Montessori For Preschoolers: The Ultimate List of Activities for Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers

The Montessori method is an approach that respects the individual child’s pace and interests, making it a great fit for learners of all ages, including very young ones.

Here, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of Montessori-inspired activities tailored for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, aimed at fostering independence, creativity, and cognitive development.

Let’s go!

Touch Boards
Touch boards – Credit: Intentional Homeschooler

For Babies (0-12 months)

Tummy Time with Mirrors

Tummy time is crucial for developing neck and shoulder muscles, preparing babies for crawling.

Adding a baby-safe mirror to this exercise captivates their attention and promotes self-awareness.

Observing their reflection introduces babies to the concept of “self,” providing early cognitive development and fostering curiosity.

Texture Boards

Babies are sensory learners, exploring the world through touch.

Texture boards, made up of different materials, stimulate their tactile senses.

As babies feel varying textures like rough, smooth, or soft, they enhance their sensory recognition, laying the foundation for more sophisticated tactile tasks in the future.

Movable Mobiles

Mobiles with colorful, lightweight objects not only act as visual stimuli but also encourage babies to reach out, promoting motor skill development.

The act of trying to grasp objects helps refine their hand-eye coordination and fosters a sense of discovery.


Rattles are more than just noise-makers.

They are instrumental in the development of the grasp reflex in babies.

As babies shake, turn, and explore rattles, they also enhance their auditory and sensory skills, making them perfect tools for early cognitive stimulation.

Related: 50+ Montessori Activities for One Year Olds

Montessori Rattle
Credit: KG Simple Reviews

For Toddlers (1-3 years)

Practical Life Activities

Tasks like pouring water or sweeping are fundamental in Montessori learning.

These simple, everyday activities teach toddlers coordination, focus, and a sense of responsibility.

They also foster independence, as toddlers begin to realize they can accomplish tasks on their own.

Sensory Bins

A sensory bin filled with materials like sand or beans is a mini world of exploration for toddlers.

Scooping, pouring, and feeling different textures help develop fine motor skills and spatial awareness.

The hands-on nature of this activity also aids in cognitive and linguistic development.

Nature Walks

Nature is a vast classroom for toddlers.

Collecting leaves, feeling the bark of trees, or observing insects boosts their observational skills, physical activity, and respect for the environment.

Nature walks also help in building vocabulary and understanding natural processes.

Related: Flower Nature Walks Explained

 the Nature Walk
Nature Walk List – Credit: alittleglam alotofmom

Puzzles with Large Knobs

These puzzles are specifically designed for toddler hands.

The act of grasping the knobs and fitting pieces in the correct place aids in hand-eye coordination and problem-solving.

Puzzles also introduce toddlers to different shapes, colors, and themes.

Shape Sorters

Shape sorters challenge toddlers to identify shapes and find the corresponding slot.

This activity not only develops spatial reasoning but also introduces them to early geometry concepts, preparing them for more advanced tasks.

 the Knobbed Cylinders
Knobbed Cylinders – Credit: Montessori Sharon

Art Exploration

Art is a medium of expression.

Providing toddlers with non-toxic paints or crayons allows them to communicate their feelings and ideas visually.

It promotes creativity, boosts motor skills, and offers an early introduction to colors and shapes.

For Preschoolers (3-6 years)

Dressing Frames

Designed to mimic clothing items, dressing frames like zippers, buttons, and laces teach preschoolers how to dress independently.

Mastering each frame fosters a sense of accomplishment and prepares them for real-world tasks.

Velcro Frame, one of the dressing frames.
The Velcro Frame – Credit: MMI Bibvewadi

Tracing and Cutting

Tracing and cutting are fantastic for refining motor skills.

By tracing shapes or cutting along lines, preschoolers enhance their hand strength, coordination, and concentration.

These activities also set the foundation for writing skills.

Botany and Zoology Cards

These illustrated cards open up the world of plants and animals to preschoolers.

Matching them with real-life objects enhances their observational skills.

Discussing each card can spark interest in biology and the environment.

Math Activities

Using Montessori math materials like counting beads or number rods introduces preschoolers to the world of numbers in a tactile way.

They begin understanding quantity, sequence, and even basic arithmetic, paving the way for formal math education.

