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The Best Montessori Toys: 0-6 Months

One of the philosophies of Montessori play is that toys shouldn't do the entertaining for the child - the child should be able to use them to entertain themselves and have open-ended play meaning that they can be used in a multitude of ways. When we first started implementing the Montessori lifestyle into our home, I couldn't think of how a baby could have such toys. I'd been used to younger relatives having flashy lights, things that sung if you pressed a button, and things that provided the entertainment for you. After doing a bit of reading and research, I started to find things that suited us and suited my baby and I'm pleased to say he's gotten so much use out of everything he's gotten so far.

Most toys he has haven't just suddenly become null and void now that he's 8 months old - he's still actively playing with everything on this list and that's how I know they're good! That's not to say any other type of toys aren't - as long as your baby is stimulated and happy, anything will do (I mean, we all know they seem to enjoy playing with cardboard boxes and kitchen utensils more than any *actual* toys anyway!). So now that we are at the 7 month mark, I thought I'd share with you all the Montessori or Montessori-inspired toys that Teddy has loved using during his first 6 months so if Montessori is something you're interested in for your own baby or need some gift ideas for a newborn of a family member or friend, hopefully this post will help:

Manhattan Toy Skwish Activity Toy | £14.00
This toy is one of Teddy's favourites and has been since he was around 4 months old. It's quite a big size but is lightweight enough for even a young baby to pick up and hold. Due to the shape, it helps teach little ones how to grasp and also has a rattle element to it so they can enjoy giving it a good shake! Teddy also likes to use it as a teether so it's an all-round great product as it's so versatile! You can get it in a range of colourways too and it's made from durable wood.

Manhattan Toy Baby Beads | £12.99
Another great toy from Manhattan Toy. These wooden beads are pretty hefty - they're quite a big size so there's no chance of choking and are made from solid wood so they have a great weight to them. Teddy only really started to take a proper interest in these when he was around 5.5 months because of this. Again, they come in a range of colour ways and the ones which are painted (like ours) are still absolutely safe for teething babies to lick and chop on! Due to the shape, these are great for further developing a baby's grasping skills.

Wooden Interlocking Discs | £10+
One of Teddy's most simple toys but that has seen him through the months as he develops has been this wooden interlocking double disc toy. This very simple toy (which I bought from an Etsy seller here) has helped with his hand-eye coordination, his grasping, teething, and is fantastic for tummy time and encouraging babies to start to crawl. Due to the shape, when a baby knocks the discs, they will roll in an unusual way which is very stimulating for a baby. They're a good size for babies to hold too!

HABA Fabric Rainbow Ball | £17.99-£24.99
Not all of Teddy's toys are wooden! One that has again been a firm favourite for him since he was 4 months (and is being used more and more now that he is 7 months and trying to crawl!) is this fabric ball from HABA. Not only is it interesting for a baby to look at due to the patterns and contrasting colours but, it's great for tactile play. Teddy loves textures and likes to have a scratch of everything so the fact that this ball has velvet-style fabric, corduroy, crinkle sounds, a squeaker - it's got a bit of everything. It's quite a large size but due to the ridged style, it's easy for baby to handle even when they're small. It also comes in handy for tummy time and encouraging them to crawl after something!

Ikea LEKA Wooden Baby Gym | £19
One of the best and most affordable baby gyms out there. This solid birch play gym is aesthetically pleasing to a baby due to the bright contrasting colours but it also is using some more natural materials than many other play gyms out there. This one is great because it's not too big so if you're limited on space, this one will suit you. As it doesn't have an attached mat for the baby to lie on, it can be used on the floor, on a bed (when baby is very small and obviously supervised), or over a baby chair etc. It's really versatile and Teddy has played with it far more than he played with the one he had before this one. It also has some spinning discs on the sides which he's showing a growing interest in the older he gets!

Wooden Bell Rattle | £3+
A really inexpensive option that has honestly been one of his most used toys during these first 6 months has been a simple wooden bell rattle. You can get a variety of different shapes and styles and some are as little as £2-£3 so if you're on a tight budget, this is a great one! Teddy has liked using this one from around 3 months as it's slim design made it very easy to grasp and then of course, he realised if he gave it a shake or smacked it off something it would make a lot of noise! The bells are nice and large so there's no worries of a choking hazard (of course babies should still be supervised) and its the one toy that I would say is a must-have for this age range.

Rainbow Ribbon Ring | £2+
The other inexpensive "must-have" is a ribbon ring. These are fab for sensory play and can be bought for very cheap or you can make your own! They just consist of a wooden teether ring with ribbons tied to it. Teddy enjoyed having this attached to his Ikea LEKA play gym (as the wooden ring fits well over the top of the gym parts!) but also has just enjoyed having a good chew on it and feeling the ribbons - a great one for when babies go through the stage of touching tags!

Infantino Sensory Ball Set |£9.99
Lastly, sensory balls are so so good for babies aged 0-6 months (and beyond!). These packs of rubberised balls help develop baby grasping and clutching techniques but also just let them explore textures both with their hands and their mouths. The variety in shape and colour helps keep a baby entertained but also learning. I typically let Teddy play with 3 balls at any given time just so he doesn't get overwhelmed with choice but, they can obviously be used in a variety of ways and could be used for tummy time (storing them in shallow basket or bowl is very interesting to a tummy time tot!) or could even be popped in the bath with a little one.

Hopefully this post has helped you get some ideas of what make some great simple Montessori toys for newborns. Other toys that are also good options are different types of wooden rattles, different shaped teethers, and child-safe mirrors as babies do love to look at faces! I'll be sharing some DIY Montessori toys soon so if you need super budget options, make sure you keep an eye out for that post! I'll also be sharing our favourite 6-12 month toys just as soon as we reach that point (he's growing up too fast and I hate it).

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