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10 Montessori Activities for 18-Month-Old Babies

10 Montessori Activities for 18-Month-Old Babies

At 18 months old, kids rapidly explore the world around them, develop physical abilities, and show curiosity in everyday activities. Montessori activities at this age aim to familiarize the child with their surroundings while fostering language, practical skills, and physical development.

Montessori education encourages independence and engagement in various tasks suitable for the child's physical capabilities. Therefore, the prepared environment should encompass everything necessary for the child's daily life: play, relaxation, and learning. It should prioritize safety to allow parents to grant the toddler autonomy within the home environment.

How to Create a Prepared Environment?

The space should facilitate learning, movement, practical life activities, and mealtime. Ensure potential hazards like electrical appliances and cords are out of reach, childproof electrical outlets and windows, and remove harmful items from lower shelves. Provide access to educational materials and toys, utilizing floor-level shelves or open wardrobes in the child's room. In the kitchen, consider a helper tower to involve the child in meal preparation and cleanup. Additionally, physical development at home can be encouraged by setting up a small jungle gym or incorporating Montessori climbing equipment suitable for toddlers aged 18 months and older.

Top 10 Montessori Activities with Your 18-Month-Old

When introducing your 18-month-old to new activities and games, be prepared for not everything to come easily at first. Your toddler may not yet have the ability to concentrate well on specific tasks, their attention may be scattered, and they might need repeated guidance on how to use new toys correctly and safely. If a particular activity isn't working for your toddler, and they become upset, it's better to set it aside and reintroduce it later, especially considering the plethora of options available to offer your 18-month-old something they might enjoy.


Montessori climbing structures offer numerous options suitable for children aged 8 months to 4 years, providing varying levels of development, complexity, and benefit. Climbing wooden and rope ladders and using gymnastic equipment allows toddlers to become more agile, harness their energy positively, and better manage their emotions. Moreover, it's a fantastic way to entertain them and uplift their mood, even when indoor or outdoor play areas aren't accessible. Some of the best Montessori climbing structures for this age include dome climbers, Montessori sets (triangle, arch, and ramp), Trapeze, Tower, and triangular climbing complexes.

3-4 Piece Wooden Puzzles

Large-sized wooden puzzles are easy for toddlers to handle, safe due to their natural wood composition, and unlikely to be swallowed due to their substantial size. By assembling different pictures with 3-4 pieces, children learn to tackle logical tasks, familiarize themselves with new concepts and phenomena, and improve their language skills by describing the completed picture. They also enhance fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination through the manipulation of the puzzle pieces.

Using Key with Lock 

Finding keys and unlocking locks is a fantastic activity for a 15-month-old explorer. This activity encourages logical thinking, fine motor skills development, experimentation, observation, and comparison.

Busy Boards

A variation of the Key with Lock game is busy boards. There are so many variations of busy boards that it's impossible to list them all. The main point is that they offer interesting and educational activities for 18-month-old children. Toddlers can try opening and closing fasteners, playing with sliders, turning knobs, toggling switches, and more. It's an activity that an 18-month-old can engage in for up to half an hour without getting bored.

Pouring Lid

This activity can be played in different ways. Try giving your toddler a bottle of water and several marked glasses at different levels (you can create these marks on transparent glasses using adhesive tape). Let the child pour the liquid from the bottle into the glasses up to the marked level. This activity can also be more practical when you allow the child to independently take a jar of juice and pour it into a cup. Be prepared for spills sometimes, so it's better to play such games in the kitchen, where everything is easy to wipe and clean.

Sensory Games

There are many sensory games, and each one is beneficial in its own way. You can have your 18-month-old toddler guess fruits by taste, pour rice into different containers, search for various toys in a large container filled with grains, sort different types of pasta, retrieve toys from water, play with ice, or kinetic sand. This game is suitable for both indoors and outdoors. At home, you can use children's sensory tables: these are tables with ready-made containers that can be easily removed, washed, and prepared for the next game. Additionally, a child-sized table chosen according to their height can be much more convenient than a regular table or a feeding table, making the game more enjoyable for both children and parents.

Help Washing Dishes

Isn't it too early for such Montessori activities for 18-month-olds? No, it's the perfect time, as at one and a half years old, toddlers are very interested in everything happening in the kitchen, and water flowing from the tap looks like magic. So, if you want to instill a love for independently performing useful household chores, this is the perfect time to start. Don't expect flawless performance from the child (most likely, you'll have to wash all the dishes again). Treat it simply as a useful game that keeps the toddler busy while you're occupied with something else. To prevent the child from falling or slipping while reaching for the sink, consider using a learning tower. On such a platform, the toddler can stand comfortably and safely, reaching high surfaces. Some of these kitchen helpers can transform into a table and desk, making them an excellent choice.

Mixing Ingredients

Another thing you can do together in the kitchen is cooking. Allow your toddler to scoop and mix simple ingredients, play with dough, have fun with flour, wash vegetables, or even cut a banana (under your supervision, of course). By simply involving the child in household chores, you simultaneously allow them to develop, become independent, learn self-care from an early age, and develop critical practical skills through play.

Doing Laundry Together

The standard height of the door of a washing machine is perfectly suitable for an 18-month-old to try putting laundry items inside or taking out clean clothes. Children love this activity.

Coloring with Crayons and Paints

Coloring is a Montessori activity for 18-month-olds that allows toddlers to experiment with colors, mix them, and observe how pencils, paints, and markers create different effects. It's very beneficial at this age to try finger painting, as it develops fine motor skills, and children really enjoy doing it.

All these activities are important because they allow babies to be part of everything happening at home. Furthermore, it enables them to become more skillful, independent, active, and initiative-taking. Start with the simplest activities that your son or daughter is ready for now, and offer more complex tasks as the child becomes ready for them.

Although beneficial, we know that most of these activities can be messy: spilled water, scattered grains, or dishes that need to be washed again don't seem like a fun time for parents. So just arm yourself with love and patience — children grow up very quickly, so make this moment, called childhood, truly magical.

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What are Montessori activities suitable for 18-month-old babies?

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At 18 months, babies are eager to explore and engage in hands-on activities. Montessori activities such as pouring and transferring objects, sorting shapes and colors, and playing with sensory bins filled with various materials like rice or beans can captivate their interest and stimulate their senses.

How can I incorporate Montessori principles into daily routines with my 18-month-old?

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You can integrate Montessori principles into daily routines by offering choices and encouraging independence in tasks like dressing or feeding. Create a prepared environment with accessible toys and activities, and foster a sense of order and consistency in daily activities like mealtime and bedtime.

Is it necessary to have special Montessori materials for these activities?

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While Montessori-specific materials can enhance the experience, they are not essential. Many everyday household items can be repurposed for Montessori activities, such as measuring cups for pouring and transferring, wooden blocks for stacking and sorting, or kitchen utensils for pretend cooking or stirring activities.

How can I maintain my child's interest in Montessori activities over time?

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To sustain your child's interest, rotate materials regularly to keep activities fresh and engaging. Follow your child's lead and observe their preferences and interests, adapting activities accordingly. Additionally, engage in activities together, providing encouragement and modeling behavior to inspire continued interest and participation.