Best Montessori Toys for Babies of 2023
Best Montessori Toys for Babies
January 5, 2023

Best Montessori Toys for Babies

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Best Montessori Toys for Babies .
Best Montessori Toys for Babies

Thanks to things like parenting Instagram accounts and other social media, the Montessori philosophy—a century-old approach to education—seems only to be growing in popularity.

Developed by Italian physician Maria Montessori in 1897, Montessori is a child-focused approach to learning that emphasizes hands-on, child-directed work. The philosophy encourages kids to engage in thoughtfully prepared, age-appropriate activities that nurture their cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. And while you’re a few years off from having to decide if a Montessori preschool is the right choice for your family, it’s definitely possible to incorporating the Montessori philosophy at home, right from day one, through doing what comes so naturally to your baby: playing.

What is a Montessori toy?

There’s no official list of “approved” Montessori toys; rather, a toy is considered Montessori-friendly if it supports the same educational philosophies as the Montessori approach. Here’s what to look for when choosing a Montessori-friendly toy for your baby:

  • Natural materials. The Montessori philosophy centers around surrounding a child with natural materials that they can learn about and explore. Does this mean absolutely no plastic allowed? Not quite. But for the most part, traditionally Montessori-friendly toys are made from natural materials like wood, metal, cotton, wool or even rock.
  • Simple and free of distractions. Translation: no batteries required. Think toys that will encourage your little one to engage in open-ended, imaginative play.
  • Focuses on a single skill. Toys that focus on a single skill or concept build the foundation for more advanced learning later on. A single-shape puzzle, for example, a rattle with a bell on it or a pounding bench are all single-skill toys that also teach more sophisticated concepts as your child grows and develops.
  • Realistic and purpose-driven. Maria Montessori favored toys and books that were rooted in reality, not pretend. This means if you’re choosing between a figurine that’s a cartoon-like image of, say, a cow, versus a realistic one, it’s always best to go with the one that’s based in the real world. She also observed that children love to mimic the world around them, so anything that can help your little one feel like a true part of the “grown-up” world is encouraged.

There’s one other thing to remember when choosing Montessori-friendly toys for your baby: less is more. Instead of stocking your little one’s playroom with tons of toys, choose only a few. Focus on toys that will go the distance and that are appropriate for whatever developmental stage your little one is in at the moment. Fewer toys will enable your baby to focus more on the task at hand—and there’ll be less for you to clean up at the end of a long day.

Babylist Picks for the Best Montessori Toys for Babies 0-12 Months Old

Set the Stage

A play mat + mirror + mobile or play gym = a safe and engaging spot for your baby to explore their surroundings and move their body.

Grasping + Grabbing

Our favorite toys that help to promote hand-eye coordination and fine motor skill development.

Buy Now

Feeling overwhelmed? Lovevery’s play kit subscription lets you receive a curated selection of toys for each stage of your baby’s development. They even include a little play guide for tips and activities!


From crinkly noises to toys they can safely mouth, give your baby plenty of opportunities to engage all of their senses.

Looking for more toys?

Check out our Toy Shelf in the Babylist Shop!

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