Montessori for 18 Month Old: Montessori Activities for 18 Months and Older

Montessori philosophy emphasizes on child-led learning, independence and self-discipline. This educational approach is not only for schools, but can be customized for home learning too. Children as young as 18 months can benefit from Montessori activities. At this age, toddlers are learning to move, manipulate objects and communicate more efficiently. They are curious, inquisitive, and ready to learn about the world around them. Montessori activities for 18 months and older are designed to help them explore and learn through play. These activities inspire creativity, promote independence and foster self-esteem. From sensory bins to practical life skills, Montessori activities can provide a stimulating environment that is both fun and educational. In this article, we will discuss some of the age-appropriate Montessori activities that parents can try at home with their 18-month-old babies. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Montessori education, with its emphasis on self-directed, hands-on learning, can significantly benefit 18-month-old toddlers by fostering independence, love of learning, motor skill development, and preparation for preschool.
  • Practical life activities in the Montessori approach play a critical role in promoting independence, fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, and imaginative play in 18-month-old toddlers.
  • Montessori toys and materials, which are developmentally appropriate and engaging, can significantly enhance an 18-month-old toddler’s cognitive and physical development while also fostering creativity, independence, and problem-solving abilities.
  • Through a balance of suitable activities and a conducive environment, parents can effectively support their 18-month-old toddler’s gross and fine motor skills development at home using Montessori-inspired methods.
  • Montessori parenting, grounded in observation and respect for the child’s pace, can significantly foster your child’s creativity, independence, and love for learning, ultimately preparing them for a lifetime of exploration and discovery.


What is Montessori and How Does it Benefit 18 Month Olds?

Montessori education is a unique, child-centered approach that can provide significant benefits for young toddlers, including 18-month-olds. Here’s a closer look at how this educational method works for this age group and how you can implement it at home.

Introduce Montessori to Your Child

Montessori education was developed by Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, and educator. It’s centered on the principle that children learn best in an environment that respects and nurtures their individual needs and developmental stages. For an 18-month-old child, introducing Montessori principles involves creating an environment filled with age-appropriate, stimulating, and practical activities that encourage exploration, independence, and learning.

Understanding the Montessori Approach for 18 Month Olds

The Montessori approach for 18-month-olds emphasizes hands-on, self-directed activities that cater to the child’s natural curiosity and desire to learn. This age is characterized by significant development in motor skills, language, and cognition, and Montessori activities aim to foster growth in these areas. Activities might include sorting and stacking toys, puzzles, art and music exploration, and practical life skills like dressing and cleaning up toys.

The Benefits of Montessori Education for Young Toddlers

The Montessori approach provides several key benefits for young toddlers. It fosters a love of learning, as children are encouraged to explore what interests them. It promotes independence and confidence as children accomplish tasks on their own. It aids in fine and gross motor development, as many activities involve movement and coordination. And it supports language and cognitive development through exposure to a rich and stimulating environment.

Montessori at Home: Tips for Setting up a Montessori Environment

To set up a Montessori environment at home, start by making the space child-friendly. Have furniture at your child’s level, including a low bed, table, and chairs. Create dedicated areas for specific activities, like a reading nook or an art corner. Provide toys and materials that are age-appropriate and encourage a variety of skills. Above all, keep the environment organized, inviting, and safe for exploration.

How Montessori Education Prepares Toddlers for Preschool

By fostering independence, curiosity, and a love for learning, Montessori education can prepare toddlers well for the transition to preschool. It can help develop social skills, as children learn to cooperate and communicate with others. It also promotes self-discipline and concentration, essential skills for a more structured educational setting.

Practical Life Activities

Practical life activities are fundamental elements of Montessori education, especially for toddlers like 18-month-olds. These activities encourage independence, fine motor skill development, and imaginative play.

Practical Life Activities for 18 Month Olds

At 18 months, children are eager to engage with the world around them. Practical life activities suitable for this age group may include spooning or transferring exercises (like moving pompoms from one bowl to another using tongs), dressing and undressing dolls, water play, and basic food preparation tasks like washing fruits or tearing lettuce for a salad.

How Practical Life Activities Help Support Your Child’s Independence

Practical life activities can significantly bolster a toddler’s sense of independence. These tasks allow children to contribute to daily routines, thereby giving them a sense of control and accomplishment. The experience of performing a task from beginning to end, even a simple one, can instill confidence and self-reliance.

