Whether you’re looking for Montessori materials for a Montessori school, traditional preschool, homeschool, or occasional use at home, there are plenty of materials to choose from online. And with so many online resources, there are now Montessori materials available for all budgets.
The Materials You See in Many Montessori Schools
In pictures of Montessori schools, you’ll often see lots of beautifully crafted wooden Montessori materials. Very often these are from Nienhuis Montessori. Nienhuis Montessori materials are available throughout the world for anyone to purchase.
Many Montessori schools also buy materials from Gonzagarredi. Both Nienhius and Gonzagarredi make their materials from Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)blueprints. The only other AMI approved Montessori material company is Matsumoto, a Japanese company.
Less Expensive Sources for Montessori Materials
If you’re looking for materials for a traditional preschool or home setting, cost may be a primary consideration. There are still excellent options for Montessori materials that are practical for your setting.
Here are a number of companies you can check out for the type of materials and price range best for you and your situation:
Alison’s Montessori (UPDATE 12/16/13: I reviewed these Alison’s Montessori value-line materials: Pink Tower, Brown Stair, Red Rods and Stand, Natural Geometric Solids, Sandpaper Numbers, and Small Movable Alphabet – Alison’s Montessori Review.)
Absorbent Minds Montessori Absorbent Minds Montessori is a UK company with Montessori materials in three price ranges: premium (Nienhuis Montessori), standard (Absorbent Minds), and budget (Discount Montessori).
Montessori Supplies (a UK company)
Absorbent Minds Montessori (a UK company)
Teaching from a Tackle Box (small versions of Montessori materials for limited space)
Specialized Montessori Materials (practical life, Montessori 3-part cards vocabulary cards, etc.). Like the practical life activities from Montessori n’ Such, many of these materials are inexpensive and easy to add to any home.
For Small Hands (products specifically for Montessori at home)
Polliwog (sandpaper letters and numerals)
TTS (not a Montessori company, but a UK company with inexpensive sandpaper letters)
Young Minds at Play (solid maple and cherry hardwood materials with beeswax/oil finish)
Andrea Coventry has a Yahoo Voices article called Where to Find Montessori Materials in Rochester, NY. It has a good review of Kaybee Montessori materials as well as ideas of where to buy materials for Montessori activities such as practical-life activities. Many of the stores listed are nationwide, and the information is also applicable to similar types of stores.
Used Montessori Materials
Montessori Swap Yahoo Group (buy or sell Montessori books and materials)
My Experiences with Montessori Suppliers
When I owned my Montessori preschool in the 1980s, I purchased Montessori materials from Nienhius Montessori, Michael Olaf, and Montessori Services. During my children’s elementary years, I purchased some materials from Montessori Research and Development. All my experiences with those companies were wonderful. When I needed Montessori materials to use in a day nursery in England for my master’s degree school placement, I purchased materials inexpensively from Absorbent Minds Montessori, a Montessori Marketplace, and TTS (sandpaper letters). I had great experiences with those companies as well.
This post will be a work in process as I discover new sources and gain feedback. The list of Montessori suppliers is LONG, so you’ll have to do some comparison shopping for the current prices. Read the comments as well for recommendations from other Montessori homeschoolers!
UPDATES: Chasing Cheerios had a post on February 17, 2011, with helpful recommendations in the comments: Where to buy Montessori Materials?
Making Montessori Ours has a post with suggestions about ordering Montessori materials for a homeschool and special tips for Canadian homeschoolers.
Check out the discussion at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page about where to buy materials if you live in Canada.
Vibrant Wanderings has a post which is especially helpful for anyone starting a Montessori school: Setting up a Montessori Children’s House: Where to Buy Materials.
If you’re wondering about the mini Montessori materials, check out the comments in this post for helpful information: How to Start Using Montessori at Home.
Check out the discussion at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page about Kid Advance and Montessori Outlet.
In case you didn’t see my link earlier in the post, here’s my review of Alison’s Montessori.
I have an eBook on teaching manners to children ages 2-12: Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy!
Have you had experience with Montessori suppliers?