DIY Montessori toys for 6 to 9-month-old babies

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The following article looks at various Montessori toys and how to make them into DIY Montessori toys instead. These toys are for babies between 6 months and 9 months old. Some of the toys are easy DIY activities and some of them require a bit more thought and work. Enjoy!
Sensory Board Peek-A-Boo

Table of Contents

Before we begin – with all DIY toys it is SO IMPORTANT that you supervize your baby when using them. These toys are homemade, so you need to ensure that parts don’t come loose or become a choking hazard. Please ensure you supervise your bubbas when using DIY toys at all times!

Is your little one between 6 and 9 months old? It’s time for some exciting DIY Montessori toys to boost their development! From fine motor coordination to hand-eye coordination and cognitive growth, these homemade toys will keep your baby entertained while promoting essential skills.

Sensory Texture Board

Suitable age: 6-9 months

Skill or benefit: Sensory exploration and tactile stimulation

Instructions:

    1. Find a sturdy piece of cardboard or a wooden board (12×12 inches).
    2. Gather various materials with different textures (e.g., fabric, sandpaper, bubble wrap, felt, ribbons).
    3. Cut the materials into squares (3×3 inches) and glue or tape them onto the board in a grid pattern.
    4. Ensure all materials are securely attached and safe for your baby to touch and explore.

Montessori Sensory Ribbon and Ring Rattle

Suitable age: 4-6 months

Skill or benefit: Grasping and fine motor coordination

Instructions:

  1. Gather a smooth wooden ring (3-inch diameter), colorful ribbons, and bells (big enough to avoid being a choking hazard).
  2. Cut ribbons into 10-inch lengths, fold them in half, and loop a bell onto one end.
  3. Slide the ribbon loop under the wooden ring and pull the ends through, creating a tight knot.
  4. Repeat with different colored ribbons and bells, spaced evenly around the ring.
  5. Trim ribbon ends at an angle to prevent fraying.

Montessori Interlocking Discs

Suitable age: 4 months and older

Skill or benefit: Hand-to-hand transfer and gross motor coordination during

Instructions:

  1. Cut a thick piece of cardboard into two 4-5” circles. Thick card from packing boxes works well.
  2. Cut a straight line through the center of each circle, stopping at the midpoint.
  3. Slide the circles together, checking that they interlock at a 90-degree angle.

Image from http://purpletwig.blogspot.com/2016/07/making-interlocking-disks.html

Bell Cylinder Toy

Suitable age: from 6 months

Skill or benefit: Hand-to-hand transfer and gross motor development during tummy time

Instructions:

  1. Grab an empty plastic bottle or milk carton, super glue and a bell (make sure the bell can fit inside the opening of the bottle).
  2. Place the bell inside the bottle.
  3. Apply superglue around the exterior of the bottle opening, then screw on the lid tightly and let dry. The glue will secure the lid in place and ensure the bell can’t escape!


Image from http://playinghouseinmaryland.blogspot.com/2011/08/baby-fun-diy-rattles-and-noise-makers.html

 

Montessori Stacking Toy


Suitable age: from 8 months

Skill or benefit: Fine and gross motor coordination, hand-eye coordination

Instructions:

  1. Find a paper towel holder at home. If you don’t have one, you can make a holder using a square piece of card as a base, and an empty paper towel tube. Cut a slit up the side of the paper towel tube and re-glue the tube to make the diameter smaller. Cut 1-2” vertical slits at the bottom of the tube and fold them outwards to make an area that you can glue onto the cardboard base.
  2. Grab some curtain rings or macrame rings of various sizes. You can also use toilet rolls and cut them into narrower rings (ie you could cut 4 rings out of each toilet roll)
  3. Paint each ring in a different colour.
  4. Stack and play!

Similar example but using mason jar rings instead of macrame rings or cut toilet rolls.

Image from https://handsonaswegrow.com/diy-stacking-toy-activity/

DIY Drum

Suitable age: 7-8 months

Skill or benefit: Wrist and hand strength, gross motor strength in arms

Instructions:

  1. Find an old coffee tin and clean it thoroughly. You could also use an old baby formula tin.
  2. Decorate the tin with paper and non-toxic paint or markers, and let dry.
  3. Use a wooden spoon or another safe kitchen utensil as a drumstick.

Image from https://www.stayathomemum.com.au/houseandhome/kitchen/uses-for-formula-tins/

Egg-in-a-Cup Toy

Suitable age: 7-8 months

Skill or benefit: Movement, cognitive growth, concentration, and fitting skills

Instructions:

  1. This might be the EASIEST DIY EVER. Grab the egg cup you’ve already got at home.
  2. Grab a ping-pong ball.
  3. Demonstrate to your child how the cup and ball fit together.

Object Permanence Drawer Box

Suitable age: From 9 months

Skill or benefit: Hand-eye coordination, cognitive development, fine motor coordination

Instructions:

  1. Find a small, sturdy cardboard box with a removable lid. A shoebox or gift box works well!
  2. Cut a hole (1.5-2 inches in diameter) in the center of the lid.
  3. Find a small ball (big enough to avoid being a choking hazard) that fits through the hole. I use a ping-pong ball.
  4. Teach your baby to drop the ball into the hole, then open the box to retrieve it.

Montessori Fabric Pull Box

Suitable age: 6-9 months

Skill or benefit: Fine motor skills and sensory exploration

Instructions:

    1. Find a medium-sized cardboard box with a lid.
    2. Cut several small holes (1-2 inches in diameter) in different areas of the box.
    3. Decorate the box and lid with non-toxic paint or markers, and let dry.
    4. Cut various fabric pieces or ribbons (10-12 inches long) and tie a knot at one end of each.
    5. Poke the unknotted end of each fabric piece or ribbon through a hole, allowing the knot to prevent it from slipping out entirely.
    6. Close the box and let your baby pull the fabric pieces or ribbons out.

DIY Matryoshka Doll

Suitable age: From 9 months

Skill or benefit: Spatial reasoning, fine motor coordination, hand-eye coordination

Instructions:

  1. There are so many affordable DIY bases available online and in craft stores.
  2. Decorate the dolls with non-toxic paint or markers, and let dry. Or, leave blank!

The bottom line

Homemade Montessori toys are fun, possible, and more affordable to make than buying store-bought toys. The information in this article is to give you an introduction to the world of DIY Montessori toys for babies under 9 months old. While not all DIY toys last for long, they are more beneficial for temporary and homemade use.

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