Skip to main content

Gross Motor for Young Toddlers

When you sit and watch a young toddler, you really can see just how busy they are. They are driven to move. Often, I've noticed that Nora is completely unable to sit even for something she loves. For parents, this can be extremely frustrating especially if you expect them to be still.

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

Young toddlers {12 to 18 months} are right in the middle of the sensitive period for gross motor. They have an internal drive to move that they physically cannot control. They actually can't be still. Therefore, it's important to provide some outlet for them to move, to run, to climb, to jump, and to throw. Developing these gross motor skills is essential to their ability to focus on other skills later.


There are so many Montessori friendly things that can help toddlers meet this need to move. From a simple ball, to small bikes, this gross motor need can be met inside and outdoors. We don't have all of these things; and I don't think it's necessary to, as long as you provide opportunities for movement. My favorite, hands down, is the walker wagon. Nora has used this daily since she was six-months-old. 


Even without things, gross motor play can be easily achieved. Couch cushions on the floor! Opening and closing a door. A milk jug with some water to haul around. Or, even a cardboard box. Even simpler -- a walk outside! 


Even when its frustrating, remember that it's normal for a young toddler to never.stop.moving or to be more interested in climbing a shelf than using the materials on it. Feed that drive and the rest will come later!  

Comments

Merryl Aeby said…
Thank you so much for your advices and ideas which are so inspiring !!! I love to discover your blog and repeat some of your work with my baby boy, it’s a chance for us that you let us use all of your ideas.

Merryl

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2019

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure!

2019 UPDATE: This post has been updated to include a variety of brands and new product finds! Just a reminder that no one child will be interested in all of this or needs all of this. These toys are just here to spark ideas and give you a feeling for some Montessori-friendly options available! 


So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. 


First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created to…

Which Open-Ended Toys are "Worth it?"

As a Montessori parent, I try to provide a mix of materials in our home to engage my kids! That work that will spark joy, concentration, and repetition. It's not always an easy task, as Maria Montessori said, "Life is mysterious...only the choice of life can choose the work that the child truly needs. Therefore, the teacher respects this mysterious process and knows to wait with faith." So, there does sometimes feel like there is a bit of trial and error when it comes to choosing materials that your children need. 

For us, the right balance is easier to find when I spend time deeply observing my children. Watching their interests, sitting on my hands if I have to, letting them struggle a little with things, and letting them get bored. And what I have personally found is that here at home, a combination of open ended materials and more structured work have been the right balance. Open ended toys wouldn't necessarily be found in a Montessori classroom, but they are perf…

A Montessori Approach to Purging Your Toys

Becoming a Montessori family has been life changing in so many ways, most obviously with the amount and type of materials we use in our home. Once you see why having so many toys is a problem, or when you make the decision to move towards Montessori, it can be completely overwhelming. But, taking a Montessori approach to purging your toys is possible! And, it doesn't exactly mean that you have to throw away everything you have and start over with only expensive wooden toys. It will mean taking a hard look at what you have and whether it really fits with Montessori.


One note, however, Montessori is at its core about following your child's own path and respecting your child as a whole person. So, if your child has a toy, lovey, book, or whatever that your child super loves or is super attached to, but it doesn't fit Montessori ideals, don't take it away. Follow your child, that is more Montessori than whether or not you own some specific consumer product. 
How to Purge You…