If you’re looking to deck the halls—and the playroom—this year with simple, classic toys that spark your children’s imagination and will grow right along with them, then look no further.
The Montessori Method of education is a popular child-centered approach based on science and the idea that a supportive learning environment, the development of the whole child, and the idea that everything from physical and cognitive development are just as important as social and emotional skills.
We’ve chosen 12 of our favorite Montessori-inspired baby + toddler toys for you to add to your little ones’ wish lists this year.
1. Heir + Loom Kids Montessori Infant Set; Etsy, $40.50
The perfect introduction to Montessori materials for the littlest of hands. This handmade, heirloom-quality gift set has six grasping, teething, and rattle toys to keep your little one busy + encourage exploration and fine + gross motor development.
2. Black & White board book; Amazon, $4.40
It’s never too early to start reading with your little one, and the bold black + white images throughout this board book are sure to catch baby’s eye. The accordion-style design makes this perfect for tummy time, too.
3. Little Sapling Circle Sapling Stacker Toy; Etsy, $44.00
Stacking toys are a Montessori classic—they inspire imagination and help babies develop fine motor and pattern recognition skills. This one’s both functional and beautiful; it’s handcrafted from Maple, Cherry, and Walnut wood and is sure to become a playtime favorite.
4. GYBBER&MUMMU Wooden Preschool Shapes Puzzle; Amazon, $7.99
This sturdy, simple puzzle features nine colorful shape blocks and a solid wood base. It’s a great way to teach little ones shapes and colors, and we love that the pieces are large enough for easy grasping and maneuvering.
5. Little Wooden Wonders Elephant Puzzle; Etsy, $17.99
Your toddler will love fitting together the chunky pieces of this adorable elephant puzzle, and you’ll love that it’s made from natural wood and will inspire lots of creative play. It can also be personalized.
6. Legacy Learning Ball and Pot Sorting Game; Etsy, $14.69
Sorting games teach so many things—color recognition, fine motor skills, matching, and more. Plus, they’re really fun! This handcrafted one is one of our faves and makes a beautiful gift.
7. Grimm’s Large Standard Block Set; Amazon, $119.35
We know these blocks are a bit of a splurge, but trust us—they will pay for themselves over and over again when you realize how many hours your little one is going to spend playing with them! These oversized, heirloom-quality pieces are a must-have for any toy collection; the possibilities for imaginative play are endless!
8. Pillowfort Play Tent; Target, $89.99
Few things inspire imagination in little ones more than a cozy little space all their own. This play tent makes the perfect addition to any bedroom or playroom and is sure to become your kiddo’s favorite place to camp out.
9. Two Tiny Sunshines Garden Play Set; Etsy, $64.00
Inspire your little one’s green thumb! This (absolutely adorable) handmade felt “garden” is ideal for pretend play and just could not be more darling.
10. Cake in the Morn Wooden Toy Bowling Set; Etsy, $24.00
Liven up a snowy day by bringing the bowling alley indoors! We love the classic look of this handmade bowling set, and it’s sure to help burn off some of that seemingly endless supply of toddler energy.
11. EverEarth Jr. Ramp Racer; Amazon, $27.99
There’s something about watching cars speed down ramps that provide toddlers with hours of enjoyment. (And really, who are we to argue?) This compact set won’t take up your entire playroom, and is made from sturdy, high-quality wood so it will hold up well.
12. Clover & Birch Balance Board; Etsy, $50.00
A popular toy in both Montessori and Waldorf classrooms, balance boards are a fun + simple way for little ones to develop their sense of balance and explore their senses. Kids also love to turn the boards into just about anything—a boat, a table, a bridge, or whatever else they can imagine!
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