Montessori Wooden Toys And The Magic Within

Montessori Wooden Toys

Montessori Wooden Toys are a popular choice for parents who want to promote their child’s development naturally and safely.

In this article, we will answer some of the most (un)common questions parents have about Montessori wooden toys.

We will not forget to talk about the benefits they offer.

So, if you’re as curious as I was about Montessori wooden toys and want to learn more about their benefits, keep reading.

I will share all the experiences and research I’ve gathered so far in this article.

We’ll explore together:

  • the different types of Montessori wooden toys available
  • how they promote your baby’s development
  • what to look for when choosing the best toys for your little one
  • a list of Montessori wooden toys as a starting point in your journey

What Are Montessori Wooden Toys?

Montessori wooden toys are educational toys that promote your child’s development through play.

Montessori wooden toys stimulate your child’s senses and encourage exploration and learning.

They are generally made from natural materials and free from harmful chemicals.

This makes them a safe choice for babies who like to put everything in their mouths.

Montessori wooden toys are also durable and can last for years, making them an excellent investment for parents.

Montessori philosophy, which emphasizes a child’s natural curiosity, inspired these toys.


Pretty obvious, Montessori wooden toys are wood-made.

Depending on the producer’s approach, wood could be a sustainable and safe choice.

One of the companies we love that is producing wooden Montessori toys from sustainable wood is Lovevery.

In the Lovevery Play Kits review, you can read all about this subscription box service that contains a lot of Montessori wooden toys.

This is still running today, and our daughter continuously benefits from their toys.

In case you are looking for a wooden play gym you can read all you need to know in 2 detailed articles about it:

  1. The Lovevery Play Gym
  2. Top 10 Montessori Play Gyms – most of them wood-made

The wood used in Montessori toys is usually untreated or finished with water-based paint or natural oils.

This makes it safe for children to play with and minimizes the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals.

Why Does Montessori Use Wooden Toys?

Wooden toys are the best choice for children because they are safe, durable, and effective.

They also promote a child’s natural sense of wonder.

Wooden toys are versatile encouraging children to use their imagination and creativity.

Additionally, wooden toys have a timeless appeal and pass from generation to generation.

Educators at Lycee Montessori prefer wooden toys because they feature natural materials.

They also cause fewer accidents and injuries during toddler activities compared to other materials like metal.

Design and Functionality

To encourage exploration and discovery Montessori wooden toys use a variety of:

  • shapes,
  • sizes,
  • and textures.

They are also designed to be versatile, allowing your baby to use them in various ways.

This leads to the development of their imagination and creativity.

Montessori wooden toys are a great choice for parents who want to promote their baby’s development through play.

Are All Wooden Toys Montessori?

Not all wooden toys are Montessori.

Montessori toys are designed to encourage creativity and active play, without overwhelming children with too many bells and whistles.

Montessori wooden toys are simple, beautiful, and functional.

They also focus on the child’s individual learning needs and abilities.

If a wooden toy doesn’t fit the description above, then it’s (most likely) not Montessori.

In comparison, a toy built from a different material that fits the description can be Montessori.

Can Montessori Toys Be Plastic (Or Something Else)?

While wooden toys are the most popular choice, Montessori toys do exist from a variety of materials, including plastic.

Montessori toys are typically made of natural materials, such as wood or silicone, but they can sometimes be made of plastic or other materials.

According to Trekkerschool, Montessori experts would consider plastic toys as exceptional circumstances.

One example of non-wood Montessori toys is building blocks that would make sense to be silicone or plastic.

Montessori Toys vs Plastic Toys

Montessori toys promote a child’s development through play.

Plastic toys tend only to entertain.

Wooden toys are more durable than plastic toys.

That means they can withstand rough play and last longer while plastic toys may break more often.

Most of the time, wooden Montessori toys pass through many generations at ease.

Montessori wooden toys are generally handmade, thus adding an extra flavor.

Plastic toys are often mass-produced and may not be as durable or safe as Montessori toys.

Additionally, Montessori toys are often designed to be used in open-ended play, allowing children to explore and experiment with their environment.

Plastic toys may be more focused on specific activities or outcomes (e.g. pressing a button plays a song).

