The 12 Best Montessori Activities for 3 Year Olds in 2024

Any parent can get started with Montessori practical life activities at home. Your 3 year old is now eager to gain independence and explore the world around them. At this age, your toddler continues to refine their hand- eye coordination and their ability to grasp things. 

A three year old's vocabulary and language is usually growing rapidly at this stage. They are in need of a lot of gross motor skills and movement. Some possibilities for self expression through practical life and nature activities are explained in this article.

Benefits of Montessori Activities for 3 Year Olds

Three year old's can not only benefit from Montessori activities, but they are also great for wearing out busy toddlers.

  • Movement such as walking, increased coordination and control over movements, fine motor skills and dexterity
  • Small Objects can help with attentiveness to small details; grasping tiny objects
  • Language and vocabulary explosion; discovering grammar; gradually building more complex sentences
  • Order of things, predictability and routine; noticing cause and effect relations; seeing how things are connected
  • Independence is defined because toddlers love to explore, try new things, and imitate the activities they see around them

Also Read: The 12 Best Montessori Activities for 4 Year Olds

Montessori Practical Life Activities for 3 Year Olds

Your three year old is now able to participate in good activities in the home. This is also the age where the word “no” becomes a big part of many toddler’s vocabularies. All that independence can be challenging at times for both toddlers and their parents, but it’s an important step to developing self-confidence, self-direction, and discovering their personal preferences.

Here are some things your 3 year old can help with around the house while learning practical life developmental activities. 

#1 Chalkboard

This learning activity will be loved by your three-year-old. Set up a chalkboard, chalk, and erasers, for your toddler to work on some early writing skills. This will mean wasting a lot less paper, and your child can work on those fine motor skills required later in school.

#2 Organize

 Teach your child how to be organized and neat by having them create cubbies out of old cardboard boxes. Allow your child to choose what they will keep in each cubby. Show them how to admire a much neater play area as a result.

#3 Set the Table

Give your child toddler safe place settings, and teach them how to set the table. This is a great way to reinforce matching skills. Just provide an example of how the items should be arranged, and let them practice.

#4 Sock Matching

When it’s laundry day ask your toddler to help you match. Have them find and pair up matching socks. This activity is great in the areas of pre-math, fine motor skills, and hand-eye motor coordination work.

#5 Color Mixing

Teach your child about primary colors, secondary colors, and then let them experiment with finger paints.

Let them discover what happens when certain primary colors are mixed together. They will make connections with colors and will gain a better understanding of how combinations work.

#6 Vocabulary Baskets with Matching Cards

Offer your child a basket with vocabulary cards and another with the items on the cards. This can be animals, house objects, vehicles or food. Your toddler’s absorbent mind will learn all of the vocabulary and be able to identify the objects.

#7 Using Scissors

Teach your toddler to use scissors by providing a thin strip of card paper, which is easier to cut than a large piece of paper.

Let them use real scissors because in Montessori they offer real scissors which are sharp but show the child how to use them safely. Show them how to sit at the table to use them, how to hold the handles, and to point the sharp points away from them. 

#8 Sewing and Stitching

Get your toddler interested in sewing by stitching something up. Put together a  beginning sewing activity with an embroidery hoop,  large plastic needles, and yarn. Let your child stitch designs with different color yarn.

Outdoor Nature Activities for Three-Year-Old's

There are many outdoor practical-life activities in the great outdoors. It can be a fun smorgasbord of stimuli for their five senses. 

Toddlers can explore different textures such as the rough pavement compared to the smoothness of a leaf. They can also listen and identify the outdoor sounds, birds, wind, or the buzz of an insect.

Some outdoor nature activities to do with a 3 year old outdoors are:

#9  Walk and Name

 An easy learning activity for 3-year-olds is to just take daily walks. Along the way you can point out and identify various objects. Name the objects and explain them to your child to help them learn new vocabulary.

#10 Gardening 

There isn’t a better learning activity for a 3-year-old like gardening. Let your child plant a small herb garden or help you plant vegetables. Show your toddler how to plant, water and pick when ready.

#11 Water Activities

Show your 3 year old how to spray the windows, fill a bucket and paint bricks with a brush, run through a sprinkler, make rivers with mud and water, or use a water fountain at the playground.

#12 Outdoor Treasure Hunt

Make a list of pictures and work with your toddler to find all the items on your list outside. It could be in your garden, at the park, in the neighborhood, or any outdoor place you have access to.

Also read: 21 Fun Montessori Activities for Toddlers & Preschoolers

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this article helped you discover new ideas on how to include your 3 year old around the house, how to set up these activities to make them inviting for your toddler and how to simplify activities to provide your child with success.

Practicing Montessori at home can help you support your child’s development in all the right ways and strengthen your relationship with your little one too.

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