How to Create a Montessori Method at Home Stress-Free in 2023: Plus 48 Montessori Activities for Your Child!

Montessori method at home

So many of us dream about being parents and look forward to reading books and going on adventures in our living room fort castles with our little ones. Although parenting is wonderful in so many ways, there is much more to it than we realize until we are in the middle of it! Amongst the challenges of simply raising these tiny humans we also are responsible for teaching them, but how?!

We’re all on a quest to raise bright, inquisitive, and self-reliant children, but not gonna lie it is overwhelming trying to figure out how to do so. Montessori-style play, named after Maria Montessori (an Italian physician, educator, and innovator), offers a whimsical and effective way to foster your child’s creativity, independence, and curiosity. 

In this article, we will give a broad overview of a Montessori approach as we discuss what it is, how to do it, how it can benefit you, and some specific ideas for Montessori play! It won’t take long before your home environment becomes its own Montessori classroom and you naturally become a Montessori parent!

7 Steps for Montessori Method at Home

  • Create an Inviting Space
  • Choose Developmentally Appropriate Toys
  • Observe and Learn from Your Child
  • Let Them Lead
  • Offer Freedom within Limits
  • Support Independence
  • Rotate Materials

Steps to Creating a Montessori Method at Home

So how do you create a Montessori environment without becoming so overwhelmed? Here is your trusty roadmap as we head into this journey! 

Create an Inviting Space

montessori play area

Transform a corner of your home into a Montessori-inspired environment. Ensure it’s organized, clutter-free, and filled with age-appropriate activities and materials. It doesn’t need to completely take over the room. It can be a corner of your child’s bedroom or the side of a living room. 

Choose Developmentally Appropriate Toys

Choose toys and materials that are tailored to your child’s developmental stage. Montessori materials often include items like puzzles, stacking toys, sensory bins, and art supplies. Remember, you want to provide an atmosphere of Montessori education for your child by giving them a fun learning experience! Be creative and let your child’s interests guide what type of materials you provide.

Observe and Learn from Your Child

mom drawing with daughter

Watch your child in action. Pay attention to their interests, strengths, and areas where they need guidance. This observation will help you choose activities that cater to their specific needs. There are so many practical life activities that will teach both fine motor skills and gross motor skills at an early age while also enhancing knowledge and intellect.

Let Them Lead

Allow your child to choose their activities and set their pace. Avoid rushing them through tasks or hovering over their shoulder. Again, children like independence and this is a great opportunity for them to feel empowered! 

Offer Freedom within Limits

While you grant autonomy, establish some basic ground rules to ensure safety and respect for the environment and others. Intervene when necessary but give them appropriate power and authority over their atmosphere. 

Support Independence

boy cutting vegetables

Teach your child practical life skills like dressing, cleaning up, and preparing snacks. These skills promote independence and self-reliance. Montessori schools are great for teaching life skills, but you can be a Montessori teacher within the walls of your own home! Help your children learn daily tasks and responsibilities. Toddlers can help with tasks like setting the dinner table or picking up small toys, while older children can help in meal preparation or washing dishes.

Our favorite parenting course, Positive Parenting Solutions, emphasizes the importance of taking time for training! As we spend time teaching children how to do age-appropriate tasks from a young age, it will provide that sense of significance and independence, and be a bonus for you down the road.

Rotate Materials

Regularly update the available materials to keep your child engaged and excited about learning. Different ages will show interest in different activities. New ideas will come as your child’s interests change.

Key Considerations of Montessori Play

As you embark on this Montessori-style adventure, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

Patience is Key

Montessori-style play isn’t about instant results; it’s about the journey of discovery. Be patient and allow your child to learn at their own pace. Montessori is meant to be self-directed and each child’s development will widely vary.

Avoid Overstimulation

organized play area

Keep the play area uncluttered and organized, allowing your child to focus without being overwhelmed by too many choices. Have your child practice putting away an activity before pulling out a new one.

Be a Silent Observer

Step back and watch your child’s activities without constant intervention. This approach fosters self-reliance. Children LOVE doing things all by themselves! Give them that opportunity! It will give them a huge boost of positive power! 

