The concepts and philosophy of Maria Montessori seem to have taken the education world by storm. Now, with proper knowledge and implementation, more and more parents are seeking ways to engage their children using Montessori practices at home.
Best Montessori Toys for Two Year Olds 2020
Below are top ten picks for Montessori toys that can be used at home for two-year old children to strengthen skills through hands-on and real world application.
|Name||Feature one||Material||Age (yr)|
|Arkmiido Ball Drop Toy||Hand-eye coordination||Wood||2-4|
|Auggie 6-in-1 Play Center||Activity||Wood||1.5-3|
|Coin Box||Fine motor skills||Wood||1-3|
|Busy Cube||For travel||Wood||1-3|
|Beads and Nuts & Bolts||Hand-eye coordination||Plastic||2-4|
|Peg Board||Fine motor skills||Plastic||2-5|
|Busy Board 2||For travel||Wool||1-4|
1. Brain Up Toys Busy Board – Most Engaging Montessori Toy
It was tested and approved by European EN71 safety protocol and has been colored and dyed with water-based, non-toxic coloring. The board comes with gears, keys, wheels, bells and more.
Some of the smaller pieces may be torn off, or may fall off, with time or enough force. The Brain Up Toys Busy Board is a one-piece toy that is hard to lose.
Although the busy board is colorful, it is made of non-toxic dyes to keep children from being exposed to toxins.
2. Kids Korner Jumbo Counting Bears Matching Game – Most Versatile Montessori Toy
It comes with two dice, one colored and one numbered, and colored cups for sorting. It also comes with a tote for storage. Each bear stands one and a half inches tall.
These colored bears are very versatile. They can be used for sinking and floating demonstrations, sorting, counting, stacking, matching and more.
Children can also use the bears for pretend play and the cupcake liner styled cups as dramatic play baking tools.
3. Arkmiido Ball Drop Toy – The Most Natural Montessori Toy
The Arkmiido Ball Drop comes with three colored wooden balls and a wooden track for balls to roll downward. It comes with a tall giraffe in the middle and is decorated on the sides with beads and colored fruit.
All parts of the play object are made with non-toxic water-based paints, and are buffed smooth to prevent injury. The product is made entirely of all natural wood and weighs just under three pounds. No assembly is required.
This toy lends itself child engagement. As the child drops the ball onto the track, the ball will roll and follow the path until it reaches the end.
Colored fruits can be used for naming and color recognition.
4. Auggie 6-in-1 Play Center – All-Around Best Montessori Toy
The Auggie 6-in-1 Play Center is an activity cube that has six different activities in one. It has passed ASTM & CPSC safety standards, and is made from all natural wood and colored with lead free paint.
It is collapsable, and the bead maze is able to be detached and be put back in.
It also comes with an animal shape sorter, an interactive clock, a double-sided matching game, and a number matching maze.
This toy might be an inexpensive option for parents looking for more bang for their buck.
It features many activities and might be useful for keeping children entertained on the go. Removable pieces are large enough not to fit in a child’s mouth.
5. Elite Montessori Infant Coin Box – Most Simplistic Montessori Toy
It is reported that the coins are small enough to fit in a child’s mouth, making this toy a potential choking hazard for small children. Also, both the paint on the coins and wood on the box itself can chip over time.
This toy can be useful for teaching skills such as counting and object permanence. “Object permanence” teaches a child that an object still exists even when it is out of sight.
6. BrainUpToys Busy Cube – Most Travel Friendly Montessori Toy
It weighs approximately five ounces and can easily be picked up by a child.
The cube is made of non-toxic materials and none of the items included with the cube are removable.
Small pieces on the toy may fall off if dropped which poses a significant choking hazard.
7. Kids Korner Jumbo Lacing Beads and Nuts & Bolts – Best Montessori Toy For Hand-Eye Coordination
The Kids Korner Jumbo Lacing Beads and Nuts & Bolts set comes with 25 colorful nuts and bolts set comes with large beads shaped as ovals, squares, cylinders, and circles and comes in colors of red, yellow, purple, blue, green, and orange.
It comes with a large 36-inch lacing string and storage tote.
The product is non-toxic and lead and BPA free.
The storage tote that the product comes with may break easily and the zipper may become unusable with time. Also, all nuts and bolts are made of plastic, which may be considered a downfall for some parents.
Some children may not know exactly what to do with this particular toy, so parent guidance will likely be required for your two-year old.
The storage tote makes clean up easy and you can use it to teach your child how to clean up after him or her self independently, if you wish to do so.
8. Kid Korner Peg Board – Best Montessori Toy to Develop Fine Motor Skills
This item may not be as durable as other toys in its category.
