Monti Kids Review: Level 1 for Newborns | Is The Montessori Toy Subscription Worth It?

Wondering if Monti Kids Level 1 Montessori toy box is worth it?

In short: yes! In this post, I'll share a video review, the cost of the The Level 1 Montessori subscription box from Monti Kids, and the pros and cons from the perspective of a mom who has had it for about 4 months now and how the price compares to recreating this box using Etsy or Amazon dupes!

Plus if you're new to Monti Kids, you can read my FAQs and full Monti Kids Review + FAQs here!!

Discover how my newborn engaged with the items, ways to reimagine them, and which items were busts below!

What is inside The Level 1 Box from Monti Kids?

activity gym

The Activity Gym

Made from stylish birch plywood, this structure displays mobiles at the perfect height for visual development, then adjusts so your baby can reach the interactive attachments.

Personal Experience:

The once we received was actually cut wrong so I had to request a new one. Customer service was great and sent one out right away at no cost to me. This has quickly become my favorite baby gym though! And my toddlers!

So my newborn struggled with some really bad digestive issues his first couple of months. We thought it was reflux (it wasn't thankfully!) and weren't able to lay him flat on his back at all basically, making our Lovevery play gym useless. The Monti Kids activity gym was actually tall enough that we could put him in a bouncer chair and slide it under or on an incline and he would actually relax for a little. It really was a saving grace for us.

My toddler loves it too! The extra height on the Monti Kids activity gym really works for her. She loved laying under it, looking at her baby brother's mobiles with him, and pretending it was a tent for herself when he wasn't using it.

All in all, this was a huge hit for EVERYONE! Newborn, toddler, and parents!

Amazon Dupe:

I couldn't find anything quite as tall as the Monti Kids activity gym which comes in at 46″ tall – which again, was a huge win for us needing to slide a bouncer under there during those reflux/colicky days!

However, I did find this one that measures 27″ tall and costs $80. It obviously doesn't feature Monti Kids unique design where the middle is adjustable and you can easily switch between hanging pieces with velcro straps.

The Munari Mobile

The Munari Mobile

This high-contrast geometric mobile develops your baby's vision and ignites their inherent mathematical sense

Personal Experience:

Like I mentioned, the first couple of months were kind of rough with our baby but this mobile was PURE MAGIC! It instantly soothed him as he watched the different shapes peacefully turn.

It is VERY fragile though, which did pose a bit of a challenge with a toddler. One of the pieces moved from its original spot and threw the hole balance off. Luckily this was an easy fix and I just slid it back, no problem!

Amazon Dupe:

You can find this exact same Munari Mobile for $14 on Amazon here!


Gobbi Mobile

The Gobbi Mobile

Made with embroidery thread, this mobile introduces color gradations that refine your baby's chromatic sense.

Personal Experience:

While my newborn wasn't as amazed by the Gobbi mobile as he was with the Munari mobile, he still really enjoys it. I personally also like that this one is a bit sturdier, so when my toddler goes under it and starts batting the pieces like she's a cat, it can take the hit!

Since this mobile doesn't “move” in quite the same way the other mobiles in this box do, I actually move it lower so he can practice batting the balls as well. He really seems to enjoy that too!

Amazon Dupe:

There are a few Gobbi mobile options out there, but this one is the most similar (and possibly exact) to this box! It has the green knitted gradient balls on a wooden dowel and costs about $29.

Octahedron Mobile

The Octahedron Mobile

This mobile introduces primary colors just as your baby is developmentally ready to perceive them.

Personal Experience:

This mobile creates a stunning pattern on the floor when the sunlight catches it! My son absolutely loved this too, but not as much as the Munari and Dancer mobiles. Where I could leave the Munari up for a week, this one I often swapped out with the Gobbi.

Like the Munari mobile, it's very fragile. My toddler broke it the first or second day it was out. I took a needle and the loose thread and stitched it back together, but she broke it again a month later. Thankfully there's 6 points, so I'll keep stitching it back together until I run out of sides!

