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The Best Montessori Toys for 1 Year Old Kids

The Best Montessori Toys for 1 Year Old Kids

Play for toddlers is a way to explore the world, discover new things, develop, learn to speak, and better understand the nature of objects around them. However, choosing the right toys for toddlers requires careful consideration, as not everything on the market is suitable for them. Today's journey is dedicated to the world of the best Montessori toys for 1-year-olds: what they should be, what materials they should be made of, what is beneficial, and what is not.

During the first year of life, a child develops rapidly: almost every day, they can learn a little more than the day before. The use of properly selected toys further stimulates this progress.

What should you pay attention to when choosing Montessori toys for 1-year-olds?

Montessori toys for 1-year-olds can provide the necessary stimulation to promote various aspects of development, including fine and gross motor skills, sensory exploration, and cognitive abilities. These toys often feature bright colors, different textures, and interactive elements that engage children's senses and encourage exploration and learning.

They should also be made from non-toxic materials and free of small parts that could pose a choking hazard. Additionally, toys with rounded edges and sturdy construction reduce the risk of accidents and injuries during play.

The right toys can spark a child's imagination and creativity. Toys that allow open-ended play, such as blocks, shape sorters, and simple musical instruments, encourage children to explore and experiment, developing problem-solving skills and creativity.

Dolls, stuffed animals, and toys that mimic real-life objects can help children learn about emotions, relationships, and empathy as they engage in pretend play and role-playing activities.

One-year-olds are in a critical stage of sensory development. Toys with different textures, sounds, and movements provide sensory exploration and stimulation opportunities, helping children develop their senses of touch, sight, hearing, and proprioception.

Also, consider that toys do not necessarily have to be small. Since active play is essential for the physical development of 1-year-olds, you can choose a variety of climbers, balance toys, and structures that encourage crawling, walking, climbing, and other forms of physical activity. These help strengthen muscles, improve coordination, and enhance gross motor skills.

Benefits of Montessori toys

Many toys that meet these criteria are developed based on the advice of Dr. Montessori. These toys stimulate the development of sensory processing skills, including tactile sensitivity, visual perception, auditory discrimination, and proprioception.

Many Montessori toys feature grasping objects, nesting cups, stacking rings, and shape sorters that encourage infants to practice and refine their fine motor skills. Infants learn to grasp, release, manipulate, and coordinate their hand movements through repeated manipulation of these toys, laying the foundation for later skills such as writing and self-care tasks.

Montessori toys are designed to be open-ended and inviting, allowing infants to explore and discover the world around them at their own pace. These toys promote curiosity, problem-solving, and independent exploration, fostering a sense of autonomy and self-confidence in infants as they interact with their environment.

Key Characteristics of Montessori Toys

  • Montessori toys typically feature minimalist designs that focus on one specific skill or concept at a time.
  • Often made from natural materials such as wood and cotton.
  • Encourage children to explore and discover at their own pace.
  • Boost sensorial development by offering opportunities to explore different textures, shapes, colors, sounds, and weights.

Best Montessori Toys for 1-Year-Olds

Among the best Montessori toys for 1-year-olds, you will find Wooden blocks, Shape Sorters, Object Permanence Box, Nesting and Stacking Toys, Sensory Balls and Cubes, Wooden Puzzles, Sensory Balls, and Cubes.

Books Your 1-Year-Old Will Love

While choosing age-appropriate toys may not be too difficult, finding the best books for 1-year-old Montessori can be a slightly more challenging quest. Following the advice of educators and parents, we've gathered the best options for books that you can flip through, look at, read, and enjoy with your little one. The list includes:

  • “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown. This classic bedtime story with simple, rhythmic text and engaging illustrations is perfect for a one-year-old's bedtime routine.
  • “Dear Zoo” by Rod Campbell: With its lift-the-flap format and repetitive text, “Dear Zoo” introduces young children to different animals interactively.
  • “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. The colorful book introduces kids to various animals and colors through repetitive and predictable text, ideal for early language development.
  • “I am a Bunny” by Ole Risom. A gentle story follows a bunny named Nicholas through the seasons, introducing simple vocabulary and beautiful illustrations inspired by nature.
  • “Pat the Bunny” by Dorothy Kunhardt: This interactive book encourages sensory exploration with touch-and-feel elements and prompts, perfect for engaging young children's senses.

