I have a love/hate relationship with toys.
I want to keep my kids engaged and entertained, but I also hate buying a ton of toys just for them to get bored with a few hours later. Or worse, buying toys that just end up breaking after my kids play with them.
It's tough trying to find the perfect toy that will help your child learn and grow, but not break the bank in the process. Most of us are on a tight budget as it is, so finding quality toys can feel impossible.
While I was holiday shopping last year I started to see ads for more interactive wooden toys everywhere. When I looked into it, it turned out these style of toys were part of the Montessori philosophy.
Montessori toys are a great way to help your kids learn and develop while having fun at the same time. They promote problem-solving skills, creativity, self-expression, and more. Plus they're usually well made so they don't break easily or quickly become outdated.
We've now bought a few Montessori toys for my kids and they've been some of the best purchases we've made!
In this post, I'll share with you everything you need to know about Montessori toys, the best ones to buy, and where to buy toys that won't break the bank.
- Best Toys for Babies: Pikler Triangle
- Best Toys for Toddlers: Toddler Balance Beam
- Best Toys for Kids: Stepping Stones
- Best Place to Buy Montessori Toys: GrowGo Kids
Table of Contents
What Are Montessori Toys?
First off - what exactly is a Montessori toy?
Montessori toys are inspired by the educational philosophies of Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician. According to her teachings, children should be given open-ended materials that allow them to explore and construct their own learning experiences. This is why so many parents turn to montessori classrooms and these types of toys when looking for something that will promote their child's development in a meaningful way.
The toys themselves are really simple and encourage children to use their imaginations. They're often made from natural and sustainable materials, like wood or fabric, and are designed to help kids develop fine motor development and skills as well as problem-solving abilities.
Do I Need to Attend Montessori School to Use the Toys?
One of the biggest questions I had before buying any Montessori toy was if I had to have my kids getting a Montessori education in order to be able to use the toys. Montessori school is a little different than traditional school or daycare because it focuses on self guided learning.
My kids attend a traditional daycare that isn't teaching the Montessori method, and the good news is that they can still get all the benefits of the toys without attending Montessori school!
Regular Toys vs. Montessori - What's the Difference?
The biggest difference between regular toys and Montessori toys is that the latter encourage play that helps children build foundational skills. Regular toys often have a set purpose, like pretending to cook or driving a car. Whereas Montessori toys are meant to help children learn about the natural world all around them through independent exploration and discovery.
For instance, a Montessori-inspired toy might include an activity like sorting objects according to their size or shape, which helps children learn how to classify and organize information. These types of educational toys are are also generally open-ended so that kids can use them in multiple ways.
Another popular example of a Montessori toy is a Pikler Triangle, which helps babies and kids learn how to climb and balance.
Montessori toys have a lot of benefits for children. Not only do they help promote problem-solving skills, but they also provide a great opportunity for kids to develop their creativity, self-expression, social skills, and physical development. The open-ended nature of these toys allows kids to explore different scenarios and practice critical thinking skills.
Montessori toys are also usually more durable than regular toys, which means they don't break easily or quickly become outdated. This makes them a great investment for parents who want to provide quality educational materials for their children.
They also usually are able to age up and down easily, meaning that you can use the same toy for multiple ages.
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Best Montessori Toys
There are so many Montessori inspired sensory toys available on the market today. Here are some of my family's top picks that have been a hit with my baby and toddler.
Pikler Triangles are a fun and durable way for babies, toddlers and kids to develop their balance and gross motor skills. My daughters love climbing up and figuring out how to climb down!
There's also a slide attachment that can turn part of the triangle into a slide. Or, you can take off the slide and use it for balancing. Either way you play with it, it's a great multipurpose activity that keeps my kids entertained for hours.
Balance Stepping Stones
Balance stepping stones are one of my family's favorite favorite toys! They love to set them up in our living room and use them to play "the floor is lava". I love it because I can see them learning how to balance and coordination skills!
The stepping stones also have a second, flat side that has numbers on them that my 4 year old loves to organize and sort. When she gets a little older we'll be able to turn it into a math game!
Balance beams are a classic Montessori toy, and for good reason! I love this set from GrowGo Toys because it's compact and can break down neatly so it doesn't take up a ton of space. My kids love to use it to create all different types of paths and challenges.
I like that it isn't too high off the ground so I don't have to worry about my daughters getting hurt if they fall down.
Where to Buy
While Montessori toys are becoming more popular and starting to show up in stores, I've found the best place to buy them are online. There's usually a larger selection online, and you can usually find the best deals!
My favorite place to shop for Montessori toys is GrowGo Kids. They have a large selection of Montessori toys for kids of all ages and high quality! I've been able to use all the toys I've ordered through them with all my kids and they've held up really great. Grow Go Kids also has offered a special 10% off discount with the code COFFEE10 off all orders!
Montessori Toys are a great way to keep kids entertained, as well as make sure they're learning too and developing fine motor skills. From the youngest kids to the oldest, Montessori toys offer something for everyone. My kids especially love the Pikler Triangle and Balance Stepping Stones because they help them develop physical skills as well as problem-solving abilities.
No matter what type of toy you choose for your child, I'm sure you'll be able to find something that will provide hours of fun!
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