Montessori Gift Guide for Elementary

As we approach the holidays this year, our gift to you is a series of gift guides which promote active play and healthy development!  Read our full resource for navigating gifts from friends and family at montessorigifts

Between ages 6-12, children are quite different than they were as preschoolers. Now, they are able to process more information abstractly, and are using tools like logic to learn. These children are consumed with learning everything about everything, so make sure you have materials for research and discovery, and the tools to help your child find answers on her own (see below for ideas).

The six to nine year old is very sensitive to values and highly impressionable. Be sure you are walking your talk and providing activities, toys, and experiences that reflect your family’s values and offer real-life experiences of diversity to encourage empathy and compassion.  Books are especially helpful in gaining an understanding of how other people live.

Elementary age children can create wildly creative, imaginative games to play or projects to take on if given the time and the right materials.  These gifts below will inspire or support creative play, but also look to materials you already have in your home, like recyclables, fabric, pots and pans, etc.

Here’s some gift ideas for the elementary child in your life:

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Children’s Magazine Subscription

This is a double gift: mail for your child each month, and an interesting magazine to read! There are many to choose from, here’s some of my favorites:  

National Geographic for Kids (science, animals)

Ask (science and art)

Spider (stories)

Ranger Rick (animals)

Fun for Kidz (stories, puzzles, variety)

Chickadee (stories, puzzles, variety)

Time for Kids (Non-fiction current events)


Themed Building Set

There are again, so many awesome building sets for ages 6-9, that I can’t pick just one. Look for a set that is interesting to your child, can be put together in multiple ways, and is mostly child-powered.

Knex or Goldiblox


Magnetic Tiles

Snap Circuits

Jumbo cardboard blocks

Lincoln Logs


Science Tools for Exploration

Even if you don’t have a budding scientist, introduce your child to the world around us with these introductory real tools. Don’t forget an experiment book!

Microscope Set

Binoculars and Field Guide books

Basic Chemistry Set



Board and Box Games

The games are perfect for families or groups of friends to play together, again and again. There are SO MANY to choose from, so look for ones that your child and family particularly enjoy.

Here’s some of my favorites:

Littlecodr Coding Game

Bug Bingo (other themes available)

Rory’s Story Cubes

The Yoga Garden Game


Art and Crafts

Every child can benefit from art and craft work. There’s the fine motor skills development, the pride of completion, plus the creativity, planning, and focus involved. Here’s some ideas to get you started;

Loom for weaving

Make Your Own Soap Kit

Starter Sewing Kit

Origami Kit


Child’s Encyclopedia

Elementary children LOVE to learn about everything and anything, so give them a book to spark this curiosity! Picturepedia is m favorite for older children, and My First Encyclopedia is best for children ages 5-6.


Simple Recipe Books

Inspire your child to cook and try new foods with a children’s cookbook! Mollie Katzen has three excellent ones to choose from:

Pretend Soup

Salad People and More Real Recipes

Honest Pretzels

And, if you’re also looking for tips on teaching basic cooking skills, pick up a copy of Kids in the Kitchen, by Montessorians and Moms.


Blank Journals

Recording your thoughts, observations, and daily life events in a journal is not only fun, it’s one of the best activities your elementary child can do to grow her writing, critical thinking skills and focus. Any blank journal would work, along with some quality pens, pencils, or coloring tools.

Check out these themed journals for a bit more support and direction:

One Question a Day for Kids: A Three-Year Journal

Small Adventures Journal

Start Where You Are


Outdoor Toys

Look for outdoor toys that encourage and build balance, speed, agility, and precision. Sports equipment is perfect, as are bikes, jump ropes, skateboards, and trampolines.


What items are on your favorite gifts for this age? Share it with our community here!

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About the author

Leanne Gray, M.Ed has over fifteen years experience working with children in both public, private, and Montessori schools, and is AMI primary trained.

She's on a mission to raise a generation of kind, confident, responsible children, and does this through her work with families and schools.