As you transition to a Montessori home environment, you can begin incorporating Montessori activities into your toddler's daily routine.
But, what makes an activity a "Montessori activity?"
Remember that in Montessori, we want to help children become independent -- so Montessori activities help kids learn to do something for themselves. This is why Montessori activities promote self-sufficiency, critical thinking, and motor skills development. Recall that we want to follow the child. So, the most important element of any Montessori activity is that it is tailored to the child’s interests and developmental needs.
There are so many ideas, it's hard to narrow it down to a list! Below you will find some of my favorites. Just pick and choose what's right for you and your children.
- Exploration with sensory bins! We use sand, water, or cloud dough (for older toddlers, include miniature objects that they can match to pictures)
- Playing with textured balls
- Pouring water (for older toddlers, add food coloring and make this into a fun color mixing activity)
- Transferring dry rice or beads
- Learning to use a hammer, wrench, or screwdriver using toolsets. For older toddlers, we use real toolsets (please ensure proper supervision)
- Hammering toys
- Balancing (investing in a balance beam or balance boards might be a good idea if your child seems especially drawn to this activity)
- Creating and running through an obstacle course
- Watering plants and arranging flowers
- Finger Painting
- Taking trips to the supermarket (and then including them in selecting and measuring fruits and veggies!)
- Preparing food and serving food that they've prepared
- Measuring, scooping and mixing while baking
- Cutting bananas or any other soft food with a child-safe butter knife
- Setting the table and clearing the table
- Making coffee and tea (my kids love using the Keurig!)
- Dressing and undressing
- Brushing hair and teeth
- Washing hands (some folks set up a “station” for this, but a step stool does the job, too)
- Tidying up, sweeping, vacuuming, cleaning up spills
- Cleaning windows (we also do this in the bathtub and shower)
- Folding laundry (I give my youngest the small washcloths)
- Wiping hands and face
- Using remote controls (car, tv, dvr, etc...)
- Pulling scarves from a box (repurpose an old tissue box to save money), or pulling lace or ribbons through a hole
- Tearing paper
- Sorting items by color, shape, or size