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15 Best Montessori Activities for 1 year olds (Study based)

Are you searching for engaging and educational Montessori activities for 1 year olds? Look no further than Montessori activities! Montessori, where kids take the wheel, exploring, learning, and fostering independence. It’s like the magic school bus, minus Ms. Frizzle. 

These activities are like tailor-made suits for 1-year-olds, helping them finesse their tiny fingers, heighten their senses, and sharpen their baby brainpower – all in a delightful and secure playground!

From basic puzzles to practical life activities like spooning and pouring, Montessori activities for 1-year-olds ignite curiosity and fuel their insatiable appetite for learning. Set the stage for a curious mind to bloom. Let’s explore some exciting best montessori activities for 1 year old that you and your little one can enjoy together!

Understanding the Montessori activities for 1-Year-Olds

In Montessori activities 1 year old, it’s about fueling physical, cognitive, and emotional growth! Tap into their natural curiosity and creativity while they conquer the world, one adorable step at a time. 

From sensory bins and stacking blocks, to simple puzzles and shape sorters, there’s a wide range of Montessori activities that are perfect for young toddlers. 

By creating a space where kiddos can freely explore and discover, we nurture their independence and boost their self-confidence like a boss! 

With oodles of patience, a sprinkle of encouragement, and the right materials, Montessori activities are the secret sauce to your child’s never-ending development journey.

The Role of Sensory Activities in Montessori Activities for 1-Year-Old

Montessori activities for 1-year-olds are an essential part of their development. One important aspect is sensory activities. These activities are like little adventures for kids, helping them explore the world around them using their senses and leveling up their motor skills. It’s like a secret mission of fun and growth!

Sensory activities in Montessori, where kids learn, play, and get their hands dirty! It’s all about engaging and educating little minds. Sensory activities can involve anything from finger painting to playing with sensory bins. 

They grant children the license to venture into the world, engaging their senses of touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing – a sensory extravaganza.

By adding sensory activities to their routine, children are not only sharpening skills but also stoking curiosity and creativity. Sensory exploration is key in a child’s learning journey, so let’s get those Montessori activities popping for 1-year-olds! 

Best Montessori Activities for 1 year old

These Montessori activities are designed to promote hands-on learning, independence, and creativity:

Sensory Bins: A sensory bin is a container filled with various items intended to stimulate the senses. For a 1-year-old, you might fill a large, shallow bin with materials like rice, beans, or soft pompoms. The child can use their hands to explore these materials, discovering their different textures, temperatures, and weights. For an added layer of learning, include tools like spoons, cups, or tweezers to enhance their fine motor skills.

Object Permanence Box: This is a traditional Montessori material consisting of a box with a small hole and a tray at the bottom, usually with a ball or small toy. When the little one drops the toy into the mysterious void, it momentarily vanishes, only to reappear like a magical trick in the tray. It’s a mind-bending way for them to understand object permanence – the notion that things persist, even when hocus pocus takes them out of sight! 

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Stacking/Nesting Blocks or Cups: Provide your child with sets of blocks or cups of varying sizes. Encourage them to stack these items or fit them inside each other. This activity not only enhances hand-eye coordination but also introduces concepts of size and spatial relations.

Shape Sorter: A shape sorter is a toy that includes different shaped blocks and a container with corresponding holes. The child must match each block with its correct hole. This activity helps refine fine motor skills and promotes problem-solving as the child identifies the correlation between the shapes and their respective slots.

Musical Instruments: Expose your child to simple musical instruments like shakers, bells, or drums. They can explore the different sounds each instrument makes, developing an understanding of rhythm, cause and effect, and enhancing their auditory skills.

Touch and Feel Books: These are interactive books that feature different textures on each page – furry, smooth, bumpy, and so on. As the child touches each texture, read out the corresponding description to them. This activity not only enriches tactile learning but also expands their vocabulary.

Real Life Objects Play: Give your child safe everyday items like wooden spoons, plastic containers, or clothespins to play with. Unlike traditional toys, these items aren’t designed for a specific purpose, encouraging the child to use their imagination. For example, a wooden spoon could be used as a drumstick, a digging tool, or a pretend play item.

Ball Transfer: This activity helps develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Place two baskets in front of your child – one filled with balls and one empty. Ask them to transfer the balls from the full basket to the empty one, using their hands or a spoon.

