The Best Montessori Toys

mixed montessori wooden toys

What Are Montessori Toys?

If you are looking for the best Montessori toys, you are in the right place! Here at Babipur we have over 14 years of experience selling the very best in sustainable and ethically produced wooden toys. Educational and open ended toys from top eco-toy brands including Plan Toys, Grimm’s, Grapat, Bajo and many more. But what exactly are Montessori toys, and how can we incorporate Montessori learning into our child’s play? Firstly, lets take a look at the principles behind Montessori learning.

Montessori Theory

Developed by Maria Montessori in the early 1900 in Italy, Montessori education is based on a set of child-centred principles. Children are given an environment in which they have the freedom to choose the activities or work, driven by their interests and developmental needs. This whole child education includes mental, emotional, social and physical development.

Grapat Loose Parts - perfect for open-ended play
Grapat Loose Parts – perfect for open-ended play

Montessori principles are centred around respect for the child. Children are motivated to learn and reach new levels of understanding independently when their needs are met as individuals. Montessori schools and home educators do this by providing a range of learning resources and activities for the child to choose to work on uninterrupted and with independence. Children are free to move between activities within the limits of the environment, observed and supported by the teacher.

Maria Montessori actively encouraged exploration of the natural world, inspiring children to have an understanding of plants and animals. Sensory activities and tactile experiences are a key approach to learning letters, numbers and writing skills. Practical life activities from dressing and personal care, cleaning and tidying and meal preparation are all encouraged from a young age with suitable toys and child appropriate tools. Montessori nurseries and playrooms are all designed with the child in mind, with child size chairs, work stations and toys and resources on child height shelving.

With this in mind, lets take a look at our ten best Montessori toys at Babipur. These resources will encourage independent learning through play and stimulate imaginative play.

The Top 10 Montessori Toys at Babipur

With one of the largest collections of best Montessori Toys online, we thought it might be a good idea to narrow down the list to some of our favourites. Our Babipur community have tried and tested all these toys, with great feedback. You can find lots of reviews over on our Facebook community page, the Babipur Hangout.  

Plan Toys Desk for a Montessori setting
Plan Toys Childs Desk

Whether you are looking for Montessori baby toys, or wooden toys and learning resources for older children we have plenty to offer. These Montessori wooden toys are perfect for setting up your own DIY Montessori space or playroom, teamed up with the Plan Toys child’s eco-home range >HERE<

1. Plan Toys Chopping Veggies

Plan Toys are THE top sustainable toy brand – carefully thought out wooden learning toys. We have a huge Plan Toys range and each piece is a fabulous addition to your Montessori setting. Incredibly durable sensory toys for babies, role play toys and educational toys, Plan Toys offer great value and are lots of fun! It’s been very difficult to narrow down to just one toy. However, from personal experience the kitchen role play sets are so well loved here. From tea sets, cooking sets, and cutting veggies and cakes, they are a great Montessori toy.

Plan Toys kitchen role play
Plan Toys kitchen role play sets – Image credit Hannah Allen

Toddlers and children will love to chop up the colourful veggie set and cook up a feast with them in a play kitchen. The realistic, tactile shape of each vegetable will appeal to children of all ages. Ethically made with Planwood, a new sustainable recycled material manufactured by Plan Toys. Each half is joined together with velcro, making it fun to cut up with the wooden knife. Perfect for imitative play and for practicing the pincer grip, grasp and coordination, they are a great Montessori toy for 1 year olds upwards.

2. Okonorm Play Dough

Wonderful for sensory play, Okonorm play dough is eco-friendly and non-toxic. Playing with play dough is not only loads of fun – its great for strengthening the hand as a precursor to writing too. Explore creatively and learn about colour and texture too. A stalwart of Montessori educators and great fun for children too. Add a set of cutters and a rolling pin or simply press in shapes or letters for extra learning fun. Amy has written a fantastic blog for us with 6 ways to play with Okonorm play dough >HERE<

OkoNorm Play Dough is a wonderful resource for the Montessori workspace
OkoNorm Play Dough is a wonderful resource for the Montessori workspace – Image credit @tillystoys Instagram

3. Kontu

Kontu are modular, magnetic wooden blocks that nurture a positive mindset in young people of mathematics and STEM. All the time whilst learning through play and having fun, making it a great resource for a Montessori playroom.

This is a great early years resource for Montessori schools, nurseries and homeschool settings. They’re ideal for exploring early mathematical concepts including counting, numerals, physics and magnetism. Moreover, they’re designed to grow with your child, by introducing new concepts and challenges. They appeal to children and adults of all ages, by making learning through play fun! You can find out more about Kontu over on the blog >HERE<

kontu k15 STEM blocks
Kontu magnetic STEM resources at Babipur

4. Wobbel

Montessori principles also include a freedom to move, with physical movement and coordination encouraged.  A Wobbel is a high strength wooden curved board that children and grown-ups can play with. Children instinctively know what they want to do with it, and the first thing children want to do is rock! Standing up, sitting down, lying, back and forth over and over they just love the rocking motion. All this rocking builds core strength, balancing skills, coordination and confidence.

