Montessori Toys & Activities By Age

Updated: May 24, 2021

On a regular basis I am asked 'what can I do with my X month old child?' so I thought it would be a good idea to write a blog post about activities and toy ideas by age group.

Each age bracket starts with activity ideas you can do around the home with a few toy ideas underneath. In brackets, you will see a link to purchase items for both the UK and the USA. I am working on building up a database for other countries, too.

There is so much variation between children that it is difficult to narrow down exactly what would be suitable for a 'X month old' child, so please take each category with a pinch of salt and feel free to look both before and after your child's current age, too. Do not worry at all if your child appears to be unable to do something or did it months before - every child is different! Arlo is 2 now and he still loves his stacking rings. He plays with them regularly and has done since he was able to sit up. There is no age limit on anything, really, as long as it is safe.

It is also important to remember that the key is following the child! If they have shown an interest in balancing or stacking then go for that. If they are climbing over everything, maybe go for a pikler or pile of sofa cushions. It is entirely individual to your child, but hopefully you will find some ideas or toys you haven't seen before!

If you have had success with anything that isn't on the list, let me know in the comments box below and I will be sure to add it on!

0-3 Months

Activity ideas

  • Nursery Rhymes – sing songs and nursery rhymes. Your baby will find your voice very soothing.

  • Story time – Read, read, read! It’s never too early to start!

  • Take a tour - walk around the house or garden and talk about everything you can see along the way!

  • Tummy Time – great for strengthening muscles! Use a play mat, tummy time pillow o

r rolled up blanket.

  • Free Time – don’t feel as if you need to constantly entertain your new born. Give them some time to absorb the world around them without the distraction of toys.

  • Outdoor explore – if the weather is appropriate, allow your baby to lie on a play mat outside to see what passes by.

  • Mirror Play – lay a mirror down on the floor next to your baby so that as they play on the floor, they can see their own reflection.

  • Baby Massage – check out a YouTube video or join a massage group if you aren’t sure.

Toy ideas

  1. High Contrast Zebra

  2. Organic Baby Buddy

  3. High Contrast Baby Mat

3-6 Months

  • Outdoors - Get outside and explore the outdoors. All those sights and sounds will be fascinating to your baby.

  • Contrast Cards – lay some contrasting cards out around your baby as they are engaged with tummy time or look at them together while having a cuddle. If you don’t have any, just draw some shapes on white paper with a black marker such as zig zags, circles, faces.

  • Photograph time – share photographs of familiar faces with your little on. Begin to develop language by discussing who they are and features such as nose, glasses, brown hair etc.

  • Give them a rattle to shake and watch their surprise as it makes a sound.

  • Allow them to explore different textures by giving them things to touch and explore.

  • Show them lights. Cover them, move them and explore the different sensory experiences.

Toy ideas

  1. Speckled Wooden Rattle

  2. Coloured Teething Ring

  3. World Rattle Roller

  4. Esme Rag Doll

  5. Marty Rag Doll

6-9 Months

  • Muffin Tray & Balls – present child with various balls and a muffin tray. Can they put the balls into and out of the tray?

  • Saucepan band – present a saucepan upside down and a wooden spoon. Let them bash away and create some interesting sounds! Experiment with other equipment such as a whisk or a plastic bowl.

  • Stacking rings – Can they begin to grasp and position stacking rings? You could use bangles on a peg.

  • Treasure basket – put a few select items into a basket and present it to your baby. You could give related items for example a blue ball, blue cloth, blue flower etc. or completely unrelated items. Anything could be suitable as long as it is safe to go in the mouth.

  • Sensory bottles – fill a bottle with interesting things such as water and glitter, beads in water or washing up (dish soap) liquid and give it to your baby to examine the contents. Make sure the cap is secure!

  • Sensory bottles – fill a bottle with interesting things such as water and glitter, beads in water or washing up (dish soap) liquid and give it to your baby to examine the contents. Make sure the cap is secure!

  • Shaker – you can buy these or you can make your own by filling objects with lentils or rice and sealing closed. You could use small bottles, hollow egg shapes or whatever you can get your hands on!

  • Play the drums! If you don’t have any, make your own!

  • Messy Play –You could begin to introduce simple messy play here as long as your baby can sit up unaided. Always begin with taste safe play. For example, strip your baby down to their vest or nappy and put them onto a sheet or tuff tray with mash potato, beans, custard… anything your baby would like to squish and experience!

Toy ideas

  1. Realistic push along vehicles including an ambulance, police car, bus, camper van etc

  2. Palmar Grasp

  3. Light Blocks

  4. Touch & Feel Board

  5. Rubber Teething Mammoth

  6. Wooden Blocks

  7. Wooden Sorting Tray

9-12 Months

  • Hot or Cold! Fill one bowl with warm water and another with cold water. Put some toys in each one and let your child experience the difference between the two. This one was one of Arlo’s favourites!

  • Wooden blocks stack – stack a few blocks and let them knock it over. Stack a few and let them place one on top. Stack a block on something else like the back of a toy animal. The possibilities with blocks are endless!

  • Toy rescue! Tape toys down inside a box and allow your child to ‘free’ them by pulling at the tape. Or you can weave string back and forth through the holes in a washing basket so your child has to reach through the gaps to rescue their toys.

  • Ball scoop – put a ball in a bowl of water and allow your child to try and catch it with a slotted spoon.

  • Jelly play – lay a few toys into a small dish and cover with jelly. Put in the fridge to set and let your child get messy trying to get the toys out of the jelly!

  • Messy Play - If you haven’t already, definitely introduce some messy play! You could use shredded paper, ice, homemade play dough (taste sa