Montessori at 8 months old has been such a fun age of exploration and learning!
The joys of being able to pull up to standing and access more of his Montessori shelf independently has really increased his interest in exploring all of the shelf.
We are very budget conscious with our materials and use what we have at home when we can, and then source materials for the aspects of learning that we can’t DIY.
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You don’t “NEED” any particular toys. It’s always important to remember to take this pressure off yourself, there is no one “right” way to do Montessori at home.
It’s about following your child and letting them have the opportunity to learn what they find interest in.
There is a blend of both of our boys while doing Montessori at home at 8 months old and sharing our experiences. This is why some photos show an older sibling, just so you don’t get confused 😉
Below is our Montessori shelf at 8 months and the what we did at home for play, meals, and outside time.
Montessori Toy Shelf at 8 Months
Things on our Montessori Toy Shelf at 8 Months Old included:
- Wooden Stacking Rainbow
- Object Permanence Box
- Hammer & Pegs
- Animal Board Book
- Wooden Stacking Rings
- Wooden Maraca
- Texture/Sensory Balls
Now, I will start by saying this “shelfie” has one material that was for my older child who snuck it in and I didn’t realize when I took the photo.
The bottom basket with veggie stacking pieces is not aimed at 8 month old, though he sometimes enjoys stacking them if he wants to.
Montessori at home with siblings sometimes means there is crossover if the materials are safe for baby and toddler. That’s real life for you haha.
The rainbow is not necessarily “Montessori”, but it was a gift and gets some use occasionally….only occasionally. So for the time being it stays on the shelf.
I wouldn’t seek it out again if I had the choice of a different material.
Object Permanence Box
This is what I would rank in the best ever and is such a awesome material.
Would buy over and over again and wish I hadn’t waited so long to get it for my first born.
My 2nd born love the object permanence box and even my eldest goes to used it at age 2 and later 3.
There is just something about an object permanence box that captures their interest.
Another VERY loved material that has been used for years now with my eldest and now my youngest starting around 8 months. It’s not normally aimed at this age, but when my older child left it out the 8 month old found interest.
You can even take hammer away and just demonstrate how they can push pegs down slowly with their finger.
RELATED POST : All About Hammer & Pegs Materials
Board books are a huge win in the early years! If they can touch it and hold it themselves they are so much more interested in participating.
We have gotten much use out of our collection of board books. Some of our favorites include
These are just a few favorites that are Montessori aligned board books with realistic pictures used.
They stand up well on the shelf and I can put between 1-3 up and they don’t take up too much space.
Easy for a young child to grab and sit and floor to look at independently.
PSST… Amazon has started their Black Friday sales for 2023!
Board books for under $5 are there right now if you’re interested 😉
We use this wooden rainbow stacker and both boys have enjoyed using it from baby to older.
This skill then becomes built upon with different types of ring stacking materials at they grow up.
There are many options, and if you happen to explore a Lovevery kit for this age it comes with a stacking material.
A fun little noise shaker material that always brings a big smile when they realize their actions create noise.
Texture / Sensory Balls
We usually have 2 more sensory balls, but at the time the cat had batted them under the couch and they needed retrieving (again, real life for you).
These are fun for challenging their grasping and can be rolled, thrown, mouthed, and more for baby’s exploration. My eldest loved to roll them and see how they moved differently, as my youngest likes to throw.
Again, the Lovevery kit comes with a set of sensory balls or you can find some like these on amazon. They are definitely a long term materials as they can be incorporated into other activities as they get older such as color sorting, games, etc.
8 Month Old Montessori Shelf Use
The object permanence box is still a favorite at this stage for many 8 month olds.
We often have this material out at least once a day.
Another popular favorite was the stacking rings (below).
This was a budget option from a local Kmart, thus is not as size aligned as a Montessori classroom one would be, but it still allowed for learning of size differences and hand-eye coordination.
What I would I change?
I’ve said this before and I will say it again, I wish with my first born I had found LOVEVERY kits sooner. I would have saved myself the overwhelm of finding all the materials individually or making them.
The kit for this age comes with:
- object permanence box
- wooden puzzle
- basket with sensory balls (which can be used for other tasks as they age)
- board book
- weaning cup
- and a few more materials.
The cost ends up being less once you consider buying & the shipping costs of all the materials individually AND it saves you the time of trying to scour Amazon or other online stores trying to find each one.
If I could change anything I would have saved myself from that stress and just been excited for the 1 kit to arrive and set-up my son’s shelf in one day.
Another thing I would have changed, I would have sang more nursery rhymes. I find Montessori doesn’t touch upon singing very often, but it has a HUGE developmental benefit to young children for language development.