Amazon Dupe:

You can find this exact same mobile here for $14.

Dancers Mobile

The Dancers Mobile

This dynamic mobile presents a new challenge as your baby's visual tracking improves dramatically.

Personal Experience:

This is SUCH A FUN mobile! Like the Octahedron, it creates a beautiful pattern on the floor when the sunlight catches it. It's also very fragile like the Octahedron and Munari.

My son absolutely LOVED this one. It moves so beautifully and is so captivating.

Amazon/ Etsy Dupe:

This most similar stand alone Dancer's mobile I could find was this one on Etsy for $25. It's a bit sturdier on a wooden dowel, which I like, but it doesn't offer quite the same “tiered” effect as the one from Monti Kids.

With that said, you can find this exact same mobile as part of a four pack, which includes the other three exact mobiles from this box, on Amazon here for $79.

Batting Ball

Batting Ball

Introduces cause and effect and strengthens the connection between the left and right sides of the brain through movement.

Personal Experience:

This has a nice little rattle sound inside and is a great toy overall. The textures are so intriguing, and I think will continue to become more engaging over these next few months. When he does bat it, the rattle is a nice little rewarding sound. My toddler likes to shake it in his face which works visual tracking. It's just a simple, clean, engaging toy in our experience.

Amazon Dupe:

This batting ball comes in a few styles, is $12, but does not have a “hanging hook” – but you could easily DIY that if you wanted with just a piece of yarn looped on.

This one also doesn't have a hanging loop, but it does have organic cotton filling! It costs $13 and the colors can be customized.

Lastly, there's a gorgeous rainbow pack of 7 rainbow ball rattles for $40.

Hanging Discs

Hanging Discs

This more complex shape presents a new grasping challenge for your baby's developing skills.

Personal Experience:

This one has definitely been the most challenging item so far! He can grasp it but holds onto it the least amount of time. It clearly works some tiny muscles and coordination in a different way. I think it's something we'll definitely keep getting more use out of though as he does have an interest in it!

Amazon Dupe:

I couldn't find any hand disc like this one actually. Instead I just found the montessori interlocking discs – which come in a future Monti Kids box.

Option 1 on Amazon is $11 and Option 2 on Etsy is $6.

Grasping Ring

Grasping Ring

This toy is introduced after the Batting Ball, challenging baby to intentionally reach out and grasp.

Personal Experience:

At 12 weeks, my son still wasn't interested in intentionally reaching out and grasping this while it hung from his activity gym. However he does enjoy grasping this when we place it in his hand. It's the toy he holds onto the longest for sure and was the first one he worked towards his mouth independently.

I'm excited to see how he progresses with this one! I also think it'll grow with him as it can be used with a stacking ring set we have and I think it'll work in free play with our Lovevery block set too.

Amazon Dupe:

Surprisingly, it was actually impossible to find a dupe that totally matched this! In fact, finding just plain wooden rings that met the safety standards for babies was hard! I found this two pack for $19. However the grip and diameter of them is much different than the Monti Kids option. The large diameter and thin grip is what I think my son enjoyed the most about it at 10 weeks, so even if you were to purchase something else, keep that in mind!

Kicking Ball

Kicking Ball

Prepares your baby for their first steps by strengthening their feet, legs, knees, hips, and core as they begin to coordinate their feet.

Personal Experience:

So I actually had gotten a ball just like this, only a different pattern, from Lovevery with my first and we literally NEVER used it. It actually became a dog toy. However thanks to Monti Kids parent learning center, I now understand why we never used it and how to use it properly!

I began hanging this up for my son around 12 weeks to see if he'd attempt kicking it or hitting it, but he still hasn't had a ton of interest. What I like about Monti Kids parent education, is that it actually shows videos of the kids doing it and gives research backed timelines. For instance, it says

Playing with the Kicking Ball promotes your baby’s visual skills, including visual tracking, “foot-eye” coordination, binocularity, and depth perception. Around 5 months, binocularity and depth perception come together to form your child’s three-dimensional view of the world.