Ultimately, the choice between Montessori toys and plastic toys will depend on individual preferences and priorities.

What Age Are Montessori Wooden Toys For?

Montessori wooden toys are appropriate for a wide range of ages, from newborns to preschoolers.

Montessori wooden toys for babies typically focus on developing sensory skills, while toys for toddlers and preschoolers focus on developing fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, and imaginative play.

Some Montessori wooden toys, such as stackers and blocks, can be used by children of all ages and can grow with the child as they develop new skills and abilities.

Ultimately, the appropriateness of a Montessori wooden toy will depend on the individual child’s developmental stage and interests.

4 Major Benefits of Montessori Wooden Toys for Babies

Sensory Development

Montessori wooden toys stimulate your baby’s senses, which is essential for their development.

The natural materials used in these toys provide a range of sensory experiences, including:

  • tactile
  • visual
  • auditory

The different textures and shapes of the wooden toys help babies learn about the world around them.

Motor Skills

Montessori wooden toys promote the development of fine and gross motor skills in babies.

These toys are larger, making them easier for babies to grasp and manipulate.

An example is the wooden interlocking discs.

The unique tactile experience also helps babies develop their hand-eye coordination and dexterity.

Another example is that wooden blocks can help babies develop their pincer grasp, essential for picking up small objects.

Cognitive Development

Montessori wooden toys foster cognitive development in babies.

These toys promote problem-solving skills, creativity, and imagination.

The natural material provides a unique sensory experience that helps babies learn about cause and effect.

A (crochet) wooden rattle is a very good example.

We wrote a dedicated article for Crochet Wooden Rattles which you can read during your coffee break.

Another example that helps kids learn about shapes, colors, and spatial awareness is a wooden shape sorter toy.

Independent Play

Montessori wooden toys encourage independent play in babies.

These toys are generally open-ended, which means that there are no rules or specific ways to play with them.

This encourages babies to use their imagination and creativity.

As you can see, Montessori wooden toys provide a range of benefits for babies.

The ones mentioned above are the main ones.

Choosing The Right Montessori Wooden Toys For Your Baby

When buying Montessori wooden toys for babies, it’s vital to choose high-quality toys that are safe and durable.

Look for toys made from sustainably sourced wood, and avoid the ones having small parts that can be a choking hazard.

Before purchasing, read (several) reviews from other parents to get an idea of the toy’s quality and durability.

You can also check if the toy is certified by safety organizations like the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Buying Montessori wooden toys for babies can be a great investment in your child’s development if research is done properly, that’s for sure.

Age-Appropriate Toys

When choosing the right Montessori wooden toy for your baby, it’s critical to consider their age.

It’s essential to pick a toy that is appropriate for their developmental stage.

This will help your baby learn and develop new skills.

For newborns to six-month-old babies, consider toys that stimulate their senses, such as:

  • wooden teethers
  • wooden rattles
  • wooden interlocking discs

For six-month-old to one-year-old babies, toys that encourage movement, such as:

  • wooden walkers
  • push toys

For toddlers aged one to three years old, consider toys that promote imaginative play, such as:

  • wooden blocks
  • play kitchens

Safety Considerations

When choosing Montessori wooden toys for your baby, it’s critical to also consider their safety.

Look for toys that are:

  • non-toxic
  • free from sharp edges or small parts that could be a choking hazard
  • sturdy and well-made, with no loose or easily breakable parts

Even so, always supervise your baby while they are playing with their toys to ensure their safety.

Toy Maintenance

Montessori wooden toys last for years, that’s for sure.

Still, proper maintenance is essential to ensure their longevity.

Keep wooden toys clean by wiping them down with a damp cloth and mild soap, and avoid submerging them in water.

If the toy becomes damaged or shows signs of wear and tear, it’s best to replace it to ensure your baby’s safety.

Where to Buy Wooden Montessori Toys

There are several places where you can buy Montessori wooden toys for babies. Here are some of the most popular options:

  1. Online Marketplaces: Websites like Etsy and Amazon have a wide selection of Montessori wooden toys for babies. You can browse through thousands of options from different sellers and choose the ones that suit your needs. Check out our curated list below for a head start.
  2. Specialty Stores: Some specialty toy stores specialize in Montessori wooden toys for babies. These stores often have knowledgeable staff who can help you choose the right toys for your child.
  3. Montessori Schools: Some Montessori schools sell wooden toys for babies as a way to support their programs. If there’s a Montessori school in your area, you can check if they sell toys to the public.

