A friend of mine asked for Montessori toy recommendations for a one year-old, and I immediately went to Kylie's post. Sadly, I misread it and thought many of the links were only available in Australia, so I decided to recreate a similar list for my friend (and later realized the Australian links were in addition to the U.S. links!--how long can I blame the post-partum hormones?). There's some overlap, as well as some different items. Henry has enjoyed most of these toys for the past year and a half.
- They are very concrete thinkers and they are trying to learn all they can about the world. Toys should help them build that understanding (like putting a ball in a hole and watching it roll out or doing basic puzzles).
- As much as possible, toys should have a "control of error." In other words, it should be clear to the child when it's been done correctly or incorrectly (like stacking rings from largest to smallest). That process helps with their problem-solving and independence.
- Toys should be beautiful, attractive, and made of natural materials (like wood versus plastic). Toys should require active engagement from the child (like blocks) as opposed to passive engagement (like battery-operated toys).
- As much as we should offer interesting toys in the environment, we should also just try to spend time outside in nature, following the child's lead as they pick up rocks, hold earthworms, etc.