Encourage Self-Correction

When your child makes a mistake, let them discover it on their own. This process teaches them self-correction and resilience. Children will never learn if they aren’t allowed to make safe and appropriate mistakes and then given a chance to work through those mistakes on their own. This is harmless and in a safe environment! 

Embrace Mistakes

mom talking with son

Mistakes are part of the learning process. Let your child make them and encourage them to learn from these experiences. If your children are like ours they may always want you to fix their mistakes or even intervene before the mistake happens.  Don’t do it!  Allow them to struggle through a task in a safe learning environment. 

It is better for kids to learn to deal with failure and overcome it in the safe environment of Montessori play rather than trying to learn how to deal with failure as an adult when the consequences are much bigger. 

We love talking to our boys and using examples like Thomas Edison creating the lightbulb, or the Wright Brothers creating the airplane. It took these inventors years and countless attempts to finally find success! Without their hard work and persistence, they never would have reached their goals! The same goes for each of us! Use examples like these. Our boys benefit greatly from real-life examples and role models!

Focus on the Process, Not the Product

Encourage your child to enjoy the process of learning rather than obsessing over the final product or result. Maria Montessori’s vision was to create a child’s natural desire for knowledge. It is so important that Montessori education becomes enjoyable for your child so they will develop that love of learning.

It is better to encourage children’s progress and journey than to praise their results! We completely understand that this point is hard.  Our oldest is always stressing about having the perfect results.  Be consistent and let your child learn from their mistakes! The more you encourage their hard work and effort, the more they will start feeling proud of their hard work!

What is Montessori Style Play

kids weighing food

Montessori-style play is like a magical land where the toys are thoughtfully curated, and the children are explorers of their destinies. This approach is deeply rooted in the Montessori philosophy, which emphasizes child-led learning and encourages independence and self-discovery. It revolves around providing an environment rich in sensory experiences and opportunities for hands-on exploration and creating real-life skills.

Maria Montessori believed in the potential of every child to learn and grow, given the right tools and environment. In a Montessori environment, toys and activities are carefully selected to align with the child’s developmental stage, making learning feel like play and play feel like learning.

Montessori education empowers children to explore their interests and passions while fostering independence and a lifelong love for learning. So, get ready to embark on this exciting journey of discovery and exploration with your child, and watch them flourish in a Montessori-inspired world of learning.

What Are the Benefits of Montessori Play for Children?

kids with superhero shadow

So, why should you embark on this Montessori-style play journey? Well, here are some great benefits that might convince you:

Independent Thinkers

Montessori education nurtures independence and self-sufficiency. Kids learn to make choices, plan their activities, and take pride in their achievements.

Positive Parenting Solutions also teaches the major importance of fostering a feeling of significance in your child. When your child feels like they are contributing and making their own choices in positive ways, it adds to their emotional growth and development. This Montessori method will add to that! 

Hands-On Learning

It’s like learning without realizing you’re learning. Kids engage in hands-on activities that stimulate their senses, promoting a deeper understanding of concepts. In a Montessori environment, this method of education will foster a child’s natural desire to learn while also having fun!

We love it when our boys are engaged in activities they love all while being taught something new at the same time! Bonus!

Creativity Unleashed

girl with paint on her hands

Montessori principles encourage imaginative exploration, allowing children to experiment, problem-solve, and create freely. Learning how to be creative is a skill and what better way to foster and practice that skill than doing Montessori activities in your own home!

Confident Learners

As children master new skills independently, their self-confidence soars. They learn that they are capable of handling challenges and overcoming obstacles.

As parents, one of the best things we can do is to teach our children to never quit! Never giving up is more important than focusing on how good or not the ending is. A child who learns to work hard and keep trying will be far more likely to succeed in life! 

Love for Learning

Montessori-style play instills a love for learning, turning children into eager, self-driven students.

Those who love learning will be more likely to find life’s successes from their drive and motivation to improve in knowledge! Children will develop an inner motivation to want to learn instead of just being encouraged to do so by others.