Wobbel boards
Children instinctively know how to use the Wobbel

A Wobbel is more than just a rocker board though – it can be a bridge, a roof, a chair or even a step. A Wobbel board can be incorporated into all sorts of play in a natural and instinctive way. Wobbel also grows with your child, younger children can crawl onto it and rock gently, they can use it as a bridge for their toys, while older children will stand and rock and incorporate building blocks or marble runs with the Wobbel as a base. Add a comfy cushion or Wobbel Deck for a comfortable place to listen to music, read or rest. The Wobbel is a really versatile Montessori toy for 1 year olds and beyond.

The Wobbel Deck makes a relaxing place to listen to music, stories, reading and relaxing in a Montessori playroom

5. Triclimb

The Triclimb is a modern take on the classic Pikler triangle – an activity triangle climbing frame. Encouraging children to climb and discover through their own experience developing gross motor skills, strength and confidence. This Montessori toy is suitable from birth. Once children have developed the strength, they can experiment by pulling themselves up, reaching and grabbing onto the rungs. As confidence grows children can begin to climb and eventually reach the top. Transform the Triclimb into a den or quiet reading space with the simple addition of a blanket. A fabulous addition to your Montessori playroom. Find out more about Triclimb >HERE<

Triclimb is a great addition to a Montessori nursery or playroom
Triclimb is a great addition to a Montessori nursery or playroom

6. Grimm’s Rainbow

A playroom favourite and much loved open-ended Montessori wooden toy. With so many different ways to play and learn it’s not surprising that the Grimm’s 12 piece rainbow is a best seller. We love open-ended toys as they offer so many learning opportunities and provide interest across age ranges.

Grimm's rainbows - in bright, pastel and natural
Grimm’s rainbows – in bright, pastel and natural

The possibilities for creative play are endless with the Grimm’s large wooden rainbow. Made up of 12 segments, the possibilities for play are endless. Set them up as tunnels and bridges for cars, cots for baby dolls, animal shelters or farm fences. They’re even big enough for small children to crawl through and can be spread out to make mermaid tails. A real favourite has to be balancing one on top of another, resulting in the building of elaborate sculptures. This natural toy will be loved by Montessori educators, nurseries and playgroups as it can be used throughout the day in endlessly creative ways. They are a popular Montessori toy for 2 and 3 year olds which will be loved for years to come.

7. Coach house letter board

Wooden tracing boards are a great way to develop muscle memory and develop the fine motor skills required for learning to write. The Little Coach House has a wonderful collection of sustainable wooden tracing boards. Made right here in the UK, these boards include shapes, numbers and pre-writing boards to letters including cursive alphabet. Using the tracing stick helps develop the tripod grip for holding a pencil, and filling in the shapes with beads or rice will help reinforce number and letter recognition. These Montessori resources are a great way to introduce the alphabet to pre-schoolers and for a Montessori homeschool setting.

Coach House Alphabet tracing board is a great Montessori resource
The Little Coach House alphabet board is double sided – upper case on one side and lower case on the other

8. Reel Wood Numbers

Number recognition, learning to count and early mathematical play is a core learning activity. Reel Wood numbers make this fun! These chunky handmade numbers are a wonderful Montessori teaching resource. Stack them up, push them into play dough draw around them – the learning opportunities are endless. These tactile numbers are a Montessori must have for pre-schoolers and homeschool settings. Find our 6 Ways To Play with them over on Kim’s blog post >HERE<

9. Drei Blatter Chinter Blocks

We love wooden building blocks! With a good range to chose from including Grimm’s, Plan Toys, Gluckskafer and Bajo, you can’t go wrong with any of them! A set of building blocks is an ideal Montessori toy for 1 year olds, and will be loved for years to come.

A new brand to us here at Babipur is Drei Blatter. Their beautiful wooden Chinter Blocks had instant appeal. The ‘C’ and ‘H’ shaped blocks aid development of hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills with their interlocking angles. Each shape interlocks perfectly within another. This allows you to create incredibly complex shapes and stacks.

Drei Blatter Chinter Blocks
Drei Blatter Chinter Blocks

10. Grapat Carla Set

Grapat are a favourite here, with their natural and open-ended wooden toys and loose parts. The Grapat Carla set is a large set of Nins (peg people) rings and coins, and will make a great addition to your Montessori setting. Perfect for all kinds of Montessori counting and learning games, sorting, stacking, colour matching or simply playing. The Grapat Carla set is a wonderful Montessori toy for toddlers – hide a Nin within 6 stacked rings or you can raise a Nin up on a tower of coins. Match up each Nin with its corresponding coloured coins and rings. Play mathematical Montessori counting and sorting games and use them to form the basis for all kinds of open-ended play.

 Share With Us!

What toys would make it into your Montessori top ten? We love to hear how you integrate Montessori toys and ideas into your play space; share your pictures and thoughts with our community! Tag @Babipur on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook, using the #LoveBabipur or share your pictures with the Babipur community in our Facebook group, Babipur Hangout!

Grapat – one of our favourites with us here at Babipur!

Shop our full range of Montessori wooden toys >HERE<

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