Skip to main content

4 Art Trays at 18 Months

Now that Gus is 18 months old, he is definitely starting to become more and more interested in working with trays and materials on his shelves. After a break to focus on gross motor development, I can tell he is suddenly shifting to coming back to slower activities and more outwardly "purposeful" work. And so, I've continued to prepare the environment accordingly. 

4 art trays to try with your Montessori toddler at 18 months

Our art area is where Henry and Nora spend a lot of time working. Naturally, Gus wants to be there too. So recently, I've revamped the shelves to include 4 new trays just for him. Unlike the older kids, Gus can go gather the materials he wants when doing art. He needs the work organized and ready to go on a tray. It has to be simple or else he is going to be completely overwhelmed, unable to restore the work and less likely to be successful. Each art tray has everything he needs to complete the task, it's then my job to make sure the tray is ready to go again once he has finished. 

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

Watercolor Painting 

This simple tray is a simple version of watercolor painting. It includes a single watercolor cake, a paint brush, a small container of water, and paper. Eventually, I expect Gus will be able to get his own water, but for now this works really well for him. One color also keeps the mess to a minimum and makes it so he doesn't have to rinse between each choice. 


This tray is simply simple stickers and a note card. This is such great pincer grasp motion. I love these stickers because while they are a bit of a challenge for Gus, they don't have any edges to get stuck or rip off as he pulls. 

Dot Painting 

These dot painters and a note card make up this tray. I make sure not to screw the caps on all the way so that he can do this independently. This is a simple stamping work and very satisfying for him. Again, I include the paper so that this work is ready to go once he chooses it. 


Much like his first art tray, Gus still enjoys rock crayons. Now, he has a few more choices in the colors. Sometimes I will also switch out his coloring medium to color pencils, or block crayons as well. 

You'll notice that I chose to use blank 3x5 note cards for the paper. I love these because the paper is a bit thicker and they are all pre-cut. Each fits nicely onto a tray that he is able to successfully carry. I have a small basket of the cards on the shelf, so I can easily add a new card when he has done a work. 

Is your toddler interested in art? What mediums have you tried? 

4 art trays to try with your Montessori toddler at 18 months


Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2020

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! 2021 UPDATE: Please be patient with links this year, with supply chain issues things are selling out faster and restocking slower. I anticipate some of the specialty toys will not restock once they are gone. 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 toys, but only works for classroom settings. While there are many work

Montessori Toddler: Favorite Toys and Activities 18 to 20 months

I've been putting off this post for a little while because I felt a little disappointed that I didn't have more to share. See, Teddy just isn't that into materials, especially those on the shelf. He tends to return to a couple of favorites over and over again and ignore all other attempts at shelf work. But, really that's my own adult feelings getting in the way of Teddy's own interests, and developmental path.  It's also me subconsciously valuing fine motor skills and stillness as more important than gross motor play and movement. I working hard not to do that, and want to normalize that all toddlers are different. All children have different interests and that concentration doesn't have to mean sitting still for long stretches of time.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. With all that said, here are some of Teddy's favorites over the last couple of months. Favorite Montessori Toys 18 to 20 Months I'm listing the toys that have be

Our Kids' Montessori Gift Lists 2020

With the holiday season upon us we've been making lists and gathering gifts for the Kavanaugh children. It's always a fun process of observing my children, seeing what they would really be interested in and making some decisions based on what I see. This year is different because I'm also making decisions knowing that we are looking at a very long and quiet winter ahead. So that's influencing the amount I will buy and the specific choices I will/have made.  Henry and Nora are also at the point, being into the second plane of development, where they heavily influence the items on the list and what is ultimately purchased. So, you'll see that while Montessori influences what I will purchase and what goes on their list, so does their own preferences and personality.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Theodore Teddy is 14-months-old right now and as the fourth baby, we have so many toddler things. But, there are a few things I've still found tha