Montessori Toys for Older Children: Continuing the Journey Beyond Early Years

Hello! Today, we’ll focus on Montessori toys that go beyond toddler years. Even though many people think that Montessori education focuses solely on practical life skills and lessons at this stage, toys are still a massive part of preschool children’s development.

African-American boy holding a wooden abacus.

We’ve stated so many times that children’s only profession is playing with toys, and that doesn’t necessarily end in the first grade.

That’s why we’ll go through some suggestions that combine your child’s favorite pastime with the ever-so-important “getting ready for school.” You’ll find them all in our selection of Montessori toys for 5 year olds.

But first…

What’s the Idea behind Montessori for Older Children?

It’s all about child-centered learning. Let us explain a bit more.

Maria Montessori was a firm believer in children’s choice when it came to their education. Children should choose when, where, and how they learn about their subjects of interest. They should not be rushed or told to do something they have absolutely no interest in.

At first, this all sounds like anarchy, but believe us, it’s not. There’s a key element that makes this freedom of choice the best recipe for children’s education - Montessori prepared environment.

What Is a Montessori Prepared Environment?

We’re glad you asked. The Montessori prepared environment is a space filled with educational materials that excite children to learn and explore. The point is to make sure that anything they pick to learn from in such a space has educational value.

Montessori playroom area.

Whether it’s art supplies, sports activities, language development tools, or science equipment, among many other subjects, these materials allow children to follow their curiosity.

Now you see that even though children are allowed to pick any activity they like, all of them are actually beneficial to their education. It’s a neat idea, ha?

Finally, we come to…

What’s the Teacher’s or Parent’s Role in Montessori?

Be a guide rather than a lecturer - that’s the Montessori advice. An educator’s role at Montessori is to create a prepared environment and help out children only when that help is needed. Follow their interests and encourage their choices.

Montessori teacher and students in a playroom.

This approach allows children to grow confident and learn to make conscious decisions early on.

And now, let’s get back to those suggestions we promised at the start, shall we?

Top Picks for Montessori Toys for Older Children

Let’s go over some toys that combine all the principles we mentioned above. These will help you create an environment that will get your kid excited about learning but also prepared for their first day at school.

Problem-solving toys

These toys aim to nurture young problem-solving minds. Depending on how you approach them, they can be both closed and open-ended toys. The idea is to invite your child to find solutions to tasks these toys pose. Now, however they decide to solve them, it’s up to them.

Montessori Wooden Tetris

We took inspiration from a game we all loved back in the day. However, we’ve added a Montessori twist to it. Rather than pressing buttons and staring at a screen, this one requires your child to do it all by themselves.

Montessori Wooden Tetris.

Combine the pieces and fill out the board. There are certain strategies you can apply, but that’s for your child to figure out. However, that’s not all. There are also these images of cubes on the front of the board. The goal is to try and replicate them. It’s similar to solving a Rubik’s cube.

Try it out and see for yourself.

Montessori Shape Puzzles

We’ve talked about how these toys can be both closed and open-ended. Let’s explain it through an example. The Montessori Shape Puzzles are different from traditional jigsaw puzzles you can find in your local store. There’s more than one way to solve them - actually, there are hundreds!

Montessori Shape Puzzles.

Your child will either follow the instructions to replicate images shown on the cards or they’ll come up with something entirely new. It’s totally up to them, and that’s the beauty of it. It has 180 pieces, so it’s perfect for the age leading up to school.

Practical Life Skills Toys

This is where Montessori truly shines - combining playtime with learning actual skills that will come in handy throughout our lives. Let’s continue with some awesome suggestions.

Montessori Cooking Tools

This set has become so popular it’s unbelievable. The best thing about it is these are not make-believe at all. These are actual cooking tools your child will use to prepare their own meals. And we know what you think - are they safe? Yes, they’re 100% safe!

Montessori Cooking Tools.

They’ll cut through the softest of groceries and allow your kid to make sandwiches and fruit salads or help you shape baking dough. The idea is to make your kitchen a safe and exciting space. Children are bound to learn how to make their own dishes, so why not start today?

Montessori Wooden Toolbox & DIY Fun Chair

Both of these toys are meant to introduce your child to handling basic tools. There’s nothing too complicated about it, but it’s still a good start in learning a skill that will always prove useful.

The cool thing about these sets is they allow your child to build anything they want to. A wooden block here, a screw there, tight it up, and you’ve got yourself a plane, a car, or a bridge. It’s all about getting a feel for handicrafts and DIY projects.

Cause-&-Effect Toys for Creativity

The following two sets combine creativity with understanding physics and the basics of STEM. Let your child test their ideas and see how their “constructions” work in action. It’s a great start in engineering. All it takes is a bit of imagination and patience. 

Montessori Domino Run & Wooden Marble Run

Your child is free to assemble these any way they see fit - that’s the magic of it. There’s no one solution. This creative process they go through will improve their critical and logical thinking as well as boost their imagination.

Use these sets as family fun and something your child will learn a ton from, away from the screen.


As you can see, learning can happen even through play. That’s why Montessori toys exist in the first place - to bridge that gap between early years playtime and formal education. We hope these suggestions will help your child prepare for school and, more importantly, make learning fun and exciting.

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