Six Montessori Activities for Babies That Don’t Require New Toys

On these long, quiet afternoons when many of us find ourselves alone with our kids at home, it can sometimes feel impossible to come up with stimulating and developmentally appropriate activities to entertain your baby. Who knew entertaining a newborn could be such an enormous undertaking!?

There are numerous fun and affordable ways you can encourage your baby’s learning and development without purchasing tons of new toys (unless that is what your heart desires!).

Montessori Activities for Babies
Here are 6 Montessori baby activities we like best that will aid your little one’s development.

  1. Reading
    It can benefit all ages starting at birth for both language development and emotional/social/physical growth.

Baby books should feature simple images with few words; as your baby grows older you should move up to board books featuring more words and illustrations that provide greater challenge or have layers that provide new challenges as children mature. Montessori educators favor books which gradually build from simple to complex as children progress in development and require challenges and layers as children grow into adults.

Make reading part of a daily ritual from birth; your little one will come to associate reading with comfort, security, and developing their lifelong passion for reading! Reading can also provide your partner with an early bonding opportunity with their baby!

Related Article: 34 Montessori-inspire books suitable for newborns to 6-year-olds

  1. Tummy Time Sensory Exploration
    Recommended Age Range is: 4-7 Months With Supervision on Hand; This technique develops both Gross Motor Skills as well as Fine Motor Skills in young children.

Sensory activities are an excellent way to entertain a baby; with so many creative sensory play ideas out there, there will never be an unfulfilling list. Here are a few easy sensory activities you can try during tummy time with your infant:

Fill a Ziploc bag with paint, food-grade water coloring and/or Cheerios from your pantry – anything will do. Seal well along its edges using tape along its edges before attaching with painter’s tape to the floor for your baby to explore on his or her tummy, touching various textures as their senses merge to recognize new sounds, sounds and sights they touch with their hearing experience! You could even experiment with cookie sheets containing water for splashing fun – be sure to include towels or blankets for easy cleanup afterward!

  1. Clap and Stop Song
    Best for: 6 months to above with developmental needs for social/emotional learning and gross and fine motor development.

As your little one watches and reacts, start singing “Clap, Clap and Clap STOP!” Clapping when you say clap and stopping when you say stop; pausing between lines so your little one has time to process what they just heard before starting again. As they repeat along with you they may show signs of excitement at practicing stopping quickly! This game was developed by Nicole Kavanaugh of The Kavanaugh Report; it will help your baby prepare for toddler years when stopping may be required quickly while simultaneously developing sequential thinking abilities and sequential thinking abilities!

  1. Reach and Pull Game This game is recommended for children 6 months of age or above who can sit unsupported unaided, or those sitting independently at 6 months. It encourages gross and fine motor development.

Use painter’s tape to secure objects on a wall at just above your child’s head when sitting down – such as favorite small toys like rings, puzzle pieces or animal replicas; empty toilet paper tubes filled with scarves are great examples! Your baby will likely reach up and grasp at these toys – stimulating their hands while challenging balance and strengthening core muscles!

Related Topic: Learn the principles of Montessori with Your Baby

  1. Couch Surfing For Toys Recommended Age Range: 9 months old or later or when baby can pull themselves up independently to stand. Skills To Be Learnt From Couch Surfing Are Gross Motor Skills And Social-Emotional Development.

Once your little one has successfully pulled to a stand, encourage their first attempts at cruising by placing some favorite toys along the sofa and watching as they use their legs and bodies to move to each toy – they may drop toys along the way or leave some behind; replace any that get dropped and watch as your child enjoys these new heights of toys they no longer had the capacity to access before! Alternatively if space permits they could practice pulling along a pull-up bar along a wall; hanging family photos along this way to encourage recognition by first steps of learning recognizing familiar family faces!

  1. Open-and-Close Treasure Basket for Babies and Up Suitable for: 9 months to Adulthood
    Learn: Fine Motor Skills
    Go on an object hunt around your house for safe, easily openable containers (like plastic food containers, ziploc pouches or jewelry boxes with clasps) that your baby can safely play with and place 5-6 in a basket for them to explore and dump out before returning them back into it again. As your little one grows older you could add small jars with twist-off tops as an ongoing activity!