Puzzles: Introduce simple puzzles with large pieces that are easy for little hands to handle. Puzzles challenge a child’s problem-solving skills, teaching them patience and resilience. For instance, a 4-piece puzzle with large, wooden animal shapes would be perfect for a 1-year-old.

Exploring Nature: Bring your child outside to experience the natural world. Allow them to touch the grass, the bark of a tree, or the petals of a flower. Point out different elements, such as leaves, sticks, or stones. This not only enhances their sensory skills but also instills an appreciation for nature.

Mirror Play: Mirrors offer an opportunity for self-recognition and exploration. Place a baby-safe mirror in your child’s play area. They will enjoy making faces at their reflection, leading to lots of giggles and learning about their body parts.

Finger Painting: This messy, fun activity encourages creativity and self-expression. Spread out a large sheet of paper and provide your child with non-toxic, washable paints. Let them dip their fingers into the paint and make marks on the paper. Discuss the colors they’re using and the patterns they’re making.

Pull and Push Toys: As your baby is learning to walk, toys that can be pulled or pushed around can offer support and make walking more fun. A push toy might be a wagon filled with blocks, and a pull toy could be a little duck on a string. These toys also help develop gross motor skills and strength.

Sorting Activities: Start with simple sorting activities, such as separating objects by color or shape. You might give your child a bowl of pompoms in different colors and small containers to sort them into. This teaches early math skills and helps develop their logical thinking.

Water Play: On a warm day, fill a small basin with water and provide various toys that float or sink. Allow your child to explore these objects, observing which ones float and which ones sink. It’s not just refreshing but also introduces early science concepts.

Remember, supervision is necessary for all these activities to ensure the child’s safety. Also, every child is unique, so activities should be tailored to their individual interests and developmental readiness.

15 Best Montessori Activities For 6 Month Old

At this stage, a baby’s development is moving quickly, and they are typically working on skills like reaching, grasping, mouthing, listening, and observing. The activities I’ve chosen are designed to engage and stimulate these skills, helping the baby develop physically, cognitively, and sensorially.

Mobiles and Hanging Toys: Babies at this age love observing mobiles and hanging toys. Use colorful, contrasting patterns to captivate their interest and stimulate visual development. Moving the toys gently can help improve the baby’s tracking skills.

Mirror Play: Secure a baby-safe mirror at the baby’s level. This encourages self-recognition and promotes gross motor development as the baby tries to reach for their reflection.

Reach and Grasp Basket: Create a small basket filled with safe objects of various textures, shapes, and colors. These objects will encourage the baby to reach out, grasp, and explore different sensations.

Soft Blocks: Soft blocks are great for supporting hand-eye coordination and grasp reflex. You can stack them up and encourage your baby to knock them down.

Texture Board: Attach various fabrics or materials to a board or book. The baby can touch and feel the different textures, stimulating their sense of touch.

Tummy Time: This activity is essential for developing neck and core strength. Make tummy time engaging by placing a few toys or a mirror in front of the baby.

Rattles and Musical Instruments: Items like rattles or soft drums can be introduced to promote auditory development. The baby can also practice their grasp reflex with these items.

Reading Time: Even at this young age, reading to your baby can be beneficial. Choose colorful picture books with large images to captivate their attention.

Sensory Bottles: Fill clear plastic bottles with different materials like glitter, beads, water, or oil. Make sure the lids are secure. These bottles are fascinating to babies and can stimulate their visual and auditory senses.

Activity Gym: An activity gym with hanging toys encourages the baby to reach and grasp. This also promotes motor skills development and strength building.

Rolling Balls: This simple activity promotes tracking skills. Roll a colorful ball across the baby’s field of vision and watch them follow it with their eyes.

Touch and Feel Books: These types of books contain different textures on each page. They are a great way for babies to explore their sense of touch and start recognizing different textures.

Soft Dolls or Stuffed Animals: Soft toys can provide comfort and also encourage interactive play. Look for ones with different textures to promote sensory development.

Water Play: Under close supervision, allow the baby to splash and play in a small amount of water. This is both fun and a great sensory experience for them.

