DIY Montessori Inspired Activities and Games for 3 – 5-year-olds.

The Montessori method offers such a wide range of amazing experiences for children. Child’s work is their play. Generally, children do not need stimulation or encouragement; they naturally gravitate to activities that reflect their interests and enrich their passion for learning. Senses play such a huge role in their learning.

All materials and activities that are presented below have a goal to make learning hands-on, connect hand and brain, provide an opportunity for discovery. Our Montessori activities at home for cycle one (preschool age 3-5) are set up for different areas: Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, Science, Fine Motor.

DIY Montessori Inspired Activities and Games for 3 - 5-year-olds.

Practical life

Washing toys. Often toys are used outside and get dirty. This is a perfect opportunity for arranging washing activities to clean toys. It is convenient to have materials available in the kitchen or bathroom where a child can get hold of them easily. Three-year-olds are usually very keen to follow a sequence of steps, such as filling in a jar with water, adding soap, scrubbing a toy with a  brush, dry the toy, and pouring water out.

Washing toy station with towel, brush, jug, soap and dinosaur.
Child washing a dinosaur in a soapy water

Fine Motor

Kids go crazy for hammering activities. If you get a chance to get hold of a cut tree log – that’s great. I found an easy substitute for a tree by placing two cork boards on top of each other. This is a beautiful preparation for more complex exercises when children are older and are capable of building something with their hands. Perfect for fine motor exercise too.

A hummer with cork board and small nails.

Transferring activities with shells. Simple and fun. These are great ways to strengthen fingers and develop fine motor.

Child gathering shells with tongs for placing them in a ice black container.
Transfering activity with glass counters and tongs.

Sewing. Recycling old gift cards makes this activity even more attractive. We made beautiful Christmas tree ornaments with them.

pre-sewing activity with a large needle and yarns.

Introducing different office appliances, like sticky tape and hole punch are great for learning new skills. I noticed that it also encourages children to exercise their perseverance.

Whole puncher, construction paper and hole puncher.

Educational toys that develop fine motor are an excellent addition to Montessori Work Shelves.

Fine motor plastic fine motor activity.

Arranging stamps in a stamp book using tweezers is a beautiful cultural activity and a wonderful challenge for little fingers.

Stamps and tweezers activity.


Using different fillers for writing trays provides a scope of sensory experiences for a child. In this case, we used colored small rocks from a discount store generally used for decor.

Sandpaper numbers and tracing tray with small rocks

Cards and Counters are one of the easiest DIY Montessori materials to make at home at a very low cost. If you would like our printable with blue numbers, hop here.

Numbers and counters with glass drops and number cards

If you would like to learn how to teach your child about odd and even numbers using Cards and Counters, here is a great video to guide you:

We use the Small Number Rods for solving simple problem games creating a story that is relevant to the child. You can make it as complex or simple as you like. I keep it short and sweet. My daughter loves coming up with her own stories as well. For example, ” Mia was having a birthday party. She invited Alex and Matt. Alex brought six green balloons, and Matt brought 4 orange balloons. How many balloons are there at Mia’s party?”.

Small number rods with number cards


We chose a Transportation Unit for counting syllables in words and learn different types of transportation. Children easily learn to count syllables in words when it is first done with their names. This is where we started and moved to clap words associated with different types of vehicles.

Transportation cards sorting activity

Transportation 3 -Part Nomenclature Cards are a part of my Transportation Unit printable which includes many different activities that kids usually love.

Types of transportation 3 part cards

This is another activity for classifying vehicles.

Sorting transport by air, land and sea

In order to provide an opportunity for self-assessment, I marked cards on the back. After finishing sorting a variety of vehicles A turned them on the other side to compare labels and make sure it was done correctly.

Sorting transport by land, air and water


I used felt parts from Map Activity to introduce the classification of living and non-living things work. This is such a perfect opportunity to engage in conversation and discussion with a child. If you wish you may download labels here.

Sorting activity with felt images into living and non-living

Float and sink experiment. The best time to demonstrate this activity is after a child had a lesson on Water and Land with Montessori Sandpaper Globe. This experiment is great for self-directed play. Children get excited to find things they can put in the water to find out if they float or sink. You can download my printable here.  

Sorting objects into those that sink and float.


Here is our DIY Colour Box 3 activity.

Matching color cards from lightest to darkest.

Inspired by Nature. Something to let imagination run wild. We love our outdoor nature walks.

Making faces with nature objects in nature

Girls have lots of fun with changing the doll’s outfits play.  Woodkins toy-books are perfect for open-ended independent play.

Making outfits using fabrics

You can order the Transportation Unit here.

I invite you to join my Montessori Nature Homeschool Community if you are looking to connect with like-minded homeschoolers or if you need help getting started and would like to learn how to incorporate Montessori principles and natural learning into your everyday life.

Join and download these freebies


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  About Anastasia. Anastasia is 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. 

3 thoughts on “DIY Montessori Inspired Activities and Games for 3 – 5-year-olds.”

  1. Thanks for sharing this amazing ideas. Montessori curriculum is the best thing that we can gift to our children. It helps them to learn themselves.

    1. Good Morning,

      Using to the wooden shape puzzle of a girl and adding cut material to dress her. Brilliant!
      Pantone color wheels fun floor activity and art project
      Naming color theme
      Mother Nature, Earthy botanicals and sustainable, rustic browns, spirited, celebratory and bright and energetic

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