Parents and caregivers can provide Montessori toys for newborns that speak to their inquisitiveness, chosen specifically based on a baby’s interests and developmental levels during the period from birth to six months. These toys will help children grow physically and mentally, providing rich sensorial experiences that engage the child and support their development.
Best Newborn Montessori toys
Here are 8 of the best newborn Montessori toys that your infant is sure to love:
High Contrast Images and Cards
Black and white image contrast cards, books, and objects are captivating newborn Montessori toys. Infants have poor eyesight and the blur of their vision makes it difficult for them to recognize details, often narrowing their interest in dull colors and soft shapes. The high contrast of the black and white images and shapes stimulates your baby’s vision and are also said to help increase a child’s concentration skills and attention span. Additionally, it’s been found that these contrasting colors help a baby’s optic nerve grow, improving their vision!
If you’re looking for a set of high contrast cards, you could look for a set that includes cards for your newborn through to the infant and toddler stage, such as the Beiens Visual Stimulus cards set. This way, you’ll get a lot of use from the cards!
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Montessori Mobiles may be one of the most popular and well-recognized Montessori toys for newborns. They are great for stimulating your baby’s sense of sight and engaging their interest. There are four main types of Montessori mobiles that are typically offered to a newborn during their first six months of life, one after another.
- The Montessori mobile series begins with the Munari Mobile, intended for babies from 0-2 months. This mobile is made of black and white two-dimensional shapes (spheres, lines, abstract shapes, rods) that can be easily seen by infants with newly developing eyesight. This mobile encourages your infant’s focus as they start to learn to track objects, understand depth, and learn how to differentiate between basic colors. The stark contrast between black and white on this mobile is perfect for newborns as it provides them enough challenge to keep their concentration as their eyesight is continuing to develop.
- The Octahedral Mobile (also known as the Octahedron Mobile) is the second in the series. It is typically presented when your baby is around seven weeks old. The primary colors of red, blue, and yellow help your infant start noticing colors and capture their attention as they begin to coordinate their eyes together to focus on the depth of the triangles.
- The Gobbi Mobile is presented during the child’s third month when they can see the color spectrum completely. It typically includes five spheres of a single color in varying shades. The spheres are hung in a diagonal with the darkest sphere closest to the baby’s face. The Gobbi Mobile is intended to develop the child’s sense of visual discrimination and attention to detail. It also helps build depth perception.
- The fourth mobile in the series is the Dancers Mobile. It includes shapes made to look like abstract human figures with the head, arms, and legs moving individually. Typically, the figures are made from shiny or iridescent paper that is lightweight allowing the dancers to move easily and catch the light at different angles. This exciting Montessori infant material not only improves a child’s visual tracking and depth perception, it also introduces them to the concept of object permanence.
Wooden rattles not only provide your baby with something interesting to grasp, developing their hand strength and grasp reflex, they also make a noise when shaken, assisting your baby in developing an understanding of cause and effect. A wooden rattle is also a great Montessori infant material to encourage mouthing, allowing your child to safely explore their environment to stimulate their curiosity and learning. When moved by a parent or caregiver in front of the child, wooden rattles can help babies develop visual tracking skills. Although rattles can be made of lots of materials, a natural material like wood provides a rich sensorial experience for your newborn.
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Wooden Rattle with Bells
As the child gets a bit older, you may choose to opt for a wooden rattle with added bells. Bells are a lovely addition to the already intriguing wooden rattle, further enriching the sensorial experience for the child. This Montessori toy for newborns will help babies discover cause and effect and will encourage movement as all little ones will love to hear the beautiful sounds they can now create!
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Soft balls are great newborn Montessori toys as they allow your baby to explore their world sensorially. Newborns can grasp and squeeze soft fabric balls in their little hands, not only building their fine motor skills and hand strength, but also developing their hand-eye coordination and visual tracking as they transfer the ball from one hand to another. Soft balls can also encourage movement as your baby pushes and rolls the ball and then tries to reach for it.
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Baby paper, also known as crinkle paper, although not a traditional Montessori toy for newborns, provides infants with rich sensorial experiences. Baby paper looks like soft fabric, but when it is moved, it makes a crinkly noise. Baby paper can be picked up and manipulated by infants much easier than small rattles. This unique toy not only engages your little one sensorially, coming in a variety of textures, colors, and patterns that stimulate an infant’s sense of touch, sight, and hearing, it also helps develop their fine motor skills. Baby paper is often a favorite newborn Montessori toy as it is convenient, easy, and safe to travel with and can be used in new and exciting ways as your little one gets a bit older such as by hanging it like a tactile mobile to encourage reaching and kicking.
The interlocking discs are a classic Montessori newborn toy. Although they appear very simple in nature as two circular, wooden discs interlocked together, when presented to your child around three months, this toy will captivate their interest. The discs allow them to develop their fine motor skills as they practice grasping and help stimulate visual tracking and other cognitive developments as babies transfer the discs from hand to hand. As the child gets a bit older, the discs become a great way to encourage movement as well! Due to the way they are designed, a slight tap will cause the discs to wobble away from the baby, exciting your baby to reach out and move their bodies to grab it. The wooden nature of the interlocking discs also provides a rich sensorial experience for the child and is a great toy for mouthing.
Perhaps not commonly thought of as a Montessori toy, a mirror is a great Montessori infant material to add to your child’s environment. Your child can develop their visual skills as they enjoy watching their reflection. Mirrors can sometimes support tummy time as their reflection promotes interest and engagement. They can also be used to support gross motor development as your child watches the movements necessary to push up on their forearms and later crawl, sit, and stand. Lastly, mirrors can help a child build a strong sense of self and help with their social-emotional development as they begin to form an understanding of facial features and facial expressions related to emotions.
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These top 8 Montessori toys for newborns are just the beginning of your exciting lifelong Montessori journey with your baby! There are so many incredible Montessori materials that are sure to captivate your little one’s interests and support their learning and development at each and every age and stage of their childhood.