Montessori toddler toys are very specifically-designed toys that have your child’s development in mind. Each toy provides practice in a variety of developmental skills and will help children progress.
In this list of Montessori toys for toddlers we’ve included 15 different toys that will be beneficial for your child’s development.
Our favorite toy is The Block Set from Lovevery. It gets our top pick because it is simple and beautiful, but provides endless opportunities for open-ended play. Toddlers won’t get bored with The Block Set.
- The Montessori Method
- Best Montessori Toys for Toddlers
- 1. Lovevery The Block Set
- 2. Melissa and Doug Rainbow Stacker
- 3. Amazing Child Mini Glass Pitcher
- 4. Naturskool Alphabet Tracing Board
- 5. Boley 12 Piece Safari Animal Set
- 6. Melissa and Doug Dust! Sweep! Mop!
- 7. Democa Montessori Busy Board
- 8. MAGIFIRE Wooden Toddler Puzzles
- 9. Strider 12 Classic Balance Bike
- 10. Melissa and Doug Band-in-a-Box Clap! Clang! Tap!
- 11. Waldorf Wooden Balance Board
- 12. Trihorse Wooden Marble Run
- 13. Costzon Kids Climbing Pikler
- 14. Coogam Wooden Geoboard
- 15. Skoolzy Peg Board Set
- How to Choose the right Montessori toy for Toddlers
The Montessori Method
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 rather than actual Montessori materials.
A Year Older, A Year Bolder!
A toddler is defined as a child between 1 and 4 years of age, who has started to walk. Between birth and 12 months, children’s development moves at leaps and bounds as they learn to roll over, sit up, crawl, pick things up, and start talking, to name a few.
By the time children reach 18 months they are usually walking and learning how to talk. The toddler phase makes them more independent and able to follow simple instructions. Over the next few years toddlers will learn to speak in sentences, dress themselves, and start learning their alphabets, colors, and shapes.
Toddlers are in a “sensitive period”, meaning that they seek out activities that help them develop certain skills. At this sensitive period, toddlers are working on developing their fine and gross motor skills, and it’s important to give them activities that will help develop those skills.
It’s also important at this phase to introduce activities that will get toddlers started on educational skills. Early math, reading, and writing skills can be introduced through all sorts of toys and games.
Children this age can learn social and emotional skills such as turn-taking and role-playing through toys and games.
Best Montessori Toys for Toddlers
1. Lovevery The Block Set
Lovevery’s The Block Set provides hours of open-ended play, meaning it can be used in a wide variety of ways. The set comes with 70 different kinds of wooden blocks as well as a shape sorting box.
The blocks provide problem-solving, fine motor skills, and early STEM learning. All of the blocks are made out of solid sustainably-harvested wood with water-based non-toxic paint and finish.
- Suitable for a variety of ages
- Made from solid, sustainably-harvested wood
- Safe, non-toxic paint
- Endless play variations
- Beautiful and well-made
- Slightly on the pricier side
Lovevery The Block Set
- Possibly the most comprehensive block set ever designed: Science-based system of 70 heirloom-quality pieces in 18 colors, more than a dozen shapes, and a vast array of solid wood components including arches, wheels, bead threader, rolling ramp, and shape sorter, and also converts into a pull car
- The original STEM learning: Unlock STEM concepts like math, physics, and engineering, along with higher-order planning and problem-solving; spatial awareness, motor-skill development, and hand-eye coordination
2. Melissa and Doug Rainbow Stacker
By playing with the rainbow stacker, toddlers can learn about colors as well as size relation. The rings can be stacked on the stand or separate 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
- Toddlers 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.
3. Amazing Child Mini Glass Pitcher
Pouring is an important Montessori skill as it provides hand-eye coordination, concentration, and fine motor skills.
This real-glass pitcher is just the right size for little hands, and can be used to practice pouring drinks at mealtimes or as an exercise in pouring into small vessels of a variety of sizes.
- Small size
- Real glass
- Good for pouring practice
- Provides fine motor practice
- Provides hand-eye coordination
- Can break if dropped
- Handle can be too small
- 9 ounce (250ml) Attractive Mini Glass Pitcher - 5" High. Child sized.
