Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Montessori for 21 to 22 Month Olds

We have continued to work on letter-sounds and color recognition these past two months, so many of the works from my last Montessori post have remained in the rotation. This age is so much fun because Ryan can now clearly communicate his thoughts and ideas about everything, which allows me to plan activities that he really enjoys.

Here are some of his new favorites:

Fine Motor (Pouring and Threading)
Ryan has been working on pouring and cleaning up his mess afterwards. He has already shown much improvement in his pouring abilities since choosing to practice this.

Threading cut paper towel rolls onto yarn (for necklaces) and cheerios onto pipecleaners (for bracelets) have also helped Ryan to improve his fine motor skills.

I remember having a lot of fun these nesting dolls when I was little, so I decided to pick up some for Ryan the other day. He worked with them for at least fifteen minutes, opening and closing them, and putting them inside of each other. At this point, it is challenging for him to figure out the correct order so that they all fit together, and I think that is what makes them so interesting.

Ryan likes to sort these wooden pieces by shape and color. This seems to be one of the easier activities this month, so I try to encourage him to count the shapes as he places them.

Practical Life
This is, hands down, Ryan's absolute favorite thing to do this month. I can't believe how long he likes to sit there and scrub vegetables. He takes pride in "preparing" them (and then eating them) so I will definitely plan more work that involves food in the future.

I picked up this Melissa and Doug basic skills puzzle at a kids' consignment sale for $3. Ryan explores the different pieces and attempts to zip, snap, button, buckle, and tie. (It will be a few months or more before he fully grasps these skills, but he seems to enjoy it nonetheless).

It has been a while since we have done finger painting (here and here), so I decided that it was time to get out our easel for Ryan to start using it on a regular basis. We love spending time outside on the balcony, and this is a fun way for us to relax and work at the same time.

Ryan recently started to become a little uneasy about having messy hands. I always make a point to get my hands in the finger paints too, so that he sees that it is okay (and even fun) to be messy. I need to come up with some more "messy" activities so that he doesn't become too obsessed with staying clean!

Large Motor
Ryan likes to practice keeping his balance by walking a straight line (simply a piece of masking tape stuck to the floor) and he enjoys sweeping the floor with his little broom.

He also has tons of fun with a hula hoop: rolling it, jumping in it, and tossing bean bags into it.

These are Ryan's bean bags that we got from Etsy seller, IcingOnTheCupcake. He has had these since he was born. Not only are these bean bags fun to toss, but they are great sensory items too. Even as an infant, he enjoyed looking at the black and white patterns and touching the different materials on the back.

Imaginative Play
I'm sure you know that my posts are mostly Montessori-inspired, but I also want to share some of our Waldorf-inspired imaginative play activities because I think that creative free play is a vital part to child development. Ryan loves to play pretend, and these are some of his favorite materials right now:

Knit food- fruits, veggies, cheeseburger, cupcake, and cookies

Wooden play kitchen (from a tot swap)

Noah's Ark and animals

Knit farm animals and barn

Puppets (less than $1 each on consignment)

Ryan continues to amaze me with how quickly he learns and how much he already knows. I especially love his creativity and imagination. It is so hard for me to believe that he will be TWO years old soon! I thank God every day because I am so blessed to be a mommy to such an incredible little boy.


  1. Thank you so much for this awesome blog! I've been on the search for activities for my two year old, looking on all sorts of blogs and yours is the most clear and easiest to follow. Love that you've categorized his activities by age. You are an awesome mom, keep it up!!

  2. @Anonymous- Jen, thanks for the sweet comment! You just made my day! =)

  3. I want to piggy-back on the previous person's compliment and tell you, "THANK YOU!" for taking the time to share this with others! I live in Austin, TX and we recently visited "The Thinkery," a children's museum. I have become totally inspired to do more activities like what I saw there and like what you have posted on your blog with my 15 month old little girl. Thanks again and I look forward to future posts!!

  4. @Robin- That is great! Thank you so much!! =)


  6. Marvellous, inspiring, you are a wonderful mother and teacher xxx

  7. @Anonymous- Thank you! Too kind!

  8. I just came across this blog looking for montessori inspired activities. Little did I know i would find one with so much information, and also a personal connection. I have recently lost three members of my family to cancer, my father, sister, and uncle (who was my godfather)....you are such an inspiration and i pray for you that you stay cancer free! Thank you for sharing not only the activiies but a part of your personal life that many may connect to. Happy holidays, and thank again!!

    1. @Christina Loviska- I'm so very sorry to hear about your father, sister, and uncle. Cancer is truly a terrible, terrible disease. I will keep you and the rest of your family in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your well wishes. I'm so glad that you found my blog and reached out to me!

  9. I like all the activities and i will try them with my son Calvin. Thank you for the post, it was very useful. (From Costa Rica) M.

    1. Wonderful! I hope that Calvin enjoyed the activities!

  10. Great blog, great person. Thank you for inspiring people. I will be using some of your montessori ideas and will try to spread the inspiration to others as you have. God bless, Nuray

  11. Dana, thanks so much for sharing all this wonderful information. Because of people like you the world will be a better pleace to live. You are an amazing mom an person. God bless you and your family. Veronica

  12. Dear All,

    This is a very friendly website. Am a Montessorian and the information provided on yoyr page is really amazing!

    Thank you so much !!

  13. Hi
    Amazing ideas!
    Your son seems quite advanced. I am new to the Montessori method so I'm not sure if his development is related to this or just a personal thing. Either way it is fantastic. I feel that my 22 month old can't do some of what you mention and feel that maybe I am not pushing him enough. He will be 2 soon and I can't imagine him being able to do the majority of 2years + activities you suggest. Please can you give some tips on how to get him more at this level? Many thanks

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog! My advice would be to simply follow the child. If he is not yet ready for the more advanced activities, just let him do the ones that interest him for now. Eventually, he will get there. Every child develops in a way that is unique to them. My two boys are as different from each other as night and day! The ages that I wrote on these posts are just guidelines. There is no set age for when these activities "should" be done. They should be done whenever the child is ready for them. :-)

  14. Hi,

    I love your blog and it is so inspiring. Where do you get the knit foods and other knit items?

    1. I found the knit food and other knit items on Etsy:



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