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12 Fantastic Montessori Toys For 1 Year Olds

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What is Montessori?

Montessori is not just an educational method it’s a mindset, a philosophy, a lifestyle that you can embrace fully or adopt it in accordance with your own believes, values and vision when it comes to raising your little ones.

The Montessori method is a way of bringing up your children, encouraging “play is the work of the child.”

Take a look at our article with our favourite Montessori quotes which will also give you a clearer idea as to what the Montessori method entails therefore leading you on to think what can be appropriate Montessori toys for 1 year olds and other age ranges.

What are Montessori toys?

Montessori toys are toys that encourage and stimulate our children to learn and experiment. Montikids explains in a very easy to understand way the 5 key points to Montessori toys for 1 year olds are:

  • Simplicity 
  • Reality 
  • Natural materials
  • Functional 
  • Constructive 

Our Favourite Montessori Toys For 1 Year Olds :

1. Melissa & Doug Stack and Sort Board

A fantastic toy which has an array of play opportunities.

This is also featured on our favourite toys for 15 month olds article.

Other than the obvious stacking and sorting of the various shapes, it can also be used for much more.

As our 1 year olds play with this stack and sort board, they will perhaps start by putting the shapes randomly on the poles but will develop right before your eyes and will soon leave you amazed at their skills.

This board can be used to learn to count, learn colours and learn shapes.

A perfect toy which will grow with your toddler. 

2. Hape Pound & Tap Bench With Slide Out Xylophone

Not only could this be your young toddlers first musical instrument, but is great for working on their fine motor skills.

As you are probably already aware toddlers LOVE to bash and bang and make as much noise as possible.

This Hape toy will have your kiddies learning about cause and effect (when they hit the balls with the toddler friendly hammer, they will drop and make a musical noise on the xylophone). 

3. Balancing Blocks

Balancing blocks or as I prefer to call them balancing stones are fantastic stacking toys which can be used in many ways that will our little ones love.

Take a look at our Top 12 Stacking Toys For Babies & Toddlers here.

They can be used to build high towers (and of course knock them all over), colour sorting, learning about proportions and sizing (size order, big/small etc).

It is fascinating seeing how our 1 years olds imaginations use these balancing stones during playtime and they will surely come up with more ideas and ways for them to be used that we never even thought of ourselves!

4. Wood Blocks Set

Sometimes the classics and most simple toys are the best.

I believe that every toy collection must have some form of building toy for our little ones.

Wooden blocks are wonderful starter building blocks as they are larger pieces which will help our kids to find the confidence to start building their own wooden empire.

Our 1 year olds imagination and creativity can be set free whilst constructing. 

5. Lego Duplo train set

Is Lego a Montessori toy you ask?

Well depending on who you ask, some may reply yes, others no.

However we’re going to go for the ‘lightly Montessori’ answer because we believe that Lego ticks many of the ticks for this category.

The Lego Duplo train set is ideal for learning about numbers and transport. 

6. Shapes Wooden Chunky Puzzle

The chunky puzzle is nice and simple for our 1 year old toddlers to start learning about manipulation and hand-eye coordination during play time.

When our kiddies start playing with this puzzle they will not necessarily grasp the concept of shape knowledge at first.

Progressing they will love to say the shape names and colours and fitting the right shapes into each space. They will become problem solving masters.

We have the Best Puzzles for 1 Year Olds all in one space here.

7. Multiple Shape First Puzzle

An almost identical puzzle to the our previous suggestion however this puzzle separates into four seperate puzzles.

This is ideal for taking on our travels or in the car to entertain our young children.

The four individual puzzles can be also placed together to make what seems like one larger puzzle.

8. Apple Lacing Toy

Such a simple yet satisfying toy. This toy reminds me of an older child/ adult sewing and knitting which in reality puts into practise hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills for when our toddlers want to delve into these other skills when they’re slightly older. The lacing toy is ideal for on the go in the car, in the pram or also at home. Toddlers from 1 year old upwards will love getting fiddly with this toy and you may find they are very relaxed whilst doing this too.

9. Wooden Stacking/ Sorting Train

I love this train and its many opportunities for play ideas. Our children can figure the best way to fit all the different shapes onto the train . Each time that the train is brought out to play, a different shape configuration can be created and our kiddies can use their ever improving problem solving skills.

10. Fruit & Vegetable Sorting Puzzle

A super cute puzzle that comes with various fruits and vegetables that need to be put into their correct sized holes. Great fun for our young toddlers to discover and understand through trial and error whilst learning different names of fruits and vegetables. Turn the wooden box around so that the holes are placed in different positions so that your kiddies can get another perspective on this toy.

11. Hape Mini Instrument Set

Whether our little ones want to make their own little band on their own or want other friends and family members to join in then this is the perfect set. The mini band set will allow our one year olds to hear and create different sounds, dance around the room and play music to their heart’s content. A fantastically uplifting toy which can also have our toddlers doing lots of exercise with all the jumping in excitement.

12. Coin Box

This coin box will help our young toddlers learn about object permanence.

They will adore feeding the coins through the slot and finding them again when they open the drawer.

How many times will they play with this game on repeat in such a short space of time? My guess is high. 

They may even search for other items that they think could possibly fit through the slot on top, or otherwise put other items in the drawer too.

Do you have any favourite Montessori toys for 1 year olds that we haven’t mentioned here? We would love to know!

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