Today I’ll share my favourite Montessori activities for 9 to 12 months. These are some of my favourites. You don’t need to buy everything. Look at what you already have at home and come up with some similar activities which allow your baby to practise these skills.
What is the child working to master at this age?
We are always looking at our baby to see what they are practising. Generally at this age you’ll see them refining the skills acquired when they were 3 to 6 months and 6 to 9 months: language, movement, hand-eye coordination and aural (hearing) development.
The activities on today’s shelfie are for building their hand-eye coordination and refinement of their grasp. We can also offer simple musical instruments and movement opportunities for our baby to pull up and cruise – low furniture, a bar on the wall with a mirror, and a basket of balls, or wagon to push.
The Montessori Shelfie at 9 to 12 months
- 5-piece puzzle with large knobs – look for puzzles with 3-5 pieces and larger knobs. They can have success with smaller knobs as their grasp refines. At this stage, the baby is mostly pulling the pieces out and exploring them by mouthing them. A baby may not be interested in putting the pieces back in until 12-18+ months. (This one was passed on from a family and you can buy similar at wooden toy stores.)
- Ball with drawer (Object permanence box with drawer) (this one from Nienhuis) – building on the skill of intentionally releasing a ball, the baby then discovers the ball upon opening. This is a huge favourite in my baby class.
- Ball hammering (this one from Plan Toys) – between 9 to 12 months, the babies in my class mostly use the palm of their hand to push the ball through. The hammer can be added once they have more control of their hands and arms (often after 12 months). You’ll see that I’ve added a tray here to contain the hammer and the hammering activity. Before this I often don’t use trays for babies as they often are an obstacle to exploration, but I love them for 12+ months.
- Imbucare peg box (this one by absorbentminds.co.uk) – imbucare is a fancy name for posting or placing something inside. I like this one as the pieces are large and easy for the older baby to manipulate pulling out and putting back over and over refining their grasp and hand-eye coordination.
- Cubes on a vertical dowel (this one by absorbentminds.co.uk) – this builds on the skill of the wooden rings on a dowel from the 6 to 9 month age group. They are able to pull these off the dowel with some concentration and around 12 months to get them back on.
- Box with bins (this one by Nienhuis) – for babies who love to open and close! The way the drawer tilts forward also helps them practise the wrist movement. And they make a discovery inside to engage their interest.
Next to the shelf you’ll see:
- A wagon to push – for those babies already standing steadily and looking for some extra challenge, we can fill it with heavy books to slow it down. In Montessori we do not put a child into a position they cannot get into by themselves. So I recommend to wait until they pull up on the wagon by themselves and you may just need to slow it down a little for them.
- The basket of balls – the babies still love balls for crawling after and they are all soft for them to be able to squeeze a little to help them pick them up and catch them when rolled to them.
Wanting more activities?
Check back for more activities by age coming soon. You can also download a free 42-page pdf of Montessori activities by age (0 to 4 years) from my website.