The Montessori Method believes that kids learn best when they actively participate in practical activities and imitate what adults do. In Montessori classrooms and Montessori homes, you'll find kids engaged in hands-on learning, working with real-life objects adapted to their age and abilities.
In this article, we’ll present some ideas for Montessori activities you can practice with your kids at home, depending on their age group.
Montessori Activities to Suit Your Child's Age
When choosing the proper set of Montessori activities for your child, it’s essential to consider their age and unique abilities. The Montessori repertoire features various activities that can be adapted to different age groups and become slightly more challenging as your child develops their skills.
Here are some Montessori activities you can implement with your child, depending on their age group.
While the Montessori activities for newborns are somewhat limited, they can still benefit from a range of infant-suitable toys that help them become acquainted with the world and understand the dynamics of their surroundings.
For example, mobiles (colorful objects that hang above the baby's crib) help babies improve their visual tracking skills.
In turn, grasping and sound-making toys help infants train their focus as well as work on their eye-hand coordination and motor skills development. Sensory playing activities such as tummy time promote upper body strength and provide a solid foundation for sitting and crawling.
As toddlers get older, they become more interested in using their bodies and senses. On a cognitive level, toddlers are more equipped to understand cause-effect, pay close attention to what's happening around them, and learn how to solve problems.
Some Montessori activities for this age group include:
- Using mystery bags to train children’s sensory skills. It’s a fun activity that invites kids to guess what's inside a closed bag using only their sense of touch
- Using open-close props like zip bags and boxes to help children practice hand movements, improve coordination, and learn about object permanence
- Climbing activities to help children enhance their motor skills. A climbing rack is a must-have element of a Montessori playroom
- Engaging in quiet time activities such as finger-painting and stacking wooden blocks to help your child improve their fine motor skills.
Preschool Montessori activities
Preschool age is an important time for kids to improve their skills in various areas, such as observation, coordination, using their hands, getting along with others, speaking, and feeling more confident.
The Montessori activities for pre-schoolers focus mainly on helping them develop those skills through imitation. For instance, activities such as cooking or cleaning help them develop practical life skills and a sense of responsibility.
In turn, activities such as drawing, writing, and playing puzzles improve your child’s concentration, fine motor skills, and problem-solving.
Sink or float is another fun activity that helps your child develop thinking skills, where your child places a few objects in a bowl of water to observe what sinks and floats and try to understand why.
And then, there are activities that help your child develop motor skills, such as climbing (for example, using a climbing arch) or doing pull-ups on a pull-up bar.
Montessori for kindergarten
Since kindergarteners show pretty diverse skills and ability levels, the activities for this age group span different areas such as practical life, language, science, and mathematics.
Examples of some Montessori activities that are suitable for kindergarteners are:
- Letting kids use different tools such as screwdrivers and hammers to learn how to do things with more control and accuracy while developing eye-hand coordination
- Engaging children in house chores to teach them the importance of keeping their environment clean
- Having kids help make simple snacks or meals. This teaches them to be more independent and careful with handling food
- Playing different games that help them recognize letters and their sounds to improve reading, such as the letter matching game or alphabet sound recognition
- Playing number memory games that help kids remember numbers better, which will develop their counting and basic math skills
- Involving kids in science activities, such as discovering plants and exploring the properties of water.
Different Types of Activities to Develop Different Abilities
Montessori activities are designed for kids of all ages and abilities, focusing on many growth aspects. They help children learn things like how to handle everyday tasks, improve their motor skills, be organized, get along with others, do math, and more.
Ideas of Montessori practical life activities
Montessori practical life activities teach children independence and responsibility from a young age.
These activities include engaging children in doing things around the house, like washing windows or folding clothes, encouraging them to greet other people or introduce themselves, and performing more controlled activities that require a higher level of motor skills and precision, like gluing, pouring, or scooping.
Montessori sensorial activities
The practice of sensory skills is at the core of your child’s development and is even linked to academic success later in life. Sensory activities help children develop their senses by exploring and experimenting with different objects on their own.
You can adapt these activities based on your child's age and level of development, making them suitable for their abilities.
For instance, preschoolers can benefit from sorting small seeds such as chickpeas and lentils or playing with ribbons. Smaller children and babies should stick to safer activities and props like textured balls and music baskets.
Ideas for homemade Montessori activities
Some of the best Montessori activities require little to no preparation.
You can build a mystery box for your child by piercing a hole in a cardboard box big enough to fit your child’s hand. Then, fill the box with different objects or toys and let your child touch and feel each item and try to guess what it is. It's a fun and easy-to-create game that engages their senses and encourages them to use their imagination.
Younger kids can improve their speech and listening abilities by playing the sound game. In this game, the word is broken into separate sounds, and the child practices saying them. It's a fun way to develop their language abilities and how they listen to sounds.
Simple activities for the Montessori kitchen include baking cookies and making bread.