easily
Lovevery The Play Gym
- From Tummy time to Play Fort: Lovevery knows nothing is more important than your baby’s physical, cognitive, visual and motor learning; from lifting their head as a newborn to hide-and-seek as a toddler, The Play Gym provides a whole year of play
- We Grow With Your Baby: 5 Montessori-inspired development zones on the Play Mat reveal or conceal to prevent overstimulation, teach focus, sound making, encourage sensory exploration, hiding and finding, and exploring colors
10. Melissa & Doug Rainbow Stacker
Another great toy from Melissa and Doug, the Rainbow Stacker encourages hours of open-ended play. It’s made out of non-toxic wood and paint, and the bright colors are appealing to babies. By playing with the rainbow stacker, your child can learn about colors as well as size relation.
The rings can be stacked on or separated from the stand.
- Sturdy design
- Non-toxic finish
- Fun, bright colors
- Suitable for a variety of ages
- Good for color and size recognition
- Paint may come off when cleaned
- Babies may be tempted to throw the wooden ball
- EDUCATIONAL CLASSIC STACKER TODDLER TOY: The Melissa & Doug Rainbow Stacker Classic Toy features 8 smooth, easy-to-grasp wooden pieces to stack on a solid-wood rocking base.
- HIGH-QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: This wooden stacker toy is made from durable and child-safe materials, delivering exceptional quality and value—which makes it a top seller, as well as a childhood favorite.
- BRIGHTLY COLORED PIECES: This Melissa & Doug ring stacker features brightly colored and smoothly sanded pieces that help children build early shape, color, and size-differentiation skills.
11. Jonti-Craft Infant Coordination Mirror
Another item you’ll often find in an infant/toddler Montessori classroom is a mirror at baby height that . Babies love to watch themselves, and it helps them to learn about their own bodies and to recognize and coordinate their movement.
The Jonti-Craft Infant Coordination Mirror is lightweight and attaches to the wall for safety. It features a bar that an infant or toddler can hold onto while watching themself in the mirror.
- Lightweight acrylic mirror
- Attached maple hand rail
- Screws to the wall for safety
- Good for learning to walk
- Good for body and movement coordination
- Can be tricky to install
- Not real glass
- DEVELOPS BALANCE & COORDINATION - Allows children to discover their reflections in a shatterproof, distortion-free mirror. Helps develop motor skills, hand eye coordination, and more. Excites babies as they learn to pull up and balance on the rail.
- CLASSROOM, DAYCARE, & HOME USE - Our coordination mirror helps to develop motor skills in a variety of settings. The infant look up mirror and rail is perfect for your classroom, daycare, preschool, home, montessori, and more.
- FULLY ASSEMBLED - The wall mounted acrylic mirror and wooden balance rail arrives fully assembled and is ready to use right out of the box. You'll just need to mount the mirror and rail to the desired height on your wall.
12. HABA Musical Eggs
HABA is a German company that makes a variety of Montessori wooden toys for children of all ages. Their musical eggs are a fun way for babies to learn about sound.
Each egg is made out of solid beech wood and finished with a non-toxic coating. Four of the eggs make a sound when shaken, and the fifth clicks when twisted. The sounds are soft which is perfect for little ears.
- Durable design
- Non-toxic coating
- Pleasant, soft sounds
- Five different sounds
- Fun for all ages
- Some versions are claimed to be not made in Germany
- Includes 5 rainbow-colored wooden eggs each of which make a different sound. Four eggs shake (2 rattle, 1 chirps, 1 jingles) and the light blue egg twists to make a clicking noise.
- Each wooden egg measures 3� tall, perfectly sized for little hands to shake, twist and bang together.
- A favorite in Montessori classrooms, these baby musical toys foster color recognition and auditory discovery. Acoustic sounds are intentionally soft, perfect for tuning in little ears.
How to Choose The Right Montessori Toy for Babies
The right Montessori baby toys can enrich your baby’s experience as they mature.
While something might be hard for your baby to use at first, they will gradually get better at it and they will feel very fulfilled when they master a skill. When you’re choosing a Montessori toy for your baby to fill their playroom, look for the following criteria:
Made of Natural materials– make sure the toy is made out of safe, natural, and non-toxic materials.
Engaging– look for a toy that provides open-ended play rather than something that just entertains.
Stimulating– choose a toy that stimulates your baby’s senses or motor skills in some way.
Practical learning– practical learning is a big part of Montessori in which children learn to take care of themselves and do everyday things in their environment, so ensure the toy can improve at least one skill.
Color, texture, shape– look for colors, textures, and shapes that engage your baby’s senses in some way.
Are Montessori toys better for babies?
Montessori infant toys are better for babies because they provide open-ended play rather than just entertaining babies. Babies learn to use critical motor skills as well as thinking and language skills.
How do you introduce toys to Montessori babies?
Follow these simple steps and you’re good to go!
- Introduce one toy at a time
- Make sure your baby can clearly see what you’re doing
- Tell your baby what the name of the toy is
- Slowly and carefully show your baby how to use the toy
- Invite your baby by words, motions, or facial expression to try using the toy
- Be inviting and positive!
Are Montessori toys worth it?
Montessori toys are usually made from high-quality, real materials that won’t break over time. While they may be a little pricier than plastic toys, they will last a lot longer and so are more worth the money you spend on them.
So many great toys to choose from!
If you can’t decide which one you want, a great option is to go for the Lovevery Baby Play Kit, and you won’t have to decide for yourself for a whole year! Unlike the other choices, the play kits come with eight toys for a monthly subscription. Not only that, each toy is carefully created to fulfill Montessori ideals.
What are some toys that you love for your Montessori baby? Feel free to tell us in the comments below.
Last update on 2022-01-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API