Montessori Toys VS Regular Toys – What’s the Difference?

Montessori Toys VS Regular Toys – What’s the Difference?

If the impressive alumni list associated with a Montessori education is anything to go by, a ‘Montessori upbringing’ should be at the top of the priority list for parents everywhere. So, what makes these toys and the pedagogy underpinning them so special? In this post, we’ll be exploring the Montessori toys VS regular toys question.

We’ll cover the benefits of Montessori toys and how they differ from your average toy racing car or Barbie doll.

What Makes a Toy a ‘Montessori Toy?’

Way back in 1897, the Italian teacher and physician, Maria Montessori, developed a pedagogy for teaching young children. It’s an ethos that prioritizes the following:

  • Independent and critical thinking. 
  • Curiosity.
  • Robust self-confidence from a young age.
  • Tangible, real-world skills. 
  • Hands-on learning.

Montessori toys are essentially designed to get your kids thinking practically. They’re simple, engaging, and can be fantastic for your child’s cognitive and social development. 

Learn more about Montessori toys benefits.


Simple, With Natural Materials 

You’ll find no batteries, flashing lights, or nausea-inducing colors here. Montessori toys are typically made from wood or a single, simple material that’s easy on the eyes. They present straightforward, real-world problems for your child to engage with. 

Shapes are matched to corresponding holes, puzzles are joyously pieced together, and your child encounters endless ways to get creative and solve problems on their own. 

It Follows the Montessori Way of Thinking 

We all want our children to be confident, independent thinkers. One of the benefits of Montessori toys is that they help boost your kids in both of these key developmental skills. The scope of possible ‘games’ that is possible with a Montessori toy is usually relatively limited. 

Instead of having billions of different video games to play or buttons to press, your child is ‘forced’ to think creatively. By working within the stricter parameters set by these wonderful toys, your kid strengthens their imaginative capacities. 

Based on the Tangible Aspects of Reality 

The shapes, lines, and puzzle pieces found in Montessori toys are intentionally ‘real’. There are no wizards, aliens, or magic to be found here. Instead, your child plays games that are rooted in the tangible aspects of reality. 

While still having just as much fun, they develop skills and interests that will actually help them in the future. It’s no wonder Jeff Bezos, Taylor Swift, and Prince George are among the remarkable people who grew up on a Montessori education.

Montessori Toys VS Regular Toys – In a Nutshell 

Put simply, regular toys

  • Are usually meant for entertainment.
  • Can be bright, electronic, and designed to distract your child. 
  • Can be really fun, but not built for any particular purpose. 
  • Can also educate, but without a guiding philosophy. 

Contrastingly, Montessori toys: 

  • Are designed to develop your child’s skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and independent thought.
  • Are made from natural or simple materials.
  • Are rooted in the tangible aspects of reality.
  • Don’t typically use electricity.
  • Provide a huge boost to your child’s cognitive development.

Montessori Toys VS Regular Toys – Comparison Table

Montessori Toys 

Regular Toys


Natural, often wooden. Sometimes one solid, simple material. 

Huge variety – often plastic, metals, and composite materials. 


Deepen and further the Montessori philosophy of education.

Entertainment. Sometimes education through entertainment. 


Simple, rooted in the real world. 

Fun, ‘stimulating’ shapes.

Evidence Supported Learning?


Depends wildly on the toy, often not.

Uses Electricity?



Features Fantasy?




What are the Benefits of Montessori Toys?

We talk in more detail about the various Montessori toys benefits in this article. In a nutshell, however, the benefits of Montessori toys include:

  • Better fine and gross motor skills for your child. 
  • Significant boosts to cognitive development. 
  • Confident, independent children who solve problems joyously. 
  • Encourages learning through play.
  • Better critical thinking skills. 
  • Encourages creativity and imagination. 
  • So much more.

For many parents around the world, these toys really are a no-brainer.

Montessori Toys VS Regular Toys – Final Thoughts

While ‘regular toys’ can be a ton of fun for your child, they won’t necessarily deliver the educational ‘oomph’ you may be looking for. Montessori toys, on the other hand, can be a boon for the development of a young learner’s motor skills, independence, and cognitive faculties. 

Shop our range of toys today and get started on your Montessori journey!

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