What's the Big Deal About Montessori Toddler Toys?

What's the Big Deal About Montessori Toddler Toys?

Whether your family is active in the Montessori community or not, you’ve probably heard the hype about toys that are designed with the Montessori philosophy in mind. There’s a reason they’re getting so much press—for starters, they definitely don’t look like the disposable plastic “toys” so many parents feel compelled to buy at big box stores around the country. 

So what are Montessori toddler toys, and why are so many parents spending a little more on them instead of piling up more presents on birthdays and around the holidays?

To understand what the buzz is about and why these products are revolutionizing the way our children learn, grow, and develop, you’ll first need to know a few things about Montessori philosophy. Then you’ll understand why so much thought and effort go into the design and manufacturing of everything these forward-thinking companies are making. 

That care and love is why these toys are so good at building your child’s brain and body, all while creating a better world and bringing families closer together in the ways that matter most. Are you ready? Your toddler certainly is!

So… Tell Me About Montessori!

Montessori Education is a child development philosophy created by Maria Montessori in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s founded on the theory that each child has their own unique needs and learning tendencies, and by carefully curating an environment that supports their natural tendency to explore, we can unlock their immense potential to become curious, creative, and successful people.

Maria started the first Montessori school in Sleepy Hollow, NY (yes, that one!) based on four core principles that also shape the Montessori toddler toys we’ll be discussing later.

Respect for the Child

As you know, every child is unique and special, and the toys they interact with should allow for many different ways of engaging. Learning is all about exploring, making mistakes, and respecting that process by allowing them to find their own ways of interacting with their environment.

Sensitive Periods

In the first six years of life, children go through several incredible stages of social, emotional, physical, linguistic, and sensory development. The objects they interact with have a profound effect on how these processes play out, and Montessori toddler toys take these phases into account to nurture healthy development. 

Prepared Environment

Children learn best by exploring, but freedom doesn’t mean chaos! Adults who are guiding growth and learning have a responsibility to foster an environment that supports their little one’s development. The objects they play with form the basis of their future values and expectations, and Montessori toddler toys always reflect a respect for the environment and ethical interactions with others. 

Independence and Discovery

Children are naturally inquisitive explorers, and activities should help them to discover at their own pace. Kids play! By encouraging them with objects that support the development of their minds and bodies, having fun and building the skills will go hand in hand. 

Designing Montessori Toddler Toys

A few things you probably noticed right away are that Montessori toddler toys don’t come with guns, they aren’t ripped from the latest animated film, and they rarely reflect trendy fads and fashions. In fact, just like the principles they follow, they often have a timeless beauty all their own!

Whether it’s a Learning Tower that introduces your child safely to countertop areas so they can explore everyday activities like cooking and crafting, or just a simple set of wooden blocks, Montessori objects always create a path to exploration. They’re not products to use and discard. Each one represents an investment in your child’s development and creativity, and it’s why they’re typically constructed out of high-quality materials that are durable and sustainable. 

A great Montessori toy will continue to be used and reimagined for years—even decades—and it’s not uncommon for a beloved object to be passed from one generation to the next. Here’s what makes them last such special products that will last a lifetime and beyond. 

They Invite Exploration, Not Conformity

A stuffed animal from a favorite streaming series may be a cuddly friend, but they can also create a narrow definition of play. After all, it is what it is and doesn’t leave much to the imagination. 

Montessori toddler toys are designed to make space for your child’s creativity. That’s why they are often simply and beautifully finished and can be introduced to many different kinds of activities. 

They Encourage Sensory Development

A toddler’s mind and body crave sensory stimulation, and the objects they touch, taste, see, hear, and smell all leave indelible imprints on their ideals, preferences, values, and expectations. And while all this is going on, they’re developing critical physical skills and vital interoceptive and proprioceptive frameworks for interacting with their environment. 

Sound complicated? It is! Your little buddy’s a magical learning machine, and good Montessori toddler toys will help them grow in ways you can’t even pronounce!

They’re Satisfyingly Sustainable 

There’s no way to have a healthy life without a healthy environment, and that’s why Montessori toddler toys are always made from as many environmentally friendly materials as possible. They tend to be constructed of wood and natural products, which makes them durable as well as aesthetically beautiful. 

A hallmark of the best manufacturers is actively seeking UL GREENGUARD certification and similar credentials to ensure their toys don’t include any harmful chemicals or practices at any point in their production. These extra steps cost a little more, but they guarantee that the object your little one is enjoying today will remind them how precious life is when they’re holding the world in their hands tomorrow. 

Discovering Montessori Toddler Toys with Little Partners

By including Montessori toys in your home, you’ll be empowering your child with playtime objects that will help them become the creative and inspiring person you already know they are. We started Little Partners because we want to be a small part of every family’s journey to love and success. 

With our range of Learning Towers, easels, storage, and accessories, our Montessori toddler toys will fill your home with opportunities to explore and bond with your children anywhere there’s fun and learning to be had. All our products are made with sustainable materials, and they’re UL GREENGUARD certified so you never have to worry about what you’re bringing into your home. 

Discover our range of Montessori toddler toys today, and start filling your child’s senses with the objects and experiences that last a lifetime. 

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