Infant Montessori Toys (2 to 10 months)

Monday April 24, 2017

As we get ready for baby to arrive, all my memories of Bean’s sweet Montessori infant rattles and bells and games are coming back to me.

Infant montessori toys are all made out of natural materials, typically just bare wood, and so beautiful and simple. With nearly a century of research, thought, and practice behind them too, they’re also insanely engaging for little people. (Yes, surprisingly so for some of these! Hear me out.)

Of course, we would use these in conjunction with the Montessori mobile progression. You can also see how some of the materials are used for mobiles as well as for floor play.

Here’s a collection of my favorite infant toys. They are available through Etsy, Amazon, or Montessori websites.



(From left to right)
1. Montessori Baby Bell Rattle

So tiny and so sweet. It is perfectly sized for a 2 month old’s tiny hands. The bells are purposefully exposed so that a baby can see and understand the source of the ringing. (But, this also means you’ll want to keep an eye on her while she uses it.) At 2 months, baby’s reflexes will grasp the rattle but she won’t have any idea that she’s holding something. Bean would shake the rattle then look around to figure out what was making that noise. Eventually, the infant will learn that her own body is producing the sound, making her aware of her own arm’s movements. Brilliant.



2. Interlocking Disks

This was an oddly compelling toy for Bean. At first, this is simply an easy disk for a baby to grab (around 2-3 months). Because of its smooth sides, the infant will have to work extra hard to grasp and hold it. Babies will also feel the need to rotate it (and bite on it), which encourages centerline play, utilizing both hands to achieve a goal, and wrist strength and manipulation.

(I love the look of total concentration in this photo of Bean and the disks.)



3. Montessori Bell Cylinder

This toy also had a few uses. At first, it was a fun rattle for Bean to shake and gnaw on. Again, the exposed bell made it simple for her to identify the source of the sound. But, the bell cylinder also has a habit of rolling away from baby, giving her encouragement to go and get it. Bean had a love-hate relationship with the cylinder. SO great when it was close, SO FREAKING INFURIATING when it rolled away. She would put her entire focus and bodily strength into retrieving it.





4. Crochet Rattle

Bean also loved this toy, once she had her grasp down at around 3-4 months. Easy to grasp and shake. It’s nubby texture made it perfect for sore gums.


5. Egg and Cup, Peg and Cup

Once baby has grasp down, it’s time to start working on positioning and placement. The egg encourages babies to work on fitting two pieces together in the correct way. The sloping shape of eggs make it relatively easy for this to happen. Once she’s mastered that, you move on to peg and cup where the positioning has to be slightly more precise.


6. Ball

This ball is easy for little hands to grasp and toss. We would hang this from a ribbon as a Montessori mobile, or play with it on the ground. Similar to the bell rattle, it has a tendency to roll away from baby, encouraging crawling.


7. Squish Toy

This is usually marketed for older infants, but I found it perfect for the early grasping lessons. Bean could easily get her hand on it and swish it around, at which point it’d make a really lovely wooden bell sound. As she got older, it encouraged centerline play and coordination between both hands, as she moved it across her body from one hand to the other to keep up the melody.


8. HABA Clutching Toy

Bean was fascinated by her ability to manipulate this toy and move the balls around. It also made for a good teether.

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