In line with Montessori philosophy here are some suggested toys & gifts for the different age groups and also some developmental considerations. Many quality toys have age guides to help choose what the appropriate age is, but remember these serve as a guide and always check for small pieces when young children are around.
The quality of the toy’s materials is a valid consideration; natural wooden toys will last far longer than plastics, but can prove a challenge to wash.
Lillard and Jessen (2003, ‘Montessori from the start’) said “your only purpose is to give a key to your child for discovering his world“. Toys and materials can act as that key, they aid the child’s understanding of the real world and help them distinguish order and make sense of their environment. This is a true gift to the child.
Montessori Materials / ‘Toys’ for Infants
Birth to 6 months – Babies are interested in exploring the senses of sight, sound and touch.
6-12 months – Developmentally interested in mobility, crawling, learning to walk, safety important as objects still being mouthed.
12 to 18 months – Children this age are curious about how things work and still put most things in their mouth. Mobility, coordination and manipulative skills are still developing.