Hands-on Montessori Homeschool Activities for a 5-year old

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Our choice to homeschool has been predetermined many years ago. I’ve spent hours meditating on this decision, thinking of the best ways to implement the Montessori approach and self-directed learning in the home environment. I have to say, only this year after my daughter turned 5, I realize that this is precisely what I was dreaming about and even more.

Hands-on Montessori Inspired Activities for a 5-year Old.

Homeschooling has become such an essential part of me, as a mum, my place to escape for a short period of three days a week from all other responsibilities and enjoy one-on-one time with my children.

I love the creative side of it –  preparation of activities, being able to observe and connect with children, understand their passion, and watch them be, develop, learn, and explore.

I found it very hard to truly connect on a daily basis when attending to other things – working from home or doing house chores. However, when we are together in that shared space when our thoughts and focus are all centered, we, in fact, are together.

Below are a few snippets of some of the activities we’ve done with my 5yo daughter. I try to cover as many areas as possible, but we are never in a rush. I feel that it is still essential for the child to have plenty of time for playing, reading, and listening to the stories.

I aim to create as many opportunities for open-ended play as possible. To balance out the time we spend at home she has music and swimming lesson and attends a local forest school.

Montessori classroom structure is reflected in our home environment which helps to organize and plan the learning process. The primary areas we focus on are Practical Life, Fine Motor, Language, Math, Geography, Science, and Art.

Practical Life

Practical life activities are centered around learning to master everyday skills that assist the child to become more self-sufficient. As children grow and develop, practical life experiences lay a solid foundation for them to become masters of their free time. They do not rely on parents and others to organize and fill it in. Learning to be independent early on in life enables them to have zero time for boredom.

I can honestly say I have not seen my daughter looks like she is bored. From the moment she wakes up her hands are busy, whether it is drawing, playing with LEGO, preparing a snack, or reading. This is why my primary goal is to teach as many skills as possible so she can master them in her own time. I am talking about such things as weaving, sewing, cooking, gardening, etc.

gardening with kids Montessori Nature
Practical Life at home: planting herbs.

Fine Motor

fine motor activity Montessori Nature
Simple fine motor play with tree buds.
fine motor activity with sand tray Montessori Nature
Preparation for writing – process art activity creating patterns and prints on the sand tray with a bamboo stick and natural loose parts.


learning to read Montessori Nature

Reading practice using Montessori Nature printable cards – Rhyming Words – Montessori Pink, Blue and Green Series.

Moveable alphabet Montessori Nature

We work with the moveable alphabet practically every day at this stage. In this picture, after learning about different types of transportation Blossom used it to construct words. Montessori three-part cards are great for incorporating into work with the moveable alphabet since it allows an opportunity for the child to do a self-assessment at the end and correct all mistakes without an adult’s assistance.

language moveable alphabet activity
Reading practice. I laid out all words minus the initial sound and invited my daughter to complete each word.
finding rhymes early literacy Montessori Nature

Rhyme match-up activity – identifying two rhyming words with  Rhyming Words – Montessori Pink, Blue, and Green Series. I have noticed that children enjoy playing rhyming games, and was not surprised to see that this printable was a big hit with my daughter.


making patterns with shapes Montessori Nature

Mirror often replaces playmat as it creates additional dimension, especially when it comes to loose part play and play with shapes. An acrylic mirror is the best option for children to be able to play safely.  Wooden pattern blocks are brilliant for creative, open-ended play. My daughter plays with them on a daily basis.

making patterns Montessori Nature
early math Montessori Nature Montessori beads

One-to-one correspondence activity – identifying the missing number.

hundreds board Montessori Nature

I am very particular about the materials that I purchase. There are a couple of Montessori math materials that we’ve been using a lot of teaching a variety of different mathematical concepts. For example, the hundred board, small number rods, and math beads.


With only three days of Montessori work a week, there is quite a bit of time left for working on art projects. I included just a couple of examples in this post. I also plan to incorporate more media and various projects in the future.

Early Childhood art Montessori nature

After reading one of our favorite books “Words are like faces“, Blossom decided to “paint” some words she came up with for the activity.

painting Montessori Nature


plant life cycle hands on materials printable Montessori Nature

After planting seeds, it is always a good idea to do a follow-up activity. Here Blossom is working with a sheet from Play Life Cycle printable.

Plants play-dough Montessori Nature

This is a simple activity creating the Solar System model with play-dough following our visit to an  Astronomy observatory one night and reading heaps of books about Space.

simple science Montessori Nature

After observing water take different forms, we used LEGO for a hands-on activity to explain how molecule structure changes, and why we see the water turn into ice or gas. The concept is simple enough, but the topic is a bit advanced for a primary student. This is something we will be coming back to talk about in the future.

early science and anatomy Montessori Nature
Learning about inside organs and their functions.

Nature Play

Sometimes Blossom insists on taking our learning outdoors. I pack up a minimum amount of materials we may need to do activities, and we play it by ear, mostly looking for spontaneous learning opportunities. There is always plenty to choose from in the natural environment.

Sorting leaves and sticks Montessori Nature
Math grading activity with sticks – from the shortest to the longest.
. .
outdoor free play with loose parts Montessori Nature
Free play with loose parts on the beach.
outdoor discovery Montessori Nature
Investigating the content of the soil – digging up the dirt and discovering what’s hiding underground.
nature play Montessori Nature
Spontaneous activity – making a bird’s nest.
nature play building bird nest Montessori Nature
nature play Montessori Nature leaves
botany Montessori Nature

We love discovering different shapes and forms presented in nature. Nature walk offers excellent opportunities to collect different leaves. Later we look at them and their structure at home. The next follow-up activity is to find out what types of trees they belong to and create “My Leaf Book”.

books preschool Montessori Nature

Having a collection of children’s activity books to access whenever they would like to get inspiration to make something interesting can be quite handy.

You may also like to check out my post on Hands-On Montessori Homeschool Activities For A 4-Year-Old.

Are you feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? Join this guide to Montessori-inspired homeschool to ease into homeschooling with confidence.

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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.

2 thoughts on “Hands-on Montessori Homeschool Activities for a 5-year old”

  1. Thank you for your post. I am inspired by the way you approach your teaching time, from the point of view of what it brings to you, not just to your child. I need to homeschool my child (I always wanted to but with the older girls I was too busy working – and by now that I have my 4th I don’t really know how). Nonetheless she is 5 and not in a school environment, and she is very curious and interested and I feel a great need to have a more structured approach to her work. I would love to talk to you to get some advice. Thank you

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