DIY Montessori Activities (3-18 m)

DIY (do it yourself) Games and Activities

Age: 3 to 18 months

There are variety of different activities that can easily be created at home to serve the needs of children aged 6 months to 2 years of age. These activities should be chosen by observing the development of the child. Since each child develops according to his/her own pace so it's important that parents choose that work which suits their child's need and development. If observed that child may not be ready for a certain kind of game, or interested please don't force the child to do so. Children will give their clues. Have fun!!! (The activities should be offered to children under an adult supervision)

Age of the Child: Birth to 18 Months

There are a variety of different activities that children could learn from and are good for their development. Some of the ideas are listed below with pictures.

 Introducing Plate, Bowl, Cup and Spoon:

This could best be introduced when it's time to eat. So the children can understand that these things are and will be used for eating. Later, as they grow older they'll learn how to use them. But to begin with just introduce with  3 things at a time. When you feel that child knows what a plate is, introduce something new with 3 old ones. You can check by playing a game:
For example this is a "plate"                                  "spoon"
Naming the objects should be done several times, every now and then so a child keeps registering the names of the objects. Some days later when you feel that you have repeated this exercise several times, play another game by asking:
For example where is a "plate"
                                      "spoon"                                       "cup"
 Later on, when the child is learning to talk, this exercice could be repeated and this time you will ask the child;
For example what is this? (plate)
 The same method could be applied with everything that is used to teach the names of to the child.

Finding the Hidden Object

This game is so much fun to be played with infants. Simply hide the object under a blanket, cloth etc. and ask the child to find the objet e.g. teddy bear, bunny rabbit or even a ball. "Where's the bear", " let's look for the bear", " Oh here it is" !!! Just be a little fun playing with the child to keep him/her focused.

Introducing "in" and "out"

Introducing the concept of in and out can be taught in a variety of ways, here is one shown in the picture.

Nesting Cup Games

Playing with nesting cups is good activity that a child will benefit from. Different variations can be used. For example putting them in ascending or descending order, them inserting them in each other and more so you can even play with a ball and hide it under any of the cups and ask the child to find it.

To begin playing with the ball and cups, start with only three cups or so, and as the child enjoys and responds well, keep adding more cups to make it more exciting.

Making Picture Cards of Common Objects

To make these cards is very easy. Simply cut the bristle board in equal square pieces. To begin with introducing 5 cards is enough. Pictures can be cut out from any old magazines and pasted on to the cards. These picture cards are excellent to develop vocabulary in such young children.
To present just lay the cards on the mat in order, starting from left to right. Then holding one card at a time just say the name of the picture. Repetition of such an activity will help child remember the names of the pictures. Later on many more games can be played with the same card. Just be informed that infants experiment and even rip the corners of edges not finished properly. So it is advisable to laminate them or simply use wide scotch tape to cover the edges. For example
  • knock, Knock game
  • finding the cards
  • sound games
  • word games etc.

Opening and Closing of a Simple Box

Infants learn by experimenting and repetition. So opening and closing of a box might be achieved after some practise. Isolate the box from the other materials or toys so a child could just focus on one task.

Once you observe that child is doing well with one box, you might would like to add variety to the same activity, add something sensorial and interesting to the box.

Once you see the child knows how to open and close boxes you may like to introduce something different for example a plasic case with a velcro to open and close it. Children at this age are more inclined to play with  practical life items or everyday household items than toys. So being aware of this need it would be wise to pick items which are safe for them to play with ( Under adult's supervision).

Nuts and bolts

This is a very good acivity, with which children benefit by developing their hand eye coordination, conentration span and movement of wrist which will lead to fine motor skillls. Child may not be able to do all the pieces shown here in the picture, even doing one or two should be enough depending on the age of the child.

Introducing Books !!!!!!!!!!!! (and Other Reading Material)

Children who are introduced to books and reading material at an early age are more likely to develop better reading habits. It can all begin by just looking at the pictures and talking about them. Reading stories comes way later on when their attention span has develped a bit. Allocating some time for reading everyday really helps.

Treasure Baskets/Buckets/Boxes

Treasure baskets are a good way to let your child have hands on experience and explore all the exciting items that he would love to play with. Here are some ideas. One can create them very easily and at no cost.

TIP: Just keep a variety, to keep the child interested. Offering everything all at once may also not work at times. Keep the excitement up!!!!


A Basket of Full of Fruits and Vegetables