- Please note it is VERY SMALL. Approx size: Height - 5" (12cm), Diameter - 3" (8cm), Length - 4" (10cm). There is a small (5/16") raised mark to show the 9 ounce (250ml) level
- Ideal for the Practical Life area.
4. Naturskool Alphabet Tracing Board
Many toddlers are ready to start learning their letters, and tracing is a great way to develop pre-writing skills as it develops the fine motor skills needed for writing. These alphabet and number tracing boards have grooves in which children can trace with the included stylus. The boards are made out of durable wood and will last for a long time.
- Solid wood construction
- Includes two styluses
- Handy storage bag
- Good for independent learning
- Provides letter recognition
- Can be sharp edges on the letters
- ⭐️ ALPHABET & NUMBER TRACING BOARDS Learn to write letters and numbers confidently and independently
- ⭐️ LOVE TO LEARN through play, the material teaches sequencing, pencil grip + muscle memory for writing
- ⭐️ EASY CARE Clean the durable handcrafted tracing boards with a damp cloth. Dry with a soft dry cloth
5. Boley 12 Piece Safari Animal Set
Vocabulary is an important skill, and toy animals are good preschool toys. This 12 piece Safari Animal Set has many different animals in adult and baby form so children can practice learning their names. The animals are all very realistic, and include giraffes, rhinos, lions, tigers, zebras, and elephants.
- Good for language skills
- Meets child safety standards
- Realistic figures
- Contains parent and baby animals
- May need adult supervision to avoid choking hazards
- Some legs may be uneven
- WHAT'S INSIDE: Boley's 12 Piece Safari Animal Set includes a diverse variety of safari animal figures, including giraffes, zebras, elephants, tigers, lions, rhinos, zebras, and more! This safari toy set is made of high-quality, durable plastic, so guarantee your child endless imaginative fun with this set that is built to withstand repeated rough play!
- PERFECT EDUCATIONAL TOY: Boley's 12 Piece Safari Animal Set is perfect for immersing your child into the diverse jungle safari world! Give your child a head start on vocabulary development by having them learn all the names the animals of the safari kingdom! This set makes an ideal birthday gift, party favor, or educational toy set!
- SAFE AND CHILD FRIENDLY: At Boley, child safety is our highest priority. That's why our entire production process is rigorously monitored by the most reputable organizations of child safety standards, including ASTM, Sedex, ICTI Care, and more.
6. Melissa and Doug Dust! Sweep! Mop!
Dusting, sweeping, and mopping are all part of Montessori Practical life skills, and you’ll find child-sized tools in any classroom. You can recreate the experience in your home with this set of cleaning toys from Melissa and Doug.
They are sturdy and just the right size for small hands. Children will exercise their gross motor skills as well as helping to keep their environment clean.
- Perfect size for small children
- Sturdy wood and plastic construction
- Realistic and real
- Organizing stand
- Provides gross motor skills
- Stand can easily come unscrewed from the base
- Mop has a plastic disk that can scratch floors
- Inspires hours of pretend play: We developed the Dust Sweep Mop; Pretend play set to motivate your child to model independence and use their imagination to have fun; Each cleaning tool gives them an imagined role and pretend task to try.
- Realistic wooden cleaning toys: This colorful, kid-sized set looks just like the real thing and includes a wooden pretend play broom, mop, duster, brush, and organizing stand. The red dustpan conveniently clips into all handles.
- Builds skills and confidence: This skill-building and confidence-boosting set is designed to strengthen and embolden your child's sense of purpose. Each pretend play tool helps them develop coordination and fine motor skills. Comes in "Frustration-free packaging," intended to be easier to open and reduce waste.
7. Democa Montessori Busy Board
Tying, buckling, zipping, opening and closing, are all part of Montessori activities that you will find in classrooms.
This busy board has those same exercises and more. Each activity on the busy board will exercise fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, as well as teaching practical skills that are needed for everyday life.
- Provides ten different activities and skills
- Comes in two color options
- Sturdy construction
- Great for travel
- Provides fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
- Slightly big
- Protruding staples on the shoe laces
- ✔️ WOODEN BUSY BOARD – Educational toys for 3 years olds and Montessori toys for toddlers. Sensory board toddler toys with 10 preschool activities help kids to develop their fine motor skills.
