Montessori for 1 Year Olds

During my nursing hours I’ve been delving more and more into the wonders of Montessori education. I’ve slowly but surely been adding elements of Montessori into our daily lives, but I’m brimming with new ideas to implement soon! Many of the things I’ve tried have revolved around this statement from Maria Montessori: 

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

For those who are Montessori beginners like me, this quip from Daily Montessori is a great launching pad of understanding: 

It is always a goal of Montessori education in the classrooms to make the child independent and be able to do things for himself. This is achieved by giving children opportunities. Opportunities to move, to dress themselves, to choose what they want to do, and to help the adults with tasks. When the children are able to do things for themselves there is an increase in their self belief, self confidence and esteem that they may carry on throughout their life.

Here’s a peek at what I’ve implemented at home thus far …

Dish and Silverware Drawer
In the kitchen we devoted one of the lower cabinet drawers to all of Jemma’s eating things. We keep her bowls, plates, cups, bibs, wash clothes, and silverware in it. She knows when meal time begins that she gets to choose what she eats from. She also helps unload the dishwasher and does a fine job stacking all her things in the proper place!

Step Stools
Jem is still on the little side to be able to climb in and out of bed by herself. So, I added a little step stool so she can launch herself into bed on her own. She’s quite the pro now! Next up is adding one at the bathroom sink so she can continue to practice washing hands.

Bath Toys
The bath bin was born out of my frustration. Girlfriend has too many bath toys and it seemed like I was always climbing into the bath for some quiet time alongside a tugboat and octopus! Now, after Jemma finishes her bath, she is responsible for gathering all her toys, dumping out the water, putting them in the bin, and putting the bin back under the sink. Oh the beauty of a toy free bath tub!


Coloring Station
In the corner of the kitchen Jemma has a little table and chair with a set of drawers that she can easily slide in and out. In her drawers we keep paper, coloring pages, crayons, and stickers.

What are some of your favorite ways to help your little ones grow in their independence?

P.S. Harvesting Kale is one of my most favorite mama bloggers who shares about her Montessori journey. Check out all her ideas here! What other blogs/resources inspire you in your home education journey?

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  1. says

    i'm all about montesorri! at gage's school they would put uncooked beans on a tray along with a scoop and cup. they would try to scoop and pour the beans without spilling them. this helped with motor skills. they also would string cut up pieces of straw onto pipe cleaners and make little bracelets. another big thing was always having a 'clean up' station of a sponge and towel so that they kinds would know they were responsible for cleaning up after their own small spills.

  2. sharmayne says

    We are allso in to montesorri our boy sleeps on a montesorri floorbed.

  3. says

    Thanks so much for sharing this!! I really love the concept of montessori!

  4. says

    Great tips! I've been looking for ways to help my girls "help themselves" at this young age, and I think here in the next 6 months they'll be ready to understand the concept of putting things away, etc.

  5. julie marie says

    well at least i bought my kids their school supplies today… haha…this is so great, makes me feel so unworthy of motherhood though…sigh… i wish i could be more organized, maybe if i didnt have my 3 kids and 2 extras that i babysit 4 days a week…boooo =(

  6. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Jeepers – you have your hands full! Don't you worry a bit, take everything one day at a time and know you're doing an amazing job :) Jemma turns 2 in October and it took me almost a full year to implement these few things – she's ready for more and I'm just trying to keep up! No time at all now that Max is here … hopefully I'll work up some new things before she turns 3 … haha!

  7. ThatMamaGretchen says

    18 months was when I saw a big shift in her ability to do things more independently. Now at almost 23 months she can do EVERYTHING herself … or so she tells me :)

  8. ThatMamaGretchen says

    I LOVE floor beds – I'm looking forward to setting up Jemma's room once we get moved with one. Right now her crib mattress is just next to our bed on the floor. Quasi-Montessori, I guess :)

  9. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Love all of these ideas! I can't wait to set up some Montessori activities for some mini-school at home this year. You should definitely write some posts about things Gage has done at school so I can copy them :)

  10. Abbie says

    LOVE the Montessori ideas! (I even moved all my kids dishes, silverware and cups to the bottom drawer for them to help themselves! Mostly empty the drawer constantly, though!) I would love to hear more about what kinds of things you are doing to create a more Montessori lifestyle for Jemma!

  11. ThatMamaGretchen says

    I'll definitely post more as I explore and implement new ideas! Right now we're kind of just surviving, AKA no new educational activities and a bit too much TV :) Haha, all in good time!