Montessori toys, activities, oobleck, toddler, preschooler

“Shop Small” For Beautiful Montessori Toys at Catkin’s Great Collection!

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Are you overwhelmed looking for high-quality wooden Montessori toys?

It can be challenging to find a wide collection of beautiful wooden Montessori toys conveniently located all in one place. Yes, you can find Montessori toys online but often the largest selections are from giant online corporations or you have to sift through a list of different shops with limited toys. It depends on what you’re looking for.

If you’re like me, you’d also prefer to support smaller, family-owned businesses. Bonus points if the Montessori toys are made from ethically sourced materials!

Since my daughter was born, I have always been on the lookout for high-quality Montessori toys and my husband can attest that I spend literally hours searching for “just the right thing”. It can be exhausting being pulled in all different directions trying to find what you need.

Should you buy Montessori toys from a small business?

We all want convenience but many of us also want to support a small family or locally owned business. There are common misconceptions about buying from a small or locally-owned business. Such as:

“Small businesses…

  • don’t have an online shop”
  • have more expensive products”
  • have a limited variety of products to choose from”
  • aren’t important and they don’t make a difference”

In most cases, these are all myths. In fact, the opposite is usually true! Many local or small businesses also sell online and they have fair pricing with a wide selection.

Further, buying from small businesses make a huge difference in the lives of local communities. It encourages entrepreneurship and small businesses love to give back to their communities. Also, many small family-owned businesses focus on using eco-friendly materials and packaging.

You need a convenient “go-to” shop for your high-quality Montessori toys

Let’s face it. We’re busy. We need a place with a large enough selection of Montessori toys that fulfill our needs. What stresses me out the most is that I either have to buy this toy from this one website and get this other toy I also want from a different website.

Or I can go to a huge online company and sort through a large overwhelming collection of toys. The whole process is time-consuming and it can be difficult to make a decision. And sometimes you’re not sure where the toy originated from or how it was made.

There are also convenient high-quality Montessori toy subscription services. They may be for you, and that’s wonderful! But for some, you feel like you don’t have the freedom to choose exactly what you want. It’s also possible that your child may not like everything in the subscription box.

There are great options out there, depending on your needs. I’d like to talk about one beautiful online shop that I discovered!

Catkin Toys and Gifts

Montessori toys, ethically sourced, wooden, Catkin, eco-friendly

Catkin Toys and Gifts is a small family-owned business that specializes in ethically sourced high-quality Montessori toys. They are excited to offer a large collection of toys that are made from FSC certified wood (Forest Stewardship Council).

They are located in the UK, but they just started to ship to the US and worldwide! They have a large range of toys to choose from for babies, toddlers, and ages 3 and up.

I like how the toys are organized in different ways on their website, such as by age, brand, and toy type. It’s easy to look for what you need. For example, if you’re looking for something for your younger toddler, you can search by ages 12-18 months. This was the age I had a tough time finding the right toys for my daughter, as she was very busy, active, and curious.

Eco-friendly wood

What caught my eye at Catkin are the high-quality wooden toys made by Kinder WoodCraft. They are made by Amy and Rick who live out in the UK countryside. They make their toys with FSC certified wood. They incorporate Montessori at home with their children, and make these toys to fulfill that need! I’m inspired by their mission to change the world through education and sustainable living.

Kinder Woodcraft has a collection of pre-writing tracing boards, that I want to try with my daughter. I’m in the process of ordering these, and after I try them with my daughter, I will update this blog post with my review of them!

Catkin also has a beautiful collection of wooden animal toys with real-life images of animals, puzzles, blocks, and wooden loose parts that are great for hands-on exploration and learning. All are made from eco-friendly wood!

Why should I buy wooden Montessori toys?

Wooden toys are:

  • good for the environment; they cause less waste than plastic
  • safe and natural
  • attractive to your child and beautiful
  • durable and long-lasting

Catkin’s free downloadable resources

Catkin also has a collection of free downloadable activities and resources on their website which I have explored and enjoy using!

I downloaded their Recipe cards for “messy play” and on one rainy afternoon, my daughter and I made oobleck (cornstarch and water) and edible playdough. Making the oobleck was like a blast from the past for me because I remember making this with my cousins when I was a kid. It truly brought back memories of scooping up the solid oobleck and watching it quickly melt and drip in your hand. My daughter wasn’t too sure if she liked it or not but she gave it a try!

We also made the edible playdough. I like this recipe because it’s a small batch and you don’t need to cook it on the stove. It’s quick and fun to make with your little one. My daughter loved this playdough because it was a lot stickier than the playdough she’s used to, and she enjoyed squishing it in her hands.

I’m excited to try moon sand and cloud dough next!

I also downloaded Catkin’s labels to organize your Montessori toys and materials. The full set comes with 184 labels in a neutral color design. You can also download the labels in a specific category you need (if you don’t need all 184) and they also come in a floral design and colorful design. You can choose the best one that fits your style and decor.

I used the labels for my bins in my Montessori storage closet that I organize and declutter on a regular basis. They look great! I use clear bins so it’s easier for me to grab what I need. But now I have a beautiful and clean label on each bin and it makes the storage closet look more organized and pulled together. It’s a pleasure to look for something in the storage closet now. I’m also more motivated to keep the bins organized and pretty!

montessori toys, labels, organization, storage
184 Labels to organize your Montessori toys and materials!

Catkin also has super cute downloadable placemats that you can print out and laminate. The placemats come in different background designs. They have different orientations of plate, fork, spoon, knife, and cup silhouettes which are a great way for your child to practice setting the table. We will try the placemats next.

Concluding Thoughts

I hope you give Catkin Toys and Gifts a try. They really “check all the boxes” in an online Montessori toy store. It’s a small business with a large selection of eco-friendly, beautiful, wooden toys. Not to mention, they have a huge offering of free downloadables that are really pretty, organized, and useful.

If they put this much care into their free offering, you just know their sellable items are just as good and likely even better! Thank you to Catkin Toys and Gifts for putting together a great one-stop shop for our Montessori at home needs!

Have you tried Catkin toys? Leave a comment below!

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2 thoughts on ““Shop Small” For Beautiful Montessori Toys at Catkin’s Great Collection!”

    1. If a toy is wooden, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s Montessori. However, many Montessori materials and toys are wooden because of the natural quality of it. It’s more important to look at the material or toy and to see if it meeting the goals of Montessori, which encourages independent play, it does not light up or make noise (music or talking toys), it allows for real exploratory play. Puzzles and building toys are great choices for “Montessori” style toys. My daughter also enjoys magnatiles which are made of plastic and not really “Montessori” but they encourage open-ended building and making structures. You can also use real kitchen cups, bowls, spoons, water or dried brands, or rice for pouring and hands-on play. also exploring outside with nature and working in the garden are excellent choices for Montessori activities and play. It really depends on your needs and your child’s needs. Follow your instincts. I don’t usually get caught up in “Is that Montessori or that’s not Montessori.”

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