19 Best Montessori Toys for 1 Year Old Toddlers

by | Dec 13, 2022

More parents than ever are switching to Montessori toys with their children because they help your child develop their needed skills rather than mindless playing. If you have a toddler, you’ll want to grab some Montessori toys for 1 year old toddlers.

Montessori toys have specific goals in mind; they are not simply for entertainment, even though kids love them. These toys help your child’s natural growth, stimulating problem-solving or working on skills kids need.

Related: 17 Best Toys for Learning Letters: Early Learning Toys

What is a Montessori Toy?

Many parents struggle to understand what is a Montessori toy and how they differ from other toys in the store.

Montessori toys are created with specific developmental goals in mind. The toy isn’t simply only for entertainment, even though they capture your child’s mind and interest. Creators of Montessori toys look at your child’s natural growth stages as they age and design toys to help their development.

These toys improve fine motor skills, stimulate problem-solving, improve concentration skills, or teach practical life skills.

What Qualifies for a Montessori Toy?

Many companies label their toys as “Montessori” because it brings a specific demographic of parents to their items. However, that doesn’t mean it really is a Montessori toy.

In general, here are some qualifications for Montessori toys for 1-year-old toddlers.

  • Teaches practical life skills
  • Self-correcting with a control of error to foster confidence and independence
  • Eco-friendly and wooden with minimal plastic
  • Real-world people, places, and things
  • Encourages the use of the five senses
  • Encourages deep focus and concentration

19 Best Montessori Toys for 1 Year Old Toddlers

Montessori toys are rooted in reality rather than pretend; most tend to be realistic rather than cartoon-looking. They will give your toddler skills they need as they get older, like hand-eye coordination or gross motor skills.

Let’s take a look at some top picks.

Montessori Knobbed Cylinder Sorter

Cylinder sorters are a simple toy; it’s one of the classic montessori toys for 1 year old toddlers. These toys help your toddler learn how to notice visual differences, comparing each cylinder in a block and noting the differences in each block.

Later, cylinder blocks apply language skills, using words like thick and thin or tall and short.

Montessori Infant Coin Box

This montessori toy challenges your toddler, allowing the experience of opening and closing the drawer and putting objects into the holes.Coins fit into the holes well but your child has to open the drawer to retrieve them rather than simply falling out.

The toy enhances hand-eyes coordination and your toddler’s attention span.

Animal Figurines

Real-life animal figurines are great for pretend play and language development in toddlers. I prefer to grab different sets of Toob figurines; they have many sets. you can find a forest animal set, farm animals, wild safari animals, ocean marine life, and desert animals.

The possibilities are endless with these animal figurines. I used them to play “I Spy” to teach phonemic awareness to my little kids.

Plus, you can use them for unit studies of different biomes around the world.

Object Permanence Box

One of the favorite Montessori toys for 1-year-old toddlers is an object permanence box. It’s a developmentally appropriate educational toy that keeps kids entertained for quite a while.

Your child has to put the ball through the top of the box and watch it come out the bottom. It is great for problem solving, and it’s like a simple puzzle for kids to watch.

Multiple Shape Puzzles with Jumbo Knob

These are simple, wooden shape puzzles, designed for young toddlers with developing eye-hand coordination. The puzzles have large knobs to make it easy to grasp and move into the proper position.

This set comes with two puzzles. The first has three shapes, helping your toddler learn about triangles, circles, and squares. The second is three circles of different sizes, challenging their ability to tell the difference between shapes.

Elite Montessori Sound Boxes

Sound boxes are one of the classic Montessori toys for 1 year old toddlers. The set comes with two boxes containing cylinders, grading from very soft to loud sounds. Each cylinder has a red or blue top to help your child know where to put the cylinders back.

It helps refine your child’s auditory senses and improve their memory retention skills. At the same time, sound boxes help your child learn to match colors.

Coogam Wooden Rainbow Nesting Puzzle Blocks

Toddlers love rainbow puzzle blocks; these are multi-functional, open-ended, and versatile building block toys. The set contains seven colored wooden pieces that couple together into a rainbow sale.

