The Montessori Method of education is a unique pedagogical tool developed by Dr. Maria Montessori that promotes children to indulge in self-directed activities and learn as they interact with toys and materials.
Searching for toys that align with the Montessori Principles and Montessori Philosophy can be a daunting and perplexing task for parents who are not fully acquainted with the Montessori Method of education.
While there is a myriad of toys targeted at toddlers and infants available in the market, most of these toys may not be aligned with Dr. Maria Montessori’s principles.
If you are preparing your infant to take their first steps and develop the age-appropriate milestones of mobility, a walker also known as a Push walker may be the toy to go for.
However, Push walkers or walkers can be a difficult toy for parents to choose from as there are some Montessori that do align with the Montessori Philosophy and others that don’t.
When the decision of choosing the right Montessori-Aligned Walker wasn’t enough, then comes the thought of these push toys being safe for the child to begin with.
If you are a vigilant parent or immediate caregiver who wants to purchase a Montessori Walker but are doubtful about whether or not they are beneficial for your child, do not panic.
Here is all you need to know about Montessori Walkers to help you find the right walker that accommodates and caters to your child’s developmental needs and requirements.
Are Walkers or Push Walkers aligned with Montessori Principles?
A Push Walker or a walker generally is a device or toy used by infants or toddlers who have not reached the milestone of walking independently.
Ideally, Push Walkers are used to increase mobility and to allow the infant to move from one place to another by walking instead of crawling.
With help of a Walker or push Walker the child is able to hold the handle hoist themselves and walk by pushing the toy forward.
As these walkers allow children to develop their gross motor skills and walk independently, they can be categorized as Montessori toys.
However, there are two different types of Walkers available that have two contrasting functions, one of which doesn’t align with the Montessori Philosophy.
The push walker allows the child to independently hoist and learn the skill of walking naturally aligned with the Montessori Principles.
The other kind of walker that promotes children to sit in a compartment and roll however is not aligned with Montessori Principles.
The sit-and-roll walkers do not promote the child to naturally and independently learn how to walk, hence they can’t be deemed as a Montessori toy.
Are Montessori Walkers safe to use?
As a Parent keeping your child safe and healthy is absolutely paramount, especially during the infancy and toddler stages.
So, it is fair to question whether or not Push Walkers are safe for your child to play with, even when they are unassisted.
Generally, there are two distinct types of Walkers available in the market that have two separate functions.
While one allows children to sit in a compartment and can kick with their legs to move forward, the other allows children to independently hoist themselves and walk.
Safety should be the main concern when it comes to former, sit-and-roll types of walkers, as they are quite dangerous and may cause muscle or tendon injuries as well as can lead to hip muscle dislocations.
How long can the Montessori Push Walkers be used?
As each child is different and develops at their own unique pace, there is no specific guideline for when your child can stop using the Montssoro Push Walker.
In fact, most children love playing with their Montessori Walker well until their toddler or preschool years.
Montessori Walkers can not only be used for enhanced mobility, but can also be used as transporting wagons in a Montessori Environment to transport toys, books, or materials by children who are about 5 to 6 years of age.
What to look for in a Montessori Walker?
While there are myriad toys available, walkers are among the quintessential toys that help your child reach the age-appropriate milestone of walking.
By now you would know that the sit-and-roll walkers are not aligned with the Montessori philosophy, furthermore, they are not child-friendly or child-safe, often leading to serious injuries or hip muscle dislocations.
Montessori Walkers on the other hand are simple wagon-style toys that fashion a long handle and a front compartment, which allows the child to hoist themselves and learn how to walk naturally, safely, as well as autonomously.
As a vigilant parent, keeping your child safe would be your utmost concern, and to help you find the right child-safe Montessori Walker for your child, here are some factors to consider to look for when purchasing a Montessori Walker:
Stability of the Montessori Walker:
First and foremost, the Montessori Push walker should be stable to prevent the toy from tipping over when the child plays with it or maneuvers it.
