Here are four activity ideas that we love in our Montessori home. All of these are for Otto who is seven months old. However, all could be enjoyed by a much older baby and even toddlers.
Make music! Above is our music basket. We have a couple of large baskets like this which are perfect for largish or grouped materials. You could easily present only one or two instruments in a basket on your shelves, but as a family and also when friends come over we love this big basket. We have lots of rattles and generally things that will help the child develop their awareness of cause and effect. There are lots of different textures to feel and different ways of making sounds!
Playing with balls. The child will enjoy exploring the different textures of the balls but what I love most is how the child manipulates each ball, how they hold and examine it, how they rotate their wrists.
Finger painting. We have previously used food colouring with water and flour, above is beetroot juice with only a little water and flour. We cleaned it up almost straight away and there weren't any stains. Otto got a little on his face but he didn't eat it. We use this tray for arts and science, so the set up is completely different to meal time. There is some blu-tack under the tray so it doesn't move on the table. Here are some pictures of Otis doing the same thing at the same age. Otto also loves yoghurt so for us coloured yogurt isn't a good idea, but it may work for other families. Here the child is just exploring with their hands, feeling different textures, moving their little fingers through the cool paint.
Playing with mirrors. We know the child learns through observation but don't forget that includes observing themselves too. We are still using our large wall mirror but this little hand held mirror is popular. The child is learning a lot of self-awareness and coordination. Mostly Otto just wants to kiss (or eat) his reflection!