Inside: Our experience of Montessori at home with a 7 month old baby. Toys we used with our 7 month old, practical life activities we introduced, outdoor play, and general life. Budget friendly Montessori tips from a family with a small home, living on one income.
Our journey with using Montessori at home was slow and steady. I didn’t jump into buying many toys at first, as we didn’t have the budget and I wasn’t sure where to find suitable options where we lived.
So, we used what we already had at home, which is what Montessori is really all about. You don’t “NEED” the fancy toys. It’s about respecting your child and letting them have the opportunity to learn. This is how we utilized Montessori at home with our 7 month old.
(THIS POST PROBABLY CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.)
Montessori Shelf of Toys at 7 Months
This was our little fella’s shelf at 7 months old. We found a single level cube shelf to suit us the best, and was the most budget friendly Montessori shelf we could find.
I used to break the train apart (a gift from Auntie) so that he could use back shape sorter portion on it’s own. Then, as a different activity I would use middle car that acted like a “coin” slot activity. I never introduced the whole train at once, as that was a bit too much for him at this stage.
The puzzle he is using was also given to us. I let him practice taking them “out” of the puzzle, but he was not yet up to putting them back in the right place. Just taking them out gave him the understanding of “pieces” and them missing. I was going to put colors behind them or photo’s like some awesome DIY folks do, but never ended up getting to it. It’s still a cool idea if anyone is interested.
I would only put one fabric book down at his level at a time to go get if he wanted. Though he was able to pull himself to standing at this age, so he could reach things on top of shelf if he really wanted.
What Would I Change?
SO, I learned a lot over time and there are things I would have done different. Mostly because I am aware now of what I can access now.
I would have bought a 3 shape wooden puzzle at this stage and an object permanence box. He would have really loved to use these at this stage, instead of later when I finally did get them .
Screw the Rainbow. Yeah, EVERY Montessori photo has that wooden rainbow and I found one for budget friendly price at Kmart and got it. Nearly 1 year later and he still has NO interest in the bloody rainbow. Never has. Just ends up across the floor, but never used. It is probably more for kids 2 and older I feel, they seem to use it more I’ve seen.
Practical Life with 7 Month Old
Wherever I went, little fella went. Which meant I allowed him to explore and “help” with whatever I was doing in some form of fashion.
If I harvested any veggies from the garden I let him hold them either outside, or in the kitchen so he could see, feel, and smell what they were. Within reason, but most winter veggies are pretty durable to baby touch (zucchini, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, etc.)
When folding cloth nappies I would give him 1 clean one to play with and sometimes “attempt” to fold or velcro himself. This allowed him to observe me doing tasks around the house, while also having the ability to touch and explore a portion of the practical life skill himself.
When I was emptying clean dishes I would leave some safe options for him to hand me from bottom rack. He very much liked exploring the dishwasher, as it was perfect height for him to stand up next to.
While in the kitchen one of his favorite activities was to stand and push his weaning table chair around the kitchen while I cooked/cleaned. He was very motivated on gross motor skills at this stage.
Follow the child, see what they are interested in. Then provide opportunities with what you normally do in day-today life.
How to Keep 7 Month Old Entertained?
Let them do whatever you are doing. That’s really the easiest way to engage them.
They want to do what you are doing, so find a safe portion of the activity you are doing and let them explore it.
Folding Laundry? Give them one item to “fold” and touch.
Cleaning Dishes? Give them a bowl or kitchen utensil to explore.
Prepping Food? Give them a item of food to hold & explore.
Wiping up? Give them a moist cloth to “wipe” with.
You don’t need to get special toys or activities. Use what you have and you can entertain and engage your baby in play. Aubrey of Child of the Redwoods explains this well in “Stop Buying More “Montessori” Toys and Do This Instead“.
Meal times with 7 Month Old
We still use our weaning table which we introduced at 6 months old. He thrives at meal times having the independence to use a table his size.
I serve him a portion of everything we are eating for dinner in safe sizes for him on a small plate, and give him a shot glass of milk. He is still breastfed on demand, but at meal times I offer him a cup of milk to offer different flavors.
During the day, when I am only one home, I will sit down and eat breakfast and lunch with him at his table. It is a very bonding experience and he certainly watches what I do when eating and will replicate trying to use his utensils.
Outdoor Play with 7 Month Old
This is nearly always little fella’s favorite part of the day, going outside. He LOVES nature and being able to go outside on the grass.
He will crawl across the yard and go explore the sprinkler (turned off) and then crawl across the yard to see what our dog is sniffing.
Take your baby outside! Let them get dirty and explore the glass, leaves, dirt, and dog hair. The New York Times even wrote an article interviewing doctors on why dirt is good for you and baby.
You don’t need to get toys for outdoors, as nature will usually be interesting enough. If you really want to though, you can’t go wrong getting a ball so show them that things roll and you can try to roll it back and forth
That’s General Life with 7 Month Old
That was pretty much day to day life with our 7 month old. Often I went on walks once a day and would point things out, or we would walk over to his Nan’s house 2 streets over. You can always sprinkle a bit of different adventures throughout, but don’t feel you need to do any excessive prep for baby to learn.
Everything is new to them, so they enjoy exploring what’s around the house. Montessori is budget friendly, you don’t need to buy expensive toys or stress yourself out making “shelf work”. Just follow your child’s interests and incorporate that in day-to-day tasks.
I hope sharing our experience has helped you get any inspiration you need, I know it helped me heaps when I was first grasping how to incorporate it into our small little home.
Let me know if you have any questions about what we used or have experiences you’d like to share in the comments below!
Before You Go…
- If you are interested learn about our experience starting Montessori at 6 months old.
- Worried about if you are good enough at “Parenting”? Check out these 4 Ted Talks on parenting from realistic perspectives. They certainly made me feel confident as a new parent starting this journey.
- If you are looking for ways to start your day on a Positive note every day? Check out these 3 tasks that can help you do just that.