Best Wooden Montessori Toys: Stimulate the Senses

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Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Many people who choose wooden toys often do so because of the durability of the product for the environment or the quality of construction.

The other reason could be to get kids to play with more natural products.

That's where Montessori comes in.

From toddler to toddler activity book collection

Educational games and coloring pages for 3 to 6 years

Your toddler and preschooler will love this e-book, along with the accompanying printables. He or she can play with it at every stage of development, together with mom and dad.

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What is montessori wooden toys?

With Montessori wooden toys it is therefore also about stimulating the senses with natural products, here too a lot of wood is used.

But here we look more at real world experiences and not so much at leaving everything to the creativity of the child.

A toy is therefore allowed to have a clear role, such as a clear father figure and child figure with painted faces and matching clothes, whereas Waldorf prefers dolls without a face or clear role.

You can also see a lot of wooden educational toys in the montessori school.

Montessori toys appeal to multiple senses at the same time.

Children learn not only by listening and observing, but also by feeling, tasting and smelling and let the children use their own imagination, also known as anthroposophical called toys.

The toys are always made of sustainable and natural materials and safe.

Rather let your child play with a realistic toy, as with things that we also use in the adult world. Always make sure that the toy is appropriate for your child's needs and developmental level.

Best Montessori toy brands

Overall best Montessori toys

Playos Math Sticks

Product image
Toy score
Play value
Best for
  • Great educational value and game all in one
  • Wood is well rounded and storage compartments are useful
Less good
  • No carrying case with lid
  • From: 3 years
  • Best: 4 – 5 years
  • Up to: 6 years
  • Material: Wood, MDF
  • Learning objective: STEM/ STEAM, Mathematics
  • Play Mode: Solo
  • Portability: Low
  • Durability: None
  • Production: Manufacturing
  • Storage: Storage compartments
  • Safety Components: Non-toxic material
  • Playing Time: Longer (10 – 30 min)
  • Gender inclusiveness: Gender neutral

Because the Playos Math Sticks are made of bare wood and offer a tangible experience in learning math, this is our best wooden Montessori toy.

The combination of sticks and number blocks makes it very intuitive and easy to use and you can easily clean it up with the tray with storage compartments.

The use of MDF may make it less of a real wooden toy. Yet the durability is very good despite that and the price-quality ratio is therefore extremely high.

More open-ended play, opportunities to mix and match with other toys or social interaction could have increased the play value, but in the end it's a very educational toy that encourages enough play to ensure they enjoy it too.

Most colorful anthroposophical toys

Grimm's Rainbow Bows

Product image
Toy score
Play value
Best for
  • Great natural wood that you feel when playing
  • Challenging toys that stimulate creativity
Less good
  • Expensive, very very expensive
  • From: 3 years
  • Best: 4 – 7 years
  • Up to: 8 years
  • Material: Wood, FSC Hardwood
  • Learning objective: Cognitive development, pretend play
  • Play Mode: Cooperative
  • Portability: Low
  • Sustainability: Sustainable production
  • Production: Handmade
  • Storage: Tricky
  • Safety Components: Non-toxic material
  • Playtime: Extended (30+ min)
  • Gender inclusiveness: Gender neutral

Grimm's is the inventor and maker of the original rainbow stackers. It is made of very strong wood and you can feel it.

It is pricey though. Very pricey. But it's good wood and you can feel the wood and the grain through the paint. This helps with children's sensory experience.

In addition, the raw wood helps when stacking the bows, because that is still quite a challenge. It is also not immediately clear what you can do with it. However, the open-ended game is endless and the shapes and colors really appeal to the imagination.

There is also the possibility of social interaction because there are several arches, they are large and they can be combined with any kind of toy.

Grimm's bows stacked

Due to these characteristics, the play value is very high. It is also an award winning toy as winners of the Spielgut seal for its educational value.

This is the kind of toy that gets picked up again and again and will last for generations.

You can also combine these bows very well with other Grimm's toys, for example with the nice 5 math friends in a wooden tray or the Grimm's cars.

Because all toys can be combined with each other!

Cutest wooden toys from Grimm's

What is really nice about it is that the toy can be used in so many different ways.

Best wooden toy animals

Ostheimer Wood Carved Waldorf Animals

Product image
Toy score
Play value
Best for
  • Super durable wood will last a lifetime
  • Very well finished and safe
Less good
  • Super expensive
  • From: 1 years
  • Best: 2 – 5 years
  • Up to: 7 years
  • Material: Wood, Hardwood
  • Theme: Animals, Fox
  • Play Mode: Solo
  • Price at time of writing: €15,99 – $29,99
  • Sustainability: Sustainable production
  • Production: Handmade
  • Storage: Compact
  • Safety parts: Rounded corners
  • Playing Time: Longer (10 – 30 min)
  • Gender inclusiveness: Gender neutral

It doesn't get much better than Ostheimer's hand-carved animals. It is a Waldorf toy par excellence.

