Here are 25 Montessori-inspired toys and activities for a 10-month-old baby. These are some of the best toys to support and develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. I am trained in the Montessori method and hope to give you some ideas on a few of the best Montessori toys for a 10-month-old.
Board books are a great addition to any home. Having different types of books can be a way to offer variety. Soft books made of fabric or board books with different textures on the pages have been huge successes in our Montessori home! I have found that maybe more than the books themselves, there is interest in the act of taking the books off of our bookshelf. This has definitely been a favorite activity during the 10-month stage. Find a great place to keep some board books in your home that allow your baby easy and independent access to them.
A great toy to offer to those tiny hands that are always moving and grasping are knobbed puzzles. The large knobs are the perfect size to grasp and help work on those fine motor skills. You can start with single-shape puzzles and then work into knobbed puzzles with more than one piece.
These discovery blocks from Haba promote discovery. Each block has a different element to explore. They are made of beautiful bright colors. One of them has a bell rattle inside the block which is so fun to explore!
A simple toy that will span over many months is a simple bead mover. The beads move along the wires easily and are a great way to develop fine motor skills.
The object permanence box is a classic Montessori toy that you would see in a Montessori classroom for infants, but it is also something we can bring into our homes. The object permanence box is a wooden box with a hole in the top for a ball to go into. The ball then rolls out the small door at the front of the box. This toy is a great tool to isolate the concept of object permanence, which is the idea that even when something goes away it still exists. Each baby will have different preferences toward toys at different times. My twins have enjoyed playing with the ball for the object permanence box, but have yet to discover the novelty of putting the ball through the hole and having it come out the front.
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Having a basket of balls can be a great addition to your prepared environment. Keeping a variety of textures and sizes of balls will increase interest as well. You will find that a collection of sensory balls will have plenty of uses in the months to come. I love how balls encourage movement as they roll away and encourage movement towards them.
It is no surprise that babies at this age are fascinated with the effect of their motions. Banging things against one another to see what happens. Offering some musical instruments can be a great way to support this need for exploring different sounds. Egg shakers or a wooden drum are great things to offer to our baby.
I think this particular book needed its own section in this post. These books are genius! Talk about developmentally appropriate toys! Polk-A-Dot books have these plastic dots for your child to poke. Once I showed my boys how it works and they realized the fun popping sound it makes when they poke them, they were set on finding all the dots on the page to poke. I have also seen it develop hand-eye coordination and concentration as they find those dots to pop on the page.
Around this age, grasping and pulling things out is a great activity for a baby. We can offer them the imbucare peg box, which offers many wooden pegs for them to grab and pull out. This peg pop-up toy offers a similar experience, as well as a springy surprise if you push down on the peg. This push toy will continue to be fun for many months to come.
A wooden drum is a great toy to offer for this developmental stage where they like to hit objects. Not because they are being mean but as a means of exploration. By offering them toys that are intended to be hit, like a drum, we are encouraging them to do these actions in a purposeful way. We can also redirect to a drum if they are hitting to give them something appropriate to hit.
As a baby develops their palmer and pincer grasps they will love to practice in the real world. We can offer them beautiful wood toys that support those fine motor skills. The palmer and pincer grasp cylinders offer a small knob to grasp onto using a pincer grip. The wooden cylinder encourages them to grab with their palmer grasp.
Offering larger structures for your child to develop gross motor skills is also super important. My twins have enjoyed having a Montessori pull-up bar, a Montessori climbing triangle, and a platform and ramp. These give young children opportunities for movement and physical exploration. Looking for more climbing toys? check out this blog post!
A Pikler triangle can be a wonderful way to support the movement needs of a ten-month-old baby. However, any Montessori climbing triangle will offer many opportunities for play and exploration for years to come! Not sure what Pikler triangle to choose, in this blog post I share all about different Montessori climbing triangles on the market.
Platform and Ramp
You can get a platform and ramp as an alternative climbing structure. Before their first birthday, your baby will likely be starting to climb. I found this platform and ramp to be a versatile addition to our prepared environment. You can purchase one from RAD Furniture, the particular one I have in my home was constructed by a friend of mine.
Montessori Pull-Up Bar
A Montessori Pull-Up Bar and mirror can be a great way to support a baby’s development as they work on developing core strength. Pulling up onto objects and cruising along a surface. A Montessori pull-up bar offers opportunities for this as well as some visual feedback with the mirror on the wall. Check out my DIY post here!
Drinking from an Open Cup
With the Montessori approach, we want to offer opportunities for learning new skills. One thing we can do at meal times is offer liquids in an open cup. We can even show and model to our baby how to begin handling an open cup. I found these wonderful small glass cups at the dollar store. EzPz also has a perfect Tiny Cup for starting open-cup drinking.
Taking a Bath
Babies and water are a perfect combination! Somedays you just need a change of environment. Something fun and engaging like a bath can be just the perfect thing!
Observing artwork at their level
Hanging some artwork at your baby’s level can be a way to create more interest in their environment. I found hanging some artwork in our Montessori entryway and in their bedroom were easy ways to incorporate some beautiful artwork for them to look at. To my surprise, they are so engaged and drawn to these areas that are prepared just for them.
Listening to Music
Something that can be enjoyable for all ages is listening to music. You could offer some simple instruments like egg shakers or a drum. The Montessori philosophy is all about offering the natural world to our children, even from a young age. Music is such an important aspect of life and can help support language development as well!
Getting outside and getting some fresh air is always a good idea. At this stage, your little one may enjoy swinging in the yard or at a local park. My boys have loved the swings and giggled at the wind blowing in their faces.
Crawling through the grass
If you are looking for some free sensorial materials just head outside! The grass offers a very unique sensory experience that your baby may or may not enjoy. Nonetheless, it can be a great experience to offer to your baby.
Climbing the stairs
One way I try to slow the pace down is by offering opportunities to climb up the stairs while we are on our way up to take a nap or go get dressed. I have found that climbing the stairs offers one of the best and most exciting opportunities for movement throughout our day.
It is likely that your little one has some teeth and has begun eating solids. You might start to brush your baby’s teeth now. I found these silicone toothbrushes to be a great beginner toothbrush and double as a teether. With a little dab of toddler toothpaste, you have a fun sensorial experience ahead of you!
Going for a walk
Taking time to go on a walk and get some fresh air will be beneficial for everyone! There are so many sounds, sights, and smells to experience on a walk. During those challenging moments, I know that if I can just get us outside we will all start to feel better.
Knocking down block towers
Your little one may not be building their own towers yet but they will sure love to knock your tower down!
Trying new foods
The introduction of new foods can be a great way to offer unique sensorial experiences without needing to make a unique sensory bin. However, it may be even more messy than a sensory bin depending on what types of food you offer. Exploring through taste, sight, smell, and touch!
With a 10-month-old the world around them is coming alive! There are so many things we can do to engage the senses and offer experiences for deeper exploration. I hope you have found these 25 Montessori toys and activities ideas helpful for your 10-month-old. If you are looking for more Montessori-inspired ideas, check out this post about how to create a Montessori entryway. To learn more about Montessori read about these four things everyone should know about Montessori.