- ✔️ ACTIVITY TOYS FOR TODDLERS – deMoca Wooden Toy is a basic skill board with Bright Rainbow colorful wooden pieces. This buckle toy features zipper snaps and a shoe tying teaching kit for kids that allows children to tie and zip their way into independent dressing skills.
- ✔️ TRAVEL TOY FOR TODDLERS – Full of fun challenges this car activities for kids / airplane activities for kids will keep your kid busy on long journeys when your toddler travel. Easy handling weighing just 2 pounds.
8. MAGIFIRE Wooden Toddler Puzzles
Puzzles allow children to develop concentration, spatial awareness, shape recognition, hand-eye coordination, and much more. A set of easy puzzles like these Wooden Toddler Puzzles are a great start. They’re simple, but will give your toddler’s brain a challenging workout.
- Durable, safe wood construction
- Fun, bright colors
- Good size for baby’s hands
- Set of 6 puzzles
- Handy storage bag
- Slightly unrealistic images
- Pieces may be small
- SAFE WOODEN PUZZLE-BPA Free,made of high-quality environmental wood with water-based paint. Easy-to-grasp pieces with smooth edge,keeps your 1 2 3 years old boys and girls play safety.
- LEARNING THROUGH PLAYING -6 Packs brain building jigsaw puzzles-cute animals:bear, butterfly, ladybug,car,bee and tortoise can help toddlers to improve create concentration and solve puzzles capacities. It can also develop toddler's colors,patience,imagination and hand-eye coordination.
- ATTRACTIVE COLORFUL-Beautiful bright vibrant colors and cute animal shapes are designed for enriching children’s capacities of learning colors.Help your baby learn appearance and structure of these animals.
9. Strider 12 Classic Balance Bike
If your family loves taking walks or riding bikes together, it can be hard to bring along a toddler who wants to have their independence, but is much slower than everyone else.
You can solve this problem with a balance bike. Toddlers can enjoy riding a bike without needing to have the advanced skills required, plus they can get help with learning how to walk and balance.
The balance bike is lightweight, and is made from a durable steel frame and puncture-proof tires.
- Provides walking and balance practice
- Adjustable seat
- Gives toddlers more freedom
- Bike has no brakes
- Can be too heavy for younger toddlers
- Learn To Ride - The Strider 12 Classic is a great, unembellished choice for those that want to jump in the pool but aren't quite ready to cannonball. The budget-friendly Strider 12 Classic comes equipped with our no-flat tires, which are ready to take the punishment that only mud puddles and heavy riding can dole out.
- Grows With Your Child - The seat and handlebar heights adjust to accommodate ages 18 months to 3 years, or a 12- 17 in. inseam.
- Designed For Young Kids - Weighing in at only 3.0 kg (6.7 lbs.), the 12 Classic push bike makes it easy for your little boy or girl to ride and stride. The built-in footrests are perfect for learning to balance and glide.
10. Melissa and Doug Band-in-a-Box Clap! Clang! Tap!
Music provides many great benefits for children of all ages. Give your toddler a musical head start with a wooden music set like this one from Melissa and Doug.
It’s sturdy and attractive, and gives your toddler exposure to different musical sounds. The tambourine, maracas, cymbals, clacker, triangle, and tone blocks come in a handy wooden storage crate.
- Wood and metal construction
- Made from safe materials
- Handy storage crate
- 6 different instruments
- Introduces children to a variety of sounds
- Some instruments can be hard to play
- Not suitable to be chewed on
- DIVERSE 10-PIECE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT SET: The Melissa & Doug Band-in-a-Box Clap! Clang! Tap! is a 10-piece musical instrument set with a variety of instruments that get kids moving, grooving, and feeling the beat.
- EXPOSES CHILDREN TO MULTIPLE TONES: Melissa & Doug musical instruments help children develop a musical ear. This set exposes your mini-musician to different tones, volumes, and rhythms.
- HANDY WOODEN CRATE: To keep this band set for kids organized, we’ve included a durable wooden crate that has plenty of space to store each of the 10 instruments.
11. Waldorf Wooden Balance Board
The Waldorf method has a lot of similarities to Montessori, so a lot of their materials overlap. The balance board stimulates children’s vestibular system, which helps with general development and learning, and supports the muscles needed for proper posture.
