Have you ever found yourself scrolling endlessly through Amazon or wandering the toy aisle at your local Target all in an attempt to find the perfect kid’s gift? Selecting the right gift that will please both child and parent can be the ultimate exercise in patience, but there is a better way! We believe the best gifts for preschool-aged children are ones that inspire curiosity and learning. If you are looking for the perfect Montessori gift, then you came to the right place. Check out our Montessori approved gift guide, and you will quickly become everyone’s favorite gift giver!
Three Things to Remember When Buying Montessori Approved Gifts
High-Quality Materials // As Montessori educators, we believe that using quality materials in toys and learning tools is critical. It helps lengthen the lifespan of the toy and helps keep waste out of our landfills. Also, toys that last can be passed down from child to child or you can donate them for years to come!
Open-Ended // An open-ended toy allows children to use it in a variety of ways and doesn’t limit them to just one function. These multi-purpose toys help promote creativity and cognitive development as they meet the needs of any child’s quickly developing brain.
Meets a Need // Dr. Montessori spoke of the different sensitive periods that children would go through in their lives. It is crucial to provide materials that help meet this range of needs that can include sensory, gross motor, fine motor, and more. When giving a gift, don’t be afraid to ask about the of needs the child and then look for a gift that can help meet that need.
Montessori Gifts Ideas for Ages 0 to 2
From age 0 to 2, Montessori materials typically focus on providing sensory opportunities for the child. The right Montessori-inspired toy should give a child things to look at, touch, and even hear.
Mobiles // The right mobile can help newborns with their visual tracking and will help develop their concentration. Montessori-inspired mobiles typically will incorporate natural materials and have a focus on colors and shapes rather than a fictional cartoon character.
Wooden Toys // Wooden materials are the staple of any Montessori learning environment. For younger children, there are a variety of wooden toy options to get the family’s collection started. We suggest focusing on the classics like a wooden rattle.
Balls // Balls of all shapes, sizes, and textures can help develop children’s fine motor skills. Whether it is a teething ball for a younger child, or a large colorful ball set to roll back and forth with the child on their first birthday, balls are always wonderful at any age.
Books // Books at a young age are a great way to introduce your child to the wide world that is out there. Try looking for books that focus on basics like animals, vehicles, or nature. Also, books with interactive flaps and sensory details are a big plus for younger children.
Montessori Gifts Ideas for Ages 2 to 4
From age 2 to 4, the Montessori gift possibilities start to expand. Many of these toys will help children practice their hand-eye coordination and their fine motor skills.
Peg Boards // Peg boards are an excellent way to keep a toddler’s hands busy with a Montessori-inspired activity. The child has the opportunity to practice placing and removing pegs out of holes on a board and can even create shapes, patterns, and designs when they get a little older.
Nesting Dolls or Boxes // Nesting toys can come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. They are a stacking toy with descending sizes that can be placed one inside the other. These are great for testing the child’s spatial recognition, and children love the challenge of staking them up and knocking them down.
Threading Toys // This time-honored Montessori activity consists of a string or rope and beads or wooden shapes that can be threaded one at a time. For kids closer to 4, this could be as easy as a friendship bracelet kit, while younger kids would benefit more from large wooden beads and sturdy strings to go along with it.
Coin Boxes // Coin boxes allow children to practice different fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Coin boxes are usually a wooden box with a slot on top like a piggy bank where children and place in wooden coins. They also have a key and lock to open and close the box, so the coin activity can be repeated again and again, unlike a traditional piggy bank.
Montessori Gifts Ideas for Ages 4 to 6
Montessori toys and activities from ages 4 to 6 get more challenging and can help invite creativity and fun into the child’s life. Here are some of our favorites for this age.
Buddha Board // Buddha boards are a fairly new toy on the Montessori scene, but they provide an experience similar to water coloring without any of the mess. These unique boards respond to a few drops of water on a paintbrush to create soft images that appear like black ink on the board and best of all can be reused as many times as you like with no messy clean up for the parents.
Layered Puzzle // When the standard puzzle can no longer hold a child’s interest, layered puzzles can provide fun learning opportunities. These layered puzzles can be an excellent opportunity to teach your children about the inner workings of the body or even the lifecycle of the world around them.
Art Supplies // Art supplies of all kinds can be a simple and affordable Montessori gift. Best of all, with things like paints, brushes, colored pencils, and paper, more is always welcome. Look for pre-made art sets or go to the store and make your creation.
More Books! // Books are always a great Montessori-inspired gift. Try thinking selecting books based on the child’s current interest, or look for activity books you could go along with them. Books for older children are also excellent to expose them to new cultures and areas of the world.
Your Gift Giving Story
What are the best Montessori gifts you have given or received? Tell us about your favorite Montessori-inspired gift ideas.