Below are some ideas of Montessori inspired materials for your 6- to 9-month-old. Children at this age seem to enjoy things they can explore with their mouth and simple manipulations. Keep in mind that this set up is for my family child care and was used by more than one child. If you only have one child, I would probably only put out 6-8 materials. Observe your child to see what is the right amount for them. If they have a hard time focusing and communicate distress in their play space, the child may be overstimulated and need less materials. Furthermore, the materials that are on the upper shelves weren’t accessible until the child could pull up. In this case, I brought down one or two materials to the floor for the child to explore.
Included with the descriptions are insights on what I learned with that material and what I might have done differently. I highlighted in green the main materials I would recommend for this age based off of my experience.
*Stuffed animals. These were used for sensory exploration with the mouth and fingers.
*Cups with ball/egg/peg. In the beginning, these were mouthed, but around 8 months, the child starting exploring putting the objects in and out. If done again, I would probably just put out the ball and cup first and then add the others as needed.
*Bead coaster. This didn’t seem that interesting at this age, they used it more around 1 year of age. Possibly, a smaller size one would have worked better.
*Wooden blocks. I only put out 6 so it wouldn’t be overwhelming. These blocks were used for mouthing, moving around, and putting under other objects.
*Dolls. The children didn’t use these often yet.
*O-Ball and Skwish. Ever since they could start grasping, the children have enjoyed using these.
*Object permanence box. Not really used until 7-8 months when they figured out how to post the ball until the hole.
*Circle puzzle. Also wasn’t really used until 7-8 months when attempts were made to fit the puzzle piece into the base.
*Ring stacker. The children took the rings off and explored them.
*Soft books. For reading to the children and mouthing.
*Teethers. Silicone and crinkly cloth. I had many types of teethers out, with only one child I would just offer 1 of each type: silicone, soft/cloth, wood.
*Links. Mostly mouthed, however the children really enjoyed mouthing the basket as well, so make sure you have some objects in baskets.
*Rolling toys. These were mouthed, rolled, shook, and they tried to touch the inside objects. They were really fascinated with the bell.
*Hanging toy arch. At this age, the children liked the spinners on the side. Later, they used it to pull up on.
*Board books. These were mostly kept up since mouthing damaged them. I brought them down to read to the children during story time.
*Scarves. Used for mouthing and waving, sliding, bunching. I also would slide a scarf through the O-Ball so they could move the ball around and it wouldn’t get too far from them. They also liked pulling the scarf out of the ball.
*Soft teethers. See teethers above.
*Wooden teether/Interlocking disc. See teethers above. The disc was used for mouthing and manipulating with the hands.