Toddler & Preschooler Montessori Activities - Using What You Already Have!
Thu, Aug 26, 2021
By Cameron Eittreim
Looking for a way to enhance your toddler's brain function and cognitive abilities? Well, look no further than doing some Montessori activities with him/her/them. We’ve all seen or done these at one point in time, I’m sure as a kid you remember doing then one where you pour rocks or beans into a jar. Montessori activities stretch the brain and the imagination and keep children occupied for long periods without worrying about things like technology. The great thing about Montessori activities is that you can do them with pretty much anything that you have laying around the house.
It should not be understated how fun a magnetic tray can be, and there is a lot that you can do with it. The magnetic tray can have all kinds of unique items in it, and you can separate from magnetic to non-magnetic and let your children choose between. You can use everything from a paperclip to a rock, and even a plastic bag clip can be fun. There are so many unique aspects to the magnetic/non-magnetic tray that you can do and your child can have hours of fun with it.
I don’t know what it is but there is just something satisfying about sinking and floating a toy in a bowl. This is one of the oldest Montessori activities and your children will love doing it over and over again. Whether they are floating for the first time or trying something new altogether, your toddler can learn about how different things sink and float. Whether it be a playtime ball or a hot wheels car there are so many different options that you can use. You can also venture out and use a small bowl or a deep paint bucket, there are so many fun options that you can use for this project that will lead to hours of fun.
Opening and closing something is a great way to develop hand-eye coordination. Your children can get used to opening and closing something, You can do this with a simple zip container or something more advanced like a Tupperware container. There are a lot of different options that you can choose from and they will all teach your kiddos the same thing. Learning to close their stuff and put it away is an important skill that they will take with them to school. There are so many different things that you can choose from for doing this activity, and there is an endless supply of household objects that you’ll be able to use.
Having your child do a scavenger hunt is a great activity to do as well. Hiding specific items in which they need to find and sort is a great way to develop memory and cognitive skills. Most children enjoy doing this type of game where they can put their investigative skills to good use. Younger children enjoy seeking out their items is fun, or you can direct them by saying let’s go find the red items or vice versa. There are so many different activities that you can fit into this one segment of Montessori learning.
Sort Small to Big
Sorting from small items to big items is another fun thing that kids can do with relative ease. You can find big and small items around the house and put them together. Then direct the children to find these items and see what they can differentiate. Learning the difference in sizes is an important thing to do and something that will teach your kids forever. Montessori learning comes in several different types and sorting big and small shapes is among one of the most popular teaching methods.
This is by far the most fun thing to do with your children because you can collect random things from the outside. A nature tray can consist of everything from leaves to sticks that you find in the backyard. The interesting thing about a nature tray is that kids like to collect just about everything that they can find on it. Depending on where you live there are several unique things that you can end up collecting for a nature tray. Your child will get a closer look at what nature has to offer and get to explore the outdoors a lot more.
This is relatively easy enough to do, and you can find pairs of just about anything. Whether it's matching two apples or two bananas together, you want to illustrate what you are matching to your child. They will learn what things are like and what things they can put together to get the result. Children can also match other things as well such as letters or pictures, to create a finalized image in their head and front of them. Matching stuff is probably one of the most favorite Montessori games for toddlers, with a lot of room for variety.
Play Dough Tray
Having a play dough tray is a fun thing to do, and something that your kids will enjoy forever. Setting up the playdough tray is easy and you can use the dough that you have around the house. They make several different play dough types and finding the one that your kids will enjoy the most is important. You can incorporate cookie dough cutters onto the play dough tray as well which will give you a bit of variety as your children are beginning to explore the plate. Playdough is just about the go-to option when it comes to choosing from something that your children can play with and enjoy.
Folding is another simplistic but fun activity that your kiddos can do with relative ease. You can have them fold all kinds of things, like towels or even their clothes. Folding will teach them responsibility and at the same time ensure that they are getting the necessary hand-eye coordination. You can set up a designated folding area that‘s all their own and they will be able to learn how to fold their things easily.