These arches can be used to stimulate your toddler’s imagination and develop creativity. Let your toddler’s imagination run wild with this toy.

Montessori Color Sorting & Color Resemblance Pegs

Toddlers love this color-recognition toy. It helps develop basic color perception; red, yellow, blue, and green are basic colors. This toy will help your child learn the different tones and work on focusing his eyes and hands together.

There are many ways to use this toy!

Lacing Beads for Fine Motor Skills

Lacing toys are excellent Montessori toys for 1 year old toddlers. You can buy a set like this one from Skoolzy or make your own. Make sure the beads aren’t too small because they increase frustration and set your toddler up for failure.

Plus, they’re a choking hazard.

Stringing beads develop your toddler’s fine motor skills, teach patience, and gives you a chance to work on language skills.

Wooden Race Tracks

A popular Montessori toy for toddlers is a wooden race track. Not only do these simply entertain your child, but they teach cause and effect.

If you aren’t a fan of the race track, wooden ball drops work as well. Those work on color matching as well as cause and effect. They learn what happens when they drop a ball into the track.

Montessori Toy Wooden Color Sorting and Counting

This is an open-ended game for little kids to play with 12 wooden balls, 12 wooden cups, a wooden bowl, and a wooden spoon. Toddlers must use a wooden spoon to move the balls from the main bowl to the colored cups.

This helps toddlers develop the concepts of colors, comparison, and classification.

Montessori Stacking Sets

Grab some stacker toys in different shapes and sizes, and if you get a set, you can rotate different stackers in your toy rotation. This keeps your toddler engaged.

This set comes with four toys: a vertical ring stacker, a horizontal ring stacker, blocks on a vertical dowel, and a graduated 3-ring stacker. Each stack requires your child to grasp and hold the toy in different ways, challenging your child.

Related: 11 Activities to Practice Pincer Grasp with Your Baby

Montessori Busy Board

You may not find busy boards in a Montessori classroom, but these inspired sensory boards include activities that benefit kids. Busy boards differ, but many include zippers, buttons, ties, and snaps.

These are all useful skills that require fine motor skills, and your one-year-old is gradually developing those skills. It also encourages logical thinking, spurs creativity, and supports independence.

Sorting & Stacking Shapes on Pegs

Here is a Montessori toy that will be used for years. Toddlers have to find the right spot for each object and use their hand-eye coordination to line up the pegs with the holes.

Later, this toy may be used for language, counting, and building towers. It contains four colors and four geometric shapes, and it’s sized perfectly for toddler’s little hands.

Matchstick Color Drop

This matchstick color drop is a coloring sorting game designed to help your toddler refine his fine motor skills. These are small parts that focus on strengthening hand muscles and promoting independence.

Kids put the sticks into the holes at the top that are color-colored. Then, the lid comes off and puts it back on without assistance.

Assorted Natural Wooden Musical Instruments

Every Montessori house needs a basket of musical instruments; it’s a staple when it comes to Montessori toys for 1 year old toddlers. They develop fine and gross motor skills as they pick up and shake the instruments. Studies show these instruments create more pathways in brain development.

This set includes ten instruments, such as maracas, triangle, castanet, tambourine, chime bar, sleigh bells, and more.

Wooden Lawnmower Toy – Toddler Push Toy

When your toddler starts walking, make sure you have a push toy to encourage more walking and provides you with entertainment. These toys work on gross motor development, and a good wooden one will last much longer than a plastic toy.

Pikler Triangle with Ramp and Arch

A pikler triangle is a fantastic first birthday gift for your toddler. It grows with your child for multiple purposes. Kids between one and three years old get the most out of these climbers, but even older kids enjoy them.

A Realistic Doll

You may not find dolls in a Montessori classroom, but realistic baby dolls teach practical life skills while encouraging growth for your one-year-old.

This is the age when their compassion and empathy for others begin to grow. They mimic their parents and the care they provide; this is as much practical life – caring for someone else – as it is emotional growth.

Pick a realistic doll. Maria Montessori found children prefer toys that aren’t “dumbed down” for them.

Adding several Montessori toys to your shelf for toddlers is always a great idea! Your toddler will spend hours with these toys, having fun and learning.