The base of the Montessori Walker:
The base of the Montessori Walker should be large, solid, and heavy to promote the stability of the walker and avoid unintended accidents.
Along with being sturdy, heavy, and large the base of the walker should also sit high to help the child hoist themselves to easily reach the handle.
Wheels of the Montessori Walker:
Another factor to remember is the wheels of the Montessori Walker. The wheels should be well-connected to the base of the walker and should have adjustability levers, as well as traction.
Adjustability levels will allow parents to manage the hold or the grip of the wheels, giving them full control over the speed of the walker by tightening or loosening them.
Width of the Montessori Walker:
The width of the Montessori Walker also contributes significantly. A wider Montessori Walker with a wider base will contribute to the walker being more sturdy as well as stable than a Walker with a smaller base.
The resisting mechanism is integral for ensuring the safety of the Montessori Push Walker.
The resisting mechanism comes in the form of a stopper which will help prevent your Montessori Walker from tipping over.
Materials of Montessori Walker:
Lastly, the materials from which the Montessori Walker is made are also important.
Like any other Montessori Material or Montessori toy, Montessori Walker should also be manufactured from natural materials such as wood, metal, glass, bamboo, paper, cotton, wool, and jute.
Furthermore, the materials should be naturally sourced, environment-friendly, non-toxic, and child-safe.
A list of the best Montessori Walkers for your child:
Finding toys that align with the Montessori philosophy for your infant or toddler can be quite perplexing especially when you do not know where to begin.
To help you easily determine which Montessori Walker accommodates and caters to your child’s needs and requirements, here is a list of the best Montessori Walkers or Montessori Push Walkers in the market:
1. Hape Red Wagon Montessori Walker:
The Hape Red Wagon Walker is a great Montessori-aligned Walker, perfect as an introductory walker toy for both infants and toddlers.
Made from high-quality wood and other materials, the Hape Red Wagon Walker, although lacking in terms of components, will last up to years even with maximum use.
2. ROBUD Wooden Baby Walker:
If you are looking for a Montessori Walker which is not only effective but also aesthetically pleasing, then the ROBUD Wooden Baby Walker is yours to buy!
Made from high-quality wood, this Montessori Aligned walker is perfect for parents who do not shy away from aesthetics.
It comes in beautiful light pastel shades that not only excite the child but will easily match your very own home environment aesthetic.
Another wonderful feature of this Montessori Walker is that it also fashions a second bar which is perfect to add extra support to help the stand-up.
The ROBUD Wooden Baby Walker along with gross motor development in children also promotes the development of fine motor skills by providing them with a wagon full of exciting sensorial activities.
3. HABA Walker Wagon:
Colorful, vibrant, and exciting is the best way to describe this Montessori Walker. The HABA Walker Wagon is a great Montessori-aligned walker for infants who are beginning to show visible signs of reaching the milestone of walking.
This Wonderful Montessori Walker allows infants and toddlers to effortlessly learn how to walk independently.
4. Brio Toddler Wobbler:
Brio toddler Wobbler is a simple and sophisticated Montessori Walker with a wagon suitable for toddlers and infants.
It is completely child-friendly and child-safe after qualifying over a thousand safety tests and incorporates multiple safety levels that help you as a parent, keep your child secure.
5. Petiluo Wooden Waker:
Are you in search of a Montessori walker that not only promotes gross motor development but also enhances your child’s creative imagination through open-ended imaginative play?
If yes, then the Petilou Wooden Walker is yours to purchase, as this wonderful Montessori comes in vibrant colors as well as exciting sensorial activities to keep the child engaged for hours on end.
Are Montessori Walkers meant for your child?
If you have an infant or a toddler who has yet to reach the milestone of walking, look no further, Montessori Walkers are here to save the day.
Unlike traditional sit-and-roll walkers that often do more harm than good for the child, Montessori Walkers or Montessori Push walkers are a healthy way of developing gross motor skills in infants as well as toddlers.
In fact, based on Montessori principles, Montessori Walkers are a fun way to develop the skill of walking in children naturally and allowing them to move freely and willingly.