Finger Puppets: Use finger puppets to engage your baby’s attention. This can also double as a whimsical way to introduce the concept of cause and effect – a stroll down the path of curiosity and consequences!

Don’t forget, every baby is one-of-a-kind and will develop at their own pace. These montessori activities for one year old are just suggestions and can be used as helpful guidelines. Remember to always prioritize your baby’s safety and closely supervise all activities to ensure they are both safe and enjoyable for your little one. 

Motor Skills Development Through Montessori Games for 1-Year-Olds

By kickstarting the development of core motor skills with Montessori-based toys and games, savvy 1-year-olds gain an edge as they grow. These delightful playthings don’t just captivate and entertain; they also cultivate creativity, independence, problem-solving skills, and social prowess. It’s like arming them with the perfect toolkit to conquer the world, one block at a time! 

Give your one year old a head start with Montessori-based activities – it’s like building a rock-solid foundation while they learn and grow! 

Get ready to dive into an exciting array of options customized to match your little one’s unique interests! By investing in these games today, you’ll unlock a world of benefits that will delight and inspire them for years to come. 

Cognitive Development: Montessori Activities for 12 Month Old

Get ready to turbocharge your little one’s cognitive development with Montessori activities for 12-month-olds! These exciting and interactive activities are not just fun, but they also lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning. Here are 10 such activities that are suitable for them:

Sorting Shapes: Provide your child with a shape sorter toy. This activity not only helps in developing fine motor skills, but also their understanding of shapes and colors.

Stacking Blocks: This is a classic activity that helps children develop their hand-eye coordination and understand the concept of balance.

Object Permanence Box: A Montessori object permanence box is a great tool for teaching your child about object permanence, an important cognitive development milestone. They will learn that an object still exists even when it disappears from view.

Imitating Gestures and Sounds: Spend time making different gestures and sounds for your child to imitate. This helps them develop their auditory and visual skills, and fosters communication development.

Exploring Textures: Create a texture board with different materials like sandpaper, felt, and silk. Let your child explore these with their hands. This sensory play is great for their cognitive development.

Using a Push Walker: This activity can help your child improve their motor skills and balance. Plus, it’s a fun way for them to get some exercise!

Exploring Mirrors: Place a baby-safe mirror in their play area. Infants are usually fascinated by their reflection and it can help develop their self-awareness.

Playing with Musical Instruments: Simple instruments like shakers or drums can stimulate your child’s auditory senses and can also improve their hand-eye coordination.

Practical Life Activities: This can be as simple as wiping a spill with a cloth, putting toys back in a basket, or using a spoon to transfer items from one container to another. These activities help develop motor skills and introduces them to real-life tasks.

Exploring Nature: Take your child for a walk in the park or garden. Let them explore the different plants, textures, and colors. This introduces them to the world around them and stimulates their senses.

Remember, every child develops at their own pace. Make sure that these activities are done under adult supervision, and keep things fun and pressure-free. 

The Best Montessori Activities for 1 2 Year-Olds

Exploring Textures: This sensory activity can be introduced by filling different containers with materials of various textures, such as rice, pasta, beans, cotton balls, or sand. The child can dig their hands in, feel the differences, and enhance their tactile perception. For example, one tub could be filled with cold, squishy cooked spaghetti, while another could have warm, dry rice.

Stacking Blocks: Stacking blocks is a great exercise for motor skills development and coordination. Start with larger blocks for easy stacking and slowly transition to smaller ones as the child’s ability improves. Encourage the child to build tall towers and observe how they react when the tower collapses.

Water Play: Water play is excellent for sensory exploration and is often calming for children. Provide cups, spoons, and other safe objects for pouring and scooping. This activity can be done in the bathtub or in a small child-friendly water table outside.

Sorting Activities: Start with simple sorting activities using large objects of different colors or shapes. As the child develops, you can introduce more complex sorting tasks. For instance, you might start with sorting red and blue balls, then progress to sorting spoons and forks.

Puzzles: Simple wooden puzzles with large pieces are an excellent tool for cognitive development. Begin with puzzles that have individual pieces for each slot (like a single animal in each), and slowly move to more complex puzzles as the child’s understanding improves.

Music and Dancing: Playing music and encouraging the child to move around helps them understand rhythm and improves their motor skills. Use child-friendly music and incorporate some simple dance moves.