Very well finished and durable wood. These will last a lifetime. Well, several lives actually. The design is extremely simple and therefore easy to use. The simple rendering also greatly appeals to the imagination and leads to quality open-ended play.

All materials are safe and durable, the construction has strong and rounded corners and it is great to combine with other wooden animals or with other pretend play.

The play value could only be higher if it were a little more versatile. After all, it is only a wooden animal and if you want to buy several it is extremely expensive. The price-quality ratio is therefore slightly lower, but you get a unique and handmade heirloom toy for it.

What makes Ostheimer toys sustainable? 

Ostheimer uses wood from regionally and sustainably maintained forests for its toy products.

All materials used, including the paint, are certified and are processed safely.

The figures are painted by hand and the paint is based on organic oil. In this way, the wood structure remains tangible and visible.

At Ostheimer, they value wood not only for their products, but also use residual wood for heating their buildings. Every step is dedicated to protecting our environment.

The brand has an extensive collection of wooden animals. You will find farm animals such as cows, pigs and chickens, but also wild animals, including giraffes and elephants.

You will also find animals that you encounter in the forest, for example deer, squirrels and rabbits, but also beautiful sea creatures, such as polar bears, seals, penguins and whales.

They are all beautiful wooden animals. The brand also has an extensive collection of trees, shrubs and buildings such as a farm.

Ostheimer is best known for the classic wooden nativity scene passed down from generation to generation. They even included a real Sinterklaas en piet in their toy collection.

It is their wish to give children a beautiful and pleasant picture of the world with all its people and animals by means of their toy figures.

Children need such images to grow up healthily in our world.

When Margarete Ostheimer, daughter of Walter and Adeline, turned the company from private ownership into a foundation in 2001, it was her desire to support forward-looking initiatives and projects.

It has always been her belief not to make a profit, but to bring it back into the community.

In addition, it has always been a rationale of this toy company that collaboration between people with and without disabilities is an important part of a healthy work process.

This is what gives the toy a special human presence.

Educational wooden toys and children's furniture: Guidecraft

Guidecraft educational wooden toys

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Guidecraft was founded in the year 1966 by Fred Fein in a small wood shop in upstate New York.

The first toy Mr. Fein made was named "Wedgies"; the toy had a wide base and a narrow top, and was designed to be used with unit blocks to stimulate the social and emotional development of children.

Today, Guidecraft is one of the leading early childhood education toy brands with a focus on system-based STEM toys.

They also design children's furniture at Guidecraft.

Children and safety are paramount at Guidecraft. All products are tested and meet or exceed international safety standards including EN71, ASTM, Health Canada and AUS / NZ.

They also meet California Air Resources Board or CARB standards and use FSC certified solid wood and wood-based materials such as MDF and plywood. All products are made from environmentally friendly and recycled materials.

The play blocks from Guidecraft are a bit different than you are probably used to. For example, have you seen the rainbow blocks of sand? These play blocks are, as the description indicates, filled with beautifully colored sand!

By stacking the blocks, you can create a colorful whole. Guidecraft also has rainbow blocks with water, which in this case are filled with colored water.

This toy is suitable for kids from 2 years of age.

The Wood Stackers River Stones invite children to build and stack with blocks inspired by the natural, polished shapes of river rocks.

The round, wooden stones are sanded perfectly smooth to emphasize the beautiful, natural grain and tones of the pieces of wood. Different measures help children understand weight, gravity and relationships.

The toys encourage children to build creatively using the natural blocks to create familiar objects and encourage exploration in nature.

The toy contains 20 river stones and inspiration cards in different sizes.

It is advised to keep the toy indoors in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

The toy is intended for children from 2 years old.

Best Wooden Building Toy: Kapla

Best wooden building toys from Kapla

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The idea of ​​the fun toy brand Kapla originated around 1985, when the Dutch art historian and antiques dealer Tom van der Bruggen left for France and looked for a shape for a block with which to build a castle to scale.

The name of the brand, Kapla, comes from the first few letters of the words KAbouter and PLAnkjes.

Unlike what you are used to from the other building games, the Kapla boards are identical. The precision makes it possible to build larger buildings.

Each board has the ratio 15: 3: 1 and the dimensions are (lxwxh) 11,7 x 2,34 x 0,78 cm. The boards are made of pine and are untreated, although you can also get boards in color.