Respect for Others

The Montessori method fosters respect for others’ work and space, as children learn to clean up after themselves and handle materials carefully. This becomes a great skill any parent wants…for their child to learn how to clean up after themselves!

Top 48 Montessori Activities for Kids

Montessori activities for children have gained recognition for their ability to foster independence, creativity, and a love for learning. Inspired by the Montessori philosophy, these activities encourage children to explore, discover, and develop essential life skills. Whether you’re a Montessori enthusiast or simply looking to add valuable learning experiences to your child’s daily routine, here are the top 47 Montessori activities for children.

Practical Life Skills (Activities 1-5)

mom making sandwich with daughter
  1. Fine motor skills: Pouring, buttoning, zipping, and snapping are exercises to develop fine motor skills. There are items all around the house to provide this learning experience. You can also create your board that includes these activities or you can buy what is called a busy board that will include many ways for your child to develop these fine motor skills.
  2. Family contributions: These activities include tasks such as making beds, setting the kitchen table, folding laundry, etc. Although these may not seem like activities, it is a chance to help your child feel empowered, and it gives them a sense of independence and importance! Children feel valued knowing they can contribute!  
  3. Food preparation: Children tend to love helping make food in the kitchen. Any opportunity that allows your child to help you plan and prepare a meal is a great Montessori activity.
  4. Self-care: This involves things like brushing teeth, getting dressed, and taking a bath. Once again these are practical activities that teach motor skills and boost a child’s self-esteem and pride in being able to do these tasks on their own!
  5. Care of plants or animals. When your child is allowed to care for a living thing, it helps teach responsibility and respect. Your child will begin to see the impact their effort or lack of effort has on that item.

We encourage our kids to participate in as much of our family’s daily routines as possible to enhance their life skills.  Our boys make their beds, get themselves dressed, help fold their laundry, brush their teeth (we usually brush their teeth after they do it themselves), help unload the dishwasher, and help make dinner! These skills will benefit our boys for the rest of their lives!

Sensorial Activities (Activities 6-12)

baby girl playing with sensory dough

Montessori sensorial materials include anything that helps a child develop or refine their senses. Many of these activities are great to include in a calm-down corner to provide a safe place for your kids to learn to deal with their emotions!

  1. Sound bottles. A shaker filled with sand versus a shaker filled with beads will help kids compare different sounds. Blowing in different sizes of bottles or adding various amounts of water in different bottles will provide different sounds.
  2. Sensory buckets. Fill a tote will kinetic sand, play dough, or dirt, and add many different toys or objects that have different textures and sizes. This activity provides a variety of tactile exploration.
  3. Scented play dough. Playing with play dough is a great sensorial activity, but you can incorporate an increased experience of smell by adding essential oils or herbs to the play dough.
  4. Smelling Bottles: Prepare bottles filled with various scents, such as spices, herbs, or essential oils. Children can close their eyes and identify the scents to refine their olfactory senses.
  5. Taste Tests: Offer a variety of foods with different tastes, such as sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Children can sample and classify them by taste, refining their sense of taste.
  6. Fabric Grading: Provide a selection of fabrics with different textures and weaves. Children can organize them from coarse to fine or warm to cool, developing their tactile discrimination skills.
  7. Mystery Bag: Place a variety of objects with different textures, shapes, and sizes in a bag. Encourage children to reach into the bag, feel the objects, and describe what they sense without looking.

Math Concepts (Activities 13-18)

boy playing with counter

Anything that involves numbers is a great Montessori activity that makes math relevant and enjoyable. These ideas also expose children to essential skills they will use throughout their whole lives!

  1. Number Rods, Bead stairs, Counting Beads, Number Cards: Teaches number recognition, counting, and basic concepts of quantity.
  2. Sandpaper Numbers: Reinforces number recognition and provides a tactile experience.
  3. Cooking and Baking: Involve your children in cooking and baking with you. Learning to measure ingredients introduces math concepts including addition and fractions.
  4. Clock Activities: All kinds of toy clocks will teach children time-telling and understanding of the clock.
  5. Geometric Shapes: Geometric shapes like spheres, cylinders, and cones provide an early introduction to geometry. These materials enhance spatial awareness and encourage problem-solving. Kids love building things and this is a great chance for them to learn their shapes while being creative!
  6. Money: Providing either real or play money can help teach children the value of different coins. Children can also play store and learn math concepts!

