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12 Montessori-inspired baby + toddler toys that make the perfect holiday gift

We’ve chosen 12 of our favorite Montessori-inspired baby + toddler toys for you to add to your little ones’ wish lists this year.

12 Montessori-inspired baby + toddler toys that make the perfect holiday gift

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.

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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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In This Article

    These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

    It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

    When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

    But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

    I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

    So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

    It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

    But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


    Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


    Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

    Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

    Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

    Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


    This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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    This post is brought to you by Staples. While this was a sponsored opportunity, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

    One of the biggest changes in my household once my daughter started homeschooling was that, suddenly, everything and everyone in our home had to start pulling double duty. While I was used to wearing a lot of hats (mom, wife and WFH employee, to name a few), suddenly our dining room was also pulling shifts as a classroom. My laptop was also a virtual teacher. Our living room hutch was also a school supply closet.

    If I didn't want my home to be overrun with an abundance of clutter, I had to find products that could multitask. Here are 10 products that are saving this WFH + homeschooling mama right now.

    Stylish storage cabinet

    Whether I need a place to keep the printer or just want to keep crayons and colored pencils organized, this pretty cabinet provides a mixture of exposed and hidden storage without clashing with my living room decor.

    White board calendar + bulletin board

    With so much on our plates these days, I need a visual reminder of our daily schedule or I'll forget everything. This dry erase version makes it easy to keep track of Zoom meetings and virtual classes—and I also love using the corkboard to display my daughter's latest work from art class.

    Natural Recycled 3-Ring Binder

    From tracking our curriculum progress to organizing my family's paperwork, I can never have enough binders. Even better, this neutral version is pretty enough that I can display them on the bookshelf.

    Bamboo storage drawers

    The instant you start homeschooling, it can feel like you're suddenly drowning in papers, craft supplies and more. Fortunately, these simple bamboo drawers can be tucked into the cabinet or even displayed on top (seriously, they're that cute!) to keep what we need organized and close at hand.

    Laminated world map

    I love this dry-erase map for our geography lessons, but the real secret? It also makes a cute piece of wall decor for my work space.

    Rolling 7-drawer cabinet

    When you're doing it all from home, you sometimes have to roll with the punches—I strongly recommend getting an organizational system that rolls with you. On days when both my husband and I are working from home and I need to move my daughter's classes to another room, this 7-drawer cabinet makes it easy to bring the classroom with us.

    Letterboard

    From our first day of school photo to displaying favorite quotes to keep myself motivated, this 12"x18" letterboard is my favorite thing to display in our home.

    Expandable tablet stand

    Word to the wise: Get a pretty tablet stand you won't mind seeing out every day. (Because between virtual playdates, my daughter's screen time and my own personal use, this thing never gets put away.)

    Neutral pocket chart

    Between organizing my daughter's chore chart, displaying our weekly sight words and providing a fits-anywhere place to keep supplies on hand, this handy little pocket chart is a must-have for homeschooling families.

    Totable fabric bins

    My ultimate hack for getting my family to clean up after themselves? These fabric bins. I can use them to organize my desk, store my oldest's books and even keep a bin of toys on hand for the baby to play with while we do school. And when playtime is over, it's easy for everyone to simply put everything back in the bin and pop it in the cabinet.

    Looking for study solutions for older children? Hop over to Grown & Flown for their top picks for Back to School.

    Work + Money

    It's 2020, but for American mothers, it's still the 1950s

    Once a woman in America becomes a mother, our society transports her back in time. In an instant, generations of sexist ideas and structures descend back upon her.

    We like to think that women have come so far.

    We have our educations. Today, our education system not only allows girls to thrive, but it has enabled the first generation in history—Millennials—in which women are more highly educated than men.

    We have choice. Access to family planning has given American women life-changing control over their fertility and the decision to start a family.

    We have basic respect. Today, our marriages are built on the principle that partners are equal regardless of gender.

    We have careers. It's utterly common for a woman to return to work after having a child.

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    We have acknowledgment. And our culture even declares that caregiving is essential work for both mothers and fathers.

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    But the truth is that American motherhood has the veneer of being modern, without any of the structures to support our actual lives today.

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