Nature Exploration: A walk in the park or garden can be an endless adventure for a young child. Let them explore the textures of leaves, the colors of flowers, and the sounds of nature. This will stimulate their senses and encourage curiosity.

Reading: Even at this age, reading to a child can foster a love for books and help develop their language skills. Choose colorful, large picture books with simple words and read them together.

Shape Sorters: Shape sorters: the brain teasers that mold problem-solving skills with a sprinkle of fun! 

Animal Sounds: Use stuffed animals or animal-themed books to teach your child about different animals and the sounds they make. This is a fun and engaging way to develop their language and listening skills.

Mirror Play: Playing with mirrors can provide a sense of self-awareness for the child. Make funny faces in the mirror or point out different parts of the face to help them understand their body.

Ball Rolling: Rolling a ball back and forth is a simple yet effective game that teaches hand-eye coordination. It can also be used to introduce concepts like “near” and “far”.

Kitchen Play: Using safe kitchen tools can allow the child to mimic adult behavior. Plastic cups, bowls, spoons, and pans can be used for pretend cooking.

Art and Craft: Even at this age, introducing basic art activities like finger painting or scribbling can stimulate creativity. Always use non-toxic, child-friendly materials.

Rhythmic Rhymes: Songs with repetitive and rhythmic lines are great for language acquisition and memory. Sing these songs together and use hand gestures to make it more engaging.

These activities are like superpowers for 1 to 2-year-olds! Each one fuels their development in unique ways. Plus, they can be customized based on their abilities and interests, creating a super fun and enriching environment.

Montessori Materials and Tools Suitable for One-Year-Olds

Sensory Bins: Sensory bins are a versatile and stimulating activity for one-year-olds. You can create these by filling up a shallow container with different materials, such as rice, dried beans, sand, or even cotton balls. Encourage your child to dig in, pour, and scoop these materials using various tools like spoons or small cups. The feel of these different materials and the actions your child performs with them helps improve their fine motor skills and promote sensory development. Remember to supervise this activity at all times to prevent choking hazards.

Water Play: This activity is simple but can keep a one-year-old engaged and excited. Fill up two containers with water, and provide your child with a small cup or sponge. Demonstrate how to transfer water from one container to another. Not only does this enhance their motor skills, but it also introduces basic concepts like ‘full’ and ’empty’. For added fun, you can add rubber ducks or floating toys into the mix.

Simple Sorting: Start this activity by choosing two different colored items – these could be pom-poms, blocks, or any other baby-safe objects you have at hand. Provide two bowls, and show your child how to sort these items by color into the appropriate bowl. This introduces the basic concept of categorization and colors, stimulating their cognitive development.

Matching Game: For this activity, choose simple pictures of everyday items your child is familiar with. You could use pictures of fruits, toys, or household items. Make two copies of each picture, mix them up, and spread them out. Demonstrate to your child how to find the matching pictures. This is a great exercise to improve their memory and observational skills.

Baby Instrument Play: Create a music basket filled with baby-safe instruments such as rattles, maracas, or toy drums. Encourage your child to make different sounds with these instruments. This not only boosts their auditory skills but also encourages rhythm and coordination.

Treasure Basket: A treasure basket is essentially a collection of everyday items of different textures, shapes, and sizes, like a wooden spoon, metal whisk, soft cloth, etc. Your child can handle and explore these objects, thereby improving their tactile senses and cultivating curiosity about the world around them.

Size Sorting: For this activity, provide your child with items of different sizes – blocks, rings, or even different-sized containers work well. Show them how to sort these items by size, from smallest to largest, or vice versa. This helps develop an understanding of size and order.

Exploring Nature: Take your child on a supervised exploration of your garden or a nearby park. Allow them to touch different elements of nature like leaves, twigs, flowers, or shells. This exposure to the natural environment can help cultivate their interest in nature and improve their sensory skills.

Push Toys: Toys that your child can push or pull are fantastic for those who are just starting to walk. These toys can provide support, improve their balance, and build confidence in their walking skills, all while being a fun activity.

Book Reading: Picture books are wonderful tools for early language development. Spend some time each day reading to your child, pointing out different objects and characters in the book. This not only improves their language skills but also cultivates a love for reading at a very early age.