It’s also a great toy for imaginative play – it can be used as a car, tunnel, cradle, and more! The board is made out of high-quality beech and birch woods.
- Promotes the vestibular system
- Simple design
- Good for imaginative play
- Optional felt layer to protect floors and create stability
- Felt layer option not suitable for outdoor use
- Quality control can be inconsistent
- DEVELOP KIDS STRENGTH: The wooden board for balancing its creation is due to the community. It stimulates the vestibular system, which is of great importance for general development and learning. It supports the muscles responsible for the correct posture develops the sense of balance.
- MULTI-WAYS TO PLAY: Children can play this balance board with their imagination. Children can rock, use it as a car track, bridge, slide, balance beam, stepping stool, resting or reading spot, tunnel, doll cradle. The possibilities are endless! This balance board with felt layer only use indoors. Please DON'T knock the edge of the balance board on the ground or hard objects, otherwise the edges will crack.
- SIZE&WEIGHT: Measures 32 inches long, 11.8 inches wide, and 7 inches tall at the highest point. It is 0.66 inches thick. Allowing it to support 220kg/485lbs!
12. Trihorse Wooden Marble Run
This multi-tiered marble run can provide endless hours of fun for your toddler, and it can also provide cognitive and fine motor skills. The marble run is made out of safe beechwood.
It comes with 6 wooden balls that are big enough that they don’t pose a choking hazard.
- Kid and environmentally safe
- Provides fine motor and cognitive skills
- Made in Bohemia
- Beautiful craftsmanship
- Comes already assembled
- Large size takes up room
- Won’t stand up to toddlers pulling themselves up on it
- 🍃 PREMIUM BEECHWOOD, LIVE MATERIAL FOR LIVELY KIDS- We prefer wood because we care about the planet and our next generations. Kids love to play with this natural and sustainable material. This premium beechwood has been precisely machined to build a beautiful and cute toy for your little ones.
- 🌼 THIS BALL TRACK COMES WITH 6 SLIDING OBJECTS- A clown, a flower and 4 balls, all of them made with wood. You can have even more fun with additional Trihorse accessories. The size of the individual parts is big enough to avoid the risk of swallowing.
- 👍 SAFETY ALWAYS FIRST- This product has all the certifications to make it perfectly safe for children from 1 year. All the paints are kids & environmental safe. There are no sharp edges in this toy. All the material used is 100% safe for health without any compromises in quality.
13. Costzon Kids Climbing Pikler
Climbing is a crucial gross motor skill for toddlers. Instead of letting them climb all over your furniture, try letting them climb on the climbing pikler. The triangular frame and rungs are made of solid pine that is very durable and coated with non-toxic BPA-free varnish.
The rungs are adjustable so it can grow with your child. The pikler provides gross motor skills and balance as well as improving children’s courage.
- Strong and sturdy design
- Adjustable for different ages
- No sharp edges or protruding screws
- Provides exercise, gross motor skills, and balance
- Child-safe finish
- Included screws reported to be poor quality
- Takes up a lot of room
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14. Coogam Wooden Geoboard
A geoboard provides so many different skills for toddlers. They learn about shapes and designs, and they also get a lot of practice in fine motor skills and prewriting skills.
This wooden geoboard is made out of wood with 64 nails in a grid across the top. The set also includes 35 pattern cards that children can copy, and a pack of rubber bands.
- Provides fine motor and prewriting skills
- Sturdy and durable construction
- Nails have wide heads to keep the rubber bands from sliding off
- Suitable for a wide variety of ages
- Rubber bands do not snap easily
- Cards have very random shapes on them
- Cards are a very small size
- Geometrical Board: There are 1 wooden board with 64pcs of nails half driven in, 35 pattern cards(5 empty cards & 30 geometric cards). The supply of one individual package of latex band pack are more than enough. The board measures 7 x 7 x 0.9in, weigh 14.4 oz.
- Educational Toy: Having them in school to learn all types of different 2D shapes and figuring out fractions. Good for kids who love making shapes, letters, designs and struggle with grasp, fine motor & visual motor skills.
- Competitive Advantage: The back side has pegs in the shape of a circle, the little tops on them and nails on the long side help make it easy for small fingers to get the bands on them and stay on them. Really broaden the scope of the shapes they make.
