Montessori with your 15-month-old is so much fun! Your child is growing so quickly and you don’t want to miss any opportunity to help them along their way.
Although it may seem to an outsider that your child hasn’t changed much from the last few months, there could be nothing further from the truth. Your child is going through so many changes, Montessori is a great way to help conquer your child’s newest goals (like potty training!)
Keep in mind your child may be still interested in materials or activities from earlier months and that is perfectly ok. Each child learns at their own pace as well as has their own unique interests so try to follow your child’s lead above all else.
Preparing your environment is something that constantly needs to be evaluated as your child grows through different developmental stages. This will help support your child’s independence and through his/her sensitive periods which we will talk about below.
If you haven’t switched your child to a floor bed yet, it’s not too late. The low bed offers your child a better perception of their environment and allows them to move forward in their path towards independence.
Self-care is starting to be a very important part of your toddler’s life. Help your toddler gain independence by setting up a self-care station in the bathroom, a self-serve snack station in the kitchen, and low-level access to their clothing in their bedroom.
The area for work should be set up with aids for independence, age-appropriate toys and materials and practical life activities. Use these aids for independence to start preparing your area for work:
Storing your child’s materials on an eye-level shelf in your main living space is best. Anywhere between 6-12 toys or materials is a good number to have out at one time. Also, keep in mind that rotating the materials every few weeks is highly suggested.
Around 6-8 books can be set out as well. You can use a forward-facing bookshelf or basket to store them. As long as your child can see the front of the book when making a selection rather than the spine of the book.
Using an educational program such as Monti Kids will be of great help. This program is designed to take the guesswork out of finding Montessori materials suitable for your toddler.
Learn more about Monti Kids and how they can help you find age-appropriate Montessori materials by clicking here! Use code HOLLY60 to get $60 off your first order.
Here are just a few materials your 15-18-month-old may be interested in:
Upon beginning a new activity or presenting a new material you need to remember that your child is only just learning to concentrate. As your child grows older he/she will be able to concentrate for longer periods of time.
It is important to note, not to correct the child when they are concentrating. It is suggested to wait until they are finished and then model the correct way to use the material for them continuing to present and model the activity or material to them each time until they correctly use the item.
Throwing and getting frustrated is a toddler’s way of communicating that a task is too difficult. If your child continues to get upset with an activity it is best to take it out of rotation and bring it back out later. Most of the time you will find that your child just wasn’t ready for that particular activity and that they needed more time to be developmentally prepared to comprehend the task.
Here are some activities your 15-18 month old may enjoy:
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Practical life activities are important because they allow your child to feel part of a community. They promote sensorial exploration, language development, and independence.
Start to introduce practical life activities to your child by first observing your child’s interests. Present the activity to your child remembering to practice beforehand. Starting with one activity and building more and more. Practical life can be done in the kitchen, bathroom, outside, and just about anywhere in the home!
Start by trying one of these practical life activities and building from there:
Click here to grab a free Practical Life Activity List.
The child’s absorbent mind (age 0 – 6 years) is driven by what Maria Montessori identified as sensitive periods in development. Follow your child’s lead for his/her cues of sensitive periods beginning. Try not to underestimate your child’s ability or work. If he/she is doing certain work over and over, they are probably in their sensitive period for that work/task.
Here’s a list of sensitive periods your child may be experiencing at this age:
Learn more about sensitive periods and how they affect your child by clicking here.
Remember that your child is in their first plane of development. Maria Montessori described this time as the absorbent mind. Your child is watching you. You should be modeling the behavior you desire your child to have.
Ready to take the next step into Montessori living? Join us in The Montessori Learning Center to learn everything you need to know about Montessori with your 15 month old to 18 month old! Click the image below to learn more.
What questions do you have about Montessori with your 15 month old? Pop them in the comments below so I can help you get started with your Montessori journey!
Disclaimer: This isn’t the end all be all for Montessori with your 15 month old to 18 month old. Montessori is largely based on following your child’s lead, knowing that every child is unique, there can not be one set standard for every child. Use this information as it suits your child.
We actually have a blog post about that, but let us know if you still have some questions afterwards 🙂
Thanks so much for these helpful articles 🙂 I was just wondering about whether or not I should be actively trying to help my 16 month old focus on an activity? We have about 6 activities accessible to him but he seems to just flit between them, never quite focusing on one activity for longer than a minute. I have looked through the examples and activities and I think they are age appropriate. Any thoughts would be welcome 🙂
So there isn’t a one size fits all answer to this. Children vary so much at this age so it really comes down to observation. It could be that six materials may be too much for him personally. You could try going down to two or three and see if this changes anything. It could be that though the materials are age appropriate, they are not what he is specifically craving right now. You could try switching out the materials, or perhaps he is simply more into gross motor or practical life and shelf work simply won’t grab his attention at all. And at the end of all that, this could simply be his normal level of focus right now. It is definitely a skill that takes time and practice like any other 🙂
TTL Team Member
I’m wondering if letting my 15mth old handles calculator or remote control is a good idea?
I understand that Montessori doesn’t support electronic gadgets.
However, it seems like she loves the tactile touch whenever she presses on the calculator.
And also, she loves being able to hv the ability to switch on the tv or air conditioner or fan by herself. (She doesn’t watch the tv though)
Just simply enjoying pressing these electronic gadgets.
