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February 20, 2023

Montessori Baby - Toys and Activities 11 and 12 Months Old

I don't think it's any secret that I love babies. And, that last couple months of babyhood are no exception. As Penelope's first birth approached and passed, she has been just making so many wonderful discoveries. I wanted to share some of her favorite Montessori baby toys and activities at 11 and 12-months-old. I'm lumping these months together most because as she has gotten older her interests have stayed the same for longer. 

I'm sure I'm not able to share everything she has done over the last couple of months, but here is a glimpse at some of the things that have kept her most occupied and happy. 

Montessori baby sits in front of playroom shelf filled with activities and toys. Montessori playspace for older baby includes mat, mirror, and wooden toys.

Favorite Montessori Activities for Older Babies 

Here's what she's been up to: 

Gross Motor 

The past couple months continue to be an explosion of gross motor skills for Penelope. She's moved into refining her skills and acquiring new skills as she moves toward walking. These months she has: 

  • Squatting with Support: supported by coffee table, window ledges, ball tracker
  • Creeping along objects: supported by Pikler platform, couches, and furniture
  • Pushing Objects: supported by walker wagon, small stools, laundry baskets 
  • Up and Down Stairs
  • Sitting in Chairs: supported by small reading chair, dressing chairs
  • Climbing: supported by stools, Pikler Triangle 

11-month-old Montessori baby climbs half way up a Pikler Triangle in her Montessori home. A Pikler ramp and platform can be seen in the background with a child friendly reading area.

Fine Motor

This is really where Penelope is most supported by the toys that she has in our environment. These last couple of months she has been really interested in working her hands and it's been really fun watching her work out problems through her materials. Here are a few things she has loved and some of the skills I see with each material. 

Baby is see kneeling at Montessori play shelf holding balls with a wooden toy. Other Montessori baby toys present on shelf.

  • Flip Lid Coin box (similar):  in/out, object permanence, wrist rotation
  • Ball Push Box: indirect color sorting, arm strength, whole hand grip 
  • Spoolz: stacking, knocking over, 
  • Cubes on dowel: refining pincer grip, stacking
  • Pounding Bench: maximum effort, refining pincer grip, logic (flipping over)
  • Any of her older siblings materials 🫣😅
12-month-old Montessori baby works with flip lid coin box by holding large green coin with the box in front.


As always there has been so much learning through the senses that happens between ages 11 and 12-months. Nothing that Penelope does can really be separated from this learning, but here are some specific ways we supported her sensory learning this month: 

Baby sits in play tunnel in Montessori home while smiling.

Social/Emotional and Language

I think this is some of the most fun and really exciting. Penelope's personality is just exploding. She's saying more words and some two word phrases. My favorites are this ("dis?") and belly button (beh beh). She also occasionally says her siblings names and often repeats words and phases she's been said. A few fun developments: 

Older baby sits in front of Montessori shelf mouthing a toy and looking toward camera.

And, that's it - Penelope's favorite Montessori toys and activities for 11 and 12-months-old. This is definitely not everything that she used over the last couple of months, but some of the ones that she came back to time and time again. Remember that this isn't a prescriptive list, and that you should observe your child's own interests when deciding what toys and materials are best for your older baby. 

What is your older baby into?

Tips, skills, and activities to support development in 11 and 12-month-old Montessori babies. Check out these favorite Montessori baby activities and toys for your older baby.


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