Letters and Language (Activities 19-24)

child making letter A
  1. Sandpaper Letters: Introduce your child to the world of letters and language with sandpaper letters. These tactile tools help children recognize and trace letters, enhancing their pre-reading and writing skills.
  2. Movable Alphabet: The Montessori movable alphabet allows children to construct words and sentences. This hands-on approach to language development fosters phonemic awareness and spelling skills.
  3. Phonics Sound Games: LeapFrog has many phonics toys and activities to help introduce letter sounds and reading skills.
  4. Sight Word Cards: Flashcards are a great tool. You can get creative and play games with them to help build recognition of common sight words.
  5. Reading Nooks: Encourages a love for reading and literacy. We LOVE books in our house and it is our dream to one day have a tree house reading nook! Although our hope is to one day make it elaborate, it doesn’t need to be fancy to make it effective! Just set up a little tent in a corner or use a bean bag! Make it a special place for your child to go to as they enter a world of adventure through reading!
  6. Interactive Audio Players: We have a really cool kids’ audio player called a Storypod that allows kids to listen to books and engage with the content! This can be a great addition to your Montessori activities. There are many great kids audio player options to choose from!

Science Activities (Activities 25-32)

kids doing science project
  1. Land and water forms. This activity allows children to explore the characteristics of different landforms and bodies of water. It’s a wonderful way to introduce geography and earth science.
  2. Science experiments. Science experiments are hands-on and designed to engage a child’s curiosity. Activities like creating a volcano, exploring magnets, or planting seeds foster a love for science and experimentation. KiwiCo provides subscription boxes for kids of all ages that include amazing projects and experiences. This would be a great option to have in your personal Montessori classroom!
  3. Continent Maps. Maps are a great way to teach geography and cultural awareness. There are also various interactive globes that children love learning with.Girl learning geography
  4. Botany and Zoology Cards. These materials include cards and charts to introduce children to the plant and animal kingdoms. These activities instill a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world.
  5. Sink or Float: Provide a variety of objects and encourage children to experiment with sinking and floating. This activity promotes scientific inquiry and hypothesis testing.
  6. Weather Chart: Set up a weather chart with symbols and tools to track daily weather conditions. Children can observe and record weather patterns and changes over time.
  7. Animal Classification: Teach children about animal classification by providing cards or figurines of different animals. They can sort and classify animals based on characteristics like habitat, diet, and body structure.
  8. Life Cycle Exploration: Explore the life cycles of various organisms, such as butterflies, frogs, or plants. Provide materials and models for children to observe and understand these processes.

Arts and Crafts (Activities 33-43)

kids doing art
  1. Art Supplies: Montessori-inspired art and craft activities are open-ended and encourage creativity. Provide a variety of materials like colored pencils, watercolors, and natural crafting supplies to stimulate your child’s artistic expression.One of our son’s favorite areas of the house is his craft drawers. We filled plastic storage drawers with paper, crayons, stickers, tape, and scissors that he could go to town creating and making anything with! No more fear of him cutting up our bills just to make paper airplanes! With these drawers he can go at it, free of stress on our part! We love watching his imagination and creativity grow as he runs to show us something new he designed!
  2. Nature Collage: Collect leaves, flowers, and small branches from the outdoors and create a collage using paper and glue. Encourage children to explore textures, shapes, and colors in nature.
  3. Playdough Creations: Provide homemade or store-bought playdough along with child-safe tools like rolling pins and cookie cutters. Children can sculpt their own creations.Girl with playdough
  4. Watercolor Nature Prints: Use watercolor paints to create beautiful nature prints. Place leaves, twigs, or flowers on watercolor paper and gently paint over them for unique impressions.
  5. Weaving: Introduce children to basic weaving techniques using colorful yarn and cardboard looms. This helps develop fine motor skills and creativity.
  6. Bead Stringing: Provide a variety of beads and strings for children to create their own jewelry or decorative pieces. This activity enhances hand-eye coordination and concentration.
  7. Salt Dough Sculptures: Mix salt, flour, and water to create salt dough. Children can sculpt their own 3D creations and then paint them after they’ve dried.
  8. Sandpaper Art: Place a piece of sandpaper under a sheet of plain paper. Children can use crayons to create colorful rubbings, exploring patterns and textures.
  9. Leaf Rubbings: Collect leaves from different trees and place them under a piece of paper. Use crayons to create rubbings of the leaves, showcasing their intricate details.
  10. Vegetable Stamps: Cut various vegetables, like potatoes or bell peppers, in half and use them as stamps with non-toxic paint to create unique prints.
  11. Paper Mosaic: Tear or cut colored paper into small pieces and use glue to create mosaic designs on cardstock or cardboard. This activity promotes creativity and fine motor skills.

