Montessori Sensory Activities For Babies 6 Months to 1 Year
Montessori sensory activities are an essential way for baby’s to develop nerve connections in their brain’s neural pathways. It easily encourages children to create, play, explore, investigate and make sense of the world around them.
This exploration supports cognitive skills, problem-solving skills, fine-and-gross motor skills, and language development.
As a parent, it takes a lot of intentional time and patience to teach your kids some of these complex skills. That’s where you separate being a parent and being an observer, it’s important to let them play and learn independently.
Demonstrate in pieces how an activity could be done and let them figure out their way in problem-solving.
Taming toy overload is incredibly important to your child’s cognitive health. It is very overwhelming for a baby to handle numerous amounts of stimulation due to their immature nervous systems.
Let’s say you place a puzzle that provides many high-contrast colors and unfamiliar shapes in front of a baby. This can easily affect the problem-solving factor they are trying to navigate and focus through.
In some form, problem-solving accomplishments will emotionally increase a baby’s confidence. In comparison to toys that scream music and blare lights with no true purpose.
The “purpose” is to divert a baby’s attention with an “unexpected” outcome, which ends up being a short-term response anyways.
If you’re curious about the Montessori learning style, and why encouraging kids to learn through their curiosities and senses is important, I highly recommend reading The Montessori Child.
It’s not a book demanding Montessori to be the “best” and “only” way but how Montessori opens an opportunity to learn and express their creativity.
Sensory play teaches valuable life skills, enhanced memory, connections in the brain, and how to adapt to new textures, smells, tastes and experiences altogether.
There are many alternatives to creating these simple developmental activities. You can create easy DIY Montessori Sensory Activities in any skill you decide to teach your little one. Especially if you are like me, “Mommy On A Budget”.
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This sensory toy helps with fine motor skills, grasp development, and matching abilities. To become a little challenge for your baby, each circle puzzle piece is offered in three different sizes.
In the early childhood stages, circles are the easiest shape for a baby to learn. You can later move to shapes with points and a few more colors. The large knobs make it easy for a baby to pick up each piece and move them around.
DIY: Shaker + Dual Cylinder (Wooden Rattle)
This version of a rattle is not only great for gross motor movement but also for auditory stimulation. Proceeding instrumental movements will create an effect of an ongoing reward.
The sound of the bell is very delicate in comparison to other rattle sounds, especially since babies are a lot more sensory-sensitive.
That was the Montessori sensory activities toy you can purchase or make an easy DIY at home. By taking a breast milk storage cup/baby bottle and pouring bracelet beads into it.
Make sure the container you use to store the bracelet beads have a secure top to avoid the beads from spilling. Avoid all choking hazards at all costs unless supervised and in a trusted container.
DIY Items Mentioned:
DIY: Pull Whisk (Silicone)
A whisk can be used as a practical life-learning object for years. It increases hand-eye coordination, muscle strength, and fine motor skills.
You can easily use this for a toddler to explain how the whisk is used in the kitchen. For safety use a smaller-sized whisk made of silicone.
- Silicone Whisk
- 3 Pairs of Colorful Baby Socks
Put baby socks separately inside the whisk. Different colored socks would work beautifully to increase motivation.
The objective is for your baby to take each individual sock out of the whisk even if a sock gets stuck or tangled. It is a part of the problem-solving skill to nurture.
This will show your child how the whisk is used in the kitchen. Whisks either blend or incorporate air into ingredients which will increase the volume of a mix.
Pour water and dish soap into a bowl. Place a towel under the bowl to avoid as much mess as possible.
Show your child how to whisk inside of the bowl and watch bubbles create from a fast-paced movement with a whisk. This skill nurtures cause and effect.
The Permanence Wood Box teaches a baby about finding after hiding, hand-eye coordination, focus, concentration, and cause & effect.
This demonstrates the normalcy of the world around them. And since separation anxiety happens around this age, it is great to demonstrate these factors.
