Every day we’re bombarded with the latest baby and toddler toys that will entertain and educate our kids. Flashy lights and sounds are sure to get your kids’ attention but oftentimes these toys break, or our kids lose interest. I always say kids will play with the box the toys come in longer than they’ll play with the actual toy. Montessori toys are kind of like the box. They don’t do anything but have limitless possibilities in a child’s imagination.
In this post you’ll learn what the heck Montessori toys are and 10 of the best Montessori toys for one-year-olds.
What are Montessori Toys?
There is actually no such thing as a “Montessori toy.” Surprisingly, the name Montessori is not trademarked, so any brand can slap it on a product. Montessori is a system of education developed by Dr. Maria Montessori who specialized in pediatrics and psychology.
The Montessori method emphasizes independence in allowing children to develop natural interests and activities for learning, rather than formal learning methods.
So, Montessori toys are any toy or object that promotes independent open-ended play. They encourage children to experiment and use their imagination with objects they can manipulate. Dr. Maria Montessori preferred for children to play with toys made out of natural materials which is why most Montessori toys are made of wood. High-quality wood toys are also free of chemicals so we’re not afraid for our babies to chew on them!
What Are the Best Toys for 1-Year-Old Toddlers Between 13 and 18 Months?
This age range is full of so much learning and development so one year old is the perfect time to introduce Montessori toys to your baby/ toddler. Babies between 13-18 months vary a lot. Some are walking and talking while others are still not very mobile and that’s alright, everyone develops a little differently. In this list of the best Montessori toys for 1 year olds you’ll find something perfect for your little ones no matter where they’re at developmentally! Wooden Leaf Puzzle (what do they learn with this?)
This wooden puzzle is a beautiful way to introduce your little one to botany and my favorite part is that the leaves are made from their respective woods (oak leaf in oak, Ash made of ash…). How cool is that?! I love those little details. The front of the leaves is their natural wood colors but the back is fall colors.
Your one year old will be introduced to nature studies with the different wood and fall colors of this puzzle, and this toy can be used as they get older to learn about tree classification and word recognition.
You’ve probably seen these wooden rainbow stacking toys. They’ve been a staple in Montessori classrooms and playrooms. You can find them in so many different color schemes. I’m partial to the muted neutral colors like this one but one with real rainbow colors would be a great way for toddlers to learn about colors and rainbows.
The Montessori method encourages realistic life-like dolls that are anatomically correct and inclusive. They promote empathy and accept people of any race, gender, or condition. They are a great free play toy that aids in Social-Emotional Learning.
Toddlers love making noise, it’s their main way of expressing themselves. Musical instruments allow them to get creative with the sounds they make and the action and reaction of their movements.
is there anything more open-ended than blocks? they can build, destroy, throw, you name it.
Threading and lacing toys are perfect for developing fine motor skills and these shapes are a great intro to geometric shapes
Play silks are a great way for toddlers and children to exercise their imaginations. They can play dress-up, be a superhero, dance with them, so many possibilities. The silky texture is fun for them too!
These play silks from Amazon are made of 100% real silk and hand-dyed using non-toxic dyes that are certified by the CPSIA to be safe for children and sustainable for the environment.
These fun wooden climbing toys are great for gross motor development in infants and young children. Kids love climbing on everything!
These huge busy boards are so cool because they’re like multiple toys all in one! The different pieces on this Montessori busy board help with developing fine motor skills, logic, memory, finger grip, and attention. The various colors and textures are a hit with toddlers.
Melissa and Doug are one of our favorite brands for pretend play. Their toys are so cute and of such good quality. These pots and pans and cleaning toys are great for toddlers to learn real-life everyday activities. These practical life toys go great in a playhouse for even more imaginative play!
No Matter what stage your one year old is in, they are such smart creative little people who are capable of expressing themselves in beautiful ways. I hope this post gave you a clearer idea of what a Montessori toy is and given you ideas on what Montessori toys to get for a one year old to help them express themselves through play!