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 it to her before allowing to work on her own.
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.
Sensory color tray with sunflower leaves and insect stickers.
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. 
I found a few pictures of calendar paintings and cut them in two pieces for match-up game. 
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. 
Spooning exercise. I found these lavender-scented wooden balls in a dollar shop. They smell beautiful and are perfect size for an activity for young children who are still working on their coordination.
Play Dough Colour Marching Activity. 
Fine motor 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.
This sensory balls activity is to develop hand-eye coordination. These balls are so much fun even for adults. Throwing them in the basket and watch the light go up is also a fun exercise.

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.

Transferring activity for developing concentration, finger strength, practical life skills.
Pouring activity.
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 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:
 Sorting animals on those that fly in the air, swim in the water and walk on the land. 
 Dog Match-Up Game
Sea Creatures Match-Up Game.
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. 
Every Star Is Different has a very cute dog theme printables for little tots. Click here to download your copy for free!
  About Anastasia. Anastasia is a former Early Childhood teacher, 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 19 years. She loves designing engaging educational printables for children. Learn more here. 

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