15. Skoolzy Peg Board Set
Sorting and stacking are great activities for toddlers as they provide fine motor practice, hand-eye coordination, and color, number, and pattern recognition. This peg board set gives your child a fun way to sort and stack, as well as thread the pegs. The set comes with a foam board, 30 pegs in rainbow colors, a foam rainbow dice, a lacing string, and a drawstring bag.
- Good for counting, sorting, and stacking
- Provides fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills
- Fun, bright colors
- Handy storage bag
- Great for special needs children
- If you prefer wood toys, this one is plastic
- Board needs “conditioning” before use: leave the pegs in overnight so the holes will be big enough
- COLOR MATCHING TOYS & COLOR RECOGNITION learning games: The Skoolzy Peg Board Toddler Set has - 30 Pegs in a board in 6 colors (2"X1.25" each) and Large foam pegboard (8.5" inch square). Babies to Preschool kids easily match colors as they stack and nest the pegs into each other. VERY VERSATILE toddler learning toys you can use as stacking toys or color sorting toys for toddlers as part of the many games for toddlers included in the eBook full of pre-school and toddler learning activities.
- The peg toy has OVERSIZE PEGS which are easy for little hands & fingers to grasp and stack on the peg boards and together to build towers as stacking blocks. The size of the infant toys are ideal occupational therapy toys for children and adults. The unisex rainbow colors make them the best18 month toys for toddler gifts as they work as toddler toys for boys age 2 and as toys for 2 year old girls. Use for daycare supplies as manipulatives in toddler activities or as montessori toys for toddlers.
- FINE MOTOR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT: The pegboard stacker set is great for building fine motor activities for kids, hand eye coordination, develop and strengthen visual perception skills, visual motor coordination. For baby toys for 1 year old, puzzles for 2 year olds puzzles for toddlers and 3 year old girl toys, toddler games, or as down syndrome, autism toys, OT, special needs toys, sensory toys for autistic children and for adults with alzheimers, parkinsons, stroke rehabilitation & more!
How to Choose the right Montessori toy for Toddlers
The best Montessori toys provide many opportunities for your child as they are growing and honing their developmental skills.
Whether you’re buying Montessori toys for a 1-year-old, Montessori toys for a 2-year-old, or Montessori toys for a 3-year-old, knowing what to look for will greatly help your process of choosing.
When you’re choosing a Montessori toy for your toddler, look for the following criteria:
Natural Materials. Make sure toys are made out of safe, natural, and non-toxic materials.
Engaging. Look for a toys that provide lots of open-ended play instead of just something that entertains.
Stimulating. Choose motor skills toys for toddlers that stimulate their fine motor skills and senses.
Practical Learning. Children learn how to care for themselves and their environment with practical life skills like sweeping, dusting, etc. Look for toys that hone those skills.
Color, Texture, Shape. Look for colors, textures, and shapes in toys that will engage your child’s senses in many ways.
What Montessori toys are recommended for younger toddlers?
Montessori toys for younger toddlers will be similar to those for a 1-year-old. Look for toys that are very simple in design and don’t require too much gross or fine motor skill.
What should Montessori toys teach toddlers?
Between the ages of 1 and 4, children should be focusing on developing their fine and gross motor skills, as well as learning how to play with others and express themselves.
Toddler Montessori toys should be things like sorting shapes and colors, exercising fine and gross motor skills, learning how to care for themselves, and playing simple make-believe games.
How can I teach toddlers to start cleaning up Montessori toys?
You can’t start teaching toddlers to clean up toys too early! The best way to get toddlers to start cleaning up is to first make sure that their play space has specific spots for toys and is clutter-free.
Only bring out 8-10 toys at a time. And always, always model! Show your child repeatedly how to put away their toys, and soon they will be following your example.
There are so many lovely toys in this list, and any one of them is sure to help your child’s development.
If you are struggling to decide which toy to start with, our favorite is The Block Set from Lovevery. You get so many different blocks with it, and they all provide hours of open-ended play that hone your child’s motor skills and encourage imaginative and cooperative play.
What are some toys that you love for your Montessori toddler? Feel free to tell us in the comments below.
Last update on 2021-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API