Creative Play with Montessori Toys for 1-Year-Olds

Children at the age of one are like little explorers, full of energy and ready to take on new big steps every day. With all that energy and love we provide them with, it’s also important to guide them in the right direction. And what better way of doing so than Montessori toys for 1-year-olds?

Cute baby playing with wooden Montessori multicolor blocks.

These busy little bees are not just growing physically; they're also becoming more skilled at using their hands and understanding the world around them. With a bit of help from Dr. Maria Montessori and her teaching method, your child will be on the right path of development.

Therefore, let’s see how you can use Montessori toys the best way and what the magic behind this method of teaching is.

Creative Play Activities with Montessori Toys

Montessori toys are a perfect way of bonding with your baby, spending some quality time, and watching them grow with pride. Therefore, coming up with some activities that involve playing with these toys is a way to go.

Little boy playing with colorful wooden Montessori pegs.

Let’s see some of the best activities to do with 1 year old:

1. Playing with puzzles - Introduce a simple and easy-to-solve puzzle to your child. Show your little one how to explore shapes, sizes, and colors, and you’ll see them solving the puzzle in no time.

2. Reading soft books - Find some soft books and introduce them to your child with a story. Tell them something interesting about the pictures in the book and encourage them to touch the soft fabric.

3. Obstacle crawl with shapes - Create a tunnel from pillows and sheets; basically, use anything that can create a tunnel; be creative. Encourage your child to go through the tunnel, and if they won’t step in, put their favorite toys inside it.

Portrait of a cute little girl at home, hiding behind furniture.

4. Sensory bottle exploration - Take a simple bottle and put all sorts of safe stuff inside, like colored rice, small beads, some balls, and anything that fits inside. Seal the bottle and let your child shake, roll, and observe the stuff inside.

5. Playing with a rolling ballWhen it comes to practicing grasping and encouraging reaching, playing with a soft fabric ball is great for babies. Namely, slide the ball toward your baby and let them reach for it. It might take some time for them to understand how to do it, but eventually, your baby will grab the ball and have fun playing with it.

6. Hiding toys around the house - This activity is great for developing creativity and sparking imagination at the same time. By showing your baby a toy and then hiding it around the corner or behind a box, you’ll invite them to look out for it. You can even pretend to look out for the toy yourself and then act all surprised when you find it.

7. Playing with the Montessori Vegetable Set - Even though the Montessori vegetable set is meant for a bit older groups, babies can play with it as well. This will spark imagination and curiosity in your baby, and they will start to explore the options in front of them.

Cute baby girl taking a wooden toy out of the basket.

8. Stacking rings on a poleIntroduce colorful rings to your baby and let them try to stack all the rings on a pole. The goal is to use the biggest ones first and slowly add those that are meant to go on the top. However, your baby is supposed to figure out that on their own.

9. High construct cardsUse the Montessori soft fabric contrast book to introduce the black-and-white contrast pictures to your baby. This is best done when your baby is on all fours. This way, you’ll keep them intrigued while they try to reach for the book with their hands. The reaching-out activity will improve gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

10. Building things with blocks -One of the most interesting activities to do with your 1-year-old surely is playing with stacking blocks. You can start by stacking two or three blocks together and then let your baby take the lead. Make sure the blocks are big enough so they’re not having such a hard time.
Boy stacking wooden blocks on the table.

11. Play with hanged mobilesThere are a lot of great Montessori mobiles that you can hang out somewhere in your house and play with them. You can even use some natural materials, such as leaves, to visually stimulate your child to play with.

12. Mirror discovery - Get a baby-safe mirror and place it somewhere your child can reach it. The mirror doesn’t have to be big; it’s just enough for your child to see their face clearly in the mirror. In most cases, children love playing with mirrors as it promotes self-recognition and visual exploration.

Tips to Make Every Playtime Fun and Educational

Making playing sessions fun and educational is key for your baby’s development. Therefore, we’ll provide a couple of tips to make every playtime a fun adventure.

  • Create a prepared environment: As we already said, focus on everyday things. Montessori environment should be simple and easy to navigate through. Don’t pile up toys; only include a couple of them so your child can focus on playing with one toy at a time.

  • Provide your child with choices: When playing with your child, constantly provide them with choices. This will create an environment in which they can practice independence and learn to do things on their own.

  • Rotate toys: Toy rotation is important, as our little ones should always have new and refreshing toys to play with. However, there’s no need to swamp them with dozens of toys; let them play with one toy at a time and rotate them constantly.

  • Follow your child’s lead: Closely observe what your child is doing and help them if they need assistance with some toys. But don’t do things for them. Let them explore, let them make mistakes, and learn from them. 

Understanding Montessori Principles for 1-Year-Olds

Regarding Montessori for one-year-olds, look at it as a learning approach designed to spark independence and curiosity in your baby. Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator, believed that kids learn best when they actively engage with their surroundings.

But, for our little ones, this means providing a space where simple, hands-on activities are in the focus.

Montessori classroom.

Here are a couple of principles that align with the Montessori theory of education and toys:

  • Simplicity is key: Montessori toys for one-year-olds are designed with simplicity in mind. They use natural materials and simple shapes to help kids focus on discovering what the toy does and how it’s used.

  • Encouraging independence: Montessori principles teach us to let our little ones do things on their own whenever possible, like picking out toys to play with or eating on their own.

  • Respecting the child's pace: It's not about pushing children to achieve milestones faster but providing the right tools for them to learn at their own speed.

Why Are Montessori Toys So Plain?

Montessori toys are simple on purpose. That’s because they focus on a child's natural curiosity and creativity. At the core of Montessori learning, toys that are simple and allow children to explore without difficulties are the best for overall development.

Wooden, non-toxic, and eco-friendly Montessori toys.

The main reasoning behind the simplicity of Montessori toys is:

1. They encourage imagination: Plain toys allow children to use their imagination in order to play with them.

2. Montessori toys promote concentration: The simple nature of Montessori toys reduces distractions, which helps children focus on one activity at a time and develop their attention span.

3. They support sensory development: Simple materials like wood or fabric engage a child's senses without overwhelming them.

4. Reflecting real-world simplicity: Montessori aligns with the idea that the real world is often simple and uncomplicated.

Which Montessori Toys for 1-Year-Olds Are the Best?

Finding the best Montessori toys for your baby requires thoughtful consideration of their developmental stage and overall interests. Even though babies are young, they have interests, especially when it comes to toys.

Here’s a couple of great options:

Wooden Stacking Blocks

Simple wooden blocks are great for developing fine motor skills.

Montessori Building Blocks.

Object Permanence Box

This type of toy teaches the concept of object performance as babies put the ball through a hole.

Montessori Object Permanence Box.

Soft Fabric Books

Soft books are great for developing the sense of touch, even better if they come with contrasting colors.

Montessori Baby Cloth Book versions: Farm, Sea World, and Jungle Adventure.

Shape Sorters

This toy enhances hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills.

Montessori Shape Blocks.


By keeping it simple and following the principles of Maria Montessori, we ensure our little ones learn through hands-on engagement. Therefore, create an environment rich with Montessori toys and free of distraction so your child can engage with toys in a creative way that nurtures overall development.

Keep things simple, and remember that your little one is just a child. This is not rocket science; just shower them with love and follow the Montessori principles for fun and engaging playtime.

  • Free Delivery

    Over $80
  • Easy Returns

    No questions asked
  • Unbeatable Warranty

    1-year ++ warranty
  • Secure Checkout
    World’s most secure payment method