Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Hi, welcome to the Wellness Guide! Have you heard about Montessori toys? They are toys that follow the method created by the doctor and educator Maria Montessori and are very efficient when the subject is to join fun with learning.

Simple and with a single focus, the idea is that when playing with them the child practices an activity rich in content. It can be with shapes, numbers or puzzles. They are pieces that do not work with batteries or talk by themselves, they need the child to “exist”. And, most importantly, they work on skills such as motor coordination and logical reasoning.




Summary

  • Montessori toys are simple and value content rather than form.
  • Montessori toys aim to meet the needs of each stage of child development.
  • Motor coordination and cognitive skills are some of the aspects worked with Montessori toys.

The Best Montessori Toys: Our Picks

Buying Guide

Montessori toys are excellent for the development of little ones. Their benefits range from fun to stimulating important skills and knowledge.

Because they are a special category of toys, they have some peculiarities. Therefore, we have created a Buying Guide for you to understand everything about Montessori toys and the method that supports them. Check it out!

Menina sentada de frente para uma mesa, brincando com uma torre de peças de madeira.

The benefits of Montessori toys involve fun and stimulation of skills and knowledge. (Source: Oksana Kuzmina/ 123rf.com)

What is the Montessori method?

The Montessori method, developed by the doctor and pedagogue Maria Montessori, is a set of theories, practices and materials. This method understands that education should develop based on the evolution of the child and not the other way around.

At each stage of life, certain specific needs and behaviours prevail

To better understand Montessori’s idea, it is important to know that her method should be applied based on “development plans”, because, according to her, in each phase of life certain specific needs and behaviours predominate.

Basically, she divides these needs into age groups, since at each stage the child is developing in something.

For these development plans to be applied correctly, Maria Montessori outlined general profiles of behaviour and learning possibilities for each age group.

What are Montessori toys?

Montessori toys are developed with natural materials, such as metal and wood. They are easy to handle, playful, repetitive, progressive and sensorial. They can have different shapes, thickness and colours.

All of them have the principle of respecting each phase of child development and follow the natural evolution of the little ones, providing only what is necessary for a certain age group. But, above all, they are toys which allow the child to explore and discover the world.

Imagem de um aramado com várias peças de madeira.

Montessori toys are playful and can have different shapes, thicknesses and colours. (Shape: LMoonlight/ Pixabay.com)

What are the benefits of Montessori toys?

With Montessori toys the child can have fun while learning and working important skills for their development. They are called educational toys.

They stimulate motor coordination, work perception, encourage social interaction, teach autonomy and much more. In addition, they can be used to teach letters and numbers, for example.

Advantages
  • Stimulating important skills
  • Learning through play
  • Calmer children, as the toys are simple
  • They do not break, as they are made of wood
  • Instigates children”s curiosity
Disadvantages
  • No

What are the differences between common toys and Montessori toys?

Simplicity and educational content are the main peculiarities of Montessori toys. And here, simplicity does not mean absence of something, but the presence of what is necessary.

Many of today’s toys have so much information that the little ones end up lost. In addition, most of them arouse interest only momentarily. This is because, despite the excess of information, they are poor in content, so the possibilities of play are quickly exhausted.

In contrast, Montessori toys, although simple in their lines, shapes and materials, are designed to stimulate the little ones. They offer activities that can last for hours and reinvent themselves every day.

Montessori toys Other toys
Functions Have a single purpose Have several activities
Generate interest Content that holds attention Children lose interest quickly
Material Wood Mostly plastic
Educational Yes Not always
Stimulates skills Yes Sometimes

What are the types of Montessori toys?

There are no unique models of Montessori toys, but there are some types that are repeated in different versions. Below, we list some of them.

  • Puzzle
  • Mobiles
  • Bows
  • Fit geometric shapes into tables, trains, clocks
  • Toys to fit numbers together
  • Multiform tower
  • Labyrinths and trellises
  • Coloured tubes with little balls
  • Balance scales
  • Rattles
  • Rodari
  • Nipple

 Imagem de labirinto de madeira.

Montessori toys, although simple in their shapes, are designed to instigate little ones. (Source: Alexas_Fotos/ Pixabay.com)

Below, we have listed each of these toys as the skills they work on. Note that some toys work on more than one skill. Check them out!

Ability worked Toy
Sensory stimulation Mobiles, rattles
Cognitive skills/logical reasoning Rodari, nesting toys, jigsaw puzzle, trellis, balance scales
Visual perception Toys with colored pieces
Motor coordination Rodari, nesting toys, balance scales
Awakening emotions Naninha
Autonomy Tower of geometric pieces

Purchase Criteria: Factors to compare Montessori toys

Before buying a product for your child, it is necessary to analyze whether it will meet all the needs of the little one. In general, Montessori toys have very similar characteristics between them. But there are still points that must be analyzed. Check them out:

These aspects end up changing from toy to toy and therefore should be used as criteria. To help you analyze each one, we will explain better about each item, below!

Age of the child

As mentioned above, the Montessori method should be applied from “development plans”, that is, at each stage of life is necessary to work something different.

Therefore, it is important to verify for which age the toy in question is indicated. This ensures that your child gets the most out of the toys.

 Imagem de crianças de várias idades.

At every stage of life it is necessary to work on something different. (Source: Roman Samborskyi/ 123rf.com)

Skills worked on

Each toy works on one type of skill. A trellis, for example, or any other toy in which the child needs to move small pieces, works on motor coordination. Toys with textures, on the other hand, stimulate the senses.

Toys to fit shapes and numbers together require a certain amount of perceptiveness, so they work on logical thinking. Finally, unstructured toys, such as towers of shapes, which have different possibilities for creation, stimulate autonomy.

Child preference

Despite all the educational benefits promoted by Montessori toys, they are still toys and as such their main function is to make the little ones’ childhood more fun. Therefore, there is no point in buying a toy that works with such skills if your child does not like to play with it.

Therefore, it is important to let the child choose what they want to play with and the acquisition of knowledge skills will come as a consequence.

Imagem de torre de peças de madeira.

It is important to let the child choose what they want to play with. (Source: Freepik.com)

Safety

Here in Brazil, toys and other children’s articles must follow a series of safety norms. They were created to combat irregularities that can put your child at risk.

These norms demand, for example, that toys do not have very small, swallowable parts, toxic paints or any other element that represents danger.

To ensure that companies are following these standards, Inmetro was created, an organ that certifies, with a seal, companies that follow these pre-requisites. Therefore, we recommend that you buy toys that have this seal, this is your only guarantee that the product is, in fact, reliable.

(Source of the highlighted image: dashu83/ Freepik.com)

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