Finding Montessori-approved toys that aren’t insanely expensive can feel like a daunting task. But don’t worry, I’ve done the research for you!
From busy boards to simple stacking blocks, these 20 Montessori toys are all affordable options.
Plus, they’re guaranteed to keep your little ones entertained and engaged (without driving you crazy in the process).
What Are Montessori Toys?
Montessori toys are child-sized and made of natural materials. They’re non-electronic, meaning they do not make noise or light up on their own (I do, however, include one toy that lights up and plays songs).
Montessori toys are purpose-driven and designed to address specific milestones, skills, and concepts. They’re also rooted in reality (think wild animals you would find in a zoo, not unicorns or dragons).
It’s more fitting to refer to Montessori toys as activities, as they encourage children to do multiple things. A toy is more static, an object that a child plays with (and typically does just one thing).
Good Things About Montessori Toys
- Are powered by curiosity
- Foster creativity and concentration
- Teach abilities like fine motor skills (like stacking and threading) and life skills (button/zipper boards, washing/cleaning up)
- Encourage kids to build, interact, learn, and manipulate
- Are usually STEM-related
- Are purpose-driven
- Focus on concepts like shapes, colors, etc.
- Embolden open-ended play
- Keep toddlers and preschoolers interested and engaged
- Help kids understand cause and effect, ideas, and consequences
- Spur childhood sensory development
Why Are Montessori Toys So Expensive?
Montessori educational toys are costly because they’re often made of wood. And wooden materials are expensive.
Typically, Montessori toys are made of natural materials. But, with that parameter, a rock can be a preschool Montessori toy!
I promise you that the Childhood Police are not going to come knocking on your door if your little one uses plastic stacking blocks.
Plastic toys can provide as valid an educational play experience as wooden ones.
Take the Hype With a Grain of Salt
Speaking of Childhood Police, remember that no style of toy is correct or best.
The very “best” type of toy for toddlers and preschoolers is one that they enjoy, and are shared with an engaged adult.
Encouraging open-ended play that meets developmental milestones is great. But you don’t necessarily need Montessori educational toys to do that.
20 of the Best Montessori Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers (That Aren’t Stupidly Expensive)
With that being said, here are my favorite, reasonably-priced, Amazon Montessori toys, organized by age group.
Montessori Toys for 1-Year-Olds
“1 year old” is a rough approximation that includes the ages 9 months through 18 months.
This Montessori toy encourages sensory exploration with soft buttons and silicone strings. It’s great for engaging babies and toddlers while on the go.
This non-toxic rattle includes stacking rings to encourage early fine motor skills.
This busy cube is 7 great toys in one! The wooden interactive toy includes a fingertip gyroscope, anti-theft safety lock and key, spring bolt, switch, universal wheel, water tap, and rotating screw cap.
Montessori Toys for 2-Year-Olds
These educational toys work for two and three-year-olds.
Twenty-five solid wooden in five colors and shapes that toddlers will love sorting into their accompanying box.
A practical Montessori toy, great for entertaining toddlers at doctors’ appointments and the like without screens. This busy board has multiple removable pages that keep little hands busy with shoelace tying, buckles, belts, zippers, and gears.
Toddlers will love stacking these dinosaurs up as much as they’ll love knocking them down! They’re an early way to start fostering concentration and critical thinking skills.
These puzzles are ideal for two and three-year-olds: simple and colorful, creating animals they’ll easily recognize.
This Montessori toy is ideal for increasing hand strength and fine motor skills. Use the magnetic hammer to get worms and feed the woodpecker.
Montessori Toys for Preschoolers
These Montessori toys are ideal for three, four, and five-year-olds.
Perfect for the pre-reader (or very new reader), these wooden spelling blocks will make sight word recognition a breeze!
This Montessori toy is durable and eco-friendly, perfect for keeping preschoolers’ hands busy while improving fine motor skills.
If your preschooler is a bit nervous about doctor and dentist visits, this Montessori toy provides soothing and normalizing pretend play.
This dentist and doctor play set includes a stethoscope, ointment, medicine tank, pretend pills, dental mold, pliers, hammer, toothbrush, syringe, blood pressure meter, four inspection tools, and floss.
This game provides a fun way for preschoolers to learn about gardening and nature while improving hand strength and hand-eye coordination.
Talk about open-ended play! Preschoolers can make almost anything with this 48-block set. Visual prompts are included to help them get started.
Get preschoolers interested in fruits, vegetables, and kitchen chores with this non-toxic wooden fruit and knife set.
This Montessori preschool learning activity book has everything: numbers, letters, matching, shapes, weather, sequencing, and more.
These sturdy wooden pieces provide a variety of pattern combinations and a cute alligator board to do a Tetris-like activity.
These digital locks offer differing ways for preschoolers to learn about numbers and matching while improving dexterity.
An 11-piece kit that is noisy and fun! Comes with a convenient, see-through carrying case.
A simple, vivid wooden cheese (or you can choose from other food items) with smooth holes that preschoolers will love threading the attached long string through.
This Montessori toy is a fun way to learn about the life cycles of a butterfly, frog, and ladybug.
Montessori toys make great gifts because they’re a fun way to help toddlers and preschoolers reach developmental milestones. These toys stimulate children’s minds in a variety of ways.
If you are looking for a unique gift that will help your little one grow and learn, consider giving them a Montessori toy this year.
Loving the whole “play while educating” vibe? Check out these articles for further inspiration:
- Kindergarten Readiness Activities For Summer
- 40+ Games for 3-Year-Olds: The Complete Guide
- 6 Essential Early Literacy Skills
- Sensory Activities for Autism
- Communication Activities and Games for Nonverbal Toddlers
You Tell Me
Do you have any favorite Montessori toys that I left off this list? Let me know in the comments!