DIY Learning Activities for Toddlers – Montessori Approach

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“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed”.- C. JoyBell C.

When creating learning experiences for children I aim for hands-on, practical, beautiful in simplicity, challenging, engaging and attractive activities based on the Montessori approach. In this post, I continue sharing lessons and activities I do with my 2.5-year-old toddler at home.
Taking care of belongings is a valuable lesson to teach children from early years. This time my daughter washed her shoes after a play in the mud. Demonstration of such activity always comes first with minimum words and clear precise movements.
This activity is effective for a child’s development, because 
  • develops concentration
  • encourages children to finish their task
  • children see the end result
  • children learn to take care of their belongings which teaches them to value their belongings
  • presents a sequence of events to follow
3D Shapes Matching Game
After a three-part lesson presentation we often play memory game:
– I place one of each shape in the other part of the room and whisper the name of the shape which my daughter needs to bring. She walks to the shapes to find the right one and brings it back to me. I show her the “master” shape. If it does not match, she goes back and attempts to find the matching shape.

Simple threading activity

  • concentration
  • colours
  • shapes
  • fine motor
Simple animals footprint activity with play-dough
A. explores what prints different animals make on soft surfaces.

Painting  (with famous paintings on the background)

Pre-reading activity “what does not belong“. We revisit this activity often because this one is not that easy to explain and grasp for a young child. We usually revisit the same task until A. masters it without my help.

Sorting air/land/water animals (download free printable cards here) I find that there is quite a bit of language involved in the demonstration process and working with this job.


Dot game.


Sorting animals by color. There is so much concentration, learning, and engagement that accompanies this activity when a toddler is at work.

Exploring sound and movement. As soon as I start playing on percussion my daughter starts to dance simultaneously. There is something magic in it.

Learning to identify matching categories. (Pre-reading activity)


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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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