Montessori Trays: All You Need To Know and Best Places to Buy

Montessori trays

The principle of autonomous learning and interaction lies at the heart of any engaging Montessori environment. Every element in a Montessori setup, whether it’s at school or home, is purposely crafted to enable the child to explore, learn, and accomplish tasks by themselves, undisturbed by external distractions. The Montessori tray is a pivotal aid in this journey of self-guided discovery.

These trays serve as the nerve center for organized activities, kindling the flames of independence and the desire for order within a child’s mind. They are conveniently designed for a child to handle, encompassing all the necessities required for a particular activity. The well-thought-out use of Montessori trays and baskets introduces variety with simplicity, eliminating unnecessary clutter and therefore enabling dedicated, undisturbed playtime.

For those who are seasoned practitioners of the Montessori technique, the utility of trays in accompanying your child’s learning process needs little introduction. However, suppose you’re a newcomer to the Montessori methodology or wish to introduce Montessori principles into your home. In that case, these trays and baskets serve as an excellent starting point to nurture independent learning and growth in your child.

Thus, we invite you to dive deeper into the world of Montessori Trays, where we’ll explore everything from their purpose to the best places to acquire them, ensuring your child’s learning environment is as enriching as it is joyful.

Understanding Montessori Trays

Montessori Trays are key elements in Montessori pedagogy, serving as dedicated spaces that house the necessary materials for varied activities. Crafted purposefully for child-friendly use, they represent microcosms of the Montessori classroom, allowing independent exploration. Essentially, they are compact yet substantial, organized tools that intersperse learning and play through a self-guided approach.

The Transformative Power of Montessori Trays

power of Montessori trays

Montessori Trays serve far beyond mere functionality; they’re a vehicle for cultivating pivotal life skills. 

Amplifying Focus

By presenting all the essentials for an activity cleanly and concisely, these trays reduce external distractions, enabling kids to immerse themselves fully and foster their concentration.

Sculpting Discipline

Nurturing a sense of responsibility is a byproduct of using these trays. When children undertake an activity and clean up afterward, they tangibly learn the value of discipline and accountability.

Encouraging Self-discovery

The journey towards self-realization is sparked as children navigate through diverse tasks. This process allows them to comprehend their individual learning preferences and discover inherent talents.

Fostering Confidence

Tackling tasks single-handedly builds resilience and fosters a robust sense of accomplishment. This achievement cycle fuels their self-belief, cultivating a strong sense of personal confidence.

Highly Recommended Montessori Trays

recommended Montessori trays

Selecting the right Montessori tray is essential in creating an engaging and organized learning environment for children. Here are eight highly recommended Montessori trays to consider, offering versatility, functionality, and appealing designs.

  1. Wooden Living Square Trays with Handles: A combination of functionality and charm, these wooden trays, complete with handles, are ideal for various sorting and organization activities.
  2. Hammont Wooden Nesting Trays: Innovative and space-saving, these nesting trays offer multi-level storage and are perfect for various Montessori activities.
  3. Wooden Nesting Trays with Exterior Handles: Featuring exterior handles, these trays are designed for better handling and transporting, and their nesting design maximizes space.
  4. Bamboo Compartment Sorting Tray: Crafted from eco-friendly bamboo, this tray offers multiple compartments, enabling children to sort and arrange objects easily.
  5. Monti Kids Montessori Wooden Tray: Simplistic in design but versatile in function, this wooden tray provides a clear, defined workspace for a range of activities.
  6. Skola Toys Durable Activity Trays: These trays are made to last, providing a spacious and reliable surface for various activities and helping children stay organized.
  7. Guidecraft Wooden Sorting Trays: Engaging and educational, these wooden sorting trays stimulate creativity through their distinct shapes and colors, perfect for color sorting and counting exercises.
  8. Lakeshore Learning Toddler Trays: Designed for younger children, these lightweight yet sturdy trays encourage exploration without the fear of spilling or making a mess.

When choosing Montessori trays, focus on their functionality, durability, and suitability for the child’s age and developmental stage.

Best Places to Buy Montessori Trays


When searching for Montessori trays and other educational materials, it’s essential to find reputable sources that provide high-quality, age-appropriate, and safe items. The following list highlights the top places where you can purchase Montessori trays with confidence.

  • Montessori Services: A wide range of Montessori-specific trays and materials for practical life activities and skill-building are available on our online store, catering to educators and parents.
  • For Small Hands: Featuring materials meticulously crafted for smaller hands, this website is dedicated to providing Montessori trays and resources that prioritize child-sized ergonomics for ages 2 through 8.
  • Amazon: A popular and convenient option for all types of products, Amazon offers an extensive selection of Montessori trays from various brands, ranging from budget-friendly to premium options.
  • Etsy: Ideal for discovering unique, handmade Montessori trays and materials from individual sellers and artisans, Etsy provides a platform to purchase creative and sustainably made educational resources.
  • Michael Olaf: As an experienced provider of Montessori materials, Michael Olaf is a trusted source for educators, offering an array of Montessori trays specifically designed for different age groups and developmental stages.
  • Nienhuis Montessori: With a renowned reputation for its high-quality and authentic Montessori materials, Nienhuis Montessori ensures substantial investments in their products, delivering a premium experience for educators and learners alike.
  • The Natural Homeschool: An inspiring online platform covering Montessori curriculum and resources, The Natural Homeschool occasionally sells Montessori trays as digital products or through affiliate marketing.

Remember to compare prices, read customer reviews, and ensure age-appropriate designs before purchasing Montessori trays from any vendor or platform to get the best value and quality for your educational needs.

Organizing Your Montessori Trays

organizing the trays

Organizing Montessori trays effectively, invitingly, and functionally is a crucial aspect of ensuring an efficient learning experience. The following steps offer practical guidance on keeping your Montessori materials sorted and accessible:

1. Specify Designated Areas

Start by designating specific areas in your learning environment for various categories like practical life skills, sensory activities, math, and language. This helps to foster a sense of order and predictability.

2. Single Tray for Each Activity

Each activity should be limited to one tray. This encourages focus on a single task at a time, fosters task completion, and reduces sensory overstimulation.

3. Logical Arrangement of Materials

Arrange materials on the tray in a logical progression, usually from left to right, mimicking natural reading direction. This assists in creating a self-guided learning process.

4. Order of Complexity

Organize the trays on the shelves from simplest to most complex concepts (top to bottom or left to right). This progression facilitates the child’s ability to build upon their knowledge gradually.

5. Rotation of Materials

Regularly rotate materials to maintain interest and curiosity. Introducing new trays also provides fresh learning experiences and challenges.

6. Accessibility and Labeling

accessibility and labeling

Trays should be easily accessible and placed at the child’s eye level. Labeling trays (words or pictures) encourages independence in choosing and returning activities.

7. Neat and Clean Presentation

Keep trays neat, clean, and in good repair. A well-maintained tray signals respect for materials and environment and fosters a similar attitude in children.

8. Tray Material

Choose sturdy and easy trays for a child to clean and carry. This choice encourages responsibility and practical life skills.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, achieving an optimal learning environment goes beyond the physical setup. It’s about understanding and catering to a child’s natural curiosity and desire for exploration. The integration of tools like Montessori trays plays a crucial role in this process, bolstering self-guided learning and cognitive development in an immersive way.

Immerse your child in the enriching environment of Montessori Academy. Here, we effectively utilize Montessori trays and other essential materials to facilitate self-directed learning and exploration. Join us today to see how Montessori Academy can further your child’s unique journey of knowledge and growth in an empowering setting.