There are lots of toys available for babies. When I look for Montessori toys I look for those that are recommended by the Association Montessori Internationale (which was founded by Maria Montessori), or by someone with recognized Montessori qualifications. Most of these toys are available on Etsy but I prefer to shop at Beginning Montessori.
The Bell Rattle was designed as the first toy to be presented to a baby at around two months. The rattle is just the right size for a baby to grasp. It’s very lightweight so it’s easy to move and make the bell ring.
Giving a baby a Bell Rattle will stimulate their grasping reflex. As the baby moves the rattle they will focus on it and track it with their eyes; this aids their eye development. The baby will also begin to make purposeful movement, learning when they shake or move their arm that the bell will make a sound. The Bell Rattle is only to be used before the baby can put items into their mouth.
The Interlocking Discs are presented to a baby at around three months. At this age the baby may be able to pick items up off the ground and possibly transfer items from hand to hand. The unique positioning of the discs help develop wrist rotation. The discs are very interesting and often intrigue the baby where they will continue to transfer the discs from hand to hand for many minutes. The discs are also suitable for the baby to put in their mouth.
The Bell Cylinder is presented to a baby at around four months. Much like the Bell Rattle, the baby learns purposeful movement – when they move the cylinder the bell rings. Babies are often delighted by the sound of the bell and the fact that they can control the sound, and therefore have control over their environment.
The Bell Cylinder is a great toy to leave on the floor next to a baby learning to creep or crawl. The toy provides motivation for the baby to move,and it will often roll slightly when touched encouraging further movement.
Egg and Cup and Palmer Grasp Block
The Egg and Cup and the Palmer Grasp Block are presented to the baby at around eight to nine months. The baby needs to be sitting and able to coordinate both hands. The aim is for the baby is to place the egg into the cup, or the block into the base, then take it out and repeat. These toys aid in grasping, wrist development and hand-eye coordination. Both of these toys allow the baby to concentrate and focus on a task. Once the task is complete the baby can feel a sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction.
Pincer Grasp Block
The Pincer Grasp Block is presented to the baby after they have mastered the Palmer Grasp Block (above). The Pincer Grasp Block encourages the use of the Pincer Grasp where the baby will hold the knob of the block between their thumb and first two fingers. The Pincer Grasp is fundamental in preparing the hand for writing.
Some of these toys are hard to find, and others have commercially made counterparts. Montessori toys are made from natural materials like timber and some are oiled. With care they can be passed down and be used by many children.
Have seen these toys before or would you consider using them with your baby?