30 Must-Try Montessori Activities Your Toddler Will Love! (Outdoor + Indoor)

Join the world of Montessori, where every color, shape and texture opens a path towards discovery! Montessori transcends educational practices: its celebrated curiosity encourages an interest for learning while nurturing an appetite to explore.

Here we present 30 captivating indoor and outdoor Montessori activities carefully chosen to engage, motivate and nurture toddlers at home, in nature or any other learning environment!

Come together on this magical journey of growth and joyful discovery!

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Indoor Montessori Marvels

1. Color Sorting Magic

Happy toddler sitting on the floor in a playroom, surrounded by colorful blocks and pompoms.

  • Why Your Toddler Can’t Resist: Your toddlers won’t resist becoming color masters on this vibrant adventure!
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+
  • Materials Needed: An assortment of colorful objects (blocks and pompoms), along with containers for sorting.
  • How to Use: Demonstrate to your toddler how to place objects of each hue into their appropriate containers by sorting. Celebrate their successes! Eventually, watch as their knowledge of hues expands!

2. Sensational Sponge Squeezing

Cheerful toddler sitting at a child sized table with two bowls in front of them. The child is holding a sponge.

  • Why It’s Irresistible: Squishing and unsquishing are guaranteed fun and offer a fantastic sensory experience!
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+
  • Materials Needed: A sponge, two bowls, and water.
  • How to Use: Demonstrate squeezing water from the sponge from one bowl to another. Encourage them to try, enhancing their grip and coordination.

3. Puzzle Piece Wonders

An enthusiastic toddler sitting on the floor with a large, simple puzzle in front of them. The child is placing a puzzl

  • What Makes It Special: Each successful puzzle placement marks an achievement milestone as children discover ways to solve complex issues!
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+
  • Materials Needed: Large, simple puzzles.
  • How to Use: Sit together and encourage your toddler to put pieces where they belong – celebrating each victory to build confidence!

4. Bountiful Bean Scooping

Happy toddler seated at a small table, engaging in the activity of Bountiful Bean Scooping.

  • Why It’s a Hit: Every successful scoop feels like an adventure into another dimension!
  • Age Appropriate: 2 years+
  • Materials Needed: Dry beans, two bowls, and a scoop.
  • How to Use: Simply show children how to transfer beans from one bowl to another by scooping them up with a spoon, which helps develop motor skills in children of all ages.

5. Rhythmic Rice Pouring

Smiling toddler at a play table, engrossed in the activity of Rhythmic Rice Pouring. The toddler is holding a funnel.

  • Why They’ll Love It: The sound and feel of cascading grains are soothing and utterly captivating.
  • Age Appropriate: 2 years+
  • Materials Needed: Rice, two containers, and a funnel.
  • How to Use: Guide them to pour rice through a funnel, teaching control and patience as they listen to the gentle flow.

6. Soapy Cloth Washing

Cheerful toddler standing at a small table, happily engaged in the activity of Soapy Cloth Washing.

  • Why It’s Awesome: Splashing, soaping, and rinsing offer a wet world of fun and a sense of achievement.
  • Age Appropriate: 2 years+
  • Materials Needed: Basin, water, soap, and small cloths or handkerchiefs.
  • How to Use: Show them how to wash, rinse, and wring out cloths. It’s a perfect blend of play and real-life skills.

7. Mini Masterchef Cooking

An excited toddler wearing a chef's hat and apron, standing at a child sized kitchen counter.

  • The Delicious Draw: They’re not just playing; they’re on their way to becoming culinary creators!
  • Age Appropriate: 2 years+
  • Materials Needed: Safe, child-sized kitchen tools, simple ingredients.
  • How to Use: Involve them in simple cooking tasks like mixing, spreading, or tearing. They’ll adore being part of the kitchen buzz!

8. Bead Threading Thrills

A focused toddler sitting at a small table, deeply engaged in the activity of Bead Threading Thrills.

  • Why It’s Enthralling: Each bead is a step towards creating their own wearable art.
  • Age Appropriate: 2 years+
  • Materials Needed: Large beads and a thick thread or shoelace.
  • How to Use: Show them how to thread beads, creating patterns or random designs. It’s great for fine motor skills and patience.

9. Block Building Extravaganza

Happy toddler sitting on the floor, surrounded by wooden blocks and stacking cups. The child is in the middle of building a tower.

  • What’s So Cool: Each tower they erect is a monument to their growing spatial and problem-solving skills.
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+
  • Materials Needed: Wooden blocks or stacking cups.
  • How to Use: Let them free-build or challenge them to replicate simple structures you create. Either way, it’s construction fun!