Adding something musical on the shelf for him to go to to signal to me he wanted to do nursery rhymes together is something I would go back an change.
Australian Montessori Toys
After years of waiting, there is now an Australian based option similar to Lovevery.
Monti&Me has also created beautiful Montessori kits that will save you the anguish of trying to find the individual Montessori materials for your baby (use the code THRIVEINFAMILYLIFE for $10 off).
Practical Life at 8 Months old
They are still quite little at this age, but there are a few practical life skills an 8 month old can begin helping with:
- Handing me socks from laundry basket
- Holding veggies from garden
- Handing me plate when finished eating
If they show interest in an activity I am doing in my day-to-day life I will see if there is an age appropriate way they can participate.
When folding socks, cloth diapers, or dish towels I would allow them to hand them to me if they were interested in sitting next to me and participating.
When in the garden I let them hold veggies so they could see, feel, and smell what they were.
Within reason, but many veggies are pretty durable to baby exploration (corn, carrots, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, etc.)
This opportunity to participate in tasks around the house gave them ability to touch and explore a portion of the practical life skill themselves.
How to keep a 8 Month old Entertained?
I say this often, 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 way for them to participate and explore.
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 damp cloth to “wipe” with.
Use what you have and are doing normally to entertain and engage your baby in play. EVERYTHING is new to them, so let them explore and get to know their world.
No fancy toys required!
Aubrey of Child of the Redwoods explains this well in “Stop Buying More “Montessori” Toys and Do This Instead“.
Meal times with 8 Month old
Weaning Table with 8 Month Old
We used weaning table with both our boys since 6 months old. It has been a wonderful experience using this material to give each of them independence when eating.
If you want to know more weaning tables, read our weaning table article and alternatives to weaning table if you are interested in Montessori aligned high chairs and such.
I serve portions of everything we are normally eating on a small plate, and give him a glass of water in his child sized glass.
Above you see his water bottle he has access to all day.
When I am the only one home, I will sit down and eat meals and snacks with them at weaning table.
It is a very bonding experience and they certainly watch what I do when eating and replicate trying to use utensils.
Having child sized plates,bowls, and cups makes a huge difference in assisting with their independence during meal times.
I struggled at first to find options that weren’t covered in tv/movie characters (not our thing), and finally found some nice options eventually.
Both of our boys have used the weaning table to help themselves pull up and stand when in the kitchen with me, which was totally unintentional use of weaning table as well!
If you’re feeling like a alligator wrestler during diaper changes or are just curious, I have a written about our experience with Montessori standing diaper changes and how I set-up a standing diaper change area.
Once they start to stand while holding on to something you can consider this option, so check it out it is something that interests you.
We used cloth diapers/nappies and did begin to explore standing change area.
Outdoor Play with 8 Month old
Our family really enjoys being outside, whether in the backyard or in the veggie garden.
Children thrive outside, and there are plenty of things to explore and use as materials.
Below I was doing some tree trimming and brought lil fella out on a picnic rug to explore the leaves.
I use a picnic rug and allow him the choice to go on the grass or not. It is very common for grass to cause discomfort or itchiness for some, so I allow child the freedom to choose.
Things to do with 8 month old outside:
- Crawl on grass
- Watch bubbles be blown
- Explore different leaves
- Wet paintbrush with water for water painting
- Sandbox toys for grass play
- Picnic on blanket in backyard
- Balls to roll or throw
- Pick flower collection to explore
- Watch pets wander yard
- Groom dog or cat together
- Explore veggie garden
Our family are outdoor enthusiasts and enjoy taking the family to different natural places.
We make a point to slow down and let them touch, feel, and hear natural places. Below we explored an alpine lake.
At 8 months old our youngest LOVED this trip. Touching the sand and watching all the people out on the water.
This followed with a camping trip for the weekend up in the alpine area. We allowed him to crawl and explore the leaves, sticks, etc…
There is also something about a good ‘ol campfire that is just mesmerizing for young children while they sit in your lap.
If you are a nature person, don’t be fearful of taking young children out into nature to explore. They absolutely love it!
Check out Run Wild My Child for more inspiration for outside time with babies.
General Life with 8 Month old
As said before, I include them in the day to day life. They are so enthused with learning about the world that anything can become a educational moment.
We enjoy going on a weekly walk to the local library and picking out 3 books to take home.
He loved looking through the books and having them at his level.
I allow him to stand and move around in location where it is safe.
I used the stroller for transport, but tried to prevent overusing it as a place for him to “stay” when we get where we are going.
You can always sprinkle different adventures throughout a day, but don’t feel you need to do any excessive prep for a 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 perfect “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!
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