Montessori for Babies: The Pushing Ball

At 11 months one of the things baby J loves most of all is to try and push an object through a hole.

The pushing cart that he uses to walk around the house with, has a built in shapes/blocks puzzle, and I observed that J would love to fit the the cylinder through the appropriate hole, but when it came time to fit a square, or a triangle through their appropriate spaces, he wouldn’t understand the difference in shapes.  He would try and try to push a cube through the circular hole, get frustrated and then throw the block.  So I knew it was time to try something different.

I purchased a Hammer Balls wooden toy, by Plan Toys.  I modified the toy by promptly removed the hammer {after all I don’t want J learning to bang the balls with the hammer}.  And thus I turned this really popular toy into a Montessori activity that baby J can enjoy for weeks to come.  He absolutely loves to sit on the floor and fit the balls through the holes.  His attention span ranges from 3-15minutes on this activity.  When he becomes bored he tries to throw the balls, at which point I remove the toy completely and introduce a new activity.

{pushing ball toy with the hammer — excuse the poor centering but I had little eager hands trying to attack the toy}

There are many different makers of similar toys {I happen to have found a great deal on this one} but you can easily find something similar at a local thrift store, or even make it yourself by cutting a hole in a square wooden box.

***I will be creating a special Montessori thread in the Forum  in case anyone wants more information, wants to discuss what they are doing for their kiddos, or throw around ideas for Montessori related activities etc…  If you’d like to join all you have to do is register and log in.  The thread will be in the Parenting forum.  And you can access the Forum in the top right hand corner of the menu bar or by clicking here.***

I am also linking this post up on Living Montessori Now, if you want to check in and see more great Montessori inspired activities to do with your kiddos.


  1. Sandra Miller says

    how do you get so much done in a day Momma!?
    baby J has some serious determination in these photos.
    i look forward to learning more from you on montessori!

    • says

      Thank you so much Deb. I love seeing your facebook shares because they give me so many great ideas! I always want to try and introduce J to new activities and sometimes its not so easy coming up with new ideas.

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