10. Sensational Sock Matching

Excited toddler sitting on the floor, surrounded by colorful socks scattered around

  • The Fun Twist: They’re the fashion detectives, matching and pairing with style!
  • Age Appropriate: 2 years+
  • Materials Needed: Pairs of socks.
  • How to Use: Turn sock sorting into a game. They’ll learn patterns and matching while helping with the laundry.

11. Sensory Bin Exploration

Curious toddler sitting in front of a large sensory bin filled with rice or sand

  • Why It’s Fascinating: They’ll dive hands-first into a world of textures, colors, and hidden treasures.
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+
  • Materials Needed: A bin, rice/sand, and various small objects.
  • How to Use: Fill the bin with rice or sand, hide objects inside, and let them explore. It’s a tactile adventure!

12. Dress-Up Delight

Gleeful toddler surrounded by a variety of old clothes, hats, and accessories from a dress up box.

  • The Allure: Each outfit change is a new role to play in their ever-evolving theatre of imagination!
  • Age Appropriate: 2 years+
  • Materials Needed: Old clothes, hats, and accessories.
  • How to Use: Provide a dress-up box and watch as they transform into pirates, princesses, or whatever strikes their fancy!

13. Sticky Sticker Fun

Happy toddler sitting at a small table, engrossed in the activity of Sticky Sticker Fun

  • Why It’s Addictive: Peeling and sticking is a simple pleasure that’s also sneakily educational!
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+
  • Materials Needed: Stickers and paper.
  • How to Use: Offer a variety of stickers and a blank canvas of paper. It’s an art project with a fine motor twist.

14. Shape Sorting Challenge

Focused toddler sitting on the floor with a shape sorter toy, actively trying to fit different shaped blocks

  • What Makes It Engaging: Each correct placement is like solving a piece of the grand puzzle of shapes!
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+
  • Materials Needed: Shape sorter toy.
  • How to Use: Encourage them to match shapes with the correct holes. It’s a brain booster in disguise!

15. Homemade Drum Beats

Excited toddler surrounded by an assortment of household items like pots, pans, and wooden spoons, using them as a makeshift drum set

  • The Cool Factor: They’re not just making noise; they’re exploring rhythm and sound in the most fun way possible!
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+
  • Materials Needed: Pots, pans, and wooden spoons.
  • How to Use: Let them use safe household items as drums. Teach them soft and loud, fast and slow, creating a fun musical learning environment.

16. Texture Track

Curious toddler walking along a sensory path made up of various textured materials like carpet squares, bubble wrap

  • Why It’s Captivating: Each step on this sensory path is an exciting new feeling to explore!
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+
  • Materials Needed: Various textured materials like carpet squares, bubble wrap, and fabric.
  • How to Use: Lay out a path of textures and watch them step, touch, and discover!

17. Fruity Stamp Art

Joyful toddler sitting at a table, engaged in Fruity Stamp Art using halved fruits and vegetables dipped in bright paints

  • The Creative Pull: They’re not just playing with food; they’re making art with nature’s palette!
  • Age Appropriate: 2 years+
  • Materials Needed: Halved fruits/veggies, paint, and paper.
  • How to Use: Dip the cut side of fruits in paint and stamp away. It’s a deliciously artistic endeavor!

18. Button Sorting Game

Inquisitive toddler seated at a table, deeply engrossed in sorting a colorful assortment of buttons

  • What’s Intriguing: Each button is a unique piece in the grand sorting puzzle they’re set to solve!
  • Age Appropriate: 2 years+
  • Materials Needed: A variety of buttons, containers or sections for sorting.
  • How to Use: Challenge them to sort buttons by size, color, or shape. It’s a tactile and visual treat!

19. Sound Bottle Symphony

Delighted toddler sitting on the floor, surrounded by various small bottles filled with rice, beans, and beads

  • What’s Mesmerizing: They’re the maestros of their own bottle orchestra, and every shake is a symphonic masterpiece!
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+
  • Materials Needed: Small bottles, various fillings like rice, beans, and beads.
  • How to Use: Fill bottles with different materials and seal them tightly. They’ll love shaking them to discover the unique sounds each makes.

20. Water Whimsy Play

Gleeful toddler playing with water in a basin, surrounded by cups and various toys. The child is enthusiastically pouring water from a cup, creating splashes all around

  • Why It’s Splashtastic: Splashing, pouring, and exploring — it’s a wet and wonderful world of discovery!
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+
  • Materials Needed: Basin, water, cups, toys.
  • How to Use: Set up a water play area with cups and toys. They’ll pour, splash, and explore to their heart’s content.

21. Fabric Box Discovery

Toddler sitting next to a box filled with scraps of different fabrics, engaging in Fabric Box Discovery

  • The Allure: Every fabric offers a new texture to touch and a sensory mystery to solve!
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+
  • Materials Needed: A box and scraps of different fabrics.
  • How to Use: Fill a box with various fabrics and let them feel, sort, and play. It’s a tactile journey!

