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The Montessori Gift Giving Guide

The Montessori Gift Giving Guide
Jemma Helliker

The Montessori model is built on the foundations of following the natural development of the child as well as nurturing independence and responsibility. The method is most successful if supported at home, as well as in school.

As we move towards the holiday season, consider using these ideas as you choose gifts for the young Montessorians on your list!

Infant (018 months)

  • Grasping toys

A baby starts to grasp around 3 months; this new skill can be nurtured with beautiful wooden grasping toys with soft bell sounds.

  • Munari and Gobbi mobiles

Visual stimulation is important for infants; as they cannot walk or talk, vision is how they experience the world. Mobiles with highly contrasting black and white geometric patterns are a perfect addition to a nursery. Later, mobiles with graded colors can be introduced.  

  • Balls

A selection of balls make fun objects for rolling, crawling after, and passing from hand to hand—perfect for those grasping fingers and crawling bodies.

  • Books

Seek simple lift-the-flap books and timeless classics that you will enjoy reading again and again. Reading aloud to infants is a wonderful shared activity that teaches the child about communication, readying them for the development of language.

Toddler (18 months3 years)

  • Child-sized cleaning set

Toddlers want to do what you are doing! We all have to look after our homes; let your child help you! Give them their own special cleaning set and your house may be extra sparkly soon.

  • Child-sized dresser or clothing rack

Children want to be independent—build an environment in your home that fosters independence. A child-sized clothing rack allows children to choose their outfit. Place two or three options out each day, and watch how proud they are when they do it themselves.

  • Threading activities and nesting boxes

Threading activities are great for younger toddlers as they work to build and develop fine motor skills. Nesting boxes help build spatial reasoning skills and the concept of size while introducing sequencing and patterns.

  • Books

Toddlers want to learn about the world around them. Choose books with simple, beautiful images, few words, and clear rhymes. Be prepared to read these books time and time and time again.

Primary (3 years6 years) 

  • Dress-up clothes

Children aged 3–6 love dressing up. Purchasing dress-up clothes with buttons, zippers and snaps allows the child to learn these skills.

  • Child-sized gardening set

It is so important that children are given the opportunity to be in nature. They love to dig and get dirty! A gardening set allows them to be outside with you, care for their environment, learn about plants and animals and build those gross and fine motor skills.

  • Nature-based puzzles

When it is too cold outside, bring nature inside. Offer the child a beautiful wooden puzzle of an animal, the solar system, or a rainforest. A timeless toy, the puzzle builds logical reasoning skills, while also providing a wonderful cooperative activity for the whole family.

  • Books

Please find a selection of book recommendations for this age group here!

Lower Elementary (6 years9 years)

  • A Piggy Bank 

Teaching children to be responsible with their money at a young age will only help them in the future. Concepts of saving, sharing, and spending build fiscal responsibility while also creating opportunities to work collaboratively and learn delayed gratification.

  • Hair Grooming Tools

As children become more and more independent, the morning routine is one element of their lives that can be their responsibility. Teach them how to brush their own hair and put it up; or, even for the boys, teach them the proper amount of product and how to style their own hair.

  • An Analog Watch

Giving them an analog watch for Christmas will help with their time-telling skills; also, your child’s teacher will thank you.

  • Books

Please find a selection of book recommendations for your 6 - 9 year-olds here

Upper Elementary (9 years12 years)

  • Money or a Gift Card

Then, take your child to the bank to open up his/her very own bank account and use the money towards the first deposit!  If they must spend that Christmas cash or gift card, allow them to do so as they please. But, make them figure out the tax so you don't have to bail them out at the cash register.

  • Planner

Get your child a planner this year to help them stay organized. Children moving towards Montessori’s third plane of development are in dire need of this!

  • Cookbook and Cooking Utensils

Do you have children that love to cook? Get them a simple cookbook to prepare meals for family dinners or special desserts. Adding tools to the gift makes it extra special!

  • Thank You Cards

Teaching your children to be thankful sets them up for success! Sending thank you cards is an act of gratitude, also supporting their writing skills and responsibility.

  • Compass and Map of Local Area

Give your children the opportunity to become more attuned to their surroundings, perhaps while on a hike or even during a car ride while visiting family.

  • Books

Please find a selection of book recommendations for your 9 - 12 year-olds here.



Some ideas were sourced from:


  • fine motor
  • gifts
  • reading comprehension