The toys are available in boxes of 20, 40, 100, 200, 280 and 1000 boards. The sets come with interesting ideas booklets, but don't expect step-by-step guides.

The target group is mainly children. In both the Netherlands and France, Kapla is used as educational toys in schools and childcare. However, more and more adults also find these toys attractive.

To create the most beautiful structures with Kapla, you do not need any glue, clamps or screws. With Kapla toys you can build bridges, a complete city, robots or castles.

A child naturally comes up with new ideas. The boards can even be laid out as a race track, where you can then continue playing with toy cars. Or your child makes a structure for the LEGO figures.

Kapla can be played in many different ways. Kapla can therefore be combined with all other toys and is therefore extremely universal.

Simple but so much fun. The toy has already been awarded several times. Originally the Kapla boards were neutral in color, but nowadays they are available in different colors.

You can choose to make small, cute buildings of cheerful colors. Or do you prefer complicated structures, such as skyscrapers and ships?

The toys contribute to the development of a child's fine motor skills and spatial awareness. In addition, the brain is stimulated in terms of concentration, logic, patience and creativity.

Kapla is fun for everyone from 3 years old!

Stimulating play materials for different ages may include the following:

Best Montessori Toys For Baby Up To 2-3 Years

Montessori toys - from baby to 2-3 years fabric colors ball

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For example, you can stimulate the development of all baby's senses with a fabric rainbow ball. They can see colours, feel the different fabrics and textures with their hands.

The cloth ball crackles, squeaks, rustles and clatters. A world opens up for them!

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Best Montessori Toys For Baby Up To 2-3 Years Ball Drop Object Permanence

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Later, your little one will practice his hand movements at home with the Baby Ball Drop and thus stimulate the development of his hand, wrist and fingers.

It also teaches them what it feels like to succeed when they achieve a goal on their own, it gives them a sense of freedom!

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Best Montessori toys for 3-6 years

For example, by handling different materials such as buttons, hooks, zippers, buckles, laces, etc., the child learns to dress independently.

Best Montessori Toys For 3-6 Years Busy Bag Board For Fine Motor Skills

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With this Busy Bag with which children can try out everything.

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Best Montessori toys for 6-12 years

Best Montessori toys for 6-12 years geo board

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For elementary school children, there are materials that prepare them for math; geometric shapes like abacuses, beads, measuring materials, everything made of wood.

A geo board is a good example.

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There are writing practice boards, letters and numbers.

But parents… don't be surprised if children in class are allowed to play with things like leaves, rice or pasta, or to tighten screws with tools.

Look, that's just pulling out all the stops for their development!

Most creative wooden Montessori open-ended toy for 6 year olds
Small foot Pirate Hammer Art
Product image
Toy score
Open end
Best for
  • Hammering is done nicely and the wood is sturdy
  • Many objects to come up with creative things
Less good
  • Plate is very small

Maybe more of a creative game than a hammer game, but it's a lot of fun to do and hammering straight is also fun for kids.

You have to hammer pirates and their accessories from wood and cardboard onto a cork board. Very fun to do and you can make a lot of creative scenes.

It is really hammering and therefore suitable for children from 6 years.

Some parents give it to younger children, but they can hammer their hands.

There are 4 examples included so you can get through them quickly. But it's also just as fun to come up with things yourself. You could also add commands for them to perform.

A big minus is the cork board. Not really big enough to lay out everything you can think of and even making the examples is very difficult.

Still a very nice set that can keep them busy for quite a few creative hours.

Are Montessori toys always made of wood?

No, Montessori toys are not always made of wood. Although wooden toys are often associated with Montessori education due to their natural materials and durability, Montessori toys may contain a variety of materials, but they do use many wooden toys.

What Montessori toys have in common is that they are designed to promote independence and the development of specific skills in children, regardless of the materials used.

How do Montessori toys differ from those of other schools?

Montessori is different from it toys from other primary schools due to its specific design, aimed at the development of independence and independent learning. The toys are often simple and designed to stimulate children's sensory perception, fine motor skills and cognitive skills. Montessori toys emphasize self-discovery learning and self-direction, which is in line with the pedagogical approach of Montessori education.

How do Montessori toys differ from Waldorf?

Montessori toys differ from Waldorf toys in their design philosophy and educational approach. Montessori toys are generally aimed at promoting independence and teaching specific skills, with an emphasis on independent learning. Waldorf toys, on the other hand, is often more imaginative and creative, designed to stimulate children's imaginations and promote open-ended play.

Are Montessori toys always educational?

Although Montessori toys always strive for educational value, this is not necessarily the case educational toys to be. Even good wooden toys can be used in the Montessori philosophy, although the tactile experience always adds an educational element.

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.