Edible Paint: For toddlers who love to explore by putting things in their mouths, edible paint can be a fun and safe way to introduce them to painting. They can use their fingers or baby-safe paint brushes to create their masterpieces. You can make edible paint at home with food coloring and yogurt or cornstarch.

Playdough Exploration: Playdough is a classic sensory and creativity-boosting tool. At this age, your child can squeeze, poke, and squish the playdough, improving their hand strength and coordination. Always supervise this activity as small pieces of playdough can be a choking hazard.

Simple Puzzles: Introduce your child to the world of puzzles with large-piece, toddler-friendly puzzles. Puzzles with knobs are particularly helpful as they are easier for little hands to grasp. Solving puzzles improves problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination.

Mirror Play: Children love looking at their reflection. Secure a baby-safe mirror at your child’s level and let them look at themselves. They will enjoy making faces and watching their reflection mimic their actions. This activity can improve self-recognition and emotional development.

Ball Roll: Here’s a nifty game that works wonders for coordination and motor skills! Take a seat, face your little one, and gently roll a soft ball their way. Watch as their eyes light up and they roll it back like a champ!Engaging and educational, this activity not only brings joy but also imparts valuable lessons on cause and effect. Each child is unique, so encourage them to explore at their own pace while you ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Preparing Your Home Environment for Montessori Learning

Preparing your home for Montessori learning is like embarking on an exciting treasure hunt! Create an environment that fuels independence, creativity, and self-motivation in your little one. Wave goodbye to clutter and bulky furniture, and say hello to child-size wonders. Let them dive into practical life activities like mini masterchefs and tiny tidiers. Oh, and don’t forget to sprinkle some natural magic with plants. 


What is the Montessori approach to learning for 1-year-olds?

A key ingredient in the Montessori education approach, delivering amazing benefits to tiny 12-month-old explorers. By engaging in sensory play, children not only develop their language skills, but also establish the groundwork for mathematics and science. It forms a vital component of the Sensorial curriculum and fosters holistic growth and cognitive development.

What developmental milestones should I expect from my one-year-old?

The child shows off their impressive impersonation skills, effortlessly mimicking movements and gestures like a little copycat. They also make beautiful music by banging objects together, a master of cause and effect. Sipping confidently from a cup, they’ve unlocked the secrets of object manipulation. And let’s not forget their hidden object genius – they’ve become Sherlock Holmes in the making! A witty tot with cognitive superpowers in the realm of perception and problem-solving. 

How can sensory activities aid my one-year-old’s development?

Engaging in sensory activities that incorporate movement and sound can effectively stimulate your baby’s senses while creating an enjoyable learning experience. You can play interactive games like peek-a-boo or “pat-a-cake” to promote their understanding of cause and effect, as well as enhance their visual and auditory skills.

Can you suggest practical life Montessori activities for 1-year-olds?

As a parent, you aspire to provide your child with the finest opportunities for development. Montessori activities offer a fabulous way to instill practical life skills from an early age. For the tiny tots, let the “transfer magic” begin! Present a medley of objects and watch your child move them between containers with delight. Up next, the “pouring extravaganza!” Hand them a pitcher and a lil’ cup, let them pour like a pro! Don’t stop there, create a thrilling sorting session with household items… or even a fashion show with large beads or pasta! These activities foster hand-eye coordination, focus, and independence. Remember, Montessori champions the child’s curiosity & exploration at their own rhythm! 

How can Montessori activities support language learning for my one-year-old?

These activities work wonders for nurturing your child’s language skills, all while making it a ridiculously fun experience. For instance, whip out those hip picture cards to jazz up their vocabulary game or introduce them to sensory delights like a touch of textured magic! Montessori activities? They take language beyond basic requests, making room for storytelling and answering open-ended queries. 


As parents, let’s jumpstart our kiddos’ exploration of the big wide world! Montessori activities to the rescue! 

With a little bit of imagination and creativity, these projects are sure to bring out your 1 year old’s natural curiosity and spark endless hours of exploring and enjoyment for both you and your child. 

From exploring shapes, textures, colors, or numbers, engaging in educational playtime activities will keep minds young while allowing for hours of laughter. 

Indeed, introducing Montessori activities can ignite a life-long love of learning from a young age—which makes for an enriching experience that can last them through a lifetime!