The 10 best Montessori toys for toddlers—age 2-3

It’s no secret around here that we 💜 all things Montessori, especially when it comes to toys. We love their simple, beautiful design; we love that they each have a clear purpose; and we love that they grow with your child and help encourage hours of open-ended, imaginative play.

If your little one has moved beyond her favorite infant Montessori toys, it’s time to check out our picks for the toddler years. We’ve selected toys that build fine motor skills, develop cognitive thinking, encourage pretend play, and that satisfy every toddler’s “I can do it myself!” urge!

1. Learning tower: Little Partners Adjustable Height Learning Tower

A learning tower is the perfect tool for the curious toddler. There are so many uses here, but we especially love it for all things in the kitchen, whether it’s cooking, baking, or even learning to meal prep or wash dishes. We also love that it’s sturdy and adjustable to grow with your child. It’s an investment, but one that we think is well worth the splurge!

2. Moving toys: Little Sapling Car and Truck with Bridge and Tunnels

Perfect for pretend play, these all-natural, durable vehicles made from solid maple will be a playroom staple for years to come. We also love that Little Sapling plants a tree for every toy sold! 🌳

3. Sorting toy: Mama May I Colored Cups and Balls

One of the most popular Montessori-inspired toddler toys that packs a conceptual punch—these colorful wooden cups and balls teach colors, numbers, and spacial skills, along with developing fine motor skills. So many ways to play!

4. Soft doll: Lakeshore Washable Doll

Montessori-inspired dolls should be as lifelike as possible. We love that this one fits the bill while also being completely machine washable and durable enough for hours of toddler pretend play.

5. Peg dolls: Grimm’s Seven Friends in 7 Bowls

Simple, colorful peg dolls are a Montessori fave. They’re perfectly sized for little hands, and there are countless ways toddlers can play and pretend with them for many years. We love these because they also teach sorting and basic colors.

6. Household objects: Melissa & Doug Cutting Food Play Set

Toddlers will love practicing their “knife skills” with this wooden food set—and you’ll love that you won’t have to worry about a trip to the hospital! This is a great play set to start teaching your little one about household asks.

7. Practical life activities: Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House Pretend Play Set

The Montessori approach focuses a great deal of attention on teaching little ones the basics of "real life” routines and responsibilities. Why not accomplish this and get your shelves dusted at the same time? 👏👏

8. Realistic figurines: Schleich animals

Just like with dolls, the Montessori approach encourages kiddos to play with animal figurines that look just like the real thing. These hand painted figurines are super detailed, come in dozens of varieties, and are perfect for hours of imaginative play.

9. Complex puzzle: Mako Toys Tangram Puzzle

When your toddler has mastered simple puzzles, it may be time to start developing their spacial skills and move up to tangrams. This one’s pieces not only fit within the hexagon base, but also can be removed and manipulated into whatever shape your little one can dream up.

10. Interlocking blocks: Tree Hopper Toys Whoa-Bots

Interlocking blocks are the perfect challenge for any curious toddler looking for the next step up from classic block sets. These wooden robots will help your kiddo learn about building, balancing and stacking.

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