Practical Life Activities to Help Fine Motor Skills Development

These activities are ideal for enhancing fine motor skills. Whether it’s grasping a spoon, picking up small objects, or manipulating clothing on a doll, each task encourages the child to use their hands and fingers, which strengthens their dexterity and hand-eye coordination.

Opening and Closing Activities for Your 18 Month Old

Opening and closing activities are fantastic practical life exercises. For instance, a simple activity of opening and closing different types of containers can keep an 18-month-old child engaged while improving their grip, concentration, and problem-solving skills.

Pretend Play and Activities for Your Toddler’s Imagination

Pretend play is a crucial component of a toddler’s development, promoting creativity, language skills, and empathy. Simple pretend play activities might include role-playing with dolls, hosting a tea party, or mimicking daily tasks like cooking or cleaning.

Montessori Toys and Materials

The world of Montessori toys and materials is vast and diverse, designed to cater to every developmental stage of a child. For 18-month-old toddlers, the right materials can be instrumental in boosting their cognitive and physical growth.

Affordable Montessori Toys for 18 Month Olds

There is a wide variety of affordable Montessori toys suitable for 18-month-olds. Stacking blocks, shape sorters, wooden puzzles, and sensory balls are all great options that won’t break the bank. In addition, practical life materials like mini brooms, spoons, and pitchers for pouring can be found in everyday stores.

Age-Appropriate Montessori Materials for 18 Month Olds

Choosing age-appropriate Montessori materials is crucial for effective learning. For 18-month-olds, look for toys that enhance fine motor skills, encourage exploration, and provide sensory experiences. This may include soft dolls, colorful stacking cups, tactile balls, simple puzzles, and musical instruments.

How to Find Montessori Toys and Materials for Your Toddler

When looking for Montessori toys and materials, consider online Montessori specialty stores, educational toy stores, and even local thrift stores. Look for toys that are simple in design, made of natural materials, and appropriate for your child’s developmental stage. Reading reviews and getting recommendations from other Montessori parents can also be helpful.

The Benefits of Montessori Toys for Your Child’s Development

Montessori toys offer many benefits for a child’s development. They are designed to be developmentally appropriate, promoting learning through exploration and play. They foster fine and gross motor skills, cognitive abilities, and sensory exploration. In addition, they encourage independence, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

Creating a Montessori-Friendly Home Environment with Materials and Toys

To create a Montessori-friendly home environment, make sure to provide low shelves where your child can easily access their toys and materials. Arrange the toys neatly and in an organized manner, allowing your child to see their options and return them to their place. Include a variety of toys that cater to different developmental areas, and regularly rotate them to keep your child’s interest.

Gross and Fine Motor Skills Development

In early childhood, the development of gross and fine motor skills is a fundamental aspect of growth and learning. Montessori philosophy emphasizes the importance of activities that facilitate these skills, as they’re vital to the child’s increasing independence.

Gross Motor Skills Activities Suitable for 18 Month Olds

Gross motor skills involve large muscle movements and whole-body mobility. For an 18-month-old, activities like climbing, pushing and pulling toys, throwing and kicking balls, and running or walking on different surfaces can significantly contribute to gross motor development.

Fine Motor Skills Activities for Your Toddler’s Development

Fine motor skills revolve around more detailed movements, typically involving the hands and fingers. Activities like stacking blocks, turning pages of a book, using utensils, or working with puzzle pieces can greatly enhance a toddler’s fine motor skills.

How to Help With Your Child’s Gross and Fine Motor Skills Development at Home

You can support your child’s motor skills development at home by providing ample space and time for active play. Encourage activities that involve movement, balancing, or hand-eye coordination. Make sure your child gets enough physical activity throughout the day and has access to toys that foster both gross and fine motor skills.

Montessori-Inspired Activities to Help Your Child Learn and Develop

Montessori-inspired activities are designed to support your child’s natural development. Practical life activities like pouring, sweeping, or dressing can enhance fine motor skills, while outdoor play, climbing structures, or large puzzle blocks can support gross motor development.

How to Incorporate Floor Beds to Help Your Toddler’s Motor Skills Development

Floor beds, a key part of Montessori bedroom setups, can indirectly contribute to your child’s motor skills development. They allow your child to move freely in and out of bed, promoting mobility, spatial awareness, and independence.

