Montessori Toys in Group Settings: Fostering Social Skills

Did you know that Maria Montessori, the visionary behind Montessori education, originally began her career not in teaching but in medicine? Yes, that’s right! Dr. Montessori was Italy's first female physician.

However, as Maria began experimenting with her teaching method, she designed special materials that later evolved into Montessori toys. These toys were carefully designed to engage children in purposeful play, helping them learn while playing.

Boy and girl playing with wooden puzzles in a Montessori classroom.

Most importantly, the Montessori toys played a crucial role in supporting cognitive and social skills in children. Today, Montessori classrooms continue to use Maria Montessori's legacy, where toys aren't just for play - they're tools for development.

So today, we’ll take a look at all the benefits of Montessori toys in a group setting.

Montessori Toys and Their Characteristics

Montessori toys are known to deliver many benefits in the form of development. These toys are based on the basic Montessori principles, so here are some of the main characteristics:

  • Purposeful design: Montessori toys are designed to serve a specific educational purpose, promoting focused and meaningful play. They are also simple in design, which makes them perfect for children to explore.

  • Sensory engagement: These toys often have sensory elements, stimulating a child's senses and improving their overall learning experience.

  • Self-correction: Montessori toys are designed to allow children to recognize and correct their mistakes independently, focusing on a sense of responsibility. The open-ended nature of Montessori toys is great for children to learn on their own. 

Close up of a father helping his child to solve wooden Montessori puzzles.

On top of that, Montessori toys play a crucial role in nurturing social skills among children. This is best observed in the way children interact with others while they play with Montessori toys.

Therefore, these toys:

1. Encourage collaboration: Many Montessori toys are designed for group activities, fostering collaboration and teamwork.

2. Promote communication: Through interactive play, these toys enhance communication skills, encouraging children to express themselves and understand others.

3. Nurture empathy: Montessori toys often involve shared experiences, teaching children the importance of empathy and understanding others' perspectives.

How Does Montessori Help in Social Development?

The Montessori method improves social development in children by focusing on practical life skills, encouraging social interaction, promoting effective communication, and teaching conflict resolution. This approach shows children the value of interacting with each other, and it promotes positive behavior.

The best place where children can learn and socialize at the same time is in Montessori classrooms. These classrooms are designed to encourage social interaction among children. Group activities and collaborative learning experiences allow children to share ideas and work together on tasks.

This promotes the development of vital social skills such as cooperation and teamwork.

Children playing with wooden puzzles together.

The Benefits of Montessori Toys in Group Settings

The benefits of Montessori education are clearly seen in different fields of development. One of these fields is social skills.

Montessori toys encourage independence through individual exploration while also creating opportunities for teamwork in group activities. Children learn to do both solo tasks and cooperative tasks. This is a perfect way of interacting, as children who focus on a problem are likelier to succeed with teamwork.

Enhancing Communication Skills with Montessori Toys

Montessori toys are designed to help children develop strong communication skills. Here’s how these toys contribute to communication enhancement:

  • Natural expression: Kids talk to each other and learn how to express their ideas to solve problems. For example, the Montessori Wooden Tetris requires logical solutions, and when children interact with it, they need to communicate in order to arrange pieces.

  • Listening and responding: Through group activities and play, children learn the value of listening actively and responding to others. Take the Montessori Story Book, for example - one child can ‘’read it’’ while the other one listens and observes the story. 

Mother and her four daughters sitting at the table and playing with an educational wooden alphabet toy.

  • Language-rich environment: In the Montessori classroom, children are able to freely express their feelings and thoughts. This approach teaches them the value of communication and resolving problems by talking and understanding rather than criticism.

  • Nonverbal communication: Montessori toys also feature nonverbal cues, such as gestures. These cues help children understand and respond properly to other children’s emotions. 

In general, toys like the Montessori Wooden Spelling Game and the Montessori Sticker Busy Book are great for a group setting. Children can interact with these toys and communicate together in order to make the playtime even more fun.

Encouraging Empathy and Teamwork

Another important aspect of Montessori toys in a group setting is that these toys encourage empathy and teamwork. Namely, Montessori toys play a vital role in nurturing empathy and teamwork among children, but in a simple yet impactful manner.

Here’s how:

  • Shared experiences: Many Montessori toys are designed for group play, promoting shared experiences. This toy is a perfect example - the Montessori Memory Match. This toy can even create a competitive environment for children, which is a perfect setup to teach them to be humble in victory and not bitter in defeat.

  • Understanding perspectives: Through teamwork activities, children learn to see things from others' viewpoints. This understanding surely boosts empathy as they work together to overcome common goals and problems.

  • Responsibility and team dynamics: Some Montessori toys often require teamwork and shared responsibilities. Take the Montessori Christmas Tree, for example. This tree simply invites children to work together to decorate it.

Most importantly, Montessori toys create an environment where children learn the value of working together. 

Children making DIY toys out of paper in classroom and laughing.


Social skills are an important aspect of our lives, and our kids should learn how to develop properly in social environments. In that light, the focus on independence, communication, empathy, and teamwork creates a foundation for well-rounded social development.

Children learn to work together and overcome problems easily, and by doing so, they’re developing their social skills. So, why don’t we ensure they have plenty of materials to do so?

That’s right; Montessori toys perfectly fit in the environment where children explore together. They teach our kids how to cooperate and understand others.

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