    When selecting books for a one-year-old, opt for sturdy board books with simple illustrations and interactive elements to engage their senses and encourage exploration. Also, choose books that reflect everyday experiences, nature, and familiar objects to help young kiddos connect to their world.

    Interactive Toys and Toys for Active Physical Development

    Around 10 months, kids start taking their first steps. To help them with this, "walk-behind" toys are developed. It is a stable toy with wheels and a wooden handle that is easy to hold onto and walk behind, pushing the structure forward. For boys, it can look like a wooden car; for girls — a fairytale carriage for dolls. The child can learn to walk by pushing the car or carriage in front of them. It develops their motor skills and helps them maintain balance. Meanwhile, toddlers can imagine themselves as car drivers or pretend to be parents, so this toy helps children learn to show care and responsibility.

    The Montessori wooden mini-kitchen is another great interactive toy suitable for a one-year-old. Various elements such as a sink, oven, and stove are designed for toddlers to satisfy their curiosity, especially since they can turn handles, open doors, and more.

    To relax, enjoy a lot of positive emotions, and even train the vestibular apparatus, you can put a rocking chair or a wooden arch-swing in the nursery. Soft swinging calms relieves stress and anxiety and helps prepare for sleep.

    Climbers for Toddlers

    Climbing structures also promote physical activity, strength, and coordination in one-year-olds. They provide opportunities for climbing, crawling, and exploring in a safe and supervised environment. Climbers, developed according to Montessori principles, help children develop spatial awareness, balance, and confidence as they navigate through different obstacles and challenges. Additionally, a Montessori triangle or Montessori arch can easily be transformed into a tent where a child can hide, play inside, and enjoy the game even more. This multifunctional toy is recommended for children from 8 months old, and depending on the size of the climbing structure, it can last up to 4, 6, or even 8 years. Moreover, a triangle or arch can also be combined with a slide, providing even more fun and excitement right in the nursery.

    These Montessori toys are thoughtfully designed to support various aspects of a child's development, including cognitive, motor, sensory, and social-emotional skills. They provide opportunities for hands-on exploration, learning, and growth, making them valuable tools for 1-year-olds to engage with as they navigate the world around them.

    The Toy Should Interest the Child

    ... so we advise not to display all available toys in the nursery. Keep the space as free as possible. Let a few basic, favorite toys be freely available, and the rest replace them. Such rotation allows you to maintain the novelty effect all the time, and the toy itself will not bore the baby. Moreover, the smaller the choice in front of the child, the less frustrated he will be in choosing what to play with right now. So, periodically introduce new toys to spark interest and maintain curiosity, as well as allow children to return to their favorite toys with even more enthusiasm.

    And one more piece of advice: when choosing toys, pay attention to the interests, preferences, and peculiarities of your child's development. Consider these aspects when buying a new toy, and it will allow you to find only the most necessary and most beloved things for the little ones. And nothing extra.



    How do I know if a toy follows Montessori principles?


    Look for toys that emphasize simplicity, natural materials, and open-ended play. Montessori toys typically encourage independence, exploration, and self-directed learning. They often feature neutral colors and minimalistic designs and are free from electronic components or loud sounds, allowing children to engage with the toys calmly and intently.

    How can I introduce Montessori toys to my 1-year-old's playtime routine?


    Start by observing your child's interests and abilities to select toys that align with their developmental stage. Introduce one or two Montessori toys at a time and incorporate them into your child's daily play routine. Encourage exploration and independent discovery by providing a prepared environment that allows your child to interact freely with the toys. Gradually expand the collection as your child grows and their interests evolve.

    Are Montessori toys suitable for children with special needs?


    Yes, Montessori toys can benefit children with special needs as they often focus on sensory stimulation, fine motor skills, and cognitive development, which are essential for children with diverse abilities. However, it's necessary to choose toys that cater to each child's specific needs and abilities and consult with therapists or specialists for personalized recommendations.