Tips for Montessori Parenting

Parenting in line with the Montessori philosophy can enrich your child’s developmental journey. It can foster independence, nurture creativity, and lead to a lifelong love for learning.

Follow Your Child’s Lead: Practical Tips for Montessori Parenting at Home

Observation is a key component of Montessori parenting. Pay attention to your child’s interests and adapt your approach accordingly. Allow your child to explore freely within safe limits and provide age-appropriate activities that meet their current developmental needs.

Relevant Tips for Your Child’s Age and Developmental Stage

At around 18 months, children are curious, eager to explore, and increasingly independent. Encourage this by creating a safe, engaging environment at home. Provide toys and activities that are appropriate for their age and developmental stage. For instance, use stacking blocks to develop fine motor skills and spatial awareness.

How to Help Support Your Child’s Creativity and Independence through Montessori Parenting

To foster creativity and independence, provide open-ended toys and activities that allow your child to express themselves freely. Encourage self-help skills and independence by allowing your child to participate in daily chores and self-care activities. Celebrate their efforts and successes, no matter how small.

Montessori Homeschool Curriculum for 18 Month Olds

A Montessori homeschool curriculum for 18-month-olds would involve practical life skills, sensory activities, language development, and gross and fine motor skills development. Remember, at this age, learning happens through play and exploration. Prioritize hands-on, interactive activities that are fun and engaging.

Tips for Finding Montessori Programs and Schools for Young Toddlers

When looking for Montessori programs or schools, research is key. Look for schools that adhere to the principles of the Montessori method, have certified Montessori teachers, and provide an environment that encourages self-directed learning. Also, consider the teacher-student ratio, as individual attention is essential in Montessori education.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Montessori for 18-month-olds?

Montessori for 18-month-olds is an educational approach that emphasizes on creating an environment that is tailored to meet the developmental needs of the young toddler. The Montessori method uses different techniques to help toddlers learn through hands-on experiences in a child-sized environment.

What are some Montessori activities for 18 months and older?

Some Montessori activities recommended for 18 months and older include opening and closing activities, setting the table, sorting and matching activities, gross motor activities, and practical life activities like washing dishes, folding laundry, and sweeping.

How can I create a Montessori environment in my home for my 18-month-old?

You can create a Montessori environment in your home for your 18-month-old by providing child-sized furniture, creating spaces for movement and exploration, using natural materials, and organizing the environment in an orderly manner.

What are the best Montessori activities for an 18-month-old?

The best Montessori activities for an 18-month-old are those that are relevant to your child’s developmental needs and interests. Some of the best Montessori activities include sorting and matching games, posting activities, and simple vocabulary-building exercises.

How can I introduce practical life activities to my 18-month-old?

You can introduce practical life activities to your 18-month-old by starting with simple tasks like sweeping or wiping up spills. You can also involve your child in daily tasks like setting the table, watering plants, and folding laundry.

What are some easy Montessori activities for 18-month-olds?

Some easy Montessori activities for 18-month-olds include sorting and stacking activities, posting activities, and simple cause-and-effect exercises like dropping objects into containers.

What are some gross motor activities for 18-month-olds?

Some gross motor activities for 18-month-olds include climbing, crawling, rolling, and playing with balls. These activities help to develop coordination, balance, and physical strength.

Is it necessary to enroll my 18-month-old in a Montessori program?

It is not necessary to enroll your 18-month-old in a Montessori program, however, it can be beneficial to expose your child to the Montessori educational approach at home by creating a child-friendly environment and providing age-appropriate activities.


Understanding and implementing Montessori principles in parenting can be transformative for your child’s learning and development journey. As parents, following your child’s lead, adapting to their developmental stage, and fostering their creativity and independence can make a significant difference. Whether you choose to homeschool using Montessori principles or enroll your child in a Montessori school, the focus should always be on creating an environment that encourages exploration, independence, and a love for learning.

Remember, Montessori is not just a method of education – it’s a way of seeing the world. By integrating Montessori principles into your everyday parenting, you’re giving your child a valuable gift: the freedom to explore, to learn, and to grow at their own pace.

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Written By Ella
As a passionate parent and Montessori follower, I encourage child independence and share my personal parenting insights. In my downtime, I enjoy family activities, tea, and reading, and I invite you to join my journey in the Montessori way of raising resilient children.

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