Montessori Toys for 2-Year-Olds
What are Montessori toys?
Montessori is a child-centred method of education that encourages self-directed learning and collaborative play using all five senses. At two years old, toys that can support this style of learning are generally more simple toys that encourage children to independently explore the world around them.
The basic principles of Montessori include:
- Treating children with respect. Instilling kindness and respect by being kind and respectful.
- Knowing that children are eager to learn and have incredibly absorbent minds.
- The fact that children will teach themselves through exploration.
- And the fact that children learn best in a prepared environment.
Generally Montessori toys will have certain characteristics. These include:
- Toys made from attractive natural materials. Part of Montessori involves stimulating all the senses. So tactile wooden toys that have a scent and texture of nature are perfect, as are natural materials such as stone, fabric and even glass.
- Simple toys that are free of loud distractions. Battery operated noisy toys are attractive to children but they encourage a much more passive interaction. Children are entertained by them rather than using them to create their own entertainment.
- Child sized versions of adult activities. Children are hard-wired to want to mimic us and they learn a lot of copying us. So a little dustpan and brush, small kitchen utensils, a mini clothes horse, a doll they can dress and care for or a real set of tools all make great tools for both learning and play.
- Toys that are true to life. Montessori is centred in reality rather than a fantasy world with the belief that our imaginations are developed best when we are connected to what is real. Children don't have any idea that an elephant is real but a unicorn is not.
- Toys that focus on a particular skill but that children can engage with at their own pace. For example, a simple colour matching puzzle or colour sorting game could be a good match for a 2-year-old.
Some of our favourite toys for 2-year-olds
Kids cleaning sets. The mini-sized broom sets from Big Jigs and Small foot are the perfect size for toddlers and they love them. The Big Jigs gardening tools are also the perfect size for toddlers and allow them to do purposeful work alongside you that is far more fulfilling for them than playing with a dolls house or a toy garden.
Blocks. Block play is fantastic for building all sorts of cognitive skills in 2-year-olds. They learn coordination, problem-solving, concentration, spatial awareness and creativity while playing with blocks. And blocks can be combined with cars or wooden animals to add extra dimensions to play.
We love the Goki Rainbow Building Blocks if you want something colourful or the Grimms natural building blocks for a natural wooden finish. And you can add natural materials such as pebbles from the beach or chunks of wood.
Stacking, sorting and sequencing toys are also perfect for this age group as they introduce children to mathematical concepts that they can develop later on. Recreating patterns is great for developing problem-solving skills and learning concentration. And sorting items by shape or colour is another fun game that is perfect for development at this age.
Next up: Birthday gifts for 2-year-old boys and girls.