22. Paper Airplane Fun

Excited toddler with wide eyes and a big smile, launching a paper airplane

  • Why It’s Thrilling: They’ll be amazed to see a simple piece of paper fly across the room!
  • Age Appropriate: 2 years+
  • Materials Needed: Paper (preferably light but sturdy)
  • How to Use: Fold paper into a basic airplane shape and show them how to throw it gently. They can experiment with different throwing techniques and see how it changes the flight. It’s a great way to introduce simple physics concepts and enjoy active play.

23. Simple Weaving Wonders

Engaged toddler sitting on the floor, happily weaving colorful ribbons and fabric strips on a homemade cardboard

  • Why It’s Engaging: Weaving is not just an activity; it’s a dance of colors and patterns under their little fingers!
  • Age Appropriate: 2 years+
  • Materials Needed: A homemade cardboard loom, ribbons, or strips of fabric.
  • How to Use: Create a simple loom using cardboard and notches. Demonstrate how to weave ribbons or fabric strips over and under the loom’s lines. As they grasp the technique, they’ll delight in the patterns they create and the textures they explore. It’s excellent for fine motor skills, concentration, and artistic expression.

24. Silly Straw Sipping

Cheerful toddler sitting at a table with a big smile, using colorful, bendy straws to sip from a cup

  • Why It’s Delightful: Watch them giggle and focus as they learn to control their breath and enjoy a new way to drink!
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+ (or when they can safely use a straw)
  • Materials Needed: Safe, colorful straws, and cups with water or their favorite drink.
  • How to Use: Teach them how to sip liquids through the straw. This simple activity is excellent for oral motor skills and can be a lot of fun, especially with bendy or twisty straws!

25. Whisking Whimsy

Joyful toddler standing at a table, vigorously whisking water in a bowl with a big smile

  • Why It’s Fascinating: They’ll be mesmerized by the bubbles and froth they can create all by themselves!
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+
  • Materials Needed: A whisk, bowl, and water (add a drop of dish soap for extra fun).
  • How to Use: Fill the bowl with water and a drop of dish soap. Show them how to whisk the water briskly to create bubbles and foam. It’s a wonderful way to develop arm muscles and coordination while having a splash of a time!

Outdoor Montessori Adventures

26. Playful Shadow Tracing

Joyful toddler on a sunny day, engaged in Playful Shadow Tracing with paper and pencils, surrounded by toys and objects that create interesting shadows

  • Why It Captivates: Their world becomes a canvas for tracing the fleeting dance of shadows!
  • Age Appropriate: 2 years+
  • Materials Needed: Paper, pencils or chalk, and a sunny day or a flashlight.
  • How to Use: On a sunny day, take your toddler outside with paper and pencils, or use a sidewalk and chalk. Help them trace the shadows of trees, their toys, or even themselves. Inside, you can create shadows with a flashlight against the wall. It’s a fun way to explore light, shapes, and creativity.

27. Nature Walk Adventures

Toddler on a Nature Walk Adventure, wearing sturdy shoes and carrying a basket

  • What’s the Buzz: Every outdoor find is a new, natural gem to their collection of wonders.
  • Age Appropriate: All ages.
  • Materials Needed: A basket or bag for collection, sturdy shoes.
  • How to Use: Go on nature walks, encouraging them to collect leaves, stones, or flowers. Discuss the textures and colors, fostering a love for the natural world.

28. Climb and Balance Playground

Energetic toddler at a Climb and Balance Playground. The child is happily navigating through a mini obstacle course

  • Why It Rocks: Every climb and balance is a fun-filled challenge that boosts their physical confidence!
  • Age Appropriate: 2 years+
  • Materials Needed: Safe climbing structures, balance beams, or cushions.
  • How to Use: Set up a mini obstacle course or visit a playground. Encourage safe climbing and balancing for a fun workout!

29. Chalk Art Street

Toddler happily drawing with colorful chalk on a sidewalk. The toddler is surrounded by vibrant, imaginative

  • The Draw: Their driveway or sidewalk becomes a canvas for their wildest color fantasies!
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+
  • Materials Needed: Sidewalk chalk.
  • How to Use: Hand them chalk and let their creativity run wild on your driveway or a sidewalk. It’s ephemeral art at its best!

30. Nature Treasure Box

Toddler holding a treasure box filled with natural items like shells, leaves, and rocks

  • Why It’s a Treasure Trove: Each natural find is a precious addition to their personal collection of wonders!
  • Age Appropriate: 18 months+
  • Materials Needed: A sturdy box, items from nature (shells, leaves, rocks).
  • How to Use: Go on nature hunts with your toddler and collect small natural items. At home, discuss each item’s texture, color, and shape as they place them in their treasure box. This activity nurtures a connection with nature and cultivates observational skills.

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