Montessori DIY: Tips for Creating Montessori Inspired Activities by Teresa Hadsall of Montessori By Mom

mini coat hangers for a DIY Montessori activity

Creating Your Own Activities
Creating your own Montessori-inspired activities can be a lot of fun, but challenging as well. Parents can “Bring Montessori Home” with a few simple principles:

1. Create an ordered environment for your child to work in. Have all the materials ready and in their proper place. After the work\fun is done, guide your child to take responsibility and help clean up.

2. Plan an activity that promotes concentration. TV and video games distract, while Montessori activities require your child’s full concentration.

3. Make sure you know the activity’s purpose. Ask yourself, “What is my child going to learn?” It is especially important to use activities that teach real-life skills. (Tying, pouring, folding, matching, mixing, etc. are all great.)

4. Rely on your child’s inner motivation. Kids are built to learn and LOVE it. Most of the time, they just need the opportunity.

Making activities that rely on inner motivation:
The first thing to think about is your child’s interests. Build activities based on what you find them talking about a lot, or that seems to keep them engaged. If your child is really into sharks, print out shark pictures and discuss the similarities and differences between the species, create shark counting activities, crafts, and have lots of books available for the child to explore. They will absorb what you present to them because it is based on what they are truly interested in. You can do the same with almost any theme or interest.

mini coat hangers for a DIY Montessori activity

Tiny things: Kids love, and I mean LOVE, tiny objects. Representations of real things such as miniature hangers, tiny chairs, itty bitty shells, etc. Something about them really captures their interest. Some of the best miniature items I have found at craft stores are dollhouse items. They aren’t designed for children but are perfect representations of the real thing. Of course, when you use miniatures in your activities, you have to be sure your child is ready for them and won’t try to eat them.

DIY Russian nesting doll activity

Treasure Hunting
Searching for the perfect items for your activities can be exhausting, but turning it into a treasure hunt can help with that. Always be on the lookout for unique items that might spark the interest of your child. Sometimes, I would find one cute item and that would give me the idea for a whole new activity.

Good luck, and don’t forget to enjoy the process! - Teresa Hadsall

Teresa is an AMS certified teacher and owner of Montessori By Mom. She has a passion for education and the Montessori Philosophy. She and her husband Nathan hope to help make Montessori more accessible to parents and children through their small business.