Nature Exploration (Activities 44-48)

child gardening
  1. Nature Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of natural items like leaves, rocks, flowers, or specific types of plants for children to find in the outdoor environment. Provide them with baskets or bags to collect their discoveries. Encourage observation, identification, and respect for the natural world.
  2. Nature Journaling: Provide children with a blank journal and art supplies, such as colored pencils or watercolors. Encourage them to sketch or write about their observations in nature, whether it’s the shapes of leaves, the colors of flowers, or the behaviors of animals.
  3. Bird Watching: Set up a bird feeder or a birdhouse in your outdoor area and provide children with binoculars and a bird guidebook. They can observe and identify different bird species, record their findings, and learn about the birds’ habits and habitats.
  4. Planting and Gardening: Involve children in planting and caring for a small garden or individual potted plants. They can learn about the life cycle of plants, from planting seeds to nurturing them as they grow. Gardening also instills a sense of responsibility and connection to the natural world.
  5. Nature Sorting and Classification: Collect a variety of natural objects like leaves, stones, and pinecones. Provide children with trays and labels, and guide them to sort and classify these objects based on attributes like size, color, texture, or shape. This activity promotes observation skills and categorization.

How Can Montessori Activities Benefit Your Child

Montessori-style play is like a golden ticket to a child’s wonderland, and the benefits are immeasurable. For starters, it helps your child become more independent, fostering a sense of responsibility and autonomy that will serve them well in life. The hands-on nature of this play method boosts sensory and motor skills, which are fundamental for a child’s overall development.

Montessori-style play creates a love for learning, turning your child into an eager, self-motivated student. It also promotes creativity and imagination, allowing your child to explore their potential and express themselves freely. By nurturing respect for the environment and others, your child learns to be mindful, considerate, and connect socially.

Montessori activities are also great ways to help children learn to play independently. Not all children know how to self-entertain while their parents get things done. These activities will help promote long periods of fun without being put in front of a screen, and provide learning at the same time!

Conclusion/Wrapping Up

kids playing in classroom

In the grand scheme of parenting, Montessori-style activities for children are like little treasures in a vast sea of colorful plastic toys. You see, we as parents are the magicians behind the curtain, orchestrating the show of growth and learning. Montessori activities are perfectly designed props, making our children’s educational journey a bit more enchanting.

But remember, fellow parents, Montessori activities aren’t just about letters and numbers. They’re about independence, creativity, and a lifelong love for learning. And in this wild circus of parenthood, that’s the grand finale we all hope for. So, go ahead and let your little ones pour beans, trace letters, and count beads—it’s like a secret code to unlock their inner brilliance.

In the end, while watching our children explore and discover, we realize that we are the ringmasters of this educational circus. We may not have a top hat or a flashy outfit, but we’re the ones setting the stage for our little stars. And with a touch of Montessori magic, we’re helping them shine ever so brightly. So, here’s to a journey filled with Montessori-inspired wonder,  and the endless adventure of parenting. Enjoy the show, parents!

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