She can even hold on to a non battery operated controller whole day long just to press on it.
Please let me know if this belongs to one of the sensory touch? Or should I discourage it.
Thanks in advance!
Technology is in our lives whether we like it or not. No, I do not think we should allow our children to sit in front of the TV for hours on end but playing with a calculator is perfectly fine! Just because it has batteries does not make it a horrible thing to expose your child too. The reason Montessori says away from battery-powered toys is that they are usually something called active toys. These toys don’t need much done to them for them to be played with (push a button and a light and noise are made). Montessori toys are usually passive toys. These toys require some brainpower to use them (drop a ball in a hole and open a drawer to find it). This keeps your child engaged and working with the material longer if they need to use some brainpower to play with it. Hopefully, this helps you understand a bit more about Montessori toys! Holly xx
So glad to come across your article, really love it and I would like to implement those with my 17mths old toddler.
But I was wondering how should i let him use real life drinking glass or glass jugs, he likes to throw things around, and It would be scary if those materials break and hurt him..
You can start at mealtimes when you are eating together. Show him how to set his glass down gently. You could also start by sitting on a blanket on the floor as there is less chance of breakage. A lot depends on your attitude )are you nervous, snatching glass break) and how you model it so make sure you’re doing plenty of that. Remember, a break isn’t the worse thing in the world.
I’m interested in starting the Montessori method in my home. Montessori daycares in my city are really expensive so my goal is to teach him the methods at home since he won’t be getting it at the traditional daycare. What is your advice for making sure he gets the most out of what I do at home? Also, he’s almost 15 months. Since he’s never been exposed to these methods before, do I just jump in with 15-18 month timeline or do you recommend some work from the prior age ranges to help him get up to speed?
I would definitely have a look at the 12-15 month materials and activities as well. They are all just starting points to reference so your child won’t be able to do all of the activities at a certain age but he should be able to start trying to do them. I would suggest focusing on practical life at home. This is something a traditional daycare might not provide much of but you can easily provide a lot of at home! Let me know how it goes!
Thank you very much, it helps very much to collect all the relevant montessori method for relevant age, and makes it clear and pretty simple. I’m glad to see that mostly we are practicing things which you describe and will definitely follow your advices that are new for us. A specially liked kitchen activities ideas – so simple, that I even didn’t think of them, like putting the ingredients! Thank you so much!
I love this article! Thank you ?
I am wondering how to put a 15-18 Montessori child to bed, in her own room (on a floor bed).
It can be a challenge for children and parents to switch from a crib to a floor bed. The newfound freedom can be exciting making sleep harder to come by. I suggest talking about it for a week or so before making the switch. You can even have a little family photo album for your child to sleep with (this helps if you were cosleeping prior to the switch). Preparing the environment will be your most important task. Making sure the bedroom has little to no distractions (no toys!) so that sleep will remain the main objective in the room. Let me know how you go!
Hello – Wonderful article. How long should we keep LO involve in an activity. My son is 16 months and I started pouring activity. He was doing good with help now.
Also, what material/size do you suggest for practicing kitchen activities?
Hi there! At the age of 16 months, you can expect your child to concentrate anywhere from a few minutes to 20 minutes. If you observe your child and give them the materials they are interested in you may find your child will concentrate longer. Pouring activities are great to start working on those concentration skills! As for kitchen activities, you can use real kitchen materials such as a chopping board and child size butter knife for slicing and peeling a banana. The tools your child will hold in their hand should be child sized to help your child use them properly.
As a fellow Montessorian I truly appreciate your article! I teach 3-6 age children so I need ideas to guide my 15 month old at home with Montessori methods! I love the idea of starting the potty training this early and also love the potty pictured in your article but I can’t seem to find one similar. Would you have a link to a similar potty which encourages the same squatting position as well as being easy to maniplulate by a shorter 15 month old? Thanks so much!
I’m so glad you found the article useful. Unfortunately, I don’t have a link for that particular potty chair. However, we do have a toilet learning workshop coming up (in April) if you’re interested in joining. We do cover different types of potty chairs and who they suit best during the workshop. You can learn more at http://thistoddlerlife.teachable.com
Its a poty from IKEA.
This is an Ikea potty:
How do I make this all work with 16 month old twin boy and girl. They play different and sister provokes brother by taking things away from him that he was playing with.
A great way to share materials is using a timer. You can get a 3-minute sand timer and use it when your children fight over a particular toy. When it starts, tell one of them they can have a turn until the sand runs out, then it’s their siblings turn. This is a great way to visualize time for children!
Wow! Thank you for all this information! My daughter is 14.5 months and starting montessori at 16 months. No better way to prep her than this article!
Really appreciate this , very insightful
Do you have a post like this for a 27 month old? 🙂
Hi Cassie, I am currently writing the next post for 21-24 months that will come out in August. The article for 24-27 months will come out in September and the 27-30 months will come out in October. So sorry to keep you waiting I just don’t have enough hours in the day to get them out any quicker! 🙂 Holly xx
Leave a Comment:
I’ve been going Montessori for a few months now and we love it! My mom got my daughter a potty training toilet that we keep in the bathroom. Do you have any suggestions on potty training? I feel overwhelmed with the amount of articles online that all say different things.
Thank you in advance!