Sandpaper Letters

A tactile introduction to the alphabet, sandpaper letters help preschoolers associate letter shapes with sounds.

Tracing the textured letters prepares them for writing, while phonetic sounds set the foundation for reading.

Daily Living Activities

Tasks like setting the table or watering plants integrate preschoolers into household responsibilities.

They instill a sense of duty, improve motor skills, and foster independence, making them essential for their transition to school life.


From the earliest months of a baby’s life to the inquisitive preschool years, Montessori-inspired activities support cognitive, sensory, and motor development in natural and enjoyable ways.

As parents, educators, or caregivers, embracing these activities not only promotes essential skills but also nurtures a lifelong love for learning.

In our fast-paced world, it’s the simplicity and intentionality behind Montessori that proves invaluable, guiding young ones to become thoughtful, self-sufficient, and creative individuals.

Whether you’re just beginning or deepening your Montessori journey, remember that it’s about following the child, celebrating their milestones, and offering them a world rich in experiences.

Of course! Here’s the FAQ section with the requested changes:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

At what age can I start introducing Montessori activities to my child?

You can begin introducing Montessori activities right from birth if you’d like.

As discussed earlier, we outlined many activities tailored for babies as young as 0-12 months, progressing to toddlers and preschoolers.

Each stage has specific activities designed to meet the developmental needs and interests of that age group.

How do Montessori activities benefit babies compared to traditional toys?

Montessori activities for babies are designed to stimulate their sensory, motor, and cognitive development in natural ways.

Unlike many traditional toys that might simply entertain, Montessori materials engage babies in purposeful exploration, laying a foundation for skills like hand-eye coordination, sensory recognition, and early cognitive development.

Are sensory bins safe for toddlers? What precautions should I take?

Sensory bins are generally safe for toddlers, but it’s essential to ensure the materials inside aren’t potential choking hazards.

Always supervise your toddler when they’re exploring sensory bins.

Additionally, use non-toxic materials and ensure the bin is stable and won’t tip over.

How often should I rotate Montessori activities for my child?

Rotation is essential to keep your child engaged and stimulated.

Typically, observing your child is the best guide.

If they seem to have lost interest in an activity or mastered it, it might be time to rotate.

A general rule of thumb is to rotate activities every 1-2 weeks, but this can vary based on the child’s interest and the activity.

Do I need specialized materials for Montessori activities, or can I use household items?

While there are specialized Montessori materials available, many Montessori activities can be created using everyday household items.

For instance, practical life activities for toddlers often involve common tasks like pouring water, which can be practiced using a pitcher and a bowl.

The essence of Montessori is to use purposeful, real-world materials that are safe and appropriate for the child’s age.

How does the Montessori method foster independence in toddlers and preschoolers?

The Montessori method emphasizes “help me to do it myself.”

Activities are designed to be hands-on, allowing children to explore, learn at their own pace, and accomplish tasks on their own.

From dressing frames that teach preschoolers to button and zip to practical life activities where toddlers learn to pour or sweep, each task is meant to foster a sense of independence and capability.

Related: The Buckle Frame Explained

What’s the difference between Montessori toys and regular toys?

Montessori toys are designed with a clear purpose: to support developmental milestones and encourage independent exploration.

They are often made from natural materials and are simplistic in design to allow the child to focus on the learning aspect.

Regular toys might be more focused on entertainment and might not always offer the same kind of purposeful engagement.

How can I create a “prepared environment” at home for my child as recommended in Montessori?

A prepared environment in Montessori refers to a space tailored to the child’s needs, interests, and size.

It promotes independence and learning.

At home, this might mean having furniture at the child’s height, ensuring materials and toys are accessible on low shelves, and designating specific areas for different activities, such as a reading nook or art corner.

It’s about creating a safe, engaging space where the child feels empowered to explore.

How do Montessori activities for preschoolers prepare them for formal schooling?

Montessori activities for preschoolers target essential pre-academic and life skills.

From refining motor skills required for writing to introducing basic math and phonetics for reading, these activities lay a robust foundation.

Furthermore, Montessori encourages self-direction, problem-solving, and independence – all crucial skills for formal schooling.

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