8 Engaging Montessori Toys For Babies And Kids
Encouraging both your little ones’ imaginations and developing skill sets.
You may have heard of Montessori schools, but have you heard of Montessori toys? The Montessori Method (developed by Maria Montessori) is a child-centered approach to learning, focused on encouraging children to use hands-on, sensory experiences when playing. Generally, kids will manipulate or engage with Montessori toys to better build their fine motor and visual skills, with little direction or guidance from parents in order to learn on their own.
Because Montessori toys are focused on tactile experiences, most toys are made of natural materials like wood or wool to connect children to nature. They’re typically simple (i.e., without sounds or lights) and realistic, so kids can learn about the world around them without being over-stimulated. Finally, these toys are usually focused on one purpose or task, so children will know when they’ve completed it correctly and why it’s important in today’s world.
Want to get some for your own little one? We’ve done all the hard work for you! Here are some of the most engaging Montessori toys for babies and kids from around the globe, all of whom take pride in sustainability and safety.
Best For | Open-ended Montessori toys
Sustainability & Ethics | FSC-certified wood & sustainable practices, ethically made, non-toxic paints
Age Ranges | 0–1, 1–3, 3–6, 6+
Price | Toys starting at $6.50
Grimm’s is a family-owned company from Germany focused on sustainable and safe Montessori toys. Using FSC-certified wood from across the European continent, the colorful toys are then hand-painted using nontoxic glazes and plant oils. We especially like the open-ended nature of these toys, to keep the possibilities as endless as can be. Find Grimm’s toys in stock at Scandiborn, The Wooden Wagon, and Australian-based Below the Willow Tree!
Best For | Car, wheel, and boat-inspired toys
Sustainability & Ethics | Responsibly sourced materials & sustainable practices, ethically made, eco-friendly packaging, nontoxic dyes, give back
Age Ranges | 0–6M, 6–12M, 12–18M, 2+, 3+
Price | Toys starting at $6
Plantoys believes in sustainability for the 3 Ms: materials, manufacturing, and minds. These toys are made with sustainable materials like reclaimed rubber trees and sawdust transformed into eco-friendly wood, and finished with non-toxic dyes and formaldehyde-free glue. You can find engaging and affordable Montessori toys for all of childhood, from water-play sailing boats to mini-golf sets.
Best For | Stuffed toys
Sustainability & Ethics | Sustainable materials, ethically made
Age Range | 6M+
Price | $35
When the founders of organic clothing brand Fair Indigo looked at the stuffed toys market, they discovered a surprising lack of safe options—so Joobles was born! Ethically hand-knit by fair trade artisans in Peru, these soft, squishy, and machine-washable stuffed animals are made with 100 percent organic Tanguis cotton yarn and certified nontoxic dyes. If the kids in your life can’t get enough of Flop the Frog or Jiffy the Giraffe, the whimsical animals can also be found in Meet the Joobles!, a bilingual picture book written by award-winning children’s author Monica Brown.
Best For | Montessori baby mobiles
Sustainability & Ethics | Sustainable materials, ethically made, eco-friendly packaging
Age Range | 0–4 months
Price | Mobiles starting at $25
Even newborns can engage in Montessori-style learning, especially with SUNandCo’s mobiles! Mobiles help teach visual and color acuity and are a great resource until babies are old enough to touch them (about four or five months). These eco-friendly pieces are crafted from natural wood, pure wool, and cotton in a 100 percent pet- and smoke-free studio in Minsk. Simple and effective, these make wonderful gifts for newborns.
5. Essential Montessori
Best For | Montessori wooden toy sets
Sustainability & Ethics | Sustainable & organic materials, ethically made, nontoxic dyes
Age Range | 0–3M, 3–6M, 6–9M
Price | Toys starting at $2
Essential Montessori handcrafts Montessori toys with the best in sustainable and natural materials. The team responsibly sources US birch wood, which is then sealed by an organic beeswax and olive oil blend. For a pop of color, they use homemade vegetable dyes derived from beets, turmeric, or blueberries. We recommend the highly popular Montessori bundles for specific age ranges, so you’ll be set for a full three months.
6. Mirus Toys
Best For | Math & counting toys
Sustainability & Ethics | Responsibly sourced materials & sustainable practices, ethically made, nontoxic dyes
Age Range | 3+
Price | Toys starting at $14.95
Inspired by her own daughter, Suba Jagannathan launched Mirus Toys to combine science, sustainability, and art. Each piece is third-party tested and verified to be safe; and if she wouldn’t give it to her child, she certainly wouldn’t sell it to you! Whether you’re looking for sensory, nature, or alphabet style toys, you can find them here. Our favorites are the math and counting toys for young children which make counting, multiplying, and even fractions fun.
7. Milton & Goose
Best For | Play kitchen & food toys
Sustainability & Ethics | Responsibly sourced materials & sustainable practices, ethically made, nontoxic finishes
Age Range | 3+
Price | Toys starting at $32
When Milton & Goose founder Shari Raymond couldn’t find a play kitchen for her children that was made locally and thoughtfully, she took matters into her own hands. After 18+ months of design and development, the results speak for themselves. Play kitchens are manufactured by second-generation Amish toymakers in Pennsylvania, using responsibly sourced wood and non-toxic finishes. Plus, they’re aesthetically pleasing to both children and adults alike.
8. Odin Parker
Best For | Heirloom Montessori toys that give back
Sustainability & Ethics | Responsibly sourced materials & sustainable practices, ethically made, give back
Age Range | Baby, toddler, preschool
Price | Toys starting at $12
For handmade heirloom-quality goods that are as whimsical as they are practical, we like Oregon-based Odin Parker. From a surgeon kit to a picnic crate, these Montessori toys will help build kids’ real-life skills while still allowing for play and creativity. Every purchase provides meals to children in need; you can see exactly how many when you buy! These toys will make an impact in the lives of your children and in others’, too.
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