The Best Montessori Wooden Toys For Babies By Type

Like the Montessori philosophy, the range of wooden toys is open-ended.

I’ve built for you below a structure based on the types of these toys, also with examples of heavily reviewed products on Amazon.

Wooden Rattles

A wooden toy with a small ball or beads inside that make a noise when shaken can help stimulate a baby’s auditory senses, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.

They often come together with a teether.

Wooden Teething Toys

Wooden teething toys provide relief for teething babies and help them develop fine motor skills by grasping and manipulating the toy.

Any of the rattles above are also great teething toys but you can find some others below.

Most of them come together with rattling features.

Object Permanence Box

A box with two holes and a sliding panel, where an adult or a child can drop small objects through the holes.

This will teach your baby about object permanence as they observe the object still being there even when it’s not visible.

The concept is pretty much the same with all vendors.

Montessori Wooden Puzzles

These wooden puzzles with simple shapes help babies develop problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination.

When you hear the word “puzzle” you think it doesn’t go well with a baby.

Allow yourself to be surprised by your young one and check some options below.

Wooden Nesting & Stacking Toys

Simple wooden shapes of various sizes that can be nested or stacked will help babies develop their spatial awareness and problem-solving skills.

Unfortunately, there are so many wooden options as most of them are out of silicone before the age of 1.

Still, if you try hard enough you can find a couple.

Don’t get scared if your baby doesn’t complete it.

Even 1 or 2 shapes are great progress and it will push their development.

Montessori Spinning Drum

The Montessori Spinning Drum is a cylindrical drum that can be spun around its central axis.

It is a hands-on educational tool that teaches your baby about movement, cause and effect, and spatial awareness.

Same as with the object permanence box, the concept is quite similar between manufacturers.

The difference will be the color picking and the textures of the drum’s sides.

Wooden Rolling Drum (Cylinder)

The Montessori wooden rolling drum is a cylinder-shaped drum with ball(s) inside that produces a rhythmic sound when rolled back and forth.

The main differences compared to the spinning drum are:

  • can be rolled around
  • can be picked up due to significantly less weight
  • works well as a rattle

It helps children develop their hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, and auditory senses.

Wooden Tummy Time Mirror

The Wooden Tummy Time Mirror is a small, shatterproof mirror designed to help babies during tummy time.

It allows babies to see themselves and their surroundings, making tummy time more engaging and entertaining.

Mirrors are also part of other Montessori toys, like the Spinning Drum.

Today they are omnipresent in almost every baby toy.

The standalone ones act also as a puzzle.

Wooden Interlocking Discs

The Montessori wooden interlocking discs are a set of two wooden discs that interlock at a 90-degree angle.

Their purpose is to help infants develop voluntary grasp, hand-to-hand transfer, and wrist development by rotating and examining the discs from either side.

Wooden Mobile

Wooden mobiles for babies are simple hanging toys made of wood with different shapes and colors.

They help stimulate your baby’s visual senses and encourage tracking, concentration, and depth perception.

You can read more details and find other mobile options in our in-depth guide about baby mobiles.

I’ve listed above the most popular Montessori toys for babies up to 12 months old.

I’ll do a follow-up soon for the ones dedicated to toddlers.

Also, a recent article about Montessori Play Gyms might be of interest if you are looking for more details about this type of product.

A tiny spoiler, the gyms are also wood-based.

Key Takeaways

In summary, Montessori wooden toys are not only beautiful, but they also offer many benefits for young children’s development.

These toys provide a range of benefits, including promoting creativity, problem-solving skills, and sensory development.

If you’re looking for long-lasting, safe, and educational wooden toys for your child, consider adding Montessori wooden toys to your collection today. 

This choice will support both your baby’s development and the environment.

Start exploring today the range of options presented above to see the difference they can make in your baby’s playtime.

From promoting creativity and problem-solving to improving fine and gross motor skills, these toys are a great investment in your child’s education.

If you have any questions, tips, curiosities, or experiences to share, please use the comments section below.

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