Teaching them that because you don’t see it, does not mean it’s gone. Same concept as Peek-A-Boo behind a blanket.
Water Sensory Bag
The water sensory bag had to be one of my baby’s favorite Montessori sensory activities. One I used in a couple of different ways.
This activity helps expose the baby to texture, cause and effect, and exploration. Depending on what you use as a base, will affect the different sensory experiences the baby will have.
For example, I used water and ice, which exposed him to different temperatures with cause and effect. The ice doesn’t last for long but changing the base can easily mix up the baby’s activity.
We used it a lot for tummy time or on the baby’s high chair when he was able to set himself up.
The convenience of this activity being mess-free is incredible. If you are concerned about a minor leak you can tape all 4 corners of the bag or purchase bags that carry more weight.
Remember, 1-5 pound ziplock bags are made to withstand any sudden pressures, no need to worry.
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Cotton Balls
- 3 ” Painters Tape
- 1 Gallon Ziplock Slider Bag
YOU CAN ALSO USE THESE PRODUCTS AS A BASE:
- Hair Gel
- Baby Oil
GET CREATIVE, YOU CAN USE LITTLE CRAFTS LIKE
- Color Assorted Pom Poms
- Food Coloring
- Color Assorted Bracelet Beads
- Sour BRITE Trolly Worms
- Dried Beans
I pour alcohol on the cotton swabs, and with the cotton swab I rub the ziplock banners off. Rinse off the alcohol on the ziplock bag.
Fill the bag with about 1/3 of water, pour a ton of ice, and zip it. Put durable tape on each corner of the bag, and if we are using it on a flat surface for a while I would tape all 4 sides down on the surface.
But I take it sometimes for him to use as a car-activity, it keeps him very busy.
To mix things up, you can also pour 1/3 of water, 1/4 of oil, and food coloring if you want it to look like a lava lamp. Or use hair gel and pour pom-poms or other crafty things that aren’t sharp inside the bag!
Babies LOVE water activities, and water activities will stay for years to come. This activity is GREAT for sensory tummy time in the early stages, just set up a boppy against the pan and there you go. Water play must always be done SUPERVISED.
This water table activity is great for concentration, balance, and capturing moving objects. Hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
If used for tummy time this is a great muscle enhancer for head, neck, shoulder, and tummy muscles.
- Bath Towel or Splat Mat
- Rectangle Baking Sheet
- Bath Toys or Light (Baby Safe) Kitchen Ware
- Boppy or Pillow
I’d fill the rectangle baking sheet with water about half lukewarm water. Place a towel on the flat surface of your choice, and place the baking sheet on top.
Place bath toys or medium-sized (baby-safe)objects that can float on water. Place a boppy/pillow on the longer side of the pan. Expect the baby to get wet!
Put baby on boppy/pillow and like you would if they were doing tummy-time, and let your babe have at it!
Reminder: Activity must be done with supervision ONLY!
Truly, a child of any age can benefit from flashcards. Flashcards are created to be engaging and fun. In the early stages of learning development, the language of letters and numbers can only be learned by what is not accessible unless written and seen visually.
This promotes awareness and memorization, it not only increases their cognitive learning but also enhances imagination and creativity.
You can teach them by annunciating letters in a longer fashion, about 3 to 5 times per letter or number. Letting them hold and observe is a great way to trust their independent learning.
They can not read or understand these concepts but it lets them visually become familiar with this world of learning.
Sensory learning creates an independent and creative jumpstart to their journey.
This is why I am so passionate about this subject! It’s extremely important to let children lead the way, and trust that they have your best interest in their nature.
These Montessori sensory activities make learning fun with a beautiful unique edge, it’s a great way to start looking into your baby’s 6 month milestones and practice these skills.
Memorization is not for everyone, especially children, so it is good to adopt these skills in creative ways. We all learn by our senses differently, some learn best by hearing, seeing, or putting something into action but we do not all learn the same.