21 Fun Montessori Activities Toddlers & Preschoolers
Toddlers and preschoolers can be the hardest to entertain but it may be easier than you think to create an environment for them to learn and enjoy different skills and milestones.
The following ideas are easy to incorporate into any environment and these activities include developmentally appropriate activities.
Practical life in Montessori develops motor control and coordination, and develops independence, concentration, and a sense of responsibility. The exercises in practical life cover two main areas of development: care of self, and care of the environment.
1. Folding- Let your kids fold wash cloths, napkins, or even socks. Start out with smaller, easier items.
2. Cleaning- Let your children clean their own belongings, like their action figures, cars or dolls.
3. Grow a garden - Gardening fosters a love and appreciation for nature. Have your child help plant, water, weed, and pick the fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
4. Set the table - Give your child toddler-safe utensils, and show them how to set the table.
5. Sweeping - Give your child a small broom and dustpan to sweep up messes.
6. Doing dishes - Allow your child to help wash and rinse dishes. Older children can even help loading and unloading the dishwasher.
7. Water plants - Show your child how to check if a plant needs water and how to use the watering can or a spray bottle to care for them.
8. Help with laundry - Ask your children to bring items to the laundry basket, how to sort for washing and how to add the soap.
The Montessori model of educational activities are devised to assist a child in exploring, measuring, and observing the world around them. Here are some more fun activities your child can do at home in addition to the practical life list mentioned above.
9. Baking - When baking cookies, let your children help with whisking, stirring and mixing.
10. Mystery bag - Fill a drawstring bag with toys and household items, such as their small figurines and kitchen objects. Have your child close their eyes and use their hands to reach in and feel the items. Let them guess what the objects in the bag are.
11. Sink or float - Use the bath tub or a tub of water and give your child several objects. Ask them to decide if the object will sink or float and let them test their theory.
12. Kitchen help - Let your child help with peeling bananas, cutting fruits or spreading peanut butter on crackers. Of course using child-friendly utensils when needed.
13. Opening and closing - Provide your child different containers with matching lids. Let them put lids and correct containers together.
14. Scrap gluing - Build tactile skills by letting your child glue fabric scraps to cardboard cut-outs of the alphabet.
15. Kneading dough - When making breads let your children knead the dough. This is great for their developing muscles.
In the Classroom
The Montessori classroom is set up to provide children with the right tools and environment so they can meet their full potential, have a love of learning and be a productive member of their community. Here are a few activities you may find in a Montessori classroom.
16. Painting- Start a child with two or three colors and teach them to clean their brush while changing colors.
17. Transferring dry contents - Provide two containers and let your child move items from one to another with a spoon or tongs. Use safe items based on age like: erasers, rice, marbles, cereals etc.
18. Rhyme together - Take turns with your child coming up with a word and having the other think of a word that rhymes.
19. Play “bring me” - To help your child with counting, say, “bring me four stuffed animals” or “bring me seven books” , etc.
20. Story writing - If your child is able to write, encourage them to write their own stories. Let them cut out pictures from old magazines to use as the illustrations or to make up a story about it.
21. Vocabulary cards - Provide your child picture cards with miniatures or figurines in order to help with cognitive learning.
Benefits of Montessori Learning
Montessori learning helps children develop their potential in an engaging environment. They learn to be responsible, respectful, and competent, but all at their own pace. Here are some of the benefits of learning the Montessori way:
- Children can learn at their own pace, awakening their spirit, imagination, and passions.
- Children gain a desire to question the world around them.
- It promotes social development through respectful, clear communication and safe, natural consequences
- Children become independent and self-motivated.
- It contains a large variety of materials for the refinement of sensory perception and the development of literacy and mathematical understanding
- Children learn the importance of establishing routines.
- Children develop motor coordination, fine motor skills, and language skills
There are so many free Montessori materials available online today. There are also many amazing Montessori stores online who are producing high quality Montessori friendly toys, games, and materials.
Second hand stores and Dollar Stores are good places to find Montessori basics like practical life materials. You may already have a lot of materials at home to get your toddler or preschooler learning the Montessori way.