I am very glad I invested in this Hape shape sorting toy. Little Bee at 16 months has mastered it, but it was fun to start introducing this toy to Little Bee around 11-12 months. The shapes can be placed into their matching spots in several rotational directions. This makes it easy for pudgy fingers to grasp and be successful in placement. This is a simple and well thought out toy with soft rounded edges. I introduced this wooden Hape xylophone to Little Bee around 6 months. He loved putting the sticks in his mouth and banging them onto the xylophone to hear the soft wooden tones. This was a great toy to bring on the airplane at this age! Around 12 months, Little Bee started to enjoy his Hape walker (pictured to the left.) He couldn't yet balance and walk on his own, so the walker afforded him the walking mobility that he desired. He thought this was delightful! Now that he no longer uses the walker for walking at 16 months, he still likes to put his blocks into the front and play with the wooden gadgets on the sides.
It's super fun to have a basket of different sized and textured balls at this age. When Little Bee got older, we played a game of putting the balls into a muffin tin. See this activity here.
The "Around the Farm" Eric Carle book above has and continues to be a BIG hit with Little Bee. The art is beautiful and each picture has a matching animal sound. The animal sounds are "real" to life and fun. These beautiful shape sorting squares by GuideCraft, to the left, were very intriguing to Little Bee from about 9 months on. At first, he could only place the smallest piece inside the biggest piece. So I was creative and worked with his ability. I let him lead on this activity. As he gets older, we will continue to use this puzzle to learn about gradient colors and size differences.
This "Under the Sea" puzzle by Melissa & Doug has been fun. I enjoy the bright colors and Little Bee likes grabbing onto the big wooden knobs.
I can not tell you how much I LOVE these Pantone color cards! I personally love them and so does Little Bee for their beauty. We have hours of fun talking about these engaging cards. And there are so many Montessori activities that can be set up with these amazing cards. They are large and very sturdy. Little Bee loved playing with them as young as 5-6 months of age. We will continue to use them for several more years to come. See an activity we have done with these color cards here.
This PLAN toy ball box was probably one of the best toys I have purchased for Little Bee. He has played with this toy for hours. The balls do roll out the hole and across the floor. Which is good and bad entertainment. The good is that Little Bee will scamper off after them, the bad is sometimes they roll under the couch. And then Mommy has to retrieve them. I did a simple fix by placing this ball box onto a wooden Montessori tray. (See a Montessori activity that we did with this ball box here.) Despite the fact that the balls roll away, I would still buy this toy again! FYI: It also comes with a little wooden hammer. In the photo below, Little Bee enjoys riding on his rocking horse. He was able to successfully rock the horse at about 10-11 months of age even though he couldn't reach the foot holds. He fell in love with this rocking horse whom we affectionately call, "Old Joe." I will be updating our favorite Montessori Inspired Toys every 6 months. Here is a link to 0-6 months. Thanks for visiting! Please share your favorite toy for this age in the comments section below.
Jackie Houston says
He is just tooo cute! And i think i need to buy those pantone color cards!
I am wishing so much that I had known you when my kids were this age. I don’t want to go back in time but I love your ideas and sources!
Katie @ Cup of Tea Blog says
I love this collection (since we’re in this age range right now!). That Eric Carle book is amazing. I need to find this, because our little one loves farm animals and the sounds they make. Pinned!
That Pantone set is going to be the gift I give all of my fashion industry friends when they have children!
Looks like little bee is having a lot of fun. What great toys.
Hi, Vanessa! My baby girl LOVES the musical Eric Carle book too! We live next to a farm and are trying to teach her animals and sounds. So far, we have the sound, “Moo” down! Have you taken Little Bee to a farm?
It would be nice to have links to all of these toys. Doesn’t it kind of defeat the purpose of the post if we don’t know where to find them? I would have loved to find that rocking horse.
Mama's Happy Hive says
I will add links to the list if I can find the toys. I found a lot of our toys second-hand at consignment shops and online. The horse was found at a consignment shop. Let me look and see if it has any kind of manufacturer label on it. I was sharing “ideas” of toys that we loved at that age. Sorry, I couldn’t be more helpful for you. Here is a link to a rocking horse that is similar on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Hape-Rock-Ride-Rocking-Horse/dp/B00712O36C/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1430196929&sr=8-8&keywords=wooden+rocking+horse
Awesome ideas! Thanks!! 🙂