Developmental Montessori Inspired Work for Toddlers

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We then found that individual activity is the one factor that stimulates and produces development”
-Maria Montessori (The Absorbent Mind, p. 7)

russian doll sorting activity in wooden tray

Usually, I introduce new jobs/ activities to my 2-year-old toddler one at a time, so she has enough time to get familiar with them and practice new skills. I also try to replace activities she has not touched for a while with the new ones. However, honestly speaking at this age she does not spend much time doing her shelf activities during the day.

She is much more interested in following me around the house and participating in what we call Practical Life activities – basically doing chores. In my coming up post I will share the list of chores that she shows great interest in. I follow her interests the best I can to provide her with the necessary equipment and teach her skills to perform them. For now, I introduce you to our new activities from this week:

Sorting from the largest to the smallest. First, I lay cards out, show her how to match pictures correctly, and then encourage her to do it on her own.

wooden tray with coloured cards and matching pegs
plastic place mat with coloured cards and matching pegs

Opening and shutting activity develops eye-hand coordination. Haven’t you noticed how much young children LOVE to open and shut everything that can possibly be opened or shut?

wooden tray with bird and two jewellery boxes

Pouring activity. This was very helpful to practice pouring before doing it with water.

wooden box with glass jug with blue rocks and drinking glass

Matching activity with insect stickers.

cane basket on plastic place mat with wooden box with dividers. different coloured insects for matching

Fine motor hand control activity with a coin elephant box and 5 coins. We also practice counting coins when placing them inside, which works very well.

wooden tray with jewellery box and elephant shaped money box
wooden tray with elephant shaped money box and open jewellery box with coins in it

Practicing threading.

cane basket with shoestring and coloured numbered cubes for threading

Another color matching fine motor exercise. This time with feathers.

coloured plastic spindles with glass jar with coloured feathers for matching
plastic spindles with corresponding coloured feathers inserted

Picture/letter cards. When we work with these I tend to present only three cards at a time and use a 3-part lesson to teach new words.

cane basket with sound cards with pictures

Here we go! I would love to hear what you have been up to!

Recommended resources:
Peaceful Children. Peaceful World: The Challenge of Maria Montessori
Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three

You might also enjoy The Following Toddler Resources


  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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