This play item can be utilized in many different ways to teach differing concepts and skills.
Children can hone in on counting skills, lacing skills, making patterns, color identification, stacking and more.
The product also hones fine motor skills.
9. Kenley Toddler Busy Board – Best Real World Application Montessori Toy
It weighs less than half a pound and is ideal for travel. It is not recommended for the washing machine and should not be bent for storage.
May seem flimsy to some due to light-weight materials used.
This toy can be a great match for parents interested in helping their child learn to tie shoes, button clothing, zip a coat and more.
This object could be utilized in partnership with older children who may be teaching younger children these concepts, or for adults wishing to spend quality education time with their children in a relaxed way.
The child can then practice on his or her own later on once they’ve learned each skill.
10. Kenley Counting Ladybugs – Best Montessori Toy For Teaching Basic Math
The Kenley Counting Ladybugs set comes with 11 all natural wood ladybugs with numbers written on their underside for counting. The product comes with a felt storage bag that matches the ladybug theme.
This set may be perfect for those wishing to teach their child simple math facts.
Pieces are large enough not to be choked on, and the storage bag can double as a purse for young girls.
This product promotes hands-on learning, fine motor skills and counting.
Before we delve into what Montessori toys are appropriate and why, we first need to understand what Montessori is and how it was developed.
What is Montessori and How Was It Developed?
When picking Montessori toys, it can be difficult to know what is appropriate. This is true whether you are buying gifts for your own child or for the child of someone else.
According to the American Montessori Society, the Montessori way of education was first created by Maria Montessori who was an Italian doctor, scientist and educator. In 1907 she opened her first developmental center entitled Casa dei Bambini for disadvantaged children in an urban area of Rome.
There she provided the children with natural means of igniting their natural curiosity and desire to learn. Casa dei Bambini focused not only on traditional education, otherwise referred to as “book smarts”, but also on practical matters such as cleaning, preparing meals, solving problems and the like.
As the learning center flourished, she noted a significant change in student behavior. Students were deeply focused and were quietly concentrating on the tasks in front of them. They were content and learning by natural means under the care and guidance of an adult, yet many concepts they were able to glean on their own through experience.
Eventually the Montessori method began to spread, and by 1911 it had hit the United States where the very first American Montessori school was opened in New York. It gained momentum before dying out around the time of World War I, and later experienced a resurge in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Today, Montessori is in high demand across the globe, especially in America and China. Childcare centers dedicated to Montessori can be found all over, and many parents are taking the reigns themselves as they learn more about the practice and implement it in their own homes.
Through it’s simplicity and focus on the whole child, this method of learning allows children to develop a sense of independence while fostering growth, development and education along the way.
Montessori has even been tailored to fit the adolescent and teenage child, as children of this age group are encouraged through real-world experience, household chores and home life to further prepare them for life as an adult.
What Should I Look For When Choosing Montessori Toys?
When choosing Montessori toys, it is important to keep simplicity in mind. Often times, items like wooden toys and plain dolls are encouraged to stimulate the child’s imagination, whether than to reward them for doing simple and mundane commands.
Instead, when choosing Montessori toys, try focusing on the following:
Toys Made of Natural Materials
Toys made of natural materials are thought to foster exploration and learning more than plastic toys. Generally speaking, items that are wooden can be safer, as they are harder break. They are also visually pleasing and durable, meaning they can be handed down throughout generations.
Since many babies and toddlers tend to explore items by putting them into their mouths, wooden and natural materials are ideal for not exposing children to harsh chemicals that plastic might contain, like BPA.
Furthermore, although this may not always be possible, you may want to forgo toys that are colored with unnatural dyes and lead paint for these same reasons, especially when buying for younger children.
Toys That Promote Learning
Many toys bought for Montessori households and classrooms hone in on skills to be developed and concepts to be explored. These skills should have real-world application or some kind of learning attached to them that causes the child to do most of the work and exploration. Some examples might include stacking rings, toys that sink or float, toys that encourage sorting and toys that build gross and fine motor skills.
Toys That Promote Engagement Through Visual and Touch
While simple toys have their place in Montessori, not all have to be boring and drab. Toys that have exciting colors, textures and shapes will likely hold a child’s interest and will lead to further engagement.
Just be sure to choose play objects that free from harmful chemicals, especially with younger children, as mentioned before.
You may also consider looking for objects that include differing textures such as silk, bamboo, cotton and other natural materials.
All in all, Montessori education is one that that focuses on the whole child and their learning experiences through real world application, trial and error and exploration.
It is our hope that you will find our buyer’s guide and top ten toys for your two-year old helpful for guiding your child towards building the skills he or she will remember for years to come.
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