You've done the research and read the articles about Maria Montessori, and know the benefits of open-ended toys. As you visit the toy store, though, it's still very overwhelming – what should you buy? These must-have Montessori-inspired toys are just what your tired old toy collection needs!
The Best Montessori Toy for an Infant
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Infants find the Skwish Rattle highly engaging on many levels. A perfect example of a Montessori toy, this teether/rattle combination is made of wood, elastic string, and bells. The rattle comes both in a natural wood finish and also a colorful, non-toxic, water-based finish. The Skwish Rattle's design makes it easy to grasp, and the wooden dowels and bells are fun for babies to manipulate.
Another great toy is the even simpler-style Bell Rattle. This rattle's simplicity and functionality make it a perfect Montessori toy. It fits perfectly into an infant's tiny hands. Its light, compact design means that baby can make music all by himself!
Are you shopping for an older infant? The Rattling Roller is perfect for the baby who's becoming mobile. This roller's colors, motion and sound will intrigue your baby to crawl in order to chase it all over the floor.
Which Toys Do Toddlers Love?
Toddlers have different play needs than infants. These toys will help them to learn more about the world every day. The Object Permanence Box is a sturdy, simple wooden box and ball that will keep a toddler busy!
A child begins learning about object permanence between four and seven months of age, and it remains quite a point of curiosity. This toy allows repeated, endless investigation of where exactly that ball goes.
When playing with this box, the child sharpens fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination while strengthening the understanding of object permanence.
Another way to strengthen eye-hand coordination in children is through Play Silks. These soft, smooth, beautiful pieces of fabric catch the air beautifully and invite children to try and catch them.
One hallmark of a Montessori toy is its versatility, and Play Silks are very versatile. Infants love the feel of these silks in their hands and their mouths, while toddlers enjoy taking them out of baskets and putting them back in. Preschoolers can use these silks as costume components and props for make-believe.
Blocks Are For Everyone!
Blocks are the universal toy that every playroom need. They're sturdy, functional, and children of all ages can be successful with them. Here's a twist on the standard wooden block: mirrors. Whaaa? Yep, you read it right: mirrors. Mirrored blocks go one step beyond standard blocks by further engaging the senses.
You Can't Go Wrong
As long as you're choosing durable, well-made toys that are open-ended, you really can't go wrong. Keep in mind that a toy doesn't need bells and whistles (electronic or otherwise) for it to be engaging and beneficial to a child.