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Glimmersnaps 01-30-2012 11:45 AM

I'm interested in expanding Montessori-style learning with my nearly one year old. We have been doing treasure baskets since he could sit up on his own. I watch his interests very carefully and try to provide him with more of the things that he likes (right now it's wheels!!). But since he began walking, he is not as interested in baskets. Any ideas for gross motor or any other Montessori activities for babes?

elefante 01-30-2012 02:43 PM

My 13 month old son loves discovery bottles, sensory bins, and simple puzzles [various size circles, etc]. We also like getting messy. We play in the mud kitchen, and in the bath with cups and funnels. Lots of pouring and nesting the stacking cups.

Brownie~ 02-25-2012 10:36 AM

Can you explain the baskets and bottles? Did you make them yourselves? I am trying to do some Montessori with my 12 month old. She has the following:


object permanence box with tray and ball (she is bored of this, though--she could do it at 9 months)

egg and cup

peg and container to put peg in

box with a door and a square to put in it (imbucare box?)

stacking/nesting boxes


I was thinking of trying to find some simple puzzles and the dowel with large rings. We have stacking rings but the holes are too small right now. It's too precise for her. Please let me know how to do the baskets and bottles! I am so curious.

Glimmersnaps 02-26-2012 12:10 PM

There are some great photos and ideas on these blogs:




Where did you get the box with the door? Is it a "Montessori" thing? We have a Melissa and Doug puzzle with the big knobs. He likes to pull it out and then clap them together. He can't quite get it back in yet, but sometimes he tries to.


Brownie~ 04-20-2012 05:59 AM

i just wrote a long message with everything we've been up to lately, and baby just erased it. gah! will try to type it back out soon.

Brownie~ 04-26-2012 05:46 PM

Montessori things I have put together for DD:

marbles move to icecube tray (pincher grip)
put clothes pins in jug
pull out scarves in kleenex box
sensory bottles
bean bin and scoops
shakers with plastic easter eggs filled with different things
treasure basket with shell, painted stone, little tin car, acorn guy, wool baby etc (these are trinkets I got from a Waldorf craft fair)



She is really into the dowel and putting rings or wood beads on them. Like stacking rings. She is almost 14 months now. Also is loving books with pictures of babies, and the Helen Oxenbury books.

ournaturaljourn 04-26-2012 07:26 PM

At that age, some of my son's favorite toys were pounding toys, stacking rings, stacking cups, blocks, his ball maze and his tiny trike. We were also working on some practical life skills at that stage like drinking from a glass and using a fork and spoon.

mck211 05-04-2012 01:47 PM

Glimmersnaps - thanks for posting the peaceful parenting link!  She has great pictures of her setup and ideas.  I haven't checked out the other two links yet. 

Does anyone know of any other sites/blogs that show a in-home Montessori set-up?

Also, I'm interested in the imbucare box and object permeance box.  Does anyone know of a good/cheap place to purchase them?  Everything I'm seeing is around $35.  Also, are they worth it?  I would assume once the child learns how to do it, that they would quickly lose interest.  Which to me, doesn't make the price worth it. Is there something around the house that would work just as well? 

I'm looking for the best ways to get started with a 14 month old. But, there is so much info out there I feel like I'm going in circles.  Any great sites, blogs, online stores, books that can be recommended are appreciated.

Brownie~ 05-04-2012 05:37 PM

I try to rotate the works/toys so that they retain interest. This morning I was ready to swap out the jug and clothespins, the shape sorter, and one of her stackers. However, she sat and did each with me today, so maybe I will leave them a little longer. I had the scarf box put away and tried to interest her in it this morning, but she refused. So that one will stay out of rotation a bit longer. I introduced a new stacker and some new books, so i try to keep things fresh and also move them from place to place around the house. DD started with the object permanence around 8 months and still does it once in a while.


If you can go on craigslist you may find some Montessori materials cheaper. Or, try rummage sales. I just missed a Montessori rummage sale near me. :(

I think with small children, so much of it is practical life, that you can do/make lots of stuff yourself. I am waiting to introduce some different textured fabrics for DD to explore. I think that will be my next thing to do.


I wouldn't worry about going around in circles. I started with the sensory bottles and the marbles from one of those blogs listed upthread. I just dove in and now it is fun, not so daunting!

Laurenj915 09-17-2012 05:17 PM

There are some wonderful suggestions for activities in this post and I have tried many of them. I have a question though... My 15 month old will not sit and do any of these things for more than about 30 seconds. I take out his puzzle, he puts a piece or two in and then is off to find the cat. We start playing with the nesting cups and he stacks a few and then throws them and crawls away. Mostly, he just wants to be chased around the table. It's hard to resist him because he just laughs so hard while we are playing chase. Anyway, he really can't seem to sit and do much of anything.

Should I keep sitting him down and trying to get him to do a task? Will he just get better at it with time? Or shouod I drop it for now because I don't want to frustrate him? Thanks for any suggestions!

JoeMuel 09-19-2012 08:11 PM

Here is a little tutorial on making a homemade imbacure box:


Its not made out of wood, so that might not be what you are looking for - but you simply cannot beat the price :)


Here are some other resources that talk about a Montessori-friendly home setup:


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