I have been experimenting a bit with ideas for my youngest daughter, now 17 months.
I used clothespins and different sized dowels- length and width. The dowels fit into the container openings. The smallest opening (the salt shaker) requires one thin dowel, while the rest can take a changing number of dowels depending on the sizes chosen. This lesson uses eye-hand coordination and the pincer grip (the grip used for holding a pencil). My daughter enjoyed this activity.
Pouring is a lesson used in the 3-6 age group, however it should also be available to young toddlers. Pouring without handles was easier for my daughter than pouring with handles.
I used cereal because it is safe if she chooses to put it in her mouth. Everything in Montessori is usually done in 5 or 10's, so when it comes to choosing an amount I usually use 5- in this case I put in 5 pieces of cereal. She naturally picked them up and put them in the containers if she had a spill.
I also introduced this spooning cereal. A word of experience- only introduce one of these at a time, otherwise they will most likely get mixed together. To introduce the activity demonstrate slowly and carefully spooning one cereal from the left to the right.
My daughter surprised me with how well she did. I wasn't sure if it would be too difficult. Here she is using the spoon.
Now she has decided to pour. = )
And then use her hands =) I don't correct her because it could discourage her from trying again or using it at all as well as hurt her self confidence. I put this away when she was done (because we had the pouring out) but next time I will encourage the use of the spoon by simply demonstrating it again using the spoon.