Money Tight Montessori: Montessori Inspired Toys

One of the worst parts of being a Montessori fan is the knowledge that quality Montessori Materials often come with a large price tag and for the part time Montessori enthusiast it can be hard trying to figure out what you really need at home.

What I have to share today are some of our favorite Montessori inspired toys at home, with a focus on the age range of under 3 or 4.

The best advice I can offer is to look for toys that are open ended and can be used in many different ways or to teach different information.  For example – if you’re wanting to purchase a set of block for your pre-schooler don’t stop at the plain wood squares and rectangles.  Instead look for a set with multiple shapes, sizes and colors.  Not only will the blocks be great for building towers and cities, but you can turn them into learning opportunities for the younger children by pointing out the shapes and colors, doing sorting activities and so much more.

Lacing Beads – I found this Schylling Set at the consignment store for $3 and have been using it in many different ways.

This Melissa & Doug Set would be nice too because each shapes are not a single colors making it more challenging to learn to sort by shape.

Wooden Blocks – We have a set similar to this Hape Brand.  It might be Hape, but I found them at the local Goodwill for a few dollars so I can’t be certain.

Geometric Stacker – Another toy that can double as a learning activity later on – shapes, sizes and colors… oh my! 

Beginner Pattern Blocks – Another consignment find for me, but well worth the investment if you can’t find it used.

In the Future – These are a few things I’d like to add to my arsenal in the future.

Pattern Blocks and Boards or a Magnetic Pattern Block Kit



A word about wanting to have ALL THE THINGS!!!

When you’re a fan of such a hands on approach to education be it Montessori, Waldorf, etc. it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of toys and materials available.  Particularly for those early ages when your children are going through the stages of development at an extraordinary rate it feels like the stuff could easily take over your home. Have no fear, it’s not necessary to have ALL THE THINGS!!!

Of course if you have plans on opening your own preschool or home-educating a large brood of wonderful kidlets you might have a need for a few more things, but take it slow.  However, your child is not going to be denied entrance to college because he did not play with every shape sorting puzzle on the market.  In fact,  and this is a downside to Montessori, many of these games and skills are mastered fairly quickly. Think long term and open ended, the more ways you can use and item you bring into the home the better an investment it will be.

Think of what you want your children to get from their toys and pick a few things that meet all of those requirements.  The four items I’ve listed have been in active use in our house for over a year, will easily be usable and interesting for at least another year or two and meet my requirements of learning about shape, size and color and can be used in many different ways.  An added bonus is that by thinking of these things ahead of time I’ve known exactly what I’m looking for when I go to that favorite consignment shop or Goodwill and have scored some pretty amazing deals.

Thank you for stopping by!  

What are some of your favorite Montessori Inspired Toys?

This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.  

Shared @ Living Montessori Now


4 thoughts on “Money Tight Montessori: Montessori Inspired Toys

  1. I have always let my kiddos use my measuring cups and spoons for unguided play in the kitchen while I'm cooking. It is fun because they nest and without asking the kiddos always always figure out there is an order in which they nest together. It is fun watching them try to figure it out.


  2. I love your advice on not needing ALL OF THE THINGS, it can be really overwhelming to WANT it all and also to HAVE it all in your home–after all, houses are not Montessori schools and as much as we work on habit training, ALL OF THE THINGS nicely arranged on lovely shelves quickly becomes ALL OF THE THINGS in a gigantic pile on the floor–especially with the under 4 set–at least in my house 🙂

    Early on I found myself wanting LESS OF THE THINGS! LESS OF THE THINGS! and that is why my family thinks of me as the toy police….what can you do 🙂


  3. We just did a big full house clean up last week. We didn't get rid of a lot of toys, but we did pack up a good number and put them in what's being called the “rainy day closet” to come out when we need something new. It's helped the house feel less messy and surprise, surprise the kiddo plays more with what is available when there's less of it! I need to share a post of the spaces in the house one day.


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