20+ DIY Montessori Inspired Activities for 2 and 3-year-olds

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I would love to share with you a set of DIY Montessori-inspired activities that’s been on the shelves of my 2.5-year-old daughter. Every week I aim to create activities that encourage concentration, fine motor development, sensory development, encourage work of hand and hand-eye coordination. I tend to use natural materials and materials found in a dollar store. I always try to follow her interests. I arrange activities one at a time and demonstrate them to her before allowing her to work on her own.

20-DIY-Montessori-Inspired-Activities-Montessori-Nature printables

CAUTION: Please, keep in mind that these activities contain small parts. I only present them when it is safe to do so when there are no younger children around.

nature tray

Sensory color tray with sunflower leaves and insect stickers.

montessori inspired activities for preschoolers

Open and close activity with some “treasures”. For some reason children spend so much time opening and closing little purses and bags, placing things in and out. My daughter is not an exception. This activity is always a hit. 

This is a fine motor exercise. There is a story that goes with it. We talk about rain and I show her pictures of rain, we walk outside to look at the drops in the morning and smell the air. Along with that experience, I offered her to place drops on the leaves of these trees. 

drop activity

I found a few pictures of calendar paintings and cut them into two pieces for a match-up game. 

montessori inspired activities for preschoolers
paints and paintbrushes with sunflower painting
DIY Puzzles And Coloring Pages – Vincent Van Gogh Vase With Twelve Sunflowers

Stamp prints of a line. We talk about lines and look for straight lines in books and in our environment. Then she has a go at drawing straight lines. Later, we came up with this simple activity.

stamp activity
montessori inspired activities for preschoolers

Spooning exercise. I found these lavender-scented wooden balls in a discount shop. They smell beautiful and are the perfect size for an activity for young children who are still working on their coordination.

montessori inspired activities for preschoolers

Playdough Color Marching Activity

montessori inspired activities for preschoolers

Fine motor activity

threading activity

Fine motor activity with pipe cleaners and beads. She is now old enough to do one of these. This is still a bit of a challenge but it’s easy enough to do it on her own.

playdough number activity
Space Preschool Pack – “I am an Astronaut”

Practicing making numbers with playdough and counting the corresponding quantity of counters.

matching letters activity
Space Preschool Pack – “I am an Astronaut”

Finding matching letters with space-themed printables.

montessori inspired activities for preschoolers

This sensory ball activity is to develop hand-eye coordination. These balls are so much fun even for adults. Throwing them in the basket and watching the light go up is also a fun exercise.

abc cards

You can download my ABC and pin poking cards from the library of resources by joining our list here. Present one card at a time placing it on a table or mat: “cccccc cat”, “rrrrr ring”. Then ask your child to pass you one card at a time. Use up to 5 cards at a time when giving a 3-period lesson.

Action cards for learning verbs

action cards

Transferring activity for developing concentration, finger strength, and practical life skills.

montessori inspired activities for preschoolers
flower vase

We use different vases to arrange flowers and then find a place to put vases with flowers around the house. This is always a very pleasant exercise that benefits children and helps to develop their sense of beauty, concentration, and fine motor skills.

horse cards

Horse Match-Up Game. Join to download these Animal Cards along with these activities I made for my daughter which I am very excited to share with you:

montessori inspired activities for preschoolers

 Sorting animals on those that fly in the air, swim in the water and walk on the land. 

montessori inspired activities for preschoolers

Dog Match-Up Game

montessori inspired activities for preschoolers

Sea Creatures Match-Up Game.

montessori inspired activities for preschoolers

We often enjoy making hummus together, my daughter helps me to peel chickpeas – this is a wonderful Practical Life exercise that requires a great deal of concentration.

practical life activities montessori child preschool cooking toddler

Young children generally thoroughly enjoy baking cookies using simple recipes which is great for their fine motor.

cutting activity
Asia Continent Bundle

Cutting strips – the first cutting activity young children enjoy doing as they work hard cutting pieces of a paper strip with images on the line.

gross motor dice
Insects and Crawling Creatures Preschool Pack

This gross motor activity with invertebrate-themed dice inspires children to explore all kinds of movements and spark their imagination.

fine motor activity
Sports Preschool Pack – Fine Motor, 3D Shapes, 3 Part Cards

Sports often become a big part of children’s lives if they see their favorite adults actively engage and share their passion. Here is a sport-themed fine motor activity that can be done with pom poms, tweezers, glass drops, and other loose parts.

insect coloring sheets
Insects and Crawling Creatures Preschool Pack

I often invite young children to color pictures with true-to-life images where they can observe small details and work on their pencil grip.

lacing cards
Asia Continent Bundle

Lacing cards are always all-time favorites with toddlers and preschoolers.

animal cards
Affectionate Animals Toddler Picture Cards Matching Activities

invertebrate cards
Bugs Insects and Minibeasts Toddler Picture Cards Matching Activities – Editable

When presenting cards to toddlers and preschoolers, I always aim to have clear images and photographs available for them to explore.

emotion cards
A to Z Emotions and Feelings – ABC Cards

With little ones, it’s always important to start mentioning and naming all kinds of emotions to help them identify their feelings in the future and be able to share them.

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  About Anastasia. Anastasia is a former Early Childhood Teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature, a blog about Montessori - inspired and Nature-based explorations. She taught in a Montessori setting for 10 years and has been practicing the Montessori way of learning and living for the last 20 years. She loves designing engaging educational printables for children. Browse Anastasia's educational resources on Teachers Pay Teachers.


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