So I know he may not be “kicking” this how I “want” him to for a few months and I at least know not to get disheartened and to keep reintroducing it.

Amazon Dupe:

This is a similar option (same style, different pattern) for $25.

This one is about $24 and my preferred pick as the colors are a bit more high-contrast, making it more engaging for young babies and it's just cuter IMO.

Crochet Ring

Crochet Ring

This rattle works with a baby's natural reflexes to develop her grasp, strength, motor skills, and body control.

Personal Experience:

This is one of my favorites from this box. Something about it is so beautiful and soothing. Both my daughter and I love shaking it to see if he'll track it, encouraging him to hold it in his hand, and always laugh when it ultimately falls down his arm like a bracelet.

I'm confident he'll love teething on the texture soon too!

Amazon/Etsy Dupe:

So I couldn't find an exact match for this but did find two that are pretty similar.

This rattle on Amazon is a combination of the crochet ring and wooden grasping toy. I like the ears provide a similar(ish) texture to the ring in this toy box; plus it's super cute! It costs $14.

This rattle on Etsy is a set of two, that again, combines the crochet ring and grasping toy from this box. One of the rattles in this set actually mimics the “star” type of shape and costs $14 for the two.

Grasping Toy

Grasping Toy

Small enough for your newborn to grasp, this rattle develops an infant's hand control and auditory sense with enclosed bells.

Personal Experience:

This is such a great quality wooden grasping toy! With my first, we had a wooden grasping toy that was similar, but my dog chewed through it. This one is SUPER STRONG, and has a great finish on it so you don't need to worry about splintering.

I also really like that this one provides more of a squarish edging, making it a more challenging grasping toy than most on the market and exposes him to a different type of style hold.

Amazon/Etsy Dupe:

Like I said, the hold of this grasping toy is pretty unique so I couldn't find anything quite like it but did find some great wood grasping toy options nonethless.

This 10 piece set is $18 on Amazon and includes some pretty similar grips.

On Etsy, I found this cloud wooden teether for $1.77 which also has a pretty similar grip and is super cute.

Also on Etsy, I found this 2 pack of wooden cloud teethers for $2.33 which offers a varied grip between the two and would probably be my personal pick of all the options.

Is The Level 1 Montessori Toy Box from Monti Kids worth it?

Financially speaking:

If you were to get the cheapest dupes you’re looking at $222 which is more than the cost of this box at $195.

What makes it an exceptionally great deal though, is that beyond the items you're getting the parent support resources.

With the box, you get access to a toilet learning course, how to talk about race with your kids, Montessori parenting tips, a private Facebook group of parents who are just like you showing supporting tossing ideas around, and you can also connect with one of their experts for 1-1 support.

So if you use those additional resources it’s a steal. My guess is they could easily charge an extra $500 if they did those services a la cadre instead of part of the Monti Kids program. 

Personal Opinion/Qualitative analysis:

The Level 1 Box from Monti Kids was a surprising hit! I didn't expect to like it so much or get nearly as much use out of the items as we have so far. I also can easily see how they'll last us through the entire first year quite well, whether attached to the activity gym or stroller or car seat.

One of the nice things about the items in this montessori toy box is that they attach with included velcro straps, so you can really attach them to anything with a bar, not just the activity gym.

And like I mentioned, my son was 100% colicky the first couple of months and the Munari Mobile was one of the few things to calm him, which was priceless.

How much does The Level 1 Montessori Subscription from Monti Kids Cost?

Monti Kids Level 1 costs $195 which includes the 11 physical items, 1-1 parent coaching from a Montessori expert, a private facebook community of other Monti Kids families, and access to three courses plus printables:

Shop “Level 1” from Monti Kids here!

You can read the FAQs and full Monti Kids Review + FAQs here!