Montessori Activities to Try 12-18 month


Are you looking for some Montessori-style at-home activities for your child at 12 to 18 months? Here are some of our favourite activities for this age. 

These activities are listed in chronological order, starting at 12 months. If your child is 18 months please see my previous article Montessori Activities to Try 18-24 Months. Remember that children develop at different rates and we have access to different materials. Please use these ideas as a guide only. 

Above, independently reading small books. 

Pincer Grasp Block. Yes, children can use the pincer grasp this young!

Ball push box. 

Play with a wallet and play cards.

Create a 'Yes' space. Low shelves with a few materials. A comfortable rug to play on. Simple materials to explore.

A child's bedroom at 12 months, includes a low bed, low artwork, low forward-facing bookshelf. 

Working at the kitchen sink. You can see a full list of practical life ideas at 12 months here. 

Drinking from a real glass. Start using a Montessori-style placemat which shows children where everything goes and use real utensils.

Learn to walk - using a walker wagon. The walker wagon supports the child's natural development. 

Begin to chop soft foods (14 months).

Use a simple 'open close' basket. With containers and bags for the child to explore and to open and close. We've used jars and tins where the lids pop on/off relatively easily. 

Posting paper straws into a recycled container. 

Post coloured matchsticks into a kitchen shaker. 

Thread pipe cleaners into the holes of a small colander. 

Play dough play. Here the child is putting coloured match sticks into the play dough. 

Use a pop-up toy. This is also useful later for colour matching. 

Put little peg people into the base. Don't worry about colour matching at this stage. 

Size discrimination peg block toy (similar three peg toy). 

Climb a Pilker arch, and playing with play silks (not specifically a Montessori activity). 

Cubes on a vertical dowel (15 months).

Discs on a horizontal dowel. 

Stacking using a small vertical stacker with discs.

Build with blocks. 

Create a comfortable reading corner.

Explore nature. 

Peel a boiled egg. This picture is a 'good' example, of course, there will be a few mushed eggs in the process. At this age, I get the child started by crushing some of the shell and peeling it just a little at the start. 

Start to use a chopper. This is a child-safe wooden chopper and the child may lots of guidance/demonstration on how to use it.

Simple shape sorting. 

Stacking bowls. 

Threading toys (16 months).

Reading with siblings. 

Simple flower arranging.

Use an independently type high chair where the child can get up and down by themselves.  

Read books. Provide high-quality board books that teach the child about the world around them. We can be selective about the books that children read at this stage. This book is My First Body Board Book. You can see more board book recommendations here. 

Provide the child with a few clothing choices and assist with self-dressing. A child-size wardrobe is useful but not a necessity.

Water plants with a small watering can. 

Make music. 


Create a language basket and give the child real names of things. For example, my child was interested in dogs, we gave him a basket of model dogs and taught him the names of the dogs 'this is a dalmatian, 'this is a labrador'.

Eighteen months is a great time to look into a Montessori Toddler Class. If you can't see any classes advertised ask at your local Montessori school. At around 14 months we also started attending a Forest School class. 

Books for Montessori Children 12-18 months:

The Tickle Fingers Toddler Cookbook: Hands-on Fun in the Kitchen for 1 to 4s.
Babies Build Toddlers: A Montessori Guide to Parenting the First 18 Months. 
The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for Birth to Three.

The Montessori Toddler.

Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three.

If you are looking for more toy and play ideas see the Lovevery Play Kits:

The Thinker Play Kit - 11-12 months

The Babbler Play Kit - 13-15 months

The Pioneer Play Kit - 16-18 months

Lovevery and Sprout products are gifted. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

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