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Montessori Outdoor Toys: 10 Top Picks

Outdoor play has so many amazing benefits for children and Montessori parents look for certain things when choosing toys for their children. Picking out the right Montessori outdoor toys can be a challenge with all the options out there.

Since there is really no such thing as a Montessori toy, I’ve picked out the best outdoor toys that align with the Montessori philosophy.

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10 Montessori outdoor toys kids will love

Kids Gardening Tool Set

Practical Life is a big deal in Montessori. Giving a child items that help them accomplish real tasks is not only beneficial to their development, but it provides them with a lot of fun, as well.

A kids gardening set with tools that really work can provide independence while helping with gardening tasks and it’s wonderful for imaginative play, as well.

Stepping Stones

These are a great way for kids to develop gross motor skills, balance, and coordination. Stepping stones are an engaging toy that kids will want to play with again and again. (Inside and outside)

Whether it’s hopping from stone to stone or making a long “bridge” across an imaginary pond, stepping stones are a fun, Montessori-aligned, toy for every age.

Exploration Kit

This is a great item for kids who love to explore the outdoors, and especially for those who want to catch more than just a glimpse of the wildlife around them. It’s a fun and educational way to encourage curiosity about nature. This is a kit we enjoy.

It includes real, working binoculars, magnifying glass, compass, whistle, bag, and a flashlight.

Mud Kitchen

A mud kitchen is an indoor-outdoor activity center that’s fun for kids of every age. It’s a place where children can play with mud, water, stickes, and leaves, and just get plain creative with nature.

Play is about having fun, but it’s also about learning, experiencing new things and experimenting. A mud kitchen provides everything that kids need to do all of these things.

Of course, there is some disagreement on whether play kitchens (indoor or outdoor) are Montessori-aligned. The fact is, Dr. Montessori was not anti-imaginative play at all.

A Mud kitchen provides children opportunities to practice their Practical Life skills, while using their imaginations to learn about the world around them.

Sand and Water Table

A sand and water table is a place where kids learn about the physical properties of materials through play. For example, they discover that different materials feel different when poured through a funnel or when used to make a sand tower.

While playing in the sand and water, children build early math, science, and problem solving skills. When set up for Practical Life, outdoor sensory tables stimulate curiosity about shapes, color recognition, counting, sorting, and so much more.

Whether used for free-play or Practical Life, this is a great Montessori-aligned outdoor toy.

Sandbox

It’s a sandbox. It’s where kids play. Kids love sandboxes.

Many of us grew up with a sandbox, but when it comes to setting up an outdoor play space for our own children, we are bombarded with new outdoor items and we tend to overlook the classic outdoor items.

Even though they are just as happy playing in the dirt, it’s nice to have something that is specifically made for them to play in. Sandboxes provide the opportunity for important Montessori work, such as scooping, pouring, and schematic play.

Dome Climber

Dome climbers are great for gross motor development, as well as a child’s developing problem solving skills.

Children have to look up, down, and all around to determine the correct route to achieve their goals. This is great for physical and mental development, as well as the development of spatial awareness.

Outdoor Easel

When we think of setting up and art station for our child, we tend to exclude the outdoors as an area where this can be done. Not so fast, though.

Setting up an outdoor art easel is a great way to get your child’s fine motor skills going and stimulate their imagination. You will find that the process art your child participates in while outdoors is not limited in any way.

The have access to any art supplies you give them access to, plus the mediums provided by nature.

Balance Beam

A balance beam is an awesome, Montessori-aligned way to promote physical activity and brain development in children. It helps kids improve their balance, spatial awareness, motor skills, and confidence.

Balance Bike

Balance, coordination, and confidence are all benefits of learning to ride a bike. What is so great about balance bikes is that children don’t have to wait till they are 3-5 years old to finally experience the joy of bike riding.

Toddlers as young as 12 months old may be able to successfully straddle a balance bike, then slowly move on to riding it.

Many children who have used a balance bike continue straight on to using a regular bicycle with no problems, whereas children learning from an ordinary bike often find that they have difficulty in balancing.

These are quite popular among Montessori parents. My children love their balance bikes. They were gifted to us and they get quite a bit of use on a daily basis. (For years!)


Children love playing outside and it’s a great idea to allow plenty of unstructured play. These outdoor toys serve as great aids to this type of play.

What Montessori outdoor toys does your child enjoy